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The Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
(/ˈbʌɡəvəd ˈɡiːtɑː/; Sanskrit: भगवद्गीता, bhagavad-gītā in IAST, Sanskrit pronunciation: [ˈbʱaɡəʋəd̪ ɡiːˈt̪aː], lit. "Song of the Lord"[1]), often referred to as the Gita, is a 700[2][3] verse Hindu
Hindu
scripture in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
that is part of the Hindu epic
Hindu epic
Mahabharata (chapters 23–40 of the 6th book of Mahabharata). The Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between Pandava prince Arjuna
Arjuna
and his guide and charioteer Lord Krishna. Facing the duty as a warrior to fight the Dharma
Dharma
Yudhha or righteous war between Pandavas
Pandavas
and Kauravas, Arjuna
Arjuna
is counselled by Lord Krishna
Lord Krishna
to "fulfill his Kshatriya
Kshatriya
(warrior) duty as a warrior and establish Dharma."[4] Inserted[4] in this appeal to kshatriya dharma (chivalry)[5] is "a dialogue ... between diverging attitudes concerning methods toward the attainment of liberation (moksha)".[6] The Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
presents a synthesis[7][8] of the concept of Dharma,[7][8][9] theistic bhakti,[10][9] the yogic ideals[8] of moksha[8] through jnana, bhakti, karma, and Raja Yoga
Yoga
(spoken of in the 6th chapter)[10] and Samkhya
Samkhya
philosophy.[web 1][note 1] It is a Bhagavata
Bhagavata
explanation of the Purusha Sukta
Purusha Sukta
and the Purushamedha Srauta yajna described in the Satapatha Brahmana.[11] Numerous commentaries have been written on the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
with widely differing views on the essentials. Vedanta
Vedanta
commentators read varying relations between Self and Brahman
Brahman
in the text: Advaita Vedanta
Vedanta
sees the non-dualism of Atman (soul) and Brahman
Brahman
as its essence,[12] whereas Bhedabheda and Vishishtadvaita
Vishishtadvaita
see Atman and Brahman
Brahman
as both different and non-different, and Dvaita
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
Indian independence movement
including Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Bal Gangadhar Tilak
and Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi referred to the Gita as his "spiritual dictionary".[13]

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Contents

1 Composition and significance

1.1 Authorship 1.2 Date of composition 1.3 Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
in ancient sanskrit literature 1.4 Hindu
Hindu
synthesis and smriti 1.5 Status

2 As an explanation of the Purushamedha 3 Content

3.1 Narrative 3.2 Characters 3.3 Overview of chapters

4 Themes

4.1 Dharma

4.1.1 Dharma
Dharma
and heroism 4.1.2 Modern interpretations of dharma

4.1.2.1 Svadharma and svabhava 4.1.2.2 The Field of Dharma 4.1.2.3 Allegory of war 4.1.2.4 Promotion of just war and duty

4.2 Moksha: Liberation 4.3 Yoga

4.3.1 Karma
Karma
yoga 4.3.2 Bhakti
Bhakti
yoga 4.3.3 Jnana yoga

5 Commentaries and translations

5.1 Classical commentaries

5.1.1 Śaṅkara 5.1.2 Rāmānuja 5.1.3 Madhva 5.1.4 Abhinavagupta 5.1.5 Others

5.2 Independence movement 5.3 Hindu
Hindu
revivalism 5.4 Other modern commentaries 5.5 Scholarly translations 5.6 The Gita in other languages

6 Philological research 7 Contemporary popularity

7.1 Appraisal 7.2 Adaptations

8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 Sources

11.1 Printed sources 11.2 Online sources

12 Further reading 13 External links

Composition and significance[edit]

Bronze chariot, depicting discourse of Krishna
Krishna
and Arjuna
Arjuna
in Kurukshetra

Authorship[edit] The epic Mahabharata
Mahabharata
is traditionally ascribed to the Sage Vyasa; the Bhagavad Gita, being a part of the Mahabharata's Bhishma
Bhishma
Parva, is also ascribed to him.[14] Date of composition[edit]

Krishna
Krishna
recounts Gita to Arjuna

Theories on the date of composition of the Gita vary considerably. Scholars accept dates from the fifth century to the second century BCE as the probable range. Professor Jeaneane Fowler, in her commentary on the Gita, considers second century BCE to be the likely date of composition.[15] Kashi Nath Upadhyaya, a Gita scholar, on the basis of the estimated dates of Mahabharata, Brahma
Brahma
sutras, and other independent sources, concludes that the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
was composed in the fifth or fourth century BCE.[16] It is generally agreed that, "Unlike the Vedas, which have to be preserved letter-perfect, the Gita was a popular work whose reciters would inevitably conform to changes in language and style", so the earliest "surviving" components of this dynamic text are believed to be no older than the earliest "external" references we have to the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
epic, which may include an allusion in Panini's fourth century BCE grammar. It is estimated that the text probably reached something of a "final form" by the early Gupta period (about the 4th century CE). The actual dates of composition of the Gita remain unresolved.[14] Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
in ancient sanskrit literature[edit] There is no reference to the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
in Buddhist literature, the Tripitaka. The Buddha
Buddha
refers to 3 Vedas
Vedas
rather than 4 Vedas. Hindu
Hindu
synthesis and smriti[edit] See also: Smarta Tradition Due to its presence in the Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
is classified as a Smriti
Smriti
text or "that which is remembered".[note 2] The smriti texts of the period between 200 BCE and 100 CE belong to the emerging " Hindu
Hindu
Synthesis", proclaiming the authority of the Vedas while integrating various Indian traditions and religions. Acceptance of the Vedas
Vedas
became a central criterion for defining Hinduism
Hinduism
over and against the heterodoxies, which rejected the Vedas.[17] The so-called " Hindu
Hindu
Synthesis" emerged during the early Classical period (200 BCE – 300 CE) of Hinduism.[17][8][18] According to Alf Hiltebeitel, a period of consolidation in the development of Hinduism took place between the time of the late Vedic Upanishad
Upanishad
(ca. 500 BCE) and the period of the rise of the Guptas (ca. 320–467 CE) which he calls the " Hindu
Hindu
Synthesis", "Brahmanic Synthesis", or "Orthodox Synthesis".[17] It developed in interaction with other religions and peoples:

The emerging self-definitions of Hinduism
Hinduism
were forged in the context of continuous interaction with heterodox religions (Buddhists, Jains, Ajivikas) throughout this whole period, and with foreign people (Yavanas, or Greeks; Sakas, or Scythians; Pahlavas, or Parthians; and Kusanas, or Kushans) from the third phase on [between the Mauryan empire and the rise of the Guptas].[17]

The Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
is the sealing achievement of this Hindu
Hindu
Synthesis, incorporating various religious traditions.[17][10][8][web 1][9] According to Hiltebeitel, Bhakti
Bhakti
forms an essential ingredient of this synthesis, which incorporates Bhakti
Bhakti
into Vedanta.[17] According to Deutsch and Dalvi, the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
attempts "to forge a harmony"[19] between different strands of Indian thought: jnana, dharma and bhakti.[10] Deutsch and Dalvi note that the authors of the Bhagavad Gita "must have seen the appeal of the soteriologies both of the "heterodox" traditions of Buddhism
Buddhism
and Jainism and of the more "orthodox" ones of Samkhya
Samkhya
and Yoga",[7] while the Brahmanic tradition emphasised "the significance of dharma as the instrument of goodness".[7] Scheepers mentions the Bhagavat Gita as a Brahmanical text which uses the shramanic and Yogic terminology to spread the Brahmanic idea of living according to one's duty or dharma, in contrast to the yogic ideal of liberation from the workings of karma.[8] According to Basham,

The Bhagavadgita combines many different elements from Samkhya
Samkhya
and Vedanta
Vedanta
philosophy. In matters of religion, its important contribution was the new emphasis placed on devotion, which has since remained a central path in Hinduism. In addition, the popular theism expressed elsewhere in the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
and the transcendentalism of the Upanishads
Upanishads
converge, and a God of personal characteristics is identified with the brahman of the Vedic tradition. The Bhagavadgita thus gives a typology of the three dominant trends of Indian religion: dharma-based householder life, enlightenment-based renunciation, and devotion-based theism.[web 1]

Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
as a synthesis:

The Bhagavadgita may be treated as a great synthesis of the ideas of the impersonal spiritual monism with personalistic monotheism, of the yoga of action with the yoga of transcendence of action, and these again with yogas of devotion and knowledge.[9]

The influence of the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
was such, that its synthesis was adapted to and incorporated into specific Indian traditions. Nicholson mentions the Shiva
Shiva
Gita as an adaptation of the Vishnu-oriented Bhagavat Gita into Shiva-oriented terminology,[20] and the Isvara Gita as borrowing entire verses from the Krishna-oriented Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
and placing them into a new Shiva-oriented context.[21] Status[edit] The Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
is part of the Prasthanatrayi, which also includes the Upanishads
Upanishads
and Brahma
Brahma
sutras. These are the key texts for the Vedanta,[22][23][24] which interprets these texts to give a unified meaning. Advaita Vedanta
Vedanta
sees the non-dualism of Atman and Brahman
Brahman
as its essence,[12] whereas Bhedabheda and Vishishtadvaita
Vishishtadvaita
see Atman and Brahman
Brahman
as both different and non-different, and Dvaita
Dvaita
sees them as different. In recent times the Advaita interpretation has gained worldwide popularity, due to the Neo- Vedanta
Vedanta
of Vivekananda
Vivekananda
and Radhakrishnan, while the Achintya Bheda Abheda interpretation has gained worldwide popularity via the Hare Krishnas, a branch of Gaudiya Vaishnavism.[25] Although early Vedanta
Vedanta
gives an interpretation of the sruti texts of the Upanishads, and its main commentary the Brahman
Brahman
Sutras, the popularity of the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
was such that it could not be neglected.[6] It is referred to in the Brahman
Brahman
Sutras, and Shankara, Bhaskara and Ramanuja
Ramanuja
all three wrote commentaries on it.[6] The Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
is different from the Upanishads
Upanishads
in format and content, and accessible to all, in contrast to the sruti, which are only to be read and heard by the higher castes.[6] Some branches of Hinduism
Hinduism
give it the status of an Upanishad, and consider it to be a Śruti
Śruti
or "revealed text".[26][27] According to Pandit, who gives a modern-orthodox interpretation of Hinduism, "since the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
represents a summary of the Upanishadic teachings, it is sometimes called 'the Upanishad
Upanishad
of the Upanishads'."[28] As an explanation of the Purushamedha[edit] The Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
is a Bhagavata
Bhagavata
explanation of the Purusha Sukta
Purusha Sukta
and the Purushamedha Srauta
Srauta
yajna described in the Satapatha Brahmana.[11] Chapters 7 and 8 of the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
describe the relationship between teacher and disciple, where the teacher is viewed as the absolute person, Purusa Narayana.[11] In Chapters 10 and 11 of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna
Krishna
begins to instruct Arjuna
Arjuna
about the directions of space-time within himself reflecting what is written in the Satapatha Brahmana
Satapatha Brahmana
and Purusa Sukta.[11] The vision of Krishna
Krishna
in his universal form shows the self-devouring nature of the absolute person, as described in the Satapatha Brahmana
Satapatha Brahmana
and Purusa Sukta.[11] Chapters 12 describes the two paths one chooses after one completes the Purushamedha yajna i.e. become a renunciate or remain as a householder.[11] Chapter 14 is the highest teaching within the Bhagavad Gita, the knowledge to achieve the same state as Purusa Narayana, which is the goal of the Purushamedha.[29] Content[edit]

A manuscript illustration of the battle of Kurukshetra, fought between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, recorded in the Mahabharata.

Narrative[edit] In the epic Mahabharata, after Sanjaya—counsellor of the Kuru king Dhritarashtra—returns from the battlefield to announce the death of Bhishma, he begins recounting the details of the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
war. Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
forms the content of this recollection.[30] The Gita begins before the start of the climactic Kurukshetra
Kurukshetra
War, where the Pandava
Pandava
prince Arjuna
Arjuna
is filled with doubt on the battlefield. Realising that his enemies are his own relatives, beloved friends, and revered teachers, he turns to his charioteer and guide, God Incarnate Lord Shri Krishna, for advice. Responding to Arjuna's confusion and moral dilemma, Krishna
Krishna
explains to Arjuna
Arjuna
his duties as a warrior and prince, elaborating on a variety of philosophical concepts.[31] Characters[edit]

Arjuna, one of the Pandavas Lord Shri Krishna, Arjuna's charioteer and guru who was actually an incarnation of Lord Vishnu Sanjaya, counselor of the Kuru king Dhritarashtra Dhritarashtra, Kuru king.[citation needed]

Overview of chapters[edit] Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
comprises 18 chapters (section 25 to 42)[32][web 2] in the Bhishma
Bhishma
Parva of the epic Mahabharata
Mahabharata
and consists of 700 verses.[33] Because of differences in recensions, the verses of the Gita may be numbered in the full text of the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
as chapters 6.25–42 or as chapters 6.23–40.[web 3] According to the recension of the Gita commented on by Adi Shankara, a prominent philosopher of the Vedanta
Vedanta
school, the number of verses is 700, but there is evidence to show that old manuscripts had 745 verses.[34] The verses themselves, composed with similes and metaphors, are poetic in nature. The verses mostly employ the range and style of the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Anustubh metre (chhandas), and in a few expressive verses the Tristubh metre is used.[35] The Sanskrit
Sanskrit
editions of the Gita name each chapter as a particular form of yoga. However, these chapter titles do not appear in the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
text of the Mahabharata.[web 3] Swami Chidbhavananda explains that each of the eighteen chapters is designated as a separate yoga because each chapter, like yoga, "trains the body and the mind". He labels the first chapter " Arjuna
Arjuna
Vishada Yogam" or the " Yoga
Yoga
of Arjuna's Dejection".[36] Sir Edwin Arnold
Edwin Arnold
translates this chapter as "The Distress of Arjuna"[37]

Krishna
Krishna
displays his Vishvarupa
Vishvarupa
(Universal Form) to Arjuna
Arjuna
on the battlefield of Kurukshetra
Kurukshetra
(chapter 11).

Gita Dhyanam: (contains 9 verses) The Gita Dhyanam
Gita Dhyanam
is not a part of the main Bhagavad Gita, but it is commonly published with the Gītā as a prefix. The verses of the Gita Dhyanam
Gita Dhyanam
(also called Gītā Dhyāna or Dhyāna Ślokas) offer salutations to a variety of sacred scriptures, figures, and entities, characterise the relationship of the Gītā to the Upanishads, and affirm the power of divine assistance.[38] It is a common practice to recite these before reading the Gita.[web 4][39]

