Two massive armies representing different loyalties and ideologies face a catastrophic war.  According to Jacqueline Hirst, the "field of dharma" phrase in the Gita epitomizes that the struggle concerns dharma itself.  Christopher Chapple – a Comparative Theology scholar focusing on Indian religions, in Winthrop Sargeant translation of the Gita, states, "In the model presented by the Bhagavad Gītā, every aspect of life is in fact a way of salvation.  The Gita, states van Buitenen, was conceived and developed by the Mahabharata authors to "bring to a climax and solution the dharmic dilemma of a war". The Bhagavad Gita is the title of Winthrop Sargeant's translation, first published in 1979, of the Bhagavad Gītā (Sanskrit: भगवद्गीता, "Song of God"), an important Hindu scripture. According to Kashi Nath Upadhyaya, a Gita scholar, it is possible that a number of different individuals with the same name compiled different texts. Gandhian ahimsa is in fact "the essence of the entire Gita", according to Vajpeyi.  The justification of political violence when peaceful protests and all else fails, states Varma, has been a "fairly common feature of modern Indian political thought" along with the "mighty antithesis of Gandhian thought on non-violence". , The oldest and most influential surviving commentary was published by Adi Shankara (Śaṅkarācārya).  It begins with discussion of spiritual pursuits through sannyasa (renunciation, monastic life) and spiritual pursuits while living in the world as a householder. What Are the Steps of Presidential Impeachment? , Some translators title the chapter as Sankhya Yoga, The Book of Doctrines, Self-Realization, or The Yoga of Knowledge (and Philosophy). , The Bhagavad Gita is the best known, and most famous of Hindu scriptures. A karma yogi finds such work inherently fulfilling and satisfying. Physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer famously thought of a quote from the Gita, "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds," upon witnessing the first test of a nuclear bomb in 1946. , The Gita is a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna right before the start of the climactic Kurukshetra War in the Hindu epic Mahabharata.  He equates himself to being the father and the mother of the universe, to being the Om, to the three Vedas, to the seed, the goal of life, the refuge and abode of all.  It equates self-knowledge and the union with Purusha (Krishna) as the Self to be the highest goal of any spiritual pursuit. In Bhagavad Gita, similarly, 'Krishna identified himself both with Vasudeva, Vishnu and their meanings'. It is unclear when exactly the Mahabharata was first written, although it is known that the Gita was a later addition to it and that it did not appear in its present form until around 400 CE.  Swami Rambhadracharya released the first Braille version of the scripture, with the original Sanskrit text and a Hindi commentary, on 30 November 2007.  Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, a professor of Philosophy at the Oxford University and the second president of India, saw "The Field of Dharma" as the world (Bhavsagar), which is a "battleground for moral struggle". From the beginning of life Arjuna was a spiritual traveler undertaking inner journey all the time. Richard Goerg/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images.  To build its theological framework about the world, the text relies on the theories found in Samkhya and Vedanta schools of Hinduism. Among Western English translations of the Gita, Sargeant's is unusual in providing a word-by-word translation with parsing and grammatical explanation, along with Sanskrit and English renderings.  Those who act without craving for fruits are free from the karmic effects, because the results never motivated them. Richard Davis tells the story of this venerable and enduring book, from its origins in ancient India to its reception today as a spiritual classic that has been translated into more than seventy-five languages. Fact Check: Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe? Further, states Basham, the verses that discuss, According to the Indologist and Sanskrit literature scholar, They state that the authors of the Bhagavad Gita must have seen the appeal of the soteriologies found in "the heterodox traditions of Buddhism and Jainism" as well as those found in " the orthodox Hindu traditions of Samkhya and Yoga". , In the Gita, Krishna persuades Arjuna to wage war where the enemy includes some of his own relatives and friends. He discusses jnana (knowledge) and vijnana (realization, understanding) using the Prakriti-Purusha (matter-soul) framework of the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy, and the Maya-Brahman framework of its Vedanta school. It has 18 chapters in total.  Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk and author of books on Zen Buddhism, concurs with Gandhi and states that the Gita is not teaching violence nor propounding a "make war" ideology. Since the Bhagavad-Gita was given to the sun-god Visvasvan before the current Vaisvasvatu Manu was born then it can be understood that the Bhagavad-Gita was spoken to him at least 120 million 400 thousands years ago. Theirs is true renunciation. This book is a humanistic critique of the Gita.  Adi Shankara, in his 8th-century commentary, explicitly states that the Gita has 700 verses, which was likely a deliberate declaration to prevent further insertions and changes to the Gita.  