Bhagavad-Gita

Introduction

The Bhagavad Gita (Sanskrit: भगवद्गीता, bhagavad-gītā in IAST, Sanskrit pronunciation: [ˈbʱəɡəʋəd̪ ɡiːˈt̪aː]; lit. "Song of the Lord"[1]), often referred to as simply the Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture in Sanskrit that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

The Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide and charioteer Krishna. Facing the duty as a warrior to fight the Dharma Yudhha or righteous war between Pandavas and Kauravas, Arjuna is counselled by Krishna to "fulfill his Kshatriya (warrior) duty as a warrior and establishing Dharma."[2] Inserted[2] in this appeal to kshatriya dharma (chivalry)[3] is "a dialogue [...] between diverging attitudes concerning and methods toward the attainment of liberation (moksha)".[4] The Bhagavad Gita was exposed to the world through Sanjaya. Sanjaya is Dhritarashtra's advisor and also his charioteer.

The Bhagavad Gita presents a synthesis[5][6] of the Brahmanical concept of Dharma,[5][6][7] theistic bhakti,[8][7] the yogic ideals[6] of moksha[6] through jnana, bhakti, karma, and Raja Yoga (spoken of in the 6th chapter). [8] and Samkhya philosophy.[web 1][note 1]

Numerous commentaries have been written on the Bhagavad Gita with widely differing views on the essentials. Vedanta commentators read varying relations between Self and Brahman in the text: Advaita Vedanta sees the non-dualism of Atman (soul) and Brahman as its essence,[9] whereas Bhedabheda and Vishishtadvaita see Atman and Brahman as both different and non-different, and Dvaita sees them as different. The setting of the Gita in a battlefield has been interpreted as an allegory for the ethical and moral struggles of the human life.

The Bhagavad Gita‍ '​s call for selfless action inspired many leaders of the Indian independence movement including Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Gandhi referred to the Gita as his "spiritual dictionary".[10]


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