Prathama adhyaya[40] (The Distress of Arjuna[37] contains 46 verses): Arjuna
Arjuna
has requested Krishna
Krishna
to move his chariot between the two armies. His growing dejection is described as he fears losing friends and relatives as a consequence of war.[web 5] Sankhya yoga (The Book
Book
of Doctrines[37] contains 72 verses): After asking Krishna
Krishna
for help, Arjuna
Arjuna
is instructed into various subjects such as, Karma
Karma
yoga, Gyaana yoga, Sankhya yoga, Buddhi yoga and the immortal nature of the soul. Sankhya here refers to one of six orthodox schools of the Hindu
Hindu
Philosophy. This chapter is often considered the summary of the entire Bhagavad Gita.[web 6] Karma yoga
Karma yoga
(Virtue in Work[37] or Virtue Of Actions contains 43 verses): Krishna
Krishna
explains how Karma
Karma
yoga, i.e. performance of prescribed duties, but without attachment to results, is the appropriate course of action for Arjuna.[web 7] Gyaana–Karma-Sanyasa yoga (The Religion of Knowledge[37] contains 42 verses): Krishna
Krishna
reveals that he has lived through many births, always teaching yoga for the protection of the pious and the destruction of the impious and stresses the importance of accepting a guru.[web 8] Karma–Sanyasa yoga (Religion by Renouncing Fruits of Works[37] contains 29 verses): Arjuna
Arjuna
asks Krishna
Krishna
if it is better to forgo action or to act ("renunciation or discipline of action").[41] Krishna answers that both are ways to the same goal,[web 9] but that acting in Karma yoga
Karma yoga
is superior. Dhyan yoga or Atmasanyam yoga (Religion by Self-Restraint[37] contains 47 verses): Krishna
Krishna
describes the Ashtanga yoga. He further elucidates the difficulties of the mind and the techniques by which mastery of the mind might be gained.[web 10] Gyaana–ViGyaana yoga (Religion by Discernment[37] contains 30 verses): Krishna
Krishna
describes the absolute reality and its illusory energy Maya.[web 11] Aksara– Brahma
Brahma
yoga (Religion by Devotion to the One Supreme God[37] contains 28 verses): This chapter contains eschatology of the Bhagavad Gita. 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.[web 12] Raja–Vidya–Raja–Guhya yoga (Religion by the Kingly Knowledge and the Kingly Mystery[37] contains 34 verses): Krishna
Krishna
explains how His eternal energy pervades, creates, preserves, and destroys the entire universe.[web 13] According to theologian Christopher Southgate, verses of this chapter of the Gita are panentheistic,[42] while German physicist and philosopher Max Bernhard Weinstein
Max Bernhard Weinstein
deems the work pandeistic.[43] Vibhuti–Vistara–yoga (Religion by the Heavenly Perfections[37] contains 42 verses): Krishna
Krishna
is described as the ultimate cause of all material and spiritual existence. Arjuna
Arjuna
accepts Krishna
Krishna
as the Supreme Being, quoting great sages who have also done so.[web 14] Visvarupa–Darsana yoga (The Manifesting of the One and Manifold[37] contains 55 verses): On Arjuna's request, Krishna
Krishna
displays his "universal form" (Viśvarūpa),[web 15] a theophany of a being facing every way and emitting the radiance of a thousand suns, containing all other beings and material in existence. Bhakti
Bhakti
yoga (The Religion of Faith[37] contains 20 verses): In this chapter Krishna
Krishna
glorifies the path of devotion to God. Krishna describes the process of devotional service ( Bhakti
Bhakti
yoga). He also explains different forms of spiritual disciplines.[web 16] Ksetra–Ksetrajna Vibhaga yoga (Religion by Separation of Matter and Spirit[37] contains 35 verses): The difference between transient perishable physical body and the immutable eternal soul is described. The difference between individual consciousness and universal consciousness is also made clear.[web 17] Gunatraya–Vibhaga yoga (Religion by Separation from the Qualities[37] contains 27 verses): Krishna
Krishna
explains the three modes (gunas) of material nature pertaining to goodness, passion, and nescience. Their causes, characteristics, and influence on a living entity are also described.[web 18] Purusottama yoga (Religion by Attaining the Supreme[37] contains 20 verses): Krishna
Krishna
identifies the transcendental characteristics of God such as, omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence.[web 19] Krishna also describes a symbolic tree (representing material existence), which has its roots in the heavens and its foliage on earth. Krishna explains that this tree should be felled with the "axe of detachment", after which one can go beyond to his supreme abode. Daivasura–Sampad–Vibhaga yoga (The Separateness of the Divine and Undivine[37] contains 24 verses): Krishna
Krishna
identifies the human traits of the divine and the demonic natures. He counsels that to attain the supreme destination one must give up lust, anger, greed, and discern between right and wrong action by discernment through Buddhi and evidence from the scriptures.[web 20] Sraddhatraya-Vibhaga yoga (Religion by the Threefold Kinds of Faith[37] contains 28 verses): Krishna
Krishna
qualifies the three divisions of faith, thoughts, deeds, and even eating habits corresponding to the three modes (gunas).[web 21] Moksha–Sanyasa yoga (Religion by Deliverance and Renunciation[37] contains 78 verses): In this chapter, the conclusions of previous seventeen chapters are summed up. Krishna
Krishna
asks Arjuna
Arjuna
to abandon all forms of dharma and simply surrender unto him and describes this as the ultimate perfection of life.[web 22]

Themes[edit]

This section contains Indic text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks or boxes, misplaced vowels or missing conjuncts instead of Indic text.

Bhagavad Gita, a 19th-century manuscript

Dharma[edit] Main article: Dharma The term dharma has a number of meanings.[44] Fundamentally, it means "what is right".[44] Early in the text, responding to Arjuna's despondency, Krishna
Krishna
asks him to follow his swadharma,[45][note 3] "the dharma that belongs to a particular man (Arjuna) as a member of a particular varna, (i.e., the kshatriya)."[45] Many traditional followers accept and believe that every man is unique in nature(svabhava) and hence svadharma for each and every individual is also unique and must be followed strictly with sole bhakthi and shraddha.[citation needed] According to Vivekananda:

If one reads this one Shloka, one gets all the merits of reading the entire Gita; for in this one Shloka lies imbedded the whole Message of the Gita."[46] क्लैब्यं मा स्म गमः पार्थ नैतत्त्वय्युपपद्यते । क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परंतप॥ klaibhyaṁ mā sma gamaḥ pārtha naitattvayyupapadyate, kṣudraṁ hṛdayadaurbalyaṁ tyaktvottiṣṭha paraṁtapa. Do not yield to unmanliness, O son of Prithā. It does not become you. Shake off this base faint-heartedness and arise, O scorcher of enemies! (2.3)

Dharma
Dharma
and heroism[edit] The Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
is set in the narrative frame of the Mahabharata, which values heroism, "energy, dedication and self-sacrifice",[4] as the dharma, "holy duty"[47] of the Kshatriya
Kshatriya
(Warrior).[47][4][48] Axel Michaels in his book Hinduism: Past and Present writes that in the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna
Arjuna
is "exhorted by his charioteer, Kṛiṣhṇa, among others, to stop hesitating and fulfil his Kṣatriya (warrior) duty as a warrior and kill."[4] According to Malinar, the dispute between the two parties in the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
centres on the question how to define "the law of heroism".[49][note 4] Malinar gives a description of the dharma of a Kshatriya
Kshatriya
(warrior) based on the Udyogaparvan, the fifth book of the Mahabharata:

This duty consists first of all in standing one's ground and fighting for status. The main duty of a warrior is never to submit to anybody. A warrior must resist any impulse to self-preservation that would make him avoid a fight. In brief, he ought to be a man (puruso bhava; cf. 5.157.6; 13;15). Some of the most vigorous formulations of what called the "heart" or the "essence" of heroism (ksatrahrdaya) come from the ladies of the family. They are shown most unforgiving with regard to the humiliations they have gone through, the loss of their status and honour, not to speak of the shame of having a weak man in the house, whether husband, son or brother.[5][note 5]

Michaels defines heroism as "power assimilated with interest in salvation".[50] According to Michaels:

Even though the frame story of the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
is rather simple, the epic has an outstanding significance for Hindu
Hindu
heroism. The heroism of the Pandavas, the ideals of honor and courage in battle, are constant sources of treatises in which it is not sacrifice, renunciation of the world, or erudition that is valued, but energy, dedication and self-sacrifice. The Bhagavad Gita, inserted in the sixth book (Bhishmaparvan), and probably completed in the second century CE, is such a text, that is, a philosophical and theistic treatise, with which the Pandava
Pandava
is exhorted by his charioteer, Krishna, among others, to stop hesitating and fulfill his Kṣatriya (warrior) duty as a warrior and kill.[4]

