The Bhagavad Gita , often referred to as the Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture, which is part of the epic Mahabharata. It forms the chapters 23–40 of book 6 of the Mahabharata called the Bhishma Parva. The work is dated to the second half of the first millennium BCE. Typical of the Hindu synthesis, it is considered one of the holy scriptures of Hinduism.
The Bhagavad Gita is set in a narrative framework of dialogue between the Pandava prince Arjuna and his charioteer guide Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. At the start of the Kurukshetra War between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, Arjuna despairs thinking about the violence and death the war will cause in the battle against his kin and becomes emotionally preoccupied with a dilemma. Wondering if he should renounce the war, Arjuna seeks the counsel of Krishna, whose answers and discourse constitute the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna counsels Arjuna to “fulfil his Kshatriya (warrior) duty” for the upholdment of dharma. The Krishna–Arjuna dialogue covers a broad range of spiritual topics, touching upon moral and ethical dilemmas, and philosophical issues that go far beyond the war that Arjuna faces.The setting of the text in a battlefield has been interpreted as an allegory for the struggles of human life.
Summarising the Upanishadic conceptions of God, the Gita posits the existence of an individual self (Atman) and the supreme self (Brahman) within each being. The dialogue between the prince and his charioteer has been interpreted as a metaphor for an immortal dialogue between the human self and God. Commentators of Vedanta read varying notions in the Bhagavad Gita about the relationship between the Atman (individual Self) and Brahman (supreme Self); Advaita Vedanta affirms on the non-dualism of Atman and Brahman, Vishishtadvaita asserts qualified non-dualism with Atman and Brahman being related but different in certain aspects, while Dvaita Vedanta declares the complete duality of Atman and Brahman.
As per Hