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The Bhagwad Gita: The Song Divine

MG is an air warrior and a global traveler who loves to visit and explore new places

the-bhagwad-gita-the-song-divine

The Song of Truth and Life

The Bhagavad-Gita is the foremost Hindu scripture. It contains the divine words which have emanated from God himself. Its glory is unlimited and none can describe it. Even Sesa, the thousand-headed serpent-god. whose back forms the couch of the God Vishnu, and Siva and Ganesh, cannot fully depict this glory of the Gita.

The Gita is mentioned in the epics and the Puranas. All these scriptures have sung the praises and Glory of the Gita.

The fact is the Gita is the word of God and nobody can describe its full glory. As a scripture, the Gita embodies the supreme spiritual mystery and essence of life and death. It contains more wisdom than all 4 Vedas. Yet its style is simple and elegant and any man can easily understand it. But the thought behind the words is so deep and abstruse that even a lifelong study may not suffice to understand this scripture in all its totality. As a scripture, the Gita is so incomparable that there is no word in it that is free from some instructive thought.

How the Gita came to be written.

The central theme is the war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. On the brink of the battle of Kurukshetra Arjuna is overwhelmed with misgivings about killing so many people, some of whom are his friends and relatives. He expresses his qualms to Krishna, his charioteer—a combination bodyguard and guide.

Krishna’s reply expresses the central themes of the Gita. He persuades Arjuna to do his duty, which is to fight, and the battle takes place. Krishna’s argument incorporates many of the basic teachings of the Upanishads, texts compiled between 1000 and 600 BCE, as well as of the philosophy of Samkhya Yoga.

This Yoga talks of the relationship between soul and matter He argues that one can kill only the body as the soul is immortal and transmigrates to another body.


the-bhagwad-gita-the-song-divine
the-bhagwad-gita-the-song-divine

What the Gita says

The Gita is the epitome of all the scriptures. The essence of all scriptures is to be found in it. It will not be an understatement to say that the Gita is the storehouse of all spiritual knowledge. The Mahabharata also says the Gita comprises all the scriptures (ref Bhisma, 44.4).

But I feel that this statement is inadequate. All the scriptures have originated from the Vedas and the Vedas were revealed through Brahma's mouths. Brahma himself took his descent from the lord's navel. In this way, a great distance separates the scriptures from the lord. But in contrast, the Gita has emanated directly from the lips of Lord Krishna himself. Hence it is superior to all scriptures. I have no doubt it is the word of God.

The divine sage Vedavyas says 'the Gita alone should be sung, heard, recited. Studied, pondered, and assimilated properly and well. What is the use of collecting other scriptures? For the Gita has emerged directly from the lotus lips of the god Vishnu himself( Mahabharata , bhismaparva 43.1)

The Gita is superior even to the Gayatri. Through the practice of the Japa of Gayatri man attains liberation. But he who practices Japa of the Gayatri secures liberation for only himself; whereas the student of Gita liberates not only himself but other people as well. Reading the Gita means that you are closer to god and thus Mukti or salvation becomes something very minor. In fact, the lord makes a gift of Mukti to all and sundry that comes into his fold through studying the Gita.

The Lord himself says," I take my stand on the Gita; the Gita is my supreme abode. I maintain the 3 worlds on the strength of the wisdom contained in the Gita." Apart from this in the Gita itself, the lord says that he who follows his instructions as contained in the Gita will be rewarded with liberation. He further says that even if a man studies the scriptures he will be regarded as having worshipped him.

The Gita is the very life-breath, the heart and verbal image of the lord. Really speaking no self-restraint, fasting, religious vow or anything else stands comparison to the Gita. The Gita contains the words directly as they emanated from the lips of Bhagwan Sri Krishna. Its compiler is Maharishi Vyasa. The lord uttered part of his discourse in verse which the sage Vyasa recorded exactly as they were uttered by the lord. Whatever the lord said in prose was versified by the sage Vyasa and the words of Arjun, Sanjaya, and Dhritarashtra were similarly versified by the sage in his own words. The book is divided into 700 verses and 18 chapters and made it an orgasmic part of the Mahabharata. That is how the book has come down to us.