According to Malinar, "Arjuna's crisis and some of the arguments put forward to call him to action are connected to the debates on war and peace in the UdP [Udyoga Parva]".[51] According to Malinar, the UdP emphasises that one must put up with fate and, the BhG personalises the surrender one's personal interests to the power of destiny by "propagating the view that accepting and enacting the fatal course of events is an act of devotion to this god [Krsna] and his cause."[51] Modern interpretations of dharma[edit] Svadharma and svabhava[edit] The eighteenth chapter of the Gita examines the relationship between svadharma and svabhava.[note 6][52] This chapter uses the gunas of Shankya philosophy to present a series of typologies, and uses the same term to characterise the specific activities of the four varnas, which are distinguished by the "gunas proceeding from their nature."[52] Aurobindo
Aurobindo
modernises the concept of dharma and svabhava by internalising it, away from the social order and its duties towards one's personal capacities, which leads to a radical individualism,[53] "finding the fulfilment of the purpose of existence in the individual alone."[53] He deduced from the Gita the doctrine that "the functions of a man ought to be determined by his natural turn, gift, and capacities",[53] that the individual should "develop freely"[53] and thereby would be best able to serve society.[53] Gandhi's view differed from Aurobindo's view.[54] He recognised in the concept of swadharma his idea of swadeshi, the idea that "man owes his service above all to those who are nearest to him by birth and situation."[54] To him, swadeshi was "swadharma applied to one's immediate environment."[55] The Field of Dharma[edit] The first reference to dharma in the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
occurs in its first verse, where Dhritarashtra
Dhritarashtra
refers to the Kurukshetra, the location of the battlefield, as the Field of Dharma, "The Field of Righteousness or Truth".[44] According to Fowler, dharma in this verse may refer to the sanatana dharma, "what Hindus understand as their religion, for it is a term that encompasses wide aspects of religious and traditional thought and is more readily used for ""religion".[44] Therefore, 'Field of action' implies the field of righteousness, where truth will eventually triumph.[44] "The Field of Dharma" is also called the "Field of action" by Sri Aurobindo, a freedom fighter and philosopher.[44] Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, a philosopher and the second president of India, saw "The Field of Dharma" as the world (Bhavsagar), which is a "battleground for moral struggle".[56] Allegory of war[edit]

Illustration of the battle of Kurukshetra, Arjuna
Arjuna
(far right), with Krishna
Krishna
as the charioteer, is battling the Kauravas as the gods look down.

Unlike any other religious scripture, the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
broadcasts its message in the centre of the battlefield.[57] The choice of such an unholy ambience for the delivery of a philosophical discourse has been an enigma to many commentators.[web 25] Several modern Indian writers have interpreted the battlefield setting as an allegory of "the war within".[58] Eknath Easwaran
Eknath Easwaran
writes that the Gita's subject is "the war within, the struggle for self-mastery that every human being must wage if he or she is to emerge from life victorious",[59] and that "The language of battle is often found in the scriptures, for it conveys the strenuous, long, drawn-out campaign we must wage to free ourselves from the tyranny of the ego, the cause of all our suffering and sorrow."[60] Swami Nikhilananda, takes Arjuna
Arjuna
as an allegory of Ātman, Krishna
Krishna
as an allegory of Brahman, Arjuna's chariot as the body, and Dhritarashtra
Dhritarashtra
as the ignorance filled mind.[note 7] Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, in his commentary on the Gita,[61] interprets the battle as "an allegory in which the battlefield is the soul and Arjuna, man's higher impulses struggling against evil".[62] Swami Vivekananda
Vivekananda
also emphasised that the first discourse in the Gita related to the war could be taken allegorically.[63] Vivekananda further remarked,

This Kurukshetra
Kurukshetra
War
War
is only an allegory. When we sum up its esoteric significance, it means the war which is constantly going on within man between the tendencies of good and evil.[64]

In Aurobindo's view, Krishna
Krishna
was a historical figure, but his significance in the Gita is as a "symbol of the divine dealings with humanity",[65] while Arjuna
Arjuna
typifies a "struggling human soul".[66] However, Aurobindo
Aurobindo
rejected the interpretation that the Gita, and the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
by extension, is "an allegory of the inner life, and has nothing to do with our outward human life and actions":[66]

... That is a view which the general character and the actual language of the epic does not justify and, if pressed, would turn the straightforward philosophical language of the Gita into a constant, laborious and somewhat puerile mystification ... the Gita is written in plain terms and professes to solve the great ethical and spiritual difficulties which the life of man raises, and it will not do to go behind this plain language and thought and wrest them to the service of our fancy. But there is this much of truth in the view, that the setting of the doctrine though not symbolical, is certainly typical.[66]

Swami Chinmayananda
Swami Chinmayananda
writes:

Here in the Bhagavad Gita, we find a practical handbook of instruction on how best we can re-organise our inner ways of thinking, feeling, and acting in our everyday life and draw from ourselves a larger gush of productivity to enrich the life around us, and to emblazon the subjective life within us.[67]

Promotion of just war and duty[edit] 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
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.[68][69] Indian independence leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai
Lala Lajpat Rai
and Bal Gangadhar Tilak saw the Gita as a text which defended war when necessary and used it to promote war against the British Empire. Lajpat Rai wrote an article on the "Message of the Bhagavad Gita". He saw the main message as the bravery and courage of Arjuna
Arjuna
to fight as a warrior.[70] Bal Gangadhar Tilak saw the Gita as defending killing when necessary for the betterment of society, such as, for example, the killing of Afzal Khan.[70] According to J. N. Farquhar:

"Even the Gita was used to teach murder. Lies, deceit, murder, everything, it was argued, may be rightly used. How far the leaders really believed this teaching no man can say; but the younger men got filled with it, and many were only too sincere."[71]

Moksha: Liberation[edit] Main article: Moksha Liberation or moksha in Vedanta
Vedanta
philosophy is not something that can be acquired or reached. Ātman (Soul), the goal of moksha, is something that is always present as the essence of the self, and can be revealed by deep intuitive knowledge. While the Upanishads
Upanishads
largely uphold such a monistic viewpoint of liberation, the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
also accommodates the dualistic and theistic aspects of moksha. The Gita, while occasionally hinting at impersonal Brahman
Brahman
as the goal, revolves around the relationship between the Self and a personal God or Saguna Brahman. A synthesis of knowledge, devotion, and desireless action is given as a prescription for Arjuna's despondence; the same combination is suggested as a way to moksha.[72] Winthrop Sargeant further explains, "In the model presented by the Bhagavad Gītā, every aspect of life is in fact a way of salvation."[73] Yoga[edit] Yoga
Yoga
in the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
refers to the skill of union with the ultimate reality or the Absolute.[74] In his commentary, Zaehner says that the root meaning of yoga is "yoking" or "preparation"; he proposes the basic meaning "spiritual exercise", which conveys the various nuances in the best way.[75] Sivananda's commentary regards the eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita as having a progressive order, by which Krishna
Krishna
leads " Arjuna
Arjuna
up the ladder of Yoga
Yoga
from one rung to another."[76] The influential commentator Madhusudana Sarasvati divided the Gita's eighteen chapters into three sections of six chapters each. Swami Gambhirananda characterises Madhusudana Sarasvati's system as a successive approach in which Karma yoga
Karma yoga
leads to Bhakti
Bhakti
yoga, which in turn leads to Gyaana yoga:[77][78]

Chapters 1–6 = Karma
Karma
yoga, the means to the final goal Chapters 7–12 = Bhakti
Bhakti
yoga or devotion Chapters 13–18 = Gyaana yoga or knowledge, the goal itself

Karma
Karma
yoga[edit] Main article: Karma
Karma
yoga As noted by various commentators, the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
offers a practical approach to liberation in the form of Karma
Karma
yoga. The path of Karma yoga upholds the necessity of action. However, this action is to be undertaken without any attachment to the work or desire for results. Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
terms this "inaction in action and action in inaction (4.18)". The concept of such detached action is also called Nishkam Karma, a term not used in the Gita.[79] Lord Krishna, in the following verses, elaborates on the role actions, performed without desire and attachment, play in attaining freedom from material bondage and transmigration:

To action alone hast thou a right and never at all to its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive; neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction Fixed in yoga, do thy work, O Winner of wealth (Arjuna), abandoning attachment, with an even mind in success and failure, for evenness of mind is called yoga. (2.47–8)[80]

The yogīs, abandoning attachment, act with body, mind, intelligence, and even with the senses, only for the purpose of purification. (5.11)[web 26]

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
writes, "The object of the Gita appears to me to be that of showing the most excellent way to attain self-realization", and this can be achieved by selfless action, "By desireless action; by renouncing fruits of action; by dedicating all activities to God, i.e., by surrendering oneself to Him body and soul." Gandhi called the Gita "The Gospel of Selfless Action".[81] To achieve true liberation, it is important to control all mental desires and tendencies to enjoy sense pleasures. The following verses illustrate this:[82]

