(lit. "Song of the Lord"),
often referred to as simply the Gita,
is a 700-verse Hindu scripture in Sanskrit
that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.
Hindu traditionalists assert that the Gita came into existence in
the third or fourth millennium BCE. Scholars accept dates from the
fifth century to the second century BCE as the probable range.
The Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between
Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide and charioteer Lord Krishna.
Facing the duty as a warrior to fight the Dharma Yudhha or righteous
war between Pandavas and Kauravas, Arjuna is counselled by Lord
Krishna to "fulfill his Kshatriya (warrior) duty as a warrior and
establish Dharma." Inserted in this appeal to kshatriya dharma
(chivalry) is "a dialogue ... between diverging attitudes concerning
methods toward the attainment of liberation (moksha)".
The Bhagavad Gita was exposed to the world through Sanjaya, who
senses and cognizes all the events of the battlefield. Sanjaya is
Dhritarashtra's advisor and also his charioteer.
Bhagavad Gita presents a synthesis of the concept of Dharma,
theistic bhakti, the yogic ideals of moksha through jnana, bhakti,
karma, and Raja Yoga and Samkhya philosophy.
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, 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
“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly
than to live an imitation
of somebody else's life with perfection.”
“A gift is pure when it is given from the heart
to the right person at the right time and at the right place,
and when we expect nothing in return”
“Anyone who is steady in his determination
for the advanced stage of spiritual realization
and can equally tolerate the onslaughts
of distress and happiness is certainly
a person eligible for liberation.”
“The happiness which comes from long practice, which leads to the end of
suffering, which at first is like poison, but at last like nectar - this
kind of happiness arises from the serenity of one's own mind.”
“ I am Time, the great destroyer of the world ~Bhagavad Gita 11.32)”
“I have become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
“For the senses wander, and when one lets the mind follow them, it carries
wisdom away like a windblown ship on the waters.”
“Set thy heart upon thy work, but never on its reward.”
“Feelings of heat and cold, pleasure and pain, are caused by the contact
of the senses with their objects. They come and they go, never lasting
long. You must accept them.”