Sunday, June 30, 2013

What is Gita

“Live in the world but don’t be of the world. Live in the world but  don’t let the world live within you. Remember it is all a beautiful dream,  because everything is changing and disappearing. If you become detached you  will be able to see how people are attached to trivia and how much they are  suffering. And you will laugh at yourself because you were also in the same  boat before”. - Osho

What  is the Gita?

The  dictionary meaning of the word ‘Gita’ is a song or poem containing an inspired doctrine  and the word ‘Bhagavat’ means a blessed or adorable or venerable or divine One.  Hence Srimad Bhagavad Gita is variously called as ‘The Song of God’, ‘The  Divine Song’, ‘A Song of Fortune’, ‘The Lord’s Song’, ‘The Holy Song of God’, ‘The Song of  the Lord’,Gudartha Deepika, Gita Rahasya, Jnaneshwari, Bhavaarthadipika,  Sadhaka Sanjeevani and so on. The noted English poet, journalist and a Principal of the Government Sanskrit College  at Pune, Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904) called  his famous poetic version of the Bhagavad Gita as ‘The Song Celestial’.  The Bhagavad Gita’s another title is ‘moksha  sastra’or ‘Scripture of Liberation’. However, it is more popularly known  as “The Gita”.

The  Bhagavad Gita is a sacred Hindu scripture, considered among the most important  texts in the history of literature and philosophy. It finds a place in the Bhishma  Parva of the Mahabharata. It comprises of 18 chapters spread out in 700 verses.  Its author is Veda Vyasa, the compiler of the Mahabharata who wrote this epic  through the hands of the Lord of Wisdom, Sri Ganesha. Its teachings are  considered timeless and the exact time of revelation of the scripture is  considered of little spiritual significance. The teacher of the Bhagavad Gita  is Lord Krishna, who is revered as a manifestation of God, The Bhagvan,  Parabrahman.

The  content of the Gita is the conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna taking  place on the battlefield of Kurukshetra before the start of the war between the  two clans of brothers - the Kauravas and the Pandavas.

Responding  to Arjuna's confusion and moral dilemma about fighting his own cousins, Bhagavan  Krishna explains to Arjuna his duties as a warrior and prince and elaborates on  different Vedantic concepts. This has led to the Gita being described as one of  the prasthana traya, the triumvirate of the canons of Hindu Philosophy,  the other two being the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutras.

It  is considered as a concise, practical, self-contained guide to play the game of  life. During the discourse, Krishna reveals His  identity as the Supreme Being (Svayam Bhagavan), blessing Arjuna with an  awe-inspiring vision of His divine universal form.

The  Gita itself tells us about what it is. At the end of the first chapter we find  a narration reading as under:  
    om tat sat 
    iti srimad bhagavadgeetaasu upanishatsu  brahma vidyaayaam yogashaastre 
    sri krishnaarjuna samvaade arjuna  vishaada yogo naama prathamo'dyaayah||

“Thus  in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal,  the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends  the  first discourse entitled: The  Yoga   of the Despondency of Arjuna”


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