When a man dwells in his mind on the object of sense, attachment to them is produced. From attachment springs desire and from desire comes anger. From anger arises bewilderment, from bewilderment loss of memory; and from loss of memory, the destruction of intelligence and from the destruction of intelligence he perishes. (2.62–3)[82]

Bhakti
Bhakti
yoga[edit] Main article: Bhakti
Bhakti
yoga The introduction to chapter seven of the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
explains bhakti as a mode of worship which consists of unceasing and loving remembrance of God. Faith (Śraddhā) and total surrender to a chosen God (Ishta-deva) are considered to be important aspects of bhakti.[83] Theologian Catherine Cornille writes, "The text [of the Gita] offers a survey of the different possible disciplines for attaining liberation through knowledge (Gyaana), action (karma), and loving devotion to God (bhakti), focusing on the latter as both the easiest and the highest path to salvation."[84] M. R. Sampatkumaran, a Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
scholar, explains in his overview of Ramanuja's commentary on the Gita, "The point is that mere knowledge of the scriptures cannot lead to final release. Devotion, meditation, and worship are essential."[85] Ramakrishna
Ramakrishna
believed that the essential message of the Gita could be obtained by repeating the word Gita several times,[86] "'Gita, Gita, Gita', you begin, but then find yourself saying 'ta-Gi, ta-Gi, ta-Gi'. Tagi means one who has renounced everything for God." In the following verses, Krishna
Krishna
elucidates the importance of bhakti:

And of all yogins, he who full of faith worships Me, with his inner self abiding in Me, him, I hold to be the most attuned (to me in Yoga). (6.47)[87]

For one who worships Me, giving up all his activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, who has fixed his mind upon Me, O son of Pṛthā, for him I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death. (12.6–7)[web 27]

Radhakrishnan
Radhakrishnan
writes that the verse 11.55 is "the essence of bhakti" and the "substance of the whole teaching of the Gita":[88]

Those who make me the supreme goal of all their work and act without selfish attachment, who devote themselves to me completely and are free from ill will for any creature, enter into me.(11.55)[89]

Jnana yoga[edit] Main article: Jnana yoga

Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara
with Disciples, by Raja Ravi Varma
Raja Ravi Varma
(1904), propounding knowledge of absolute as of primary importance

Jnana yoga
Jnana yoga
is the path of wisdom, knowledge, and direct experience of Brahman
Brahman
as the ultimate reality. The path renounces both desires and actions, and is therefore depicted as being steep and very difficult in the Bhagavad Gita. This path is often associated with the non-dualistic Vedantic belief of the identity of the Ātman with the Brahman. For the followers of this path, the realisation of the identity of Ātman and Brahman
Brahman
is held as the key to liberation.[90]

When a sensible man ceases to see different identities, which are due to different material bodies, he attains to the Brahman
Brahman
conception. Thus he sees that beings are expanded everywhere. (13.31)[web 28]

One who knowingly sees this difference between the body and the owner of the body and can understand the process of liberation from this bondage, also attains to the supreme goal. (13.35)[web 29]

Commentaries and translations[edit]

Bhagvat-Geeta, Wesleyan Mission Press, Bangalore, 1849[91]

The Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
was first translated into English in the year 1785, by Charles Wilkins
Charles Wilkins
on the orders of the Court of Directors of the East India Company, with special interest shown by Warren Hastings, the then Governor General of India. This edition had an introduction to the Gita by Warren Hastings. Soon the work was translated into other European languages such as German, French and Russian. In 1849, the Weleyan Mission Press, Bangalore published The Bhagavat-Geeta, Or, Dialogues of Krishna
Krishna
and Arjoon in Eighteen Lectures, with Sanskrit, Canarese and English in parallel columns, edited by Rev. John Garrett, and the efforts being supported by Sir. Mark Cubbon[91] Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
integrates various schools of thought, notably Vedanta, Samkhya
Samkhya
and Yoga, and other theistic ideas. It remains a popular text for commentators belonging to various philosophical schools. However, its composite nature also leads to varying interpretations of the text. In the words of Mysore Hiriyanna,

[The Gita] is one of the hardest books to interpret, which accounts for the numerous commentaries on it–each differing from the rest in one essential point or the other.[92]

Richard H. Davis cites Callewaert & Hemraj's 1982 count of 1891 BG translations in 75 languages, including 273 in English.[93][page needed] Classical commentaries[edit] Śaṅkara[edit] The oldest and most influential medieval commentary was that of Adi Shankara (788–820 CE),[94] also known as Shankaracharya (Sanskrit: Śaṅkarācārya).[95][96] Shankara's commentary was based on a recension of the Gita containing 700 verses, and that recension has been widely adopted by others.[97] Rāmānuja[edit] Ramanujacharya's commentary chiefly seeks to show that the discipline of devotion to God ( Bhakti
Bhakti
yoga) is the way of salvation.[98] Madhva[edit] Madhva, a commentator of the Dvaita
Dvaita
Vedanta
Vedanta
school,[99] whose dates are given either as (1199–1276 CE)[100] or as (1238–1317 CE),[73] also known as Madhvacharya
Madhvacharya
(Sanskrit: Madhvācārya), wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, which exemplifies the thinking of the "dualist" school.[95] Winthrop Sargeant quotes a dualistic assertion of the Madhva's school that there is "an eternal and complete distinction between the Supreme, the many souls, and matter and its divisions".[73] His commentary on the Gita is called Gita Bhāshya. It has been annotated on by many ancient pontiffs of Dvaita
Dvaita
Vedanta school like Padmanabha Tirtha, Jayatirtha, and Raghavendra Tirtha.[101] Abhinavagupta[edit] In the Shaiva
Shaiva
tradition,[102] the renowned philosopher Abhinavagupta (10–11th century CE) has written a commentary on a slightly variant recension called Gitartha-Samgraha. Others[edit] Other classical commentators include

Bhāskara Nimbarka
Nimbarka
(1162 CE) Vidyadhiraja Tirtha, Vallabha
Vallabha
(1479 CE) Madhusudana Saraswati, Raghavendra Tirtha, Vanamali Mishra, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
(1486 CE),[103] Dnyaneshwar
Dnyaneshwar
(1275–1296 CE) translated and commented on the Gita in Marathi, in his book Dnyaneshwari.[104]

Independence movement[edit] At a time when Indian nationalists were seeking an indigenous basis for social and political action, Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
provided them with a rationale for their activism and fight against injustice.[105] Among nationalists, notable commentaries were written by Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi, who used the text to help inspire the Indian independence movement.[note 8][note 9] Tilak wrote his commentary Shrimadh Bhagvad Gita Rahasya while in jail during the period 1910–1911 serving a six-year sentence imposed by the British colonial government in India for sedition.[106] While noting that the Gita teaches possible paths to liberation, his commentary places most emphasis on Karma
Karma
yoga.[107] No book was more central to Gandhi's life and thought than the Bhagavad Gita, which he referred to as his "spiritual dictionary".[108] During his stay in Yeravda jail in 1929,[108] Gandhi wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
in Gujarati. The Gujarati manuscript was translated into English by Mahadev Desai, who provided an additional introduction and commentary. It was published with a foreword by Gandhi in 1946. [109][110][note 10] Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
expressed his love for the Gita in these words:

I find a solace in the Bhagavadgītā that I miss even in the Sermon on the Mount. When disappointment stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavadgītā. I find a verse here and a verse there and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies – and my life has been full of external tragedies – and if they have left no visible, no indelible scar on me, I owe it all to the teaching of Bhagavadgītā.[111][112]

