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Bhagvat Gita: Source of Indian Living and Civilisation

Bhagvat Gita teaches us the way of life. It has its origin and history, where it connects everything and everyone by holding world's secret.

Lord Krishna Giving Gita Gyan to Arjuna at the battlefield of Kurukshetra

This photo is taken for educational purpose only.

This photo is taken for educational purpose only.

Bhagvat Geeta : From Life to Salvation

We all grew up either listening, talking or sometimes reading about Gita. Some may think it's a religious book, a book of wisdom, or may be an FAQ. But Frankly and Professionally speaking, it's a book of principles that should be applied in one's life no matter where one lives. The emergence of Gita and the story behind it has a massive significance over the readers since people have faced a magnificent transformation in their life after applying the principles describe in it. Gita covers up the history of India itself and how India was back then when people of that age were smarter, stronger and wiser than today's era. But how, did it create an impact over a large population that was ready to adapt the teaching of lord Krishna and was on the path to follow him blindly? Is it seriously a book that can turn a man's life into a gold? Does Gita had a power to transform a human into a purified soul? Let's get to its source and figure it out.

We know that Gita as Krishna's counsel to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. But was krishna’s the one who created it? Or was it, poet Ved Vyasa who was speaking the truth of the universe through Krishna? Does Sanjaya, who told blind king Dhritarashtra all that he saw happening in a faraway battlefield, deserve any less credit? What about all the poets and philosophers who sang, recited, wrote down, or translated the Gita for people like us? This is their story - the story of the Gita. Right before the final confrontation between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, Krishna, who is the universe personified, rescues Arjuna from paralysing doubt by giving him the essence of Vedic thought - the Bhagwad Gita. Vyasa told the story of the Mahabharata to his disciple Vaisampayana, who told it to Romaharshana, who told it to Sauti, who told it to Shaunaka in the Naimisha forest. Four thousand years ago, the rishis of Aryavarta composed the Rig Veda. In it, they praised the sun, the moon, and the planets. They paid homage to the forces that hold the universe together. In the centuries that followed, the Yajurveda spoke of rituals with which mortals might call upon the gods and praise them. After that, the Upanishads shifted the focus from the celestial to the human. Brahman, that which unites all beings, the song that vibrates and flows through all that exists, is shown to be a universal mind. Over centuries, after much debate and disagreement between monks, the Vedanta came to the people at last. The Puranas, and the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata were written down in Brahmi script for the first time ever. When religions of the book arrived in the sub-continent for the first time, Vedic ideas began to be retold in regional languages and scripts. Through songs and stories, Vedic ideas reached the masses. The Gita had found a new home -- the Indian mind. When the Europeans made their first attempts to understand Indian culture, the many customs and beliefs of the Hindus made little sense to them. So they decided that Hindus must have one book that is the source of all their beliefs. What the European scholars did not understand was that Vedic ideas could exist without being "holy books". They did not understand the importance of songs, stories, and rituals that travelled the land, spreading the essence of Vedic thought. Also, the Bhagwad Gita is not the only Gita. The Puranas speak of the Guru Gita, Ganesh Gita, Avadhuta Gita, Ram Gita, Uddhav Gita, Vyadha Gita, and the Anu. Around the time when the Roman empire was rising in the mediterranean, the Mahabharata was being written down in India. In a few centuries, it went from being a short tale called JAYA to being a mighty epic of one-hundred-thousand verses. And at its heart, there was the Bhagwad Gita - a book that has been called god's gift to Arjuna. Philosopher Adi Shankara saw in Gita the oneness of divinity and humanity. Ramanuja and Madhava found in the Gita the difference between the human and the divine. In the twentieth century, Mohandas Gandhi, Lokamanya Tilak, and Bhimrao Ambedkar all found different meanings in the Gita. Across the seas, Huxley, Oppenheimer, and even Hitler, found their hearts reflected in the Gita. There are as many avatars of the Gita as there are minds that it has touched. While it has lived for long and meant many things to many people, the Gita's message remains as simple as it was when the rishis first contemplated the Vedas. Our world is one of infinite variety and change. Life does not last. Neither does death. We see the world as we are. We create meaning by giving shape to emptiness and by creating boundaries to contain the infinite. We create friends and enemies. We create right and wrong. We create our own truth and we let it define us. There are three paths that can help us find our way in this world.

  • Karma Yoga - the path of action and acceptance.
  • Bhakti Yoga - the path of devotion and surrender and
  • Gyana Yoga - the path of knowledge and understanding.

When we understand these three paths, we understand the universe. That is, and has always been, the way the world works.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.