This is an idea found in the Rigveda and many later Hindu texts, where it is a symbolism for atman (soul) and Brahman (Absolute Reality) eternally pervading all beings and all existence. Years later he would explain that another verse had also entered his head at that time: We knew the world would not be the same. but those who work without expecting reward It discusses who is a true yogi, and what it takes to reach the state where one harbors no malice towards anyone. , The Gita presents its teaching in the context of a war where the warrior Arjuna is in inner crisis about whether he should renounce and abandon the battlefield, or fight and kill.  He recognised in the concept of sva-dharma his idea of svadeshi (sometimes spelled swadeshi), the idea that "man owes his service above all to those who are nearest to him by birth and situation. Most people were silent.  The synthesis is at both philosophical and socio-religious levels, states the Gita scholar Keya Maitra. Arjuna accepts Krishna as the purushottama (Supreme Being).  According to Jimmy Klausen, Ambedkar in his essay Krishna and his Gita stated that the Gita was a "tool" of Brahmanical Hinduism and for its latter-day saints such as Mahatma Gandhi and Lokmanya Tilak. B. van Buitenen too states that the Gita was likely composed about 200 BCE. A story in this vedic text, states Hudson, highlights the meaning of the name Vasudeva as the 'shining one (deva) who dwells (vasu) in all things and in whom all things dwell', and the meaning of Vishnu to be the 'pervading actor'. , According to Swami Vivekananda, sva-dharma in the Gita does not mean "caste duty", rather it means the duty that comes with one's life situation (mother, father, husband, wife) or profession (soldier, judge, teacher, doctor). Our very own Hyderabad ammayi named ‘Ramagiri Swarika’ has achieved this task of inscribing Bhagavad Gita on grains of rice.  This equation is, however, interpreted in a number of ways by different sub-schools of Vedanta.  It is thus one of the key texts for the Vedanta, a school that provides one of the theoretical foundations for Hinduism, and one that has had an enormous influence over time, becoming the central ideology of the Hindu renaissance in the 19th century, according to Gavin Flood – a scholar of Hinduism.  Their attempt was to present their "universalist religion". Bhagavadgita, (Sanskrit: “Song of God”) an episode recorded in the great Sanskrit poem of the Hindus, the Mahabharata. , Madhva, a commentator of the Dvaita Vedanta school, wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, which exemplifies the thinking of the "dualist" school (Dvaita Vedanta). Bhagavad Gita n Ashtavakra Gita! In the last eight verses of this chapter, Krishna states that he loves those who have compassion for all living beings, are content with whatever comes their way, who live a detached life that is impartial and selfless, unaffected by fleeting pleasure or pain, neither craving for praise nor depressed by criticism. For example, state Galvin Flood and Charles Martin, these interpretations have been used to support "pacifism to aggressive nationalism" in politics, from "monism to theism" in philosophy. , Some translators title this chapter as Ksetra–Ksetrajna Vibhaga yoga, Religion by Separation of Matter and Spirit, The Field and the Knower, or The Yoga of Difference between the Field and Field-Knower. He interprets its teachings in the Shaiva Advaita (monism) tradition quite similar to Adi Shankara, but with the difference that he considers both soul and matter to be metaphysically real and eternal. Each of these quarters is further arranged into "two metrical feet of four syllables each", state Flood and Martin. What is Shrimad Bhagavad Gita & Who Wrote Bhagavad Gita? No book was more central to Gandhi's life and thought that the Bhagavad Gita', which he referred to as his "spiritual dictionary". These late 19th-century theosophical writings called the Gita as a "path of true spirituality" and "teaching nothing more than the basis of every system of philosophy and scientific endeavor", triumphing over other "Samkhya paths" of Hinduism that "have degenerated into superstition and demoralized India by leading people away from practical action".  The ideas and concepts in the second chapter reflect the framework of the Samkhya and Yoga schools of Hindu philosophy. But it only takes a very slight deviation and the mind is mad and out of control again.  He sees that some among his enemies are his own relatives, beloved friends, and revered teachers. And if … Only one condition! Vallabha the proponent of "Suddhadvaita" or pure non-dualism, wrote a commentary on the Gita, the "Sattvadipika". For Vivekananda, the Gita was an egalitarian scripture that rejected caste and other hierarchies because of its verses such as 13.27—28, which states "He who sees the Supreme Lord dwelling equally in all beings, the Imperishable in things that perish, he sees verily.  These include writing systems that are currently in use, as well as early scripts such as the Sharada script now dormant.  It may, in fact, be neither of them, and its contents may have no definition with previously-developed Western terms. Arjuna questions how Krishna could do this, when those sages lived so long ago, and Krishna was born more recently. " He deduced from the Gita the doctrine that "the functions of a man ought to be determined by his natural turn, gift, and capacities", that the individual should "develop freely" and thereby would be best able to serve society.  Through the message of the Gita, Vivekananda sought to energise the people of India to reclaim their dormant but strong identity. [note 7], According to Arthur Basham, the context of the Bhagavad Gita suggests that it was composed in an era when the ethics of war were being questioned and renunciation to monastic life was becoming popular.  