Hindu
Hindu
revivalism[edit] Although Vivekananda
Vivekananda
did not write any commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita, his works contained numerous references to the Gita, such as his lectures on the four yogas – Bhakti, Gyaana, Karma, and Raja.[113] Through the message of the Gita, Vivekananda
Vivekananda
sought to energise the people of India to claim their own dormant but strong identity.[114] Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay
thought that the answer to the problems that beset Hindu
Hindu
society was a revival of Hinduism
Hinduism
in its purity, which lay in the reinterpretation of Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
for a new India.[115] Aurobindo
Aurobindo
saw Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
as a "scripture of the future religion" and suggested that Hinduism
Hinduism
had acquired a much wider relevance through the Gita.[116] Sivananda called Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
"the most precious jewel of Hindu
Hindu
literature" and suggested its introduction into the curriculum of Indian schools and colleges.[117] In the lectures Chinmayananda gave, on tours undertaken to revive the moral and spiritual values of the Hindus, he borrowed the concept of Gyaana yajna, or the worship to invoke divine wisdom, from the Gita.[118] He viewed the Gita as an universal scripture to turn a person from a state of agitation and confusion to a state of complete vision, inner contentment, and dynamic action. Teachings of International Society for Krishna Consciousness
International Society for Krishna Consciousness
(ISKCON), a Gaudiya Vaishnava religious organisation which spread rapidly in North America in the 1970s and 1980s, are based on a translation of the Gita called Bhagavad-Gītā As It Is
Bhagavad-Gītā As It Is
by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.[119] These teachings are also illustrated in the dioramas of Bhagavad-gita Museum in Los Angeles, California.[120] Other modern commentaries[edit] Among notable modern commentators of the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
are Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Vinoba Bhave, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Sri Aurobindo, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Chinmayananda, etc. Chinmayananda took a syncretistic approach to interpret the text of the Gita.[121][122] Paramahansa Yogananda's two volume commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, called God Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita, was released 1995.[123] Eknath Easwaran
Eknath Easwaran
has also written a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita. It examines the applicability of the principles of Gita to the problems of modern life.[124] The version by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, entitled Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, is "by far the most widely distributed of all English Gita translations" due to ISKCON
ISKCON
efforts.[125] For each verse, he gives the verse in the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Devanagari script, followed by a roman transliteration, a gloss for each word, and then a translation and commentary.[125] Its publisher, the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, estimates sales at twenty-three million copies, a figure which includes the original English edition and secondary translations into fifty-six other languages.[125] Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
– The song of God[126] written by Swami Mukundananda. Other notable commentators include Jeaneane Fowler, Ithamar Theodor, Swami Parthasarathy, and Sadhu Vasvani.[127][128] In 1966, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Yogi
published a partial translation.[129] Scholarly translations[edit]

Ramanandacharya delivering a discourse. He has delivered many discourses on Gita and released the first Braille
Braille
version of the scripture.

The first English translation of the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
was done by Charles Wilkins in 1785.[130][131] In 1981, Larson listed more than 40 English translations of the Gita, stating that "A complete listing of Gita translations and a related secondary bibliography would be nearly endless".[132]:514 He stated that "Overall ... there is a massive translational tradition in English, pioneered by the British, solidly grounded philologically by the French and Germans, provided with its indigenous roots by a rich heritage of modern Indian comment and reflection, extended into various disciplinary areas by Americans, and having generated in our time a broadly based cross-cultural awareness of the importance of the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
both as an expression of a specifically Indian spirituality and as one of the great religious "classics" of all time."[132]:518 Sanskrit
Sanskrit
scholar Barbara Stoler Miller produced a translation in 1986 intended to emphasise the poem's influence and current context within English Literature, especially the works of T.S. Eliot, Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
and Ralph Waldo Emerson.[133] The translation was praised by scholars as well as literary critics[134] and became one of the most continually popular translations to date.[135] The Gita in other languages[edit] The Gita has also been translated into European languages other than English. In 1808, passages from the Gita were part of the first direct translation of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
into German, appearing in a book through which Friedrich Schlegel became known as the founder of Indian philology in Germany.[136] Swami Rambhadracharya
Rambhadracharya
released the first Braille
Braille
version of the scripture, with the original Sanskrit
Sanskrit
text and a Hindi commentary, on 30 November 2007.[web 30] The former Turkish Scholar-Politician, Bulent Ecevit
Bulent Ecevit
translated several Sanskrit scriptures, including the Gita, into Turkish. Mahavidwan Gita Press
Gita Press
has published the Gita in multiple Indian languages.[137] R. Raghava Iyengar
R. Raghava Iyengar
translated the Gita into Tamil in sandam metre poetic form.[138] The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
publishes the Gita in more than forty languages, including French, German, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Kazakh, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Hebrew, Arabic, Swahili, and sixteen Indian languages.[139] Philological research[edit] The textual development of the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
has been researched, but the methods of this research have developed since its onset in the late 18th century. According to Adluri and Bagchee, 19th century German indologists had an anti-Brahmanic stance,[140] due to their "Protestant suspicion of the Brahmans."[141] They conceived of the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
as an Indo-Germanic war-epic in origin, to which layers of text were added by the later Brahmins, including the Bhagavad Gita.[142] This interpretation was fueled by the search for Germanic origins and identity, in which the Brahmins were anti-thetical to the pure Aryans.[143] According to Adluri and Bagchee, 20th century Indology professionalized, but remained anti-Brahmanic, though the anti-Brahmanism disappeared from sight and went "underground."[144][note 11] Contemporary popularity[edit] Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi
has strongly pitched the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
as "India's biggest gift to the world".[147] Shri Modi gifted The Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
to the then President of the United States of America, Mr Barack Obama in 2014 during his US visit.[148] With the translation and study of the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
by Western scholars beginning in the early 18th century, the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
gained a growing appreciation and popularity.[web 1] According to the Indian historian and writer Khushwant Singh, Rudyard Kipling's famous poem "If—" is "the essence of the message of The Gita in English."[149] Appraisal[edit] Main article: Influence of Bhagavad Gita The Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
has been highly praised, not only by prominent Indians including Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan,[150] but also by Aldous Huxley, Henry David Thoreau, J. Robert Oppenheimer,[151] Ralph Waldo Emerson, Carl Jung, Herman Hesse,[152][153] Bülent Ecevit[154] and others. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India, commented on the Gita:

The Bhagavad-Gita deals essentially with the spiritual foundation of human existence. It is a call of action to meet the obligations and duties of life; yet keeping in view the spiritual nature and grander purpose of the universe.[155]

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, 11th President of India, despite being a Muslim, used to read Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
and recite mantras.[156][157][158][159][160] J. Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist and director of the Manhattan Project, learned Sanskrit
Sanskrit
in 1933 and read the Bhagavad Gita in the original form, citing it later as one of the most influential books to shape his philosophy of life. Upon witnessing the world's first nuclear test in 1945, he later said he had thought of the quotation "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds", verse 32 from chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita.[151][161] Adaptations[edit] Philip Glass
Philip Glass
retold the story of Gandhi's early development as an activist in South Africa through the text of the Gita in the opera Satyagraha (1979). The entire libretto of the opera consists of sayings from the Gita sung in the original Sanskrit.[web 31] In Douglas Cuomo's Arjuna's dilemma, the philosophical dilemma faced by Arjuna
Arjuna
is dramatised in operatic form with a blend of Indian and Western music styles.[web 32] The 1993 Sanskrit
Sanskrit
film, Bhagavad Gita, directed by G. V. Iyer
G. V. Iyer
won the 1993 National Film Award for Best Film.[web 33][web 34] The 1995 novel and 2000 golf movie The Legend of Bagger Vance
The Legend of Bagger Vance
are roughly based on the Bhagavad Gita.[162] President of India inaugurates International Gita Mahotsava-2017 in Haryana On November 25, 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the International Gita Mahotsava-2017 in Kurukshetra, Haryana. Mauritius is the partner country and Uttar Pradesh is the partner state for this event. About 20 lakh people participated in Gita Mahotsav last year, which also included people from 35 countries. About 25–30 lakh people are expected to participate in this event till December 3, 2017. See also[edit]

Yoga
Yoga
portal

Ashtavakra Gita Avadhuta Gita Bhagavata
Bhagavata
Purana The Ganesha
Ganesha
Gita Puranas Self-consciousness (Vedanta) Uddhava Gita Vedas Prasthanatrayi Vyadha Gita

Notes[edit]

