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Bhagwad Gita

Introduction

Arjun Vishad1. The Bhagavad Gita ( श्रीमद् भगवद् गीता ), is a 700-verse scripture that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. This scripture contains a conversation between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide Lord Krishna on a variety of theological and philosophical issues.

2. Faced with a fratricidal war, a despondent Arjuna turns to his charioteer Krishna for counsel on the battlefield.

3. Krishna, through the course of the Gita, imparts to Arjuna wisdom, the path to devotion, and the doctrine of selfless action.

4. The Gita upholds the essence and the theological tradition of the Upanishads.

5. However, unlike the rigorous monism of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita also integrates dualism and theism.

6. The Bhagavad Gita's call for selfless action inspired many leaders of the Indian independence movement including Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who referred to the Gita as his "spiritual dictionary".

Composition of Bhagwad Gita

1. Bhagavad Gita comprises 18 chapters (section 25 to 42) in the Bhishma Parva of the epic Mahabharata and consists of 700 verses.

2. The verses themselves, using the range and style of Sanskrit Anustup meter (chhandas) with similes and metaphors, are written in a poetic form that is traditionally chanted.

3. Bhagavad Gita is classified as a Smṛiti text or "that which is remembered". Śruti texts, such as the Upanishads, are believed to be revelations of divine origin, whereas Smṛitis are authored recollections of tradition and are therefore fallible.

4. As a Smṛiti, the scriptural authority of the Gita is dependent on the Upanishads (Śruti).

5. Gita represent a summary of the Upanishadic teachings and is thus called "the Upanishad of the Upanishads".

Chapters of Bhagwad Gita

Karma Yoga
  • First 6 chapters are Karma Yoga section : Science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the Ultimate Consciousness through actions.

  • 1. अर्जुन विषाद योग (Lamenting the Consequence of War) :
    Arjuna has requested 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.

    2. सांख्य योग (The Eternal Reality of the Souls Immortality) :
    After asking Krishna for help, Arjuna is instructed into various subjects such as, Karma yoga, Jnana yoga, Sankhya yoga, Buddhi yoga and the immortal nature of the soul. This chapter is often considered the summary of the entire Bhagavad Gita.

    3. कर्म योग (The Eternal Duties of Human Beings) :
    Krishna explains how performance of prescribed duties, but without attachment to results, is the appropriate course of action for Arjuna.

    4. ज्ञान कर्म संन्यास योग (Approaching the Ultimate Truth) :
    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.

    5. कर्म संन्यास योग (Action and Renunciation) :
    Arjuna asks Krishna if it is better to forgo action or to act ("renunciation or discipline of action"). Krishna answers that both are ways to the same goal, but that acting in Karma yoga is superior.

    6. ध्यान योग अथवा आत्म संयम योग (The Science of Self Realization) :
    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.



    Krishna Vishwaroopa
  • Middle six chapters are Bhakti Yoga section : Science of the individual consciousness attaning communion with the Ultimate Consciousness by the path of devotion.

  • 7. ज्ञान विज्ञान योग (Knowledge of the Ultimate Truth) :
    Krishna describes the absolute reality and its illusory energy Maya.

    8. अक्षर ब्रह्मा योग (Attainment of Salvation) :
    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.

    9. राजविद्या राज्गुय्हा योग (Confidential Knowledge of the Ultimate Truth) :
    Krishna explains how His eternal energy pervades, creates, preserves, and destroys the entire universe. According to theologian Christopher Southgate, verses of this chapter of the Gita are panentheistic.

    10. विभूति विस्तार योग (The Infinite Glories of the Ultimate Truth) :
    Krishna is described as the ultimate cause of all material and spiritual existence. Arjuna accepts Krishna as the Supreme Being, quoting great sages who have also done so.

    11. विश्वरूप दर्शन योग (The Vision of the Universal Form) :
    On Arjuna's request, Krishna displays his "universal form" (Viśvarūpa), a theophany of a being facing every way and emitting the radiance of a thousand suns, containing all other beings and material in existence.

    12. भक्ति योग (The Path of Devotion) :
    In this chapter Krishna glorifies the path of devotion to God. Krishna describes the process of devotional service (Bhakti yoga). He also explains different forms of spiritual disciplines.



    Bhagwad Gita Saar
  • Final six chapters are Jnana Yoga section : Science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the Ultimate Consciousness through the intellect.

  • 13. क्षेत्र क्षेत्रज्ञ विभाग योग (The Individual Consciousness and Ultimate Consciousness) :
    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.

    14. गुनत्र विभाग योग (The Three Qualities of Material Nature) :
    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.

    15. पुरुषोत्तम योग (Realization of the Ultimate Truth) :
    Krishna identifies the transcendental characteristics of God such as, omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. 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.

    16. दैवासुर सम्पद विभाग योग (The Divine and the Demoniac Natures Defined) :
    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.

    17. श्रद्धात्र्य विभाग योग (Three Divisions of Material Existence) :
    Krishna qualifies the three divisions of faith, thoughts, deeds, and even eating habits corresponding to the three modes (gunas).

    18. मोक्ष संन्यास योग (Final Revelations of the Ultimate Truth) :
    In this chapter, the conclusions of previous seventeen chapters are summed up. Krishna asks Arjuna to abandon all forms of dharma and simply surrender unto him and describes this as the ultimate perfection of life


    Famous People who got inspired by Bhagwad Gita

    Einstein Bhagwad Gita1. Albert Einstein stated that when reading the Bhagavad-Gita he thinks about how God created the universe and then everything else seemed so superfluous.

    2. Mahatma Gandhi stated that the Bhagavad-Gita calls on humanity to dedicate mind, body and soul to purity.

    3. Dr. Albert Schweizer stated that the Bhagavad-Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested in all actions.

    4. Sri Aurobindo stated the Bhagavad-Gita has a new message for every age and every civilization.

    5. Herman Hesse stated that the wonder of the Bhagavad-Gita is its beautiful revelation of life's wisdom which has made philosophy blossom into religion.

    6. Ramanuja has stated that the Bhagavad-Gita reveals the goal of the all the Vedic scriptures.

    7. Aldous Huxley stated that the Bhagavad-Gita is the most comprhensive statement of perennial philosophy.

    8. Madhvacarya has stated that the Bhagavad-Gita is apauruseya which means of divine origin and eternal.

    9. Swami Vivekananda stated that "The secret of karma yoga which is to perform actions without any fruitive desires is taught by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita." He evinced much interest in Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavad Gita was one of his two most favourite books (another one was "The Imitation of Christ"). In 1888-1893 when Vivekananda was travelling all over India as a wandering monk, he kept only two books with him — Gita and Imitation of Christ

    10. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru stated that "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."

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