Essence of Gita

The holy book extolls the view that the soul is immortal and transmigrates into another body at death. It tells us the path to achieves release (Moksha) or extinction (nirvana), to get freedom from the wheel of rebirth. Krishna advocates the path of devotion (bhakti) without desire (nishkama karma).

the-bhagwad-gita-the-song-divine
the-bhagwad-gita-the-song-divine

Last word

The book is the epitome of the Hindu religion and encompasses rare wisdom. Foreign students have now started understanding the significance of the Gita. The Gita talks of the immortality of the soul as well its rebirth and transmigration. These are revolutionary thoughts and form the bedrock of Hinduism. I can say without any compunction that reading the Gita opens a new vista of knowledge and wisdom.

The last chapter of the book titled yoga of liberation tells us that the path of knowledge and self-surrender is the greatest of a man's life and leads to eternal bliss.

Charles Wilkins

The article would not be complete without the mention of Charles Wilkins. He arrived in India to work as a printer and writer in the East India Company’s service. He was proficient in languages like Persian, Bengali, and of course, English.

Eventually, he moved to Varanasi and started learning Sanskrit under the guidance of a Brahmin pandit named Kalinatha.

He felt it his duty to bring the Gita to the world. He successfully fulfilled his duty by November 1784. He reportedly hired some Bengali pundits to check his translation on the wages of a rupee a day.

The book was published in 1785 as Bhagvat-Geeta, or Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon in London in 1785. That is how the world came to know about this divine scripture.

Comments

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 15, 2021:

I am delighted with your comment. In particular, the fact is that you are a woman with many facets. Great link to you bhajans.

Vanita Thakkar on March 15, 2021:

This is something different from you, MG Singhji. A delightful surprise.

Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta is an integral part of life in our Indian traditions. My family is no exception to that. My father had penned and composed several Bhajans under contemplations on the Geeta. There is one Bhajan, that has especially inspired me a lot, which he had written and composed after hearing the discourses on the 12th Chapter / Adhyaaya of Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta - Bhakti Yoga - by Swami Chinmayanandaji of the Chinmay Mission during his college days. I have presented that Bhajan, along with two more such Bhajans in one of my Music Albums titled - Soor Vandana, available on all online platforms including YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and so on.

In my Music classes, every session ends with the chanting of one chapter of Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta, mostly the 12th Adhyaaya - Bhakti Yoga. That helps the students in mastering notes and pronunciations, along with the great benefits of knowing about the essence of the great scripture (I explain the background and meanings while teaching the shlokas) and getting the Divine Energy and Blessings of chanting of Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta. The YouTube links to the live chantings recorded during a couple of such sessions are :

Bhakti Yoga (12th Adhyaaya) : https://youtu.be/ahU1DP4j7Ug

Purushottam Yoga (15th Adhyaaya) : https://youtu.be/oUfAdNwiOHg

I have read quite a few criticisms and elaborations on Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta and I too believe the Geeta is a complete source of Knowledge and has the answer to every question that arises in human life ....

Jay Shree Krishna !!

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 14, 2021:

Peggy, sweet of you to spare time and comment.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 14, 2021:

Bill, it's a pleasure to read your comment.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 14, 2021:

Like Pamela, it is always fun learning new things. Thanks for writing this informative article.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 14, 2021:

I learn through your knowledge and experience, and for that I thank you!

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 14, 2021:

Thank you, Pamela, so nice of you to comment.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 14, 2021:

This is such a well-written, informative article about the Hindu religion. Much of what you wrote was new to me, and I always like learning new things. The descriptions and the pictures were excellent. I enjoyed reading this article. Thank you, MG.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 14, 2021:

Thank you, Devika, so nice of you to have commented.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 14, 2021:

emge You share interesting and informative hubs on different topics. It is a well-written hub about Bhagwad Gita of whom I had no idea of.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 13, 2021:

Chitra, so glad you commented. I am constantly reminded of the Gita especially the words' not a leaf moves without my will' which is the stark truth of this world. Many of my stories have this theme.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on March 13, 2021:

What a wonderful article about Bhagwad Gita. I have read it several times, and still keep reading it. Every time you learn something new. A true guide, about the lessons of life. Gita has all the answers to the questions, which we may think of as human beings. More than religious, it’s for spiritual awakening and enlightenment, I believe.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful article.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 13, 2021:

Alan, I am delighted to read your comment. Your grandfather must have had an uplifting spiritual experience. Great to share your thoughts.

Alan Smith on March 13, 2021:

What a wonderful article. My grandfather served in the British Indian army and converted to Hinduism. He is buried in the non-Christian cemetery at Park Street in Kolkata. I am also extremely influenced by Hindu thought in particular the theory of rebirth and transmigration of the soul which I think is the cornerstone of metaphysics.

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