^ The Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
also integrates theism and transcendentalism[web 1] or spiritualmonism,[9] and identifies a God of personal characteristics with the Brahman
Brahman
of the Vedic tradition.[web 1] ^ Śruti
Śruti
texts, such as the Upanishads, are believed to be revelations of divine origin, whereas Smritis are authored recollections of tradition and are therefore fallible. ^ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: "Swadharma is that action which is in accordance with your nature. It is acting in accordance with your skills and talents, your own nature (svabhava), and that which you are responsible for (karma)."[web 23] ^ Malinar: "[W]hat law must a warrior follow, on what authority, and how does the definition of kṣatriyadharma affect the position of the king, who is supposed to protect and represent it?"[49] ^ Compare Chivalric code of western knights, and Zen at War
War
for a Japanese fusion of Buddhism
Buddhism
with warfare-ethics. ^ "Character", "inherent nature", "natural state or constitution."[web 24] ^ Nikhilananda & Hocking 2006, p. 2 " Arjuna
Arjuna
represents the individual soul, and Sri Krishna
Krishna
the Supreme Soul dwelling in every heart. Arjuna's chariot is the body. The blind king Dhritarashtra
Dhritarashtra
is the mind under the spell of ignorance, and his hundred sons are man's numerous evil tendencies. The battle, a perennial one, is between the power of good and the power of evil. The warrior who listens to the advice of the Lord speaking from within will triumph in this battle and attain the Highest Good." ^ For B. G. Tilak and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
as notable commentators see: Gambhirananda 1997, p. xix ^ For notability of the commentaries by B. G. Tilak and Gandhi and their use to inspire the independence movement see: Sargeant 2009, p. xix ^ In 2014 Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi
presented the book Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
According to Gandhi to the president of the United States, Mr Barack Obama.[citation needed] A uniquely guilded edition of Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
as translated by Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
was presented as a commemoration of India's Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's gift to the then President of the United States of America, Mr Barack Obama in 2014 during his US visit called: Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
according to Gandhi. The author is listed as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi; Mahadev Desai, translator. (Quignog, New Delhi, 2017) ISBN 9788193369647. ^ According to Adluri and Bagchee, this anti-Brahmanism had its counterpart in European anti-Semitism, which saw the Jews as anti-thetical to Christianity, which was regarded as "the logical, historical culmination of the Jewish faith,"[145] and a manifestation of the development of Spirit into its own self-consciousness.[146]

References[edit]