According to Flood and Martin, chapter 3 and onwards develops "a theological response to Arjuna's dilemma". In this context, the Gita advises Arjuna to do his holy duty (sva-dharma) as a warrior, fight and kill. The Bhagavad Gita (“Song of God” or “Song of the Lord”) is among the most important religious texts of Hinduism and easily the best known.  The chapter opens as a continuation of Krishna's teachings about selfless work and the personality of someone who has renounced the fruits that are found in chapter 5. The setting of the Gita in a battlefield has been interpreted as an allegory for the ethical and moral struggles of the human life. Patton, Laurie L.; The Failure of Allegory in. [web 4]. Rosen, Steven; Krishna's Song: A New Look at the Bhagavad Gita, p. 22. It is more broadly, the "duty" and a "metaphysically congealed act" for Arjuna.  Gerald James Larson – an Indologist and classical Hindu Philosophies scholar, states "if there is any one text that comes near to embodying the totality of what it is to be a Hindu, it would be the Bhagavad Gita.  However, Aurobindo rejected the interpretation that the Gita, and the Mahabharata by extension, is only "an allegory of the inner life", and it has nothing to do with our outward human life and actions. B. van Buitenen, an Indologist known for his translations and scholarship on Mahabharata, the Gita is so contextually and philosophically well knit with the Mahabharata that it was not an independent text that "somehow wandered into the epic". Summary of the Book Meghnad Desai writes about the Bhagavad Gita saying that it is a secular text. Importance of the last thought before death, differences between material and spiritual worlds, and light and dark paths that a soul takes after death are described.. According to the Indologist Paul Hacker, the contextual meaning in the Gita is the "dharma of a particular varna". He describes the difference between transient perishable physical body (kshetra) and the immutable eternal soul (kshetrajna). This Absolute in Gita is neither a He nor a She, but a "neuter principle", an "It or That".  Theologian Catherine Cornille writes, "The text [of the Gita] offers a survey of the different possible disciplines for attaining liberation through knowledge (Jnana), action (karma), and loving devotion to God (bhakti), focusing on the latter as both the easiest and the highest path to salvation. , In the Indian tradition, the Bhagavad Gita, as well as the epic Mahabharata of which it is a part, is attributed to the sage Vyasa, whose full name was Krishna Dvaipayana, also called Veda-Vyasa. He wrote the introduction to Bhagavad Gita, the Song of God (1944), translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Isherwood. , Dharma is a prominent paradigm of the Mahabharata, and it is referenced in the Gita as well. ", The Gita teaches several spiritual paths – jnana, bhakti and karma – to the divine.  It then presents different spiritual paths for each personality type respectively: the path of knowledge (jnana yoga), the path of devotion (bhakti yoga), the path of action (karma yoga), and the path of meditation (raja yoga). It is more likely that the works of multiple writers were combined into one. According to Chatterjee, the Krishna's religion of Gita is "not so narrow-minded". , The Gita rejects ascetic life, renunciation as well as Brahminical Vedic ritualism where outwardly actions or non-action are considered a means of personal rewards in this life, after-life or a means of liberation. who first wrote the bhagavad gita.  This argument, states Hacker, is an attempt to "universalize Hinduism". , The Bhagavad Gita manuscript is found in the sixth book of the Mahabharata manuscripts – the Bhisma-parvan. You must understand both! " To him, svadeshi was "sva-dharma applied to one's immediate environment.  This theme has led scholars to call the Gita as panentheistic, theistic and monistic. Steven Pressfield acknowledges that the Gita was his inspiration, the golfer character in his novel is Arjuna, the caddie is Krishna, states Rosen. This Absolute in Gita is neither a He nor a She, but a "neuter principle", an "It or That". I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and, to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' While Duryodhana presents it as a matter of status, social norms, and fate, Vidura states that the heroic warrior never submits, knows no fear and has the duty to protect people. [...] Having experienced that Truth oneself, all doubts are dispelled.  According to Chatterjee, the Hindus already understand the meaning of that term.  Shankara prefaces his comments by stating that the Gita is popular among the laity, that the text has been studied and commented upon by earlier scholars (these texts have not survived), but "I have found that to the laity it appears to teach diverse and quite contradictory doctrines". The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most confidential knowledge and realization, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence.  The 4th chapter is the first time where Krishna begins to reveal his divine nature to Arjuna.  This suggests that the text was composed after the Pāṇini era, but before the long compounds of classical Sanskrit became the norm. , The synthesis in Bhagavad Gita addresses the question as to what constitutes the virtuous path and one necessary for the spiritual liberation and a release from the cycles of rebirth (moksha). A.  The text refrains from insisting on one right marg (path) to spirituality.  