^ Davis 2014, p. 2. ^ http://www.yogananda-srf.org/Hidden_Truths/The_Hidden_Truths_in_the_Bhagavad_Gita.aspx#.WYDnwtKGOUk.  Missing or empty title= (help) ^ http://www.gitaaonline.com/chapter-verses/.  Missing or empty title= (help) ^ a b c d e f Michaels 2004, p. 59. ^ a b Malinar 2007, p. 39. ^ a b c d Deutsch 2004, p. 60. ^ a b c d Deutsch 2004, p. 61. ^ a b c d e f g Scheepers 2000. ^ a b c d e Raju 1992, p. 211. ^ a b c d Deutsch 2004, pp. 61–62. ^ a b c d e f Hudson 2002, pp. 155–63. ^ a b Deutsch & Dalvi 2004, p. 97 ^ " Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
Biography, Accomplishments, & Facts". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-05-16.  ^ a b Fowler 2012, p. xxvi ^ Fowler 2012, p. xxiv ^ Upadhyaya 1998, p. 16 ^ a b c d e f Hiltebeitel 2002. ^ Raju 1992, pp. 211–12. ^ Deutsch 2004, p. 62. ^ Nicholson 2010. ^ Nicholson 2014. ^ Nicholson 2010, p. 7. ^ Singh 2005, p. 37. ^ Schouler 2009. ^ "Hare Krishna
Krishna
in the Modern World". p. 59, by Graham Dwyer, Richard J. Cole ^ Coburn, Thomas B. (1984), "'Scripture' in India: Towards a Typology of the Word in Hindu
Hindu
Life", Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 52 (3): 435–59, doi:10.1093/jaarel/52.3.435, JSTOR 1464202  ^ Tapasyananda 1990, p. 1 ^ Pandit 2005, p. 27. ^ Hudson 2002, pp. 145–46, 155–63. ^ Fowler 2012, p. xxii ^ Deutsch 2004, pp. 59–61. ^ Bose 1986, p. 71 ^ Coburn 1991, p. 27 ^ Gambhirananda 1997, p. xvii ^ Egenes 2003, p. 4 ^ Chidbhavananda 1997, p. 33 ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s translated by Sir Edwin Arnold (1993), Bhagavadgita (Unabridged ed.), New York, NY: Dover Publications, ISBN 0-486-27782-8  ^ Chinmayananda 1998, p. 3 ^ Ranganathananda 2000, pp. 15–25 ^ Bannanje, Govindacharya. " Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
pravachana" (PDF). Tara Prakashana.  ^ Miller 1986, p. 59 ^ Southgate 2005, p. 246 ^ Max Bernhard Weinsten, Welt- und Lebensanschauungen, Hervorgegangen aus Religion, Philosophie und Naturerkenntnis ("World and Life Views, Emerging From Religion, Philosophy and Nature") (1910), p. 213: "Wir werden später sehen, daß die Indier auch den Pandeismus gelehrt haben. Der letzte Zustand besteht in dieser Lehre im Eingehen in die betreffende Gottheit, Brahma
Brahma
oder Wischnu. So sagt in der Bhagavad-Gîtâ Krishna-Wischnu, nach vielen Lehren über ein vollkommenes Dasein." ^ a b c d e f Fowler 2012, p. 2. ^ a b Hacker & Halbfass 1995, p. 261. ^ Vivekananda
Vivekananda
& year unknown. ^ a b Miller 2004, p. 3. ^ Malinar 2007, pp. 36–39. ^ a b Malinar 2007, p. 38. ^ Michaels 2004, p. 278. ^ a b Malinar 2007, p. 36. ^ a b Hacker & Halbfass 1995, p. 264. ^ a b c d e Hacker & Halbfass 1995, p. 266. ^ a b Hacker & Halbfass 1995, p. 267. ^ Hacker & Halbfass 1995, p. 268 ^ Fowler 2012, p. 2 ^ Krishnananda 1980, pp. 12–13 ^ Easwaran 2007, p. 15. ^ Easwaran 2007, p. 15 ^ Easwaran 2007, p. 24 ^ see Gandhi 2009 ^ Fischer 2010, pp. 15–16 ^ Vivekananda, Swami, "Sayings and Utterances", The Complete works of Swami Vivekananda, 5  ^ Vivekananda, Swami, "Lectures and Discourses ~ Thoughts on the Gita", The Complete works of Swami Vivekananda, 4  ^ Aurobindo
Aurobindo
2000, pp. 15–16 ^ a b c Aurobindo
Aurobindo
2000, pp. 20–21 ^ Chinmayananda 2007, pp. 10–13 ^ Rosen, Steven; Krishna's Song: A New Look at the Bhagavad Gita, p. 22. ^ Patton, Laurie L.; The Failure of Allegory in Fighting Words ^ a b Nadkarni, M. V. ; The Bhagavad-Gita for the Modern Reader: History, interpretations and philosophy, Chapter 4. ^ J.N. Farquhar. Modern Religious Movements in India, https://archive.org/stream/modernreligiousm00farqiala/modernreligiousm00farqiala_djvu.txt ^ Fowler 2012, pp. xlv–vii ^ a b c Sargeant 2009, p. xix ^ Krishnananda 1980, p. 10 ^ Zaehner 1969, p. 148 ^ Sivananda 1995, p. xvii ^ Gambhirananda 1997, p. xx ^ Gambhirananda 1998, p. 16 ^ Fowler 2012, pp. xliii–iv ^ Radhakrishnan
Radhakrishnan
1993, p. 120 ^ Gandhi 2009, pp. xv–xxiv ^ a b Radhakrishnan
Radhakrishnan
1993, pp. 125–26 ^ Fowler 2012, p. xlii ^ Cornille 2006, p. 2 ^ For quotation and summarizing bhakti as "a mode of worship which consists of unceasing and loving remembrance of God" see: Sampatkumaran 1985, p. xxiii ^ Isherwood 1965, p. 2 ^ Radhakrishnan
Radhakrishnan
1993, p. 211, verse 6.47 ^ Radhakrishnan
Radhakrishnan
1993, p. 289 ^ Easwaran, Eknath (2008). The Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
(Second ed.). Nilgiri. p. 202. ISBN 978-1-58638-019-9.  ^ Fowler 2012, p. xli ^ a b Garrett, John; Wilhelm, Humboldt, eds. (1849). The Bhagavat-Geeta, Or, Dialogues of Krishna
Krishna
and Arjoon in Eighteen Lectures. Bangalore: Wesleyan Mission Press. Retrieved 18 January 2017.  ^ Singh 2006, pp. 54–55 ^ Davis 2014. ^ Dating for Shankara as 788–820 CE is from: Sargeant 2009, p. xix ^ a b Zaehner 1969, p. 3 ^ For Shankara's commentary falling within the Vedanta
Vedanta
school of tradition, see: Flood 1996, p. 124 ^ Gambhirananda 1997, p. xviii ^ Sampatkumaran 1985, p. xx ^ For classification of Madhva's commentary as within the Vedanta school see: Flood 1996, p. 124 ^ Dating of 1199–1276 CE for Madhva is from: Gambhirananda 1997, p. xix ^ Rao 2002, p. 86 ^ For classification of Abhinavagupta's commentary on the Gita as within the Shaiva
Shaiva
tradition see: Flood 1996, p. 124 ^ Singh 2006, p. 55 ^ see Gyaānadeva & Pradhan 1987 ^ Robinson 2006, p. 70 ^ Stevenson, Robert W., "Tilak and the Bhagavadgita's Doctrine of Karmayoga", in: Minor 1986, p. 44 ^ Stevenson, Robert W., "Tilak and the Bhagavadgita's Doctrine of Karmayoga", in: Minor 1986, p. 49 ^ a b Jordens, J. T. F., "Gandhi and the Bhagavadgita", in: Minor 1986, p. 88 ^ Gandhi 2009, First Edition 1946. Other editions: 1948, 1951, 1956. ^ A shorter edition, omitting the bulk of Desai's additional commentary, has been published as: Anasaktiyoga: The Gospel of Selfless Action. Jim Rankin, editor. The author is listed as M.K. Gandhi; Mahadev Desai, translator. (Dry Bones Press, San Francisco, 1998) ISBN 1-883938-47-3. ^ Quotation from M. K. Gandhi. Young India. (1925), pp. 1078–79, is cited from Radhakrishnan
Radhakrishnan
1993 Front matter. ^ Sahadeo 2011, p. 129 ^ Minor 1986, p. 131 ^ Minor 1986, p. 144 ^ Minor 1986, p. 36 ^ Robinson 2006, p. 69 ^ Robinson 2006, p. 102 ^ Patchen 1994, pp. 185–89 ^ Jones & Ryan 2007, p. 199 ^ "F.A.T.E. – the First American Theistic Exibition – Back To Godhead". Back to Godhead. 12 (7): 16–23. July 1, 1977. Retrieved 8 February 2018.  ^ For Aurobindo, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, and Chinmayananda as notable commentators see: Sargeant 2009, p. xix ^ For Aurobindo
Aurobindo
as notable commentators, see: Gambhirananda 1997, p. xix ^ Yogananda 1993 ^ Easwaran 1993 ^ a b c Davis 2014, p. 168 ^ " Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
The Song of God, Commentary by Swami Mukundananda".  ^ see Fowler 2012 and Theodor 2010 ^ Tilak 1924 ^ harvnbDavis2014page=168 ^ Clarke 1997, pp. 58–59 ^ Winternitz 1972, p. 11 ^ a b Gerald James Larson (1981), "The Song Celestial: Two centuries of the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
in English", Philosophy East and West: A Quarterly of Comparative Philosophy, University of Hawai'i Press, 31 (4): 513–40, doi:10.2307/1398797, JSTOR 1398797.  ^ Miller 1986, pp. 14–17 ^ Bloom 1995, p. 531 ^ Doniger, Wendy (August 1993), "Obituary: Barbara Stoler Miller", Journal of Asian Studies, 52 (3): 813–15, doi:10.1017/S002191180003789X, JSTOR 2058944  ^ What had previously been known of Indian literature in Germany had been translated from the English. Winternitz 1972, p. 15 ^ [url=http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/after-selling-580-mn-books-gita-press-facing-existential-crisis-115090700780_1.html title=After selling 580 mn books, Gita Press
Gita Press
faces labour crisis work=Business Standard] ^ Bhagavadgita, Chennai, India: Bharati Publications, 1997  ^ Template:Url=http://files.krishna.com/2016/01-Jan/BBT Books Printed SEP15.pdf ^ Adluri & Bagchee 2014, p. 75-79, 279, 433. ^ Adluri & Bagchee 2015, p. 2. ^ Adluri & Bagchee 2014, p. 75-79, 289. ^ Adluri & Bagchee 2014, p. 79. ^ Adluri & Bagchee 2014, p. 279-280. ^ Adluri & Bagchee 2014, p. 319. ^ Adluri & Bagchee 2014, p. 320. ^ "Gita is India's biggest gift to the world: Modi".  ^ " Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi
gifts Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
to Obama".  ^ Khushwant Singh, Review of The Book
Book
of Prayer by Renuka Narayanan, 2001 ^ Modern Indian Interpreters of the Bhagavad Gita, by Robert Neil Minor, 1986, p. 161 ^ a b Hijiya, James A. The Gita of Robert Oppenheimer" Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 144, no. 2 (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 November 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.  ^ Pandit 2005, p. 27 ^ Hume 1959, p. 29 ^ "The Telegraph – Calcutta : Opinion". telegraphindia.com.  ^ Londhe 2008, p. 191 ^ "Dr Kalam, India's Most Non-Traditional President".  ^ "Kalam a puppet of votebank politics".  ^ "Kalam And Islam".  ^ "Kalam, Islam and Dr Rafiq Zakaria".  ^ "India was his Gurukul and its people, his shishyas".  ^ See Robert Oppenheimer#Trinity
Robert Oppenheimer#Trinity
for other refs ^ https://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=3988

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(Electronic text)". Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune. 1999.  ^ "Gita Dhyana Slokas". SDL, IIT Madras. Archived from the original on 1 October 2006. Retrieved 10 April 2012.  ^ "Chapter 1, Visada Yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 2, Sankhya Yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 3, Karma
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Yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 4, Gyaana Yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 5, Karma
Karma
Vairagya Yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 6, Abhyasa Yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 7, Paramahamsa ViGyaana yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 8, Aksara-Parabrahman yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 9, Raja-Vidya-Guhya Yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 10, Vibhuti-Vistara Yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 11, Visvarupa-Darsana Yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 12, Bhakti
Bhakti
Yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 13, Ksetra-Ksetrajna Yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 14, Gunatraya-Vibhaga Yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 15, Purusottama Yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 16, Daivasura-Sampad-Vibhaga Yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 17, Sraddhatraya-Vibhaga Yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "Chapter 18, Moksha-Opdesa Yoga". Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998–2009 U.S.A. Retrieved 17 July 2012.  ^ "What Is Swadharma?". artofliving.org.  ^ Klaus Glashoff. " Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit". spokensanskrit.de.  ^ "Reading the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
today". OnFaith.  ^ A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. "Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, Verse 5.11".  ^ A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. "Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, Verse 12.6–7".  ^ A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. "Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, Verse 13.31".  ^ A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. "Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, Verse 13.35".  ^ " Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
in Braille
Braille
Language". Zee News. 3 December 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2011.  ^ Tommasini, Anthony (14 April 2008). "Fanciful Visions on the Mahatma's Road to Truth and Simplicity". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2009.  ^ Tommasini, Anthony (7 November 2008). "Warrior Prince From India Wrestles With Destiny". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2009.  ^ "40th National Film Awards". India International Film Festival. Retrieved 2 March 2012.  ^ " 40th National Film Awards (PDF)" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

Davis, Richard H. (2014), The "Bhagavad Gita": A Biography, Princeton University Press  Palshikar, Sanjay. Evil and the Philosophy of Retribution: Modern Commentaries on the Bhagavad-Gita (Routledge, 2015).

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