The chapter opens with Krishna continuing his discourse from the previous chapter. [note 20] Vinoba Bhave has written the Geeta in Marathi language as Geetai i.e. Krishna says that such self-realized people are impartial to friends and enemies, are beyond good and evil, equally disposed to those who support them or oppose them because they have reached the summit of consciousness. Mother Geeta in the similar shloka form. Krishna says he is the atman in all beings, Arjuna's innermost Self, also compassionate Vishnu, the Surya (sun god), Indra, Shiva-Rudra, Ananta, Yama, as well as the Om, Vedic sages, time, Gayatri mantra, and the science of Self-knowledge.  The text covers Gyān, Bhakti, Karma, and Rāj Yoga (spoken of in the 6th chapter) incorporating ideas from the Samkhya-Yoga philosophy. Arjuna requests Krishna to move the chariot between the two armies so he can see those "eager for this war". According to Deutsch and Dalvi, the Bhagavad Gita attempts "to forge a harmony" between these three paths. For Aurobindo, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, and Chinmayananda as notable commentators see: For Aurobindo as notable commentators, see: Stevenson, Robert W., "Tilak and the Bhagavadgita's Doctrine of Karmayoga", in: Jordens, J.T.F., "Gandhi and the Bhagavadgita", in: A shorter edition, omitting the bulk of Desai's additional commentary, has been published as: harvnb error: no target: CITEREFSahadeo2011 (, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, "Mahatma Gandhi | Biography, Accomplishments, & Facts", Indian Spirituality in the West: A Bibliographical Mapping, "Lectures and Discourses ~ Thoughts on the Gita", "After selling 580 mn books, Gita Press faces labour crisis", "F.A.T.E. Thus, the first version of the Bhagavad Gita may have been composed in or after the 3rd century BCE. , Some Hindus give it the status of an Upanishad, and some consider it to be a "revealed text". who attain the goal of meditation, , Gandhi's view differed from Aurobindo's view. [web 1][note 1] The Krishna–Arjuna dialogues cover a broad range of spiritual topics, touching upon ethical dilemmas and philosophical issues that go far beyond the war Arjuna faces. Soon the work was translated into other European languages such as French (1787), German, and Russian. Therein, in the third section, the Gita forms chapters 23–40, that is 6.3.23 to 6.3.40. [note 17], Other scholars such as Steven Rosen, Laurie L. Patton and Stephen Mitchell have seen in the Gita a religious defense of the warrior class's (Kshatriya Varna) duty (svadharma), which is to conduct combat and war with courage and do not see this as only an allegorical teaching, but also a real defense of just war. Krishna identifies these human traits to be divine and demonic respectively. Spoken by Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead to His intimate disciple and friend Arjuna, the Gitas seven hundred verses provide a definitive guide to the science of self-realization. , Ramanuja was a Hindu theologian, philosopher, and an exponent of the Sri Vaishnavism (Vishnu) tradition in 11th and early 12th century. He wonders if fighting the war is "not so important after all" given Krishna's overview on the pursuit of spiritual wisdom. , The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste], Nadkarni and Zelliot present the opposite view, citing early Bhakti saints of the Krishna-tradition such as the 13th-century Dnyaneshwar. It is considered to be the primary holy scripture for Hinduism, the world's third largest religion. However, states Fowler, it "does not raise any of these to a status that excludes the others".  According to Flood and Martin, the Gita though set in the war context in a major epic, the narrative is structured for the abstract to all situations; it wrestles with questions about "who we are, how we should live our lives, and how should we act in the world".  According to Paul Hacker, the term dharma has additional meanings in the context of Arjuna. The Bhagavad Gita, perhaps the most famous of all Indian scriptures, is universally regarded as one of the world’s spiritual and literary masterpieces. [note 24], Ralph Waldo Emerson, remarked the following after his first study of the Gita, and thereafter frequently quoted the text in his journals and letters, particularly the "work with inner renunciation" idea in his writings on man's quest for spiritual energy:, I owed – my friend and I owed – a magnificent day to the Bhagavad Geeta.  Chapter 9 opens with Krishna continuing his discourse as Arjuna listens. The Gita accepts atman as the pure, unchanging, ultimate real essence, experiencer of one's being.  The Gita message emphasizes that the personal moral confusion and struggle must be addressed, the warrior needs to rise beyond "personal and social values" and understand what is at stake and "why he must fight", states Miller. Vyasa's authorship of the epic is also questionable, as the length of the poem is some 100,000 couplets, about seven times the combined length of the Iliad and Odyssey put together. Instead, it is teaching peace and discussing one's duty to examine what is right and then act with pure intentions, when one's faces difficult and repugnant choices. , The first English translation of the Bhagavad Gita was published by Charles Wilkins in 1785.  Several modern Indian writers have interpreted the battlefield setting as an allegory of "the war within". The Gita is a cohesively knit pedagogic text, not a list of norms. He sees family and friends on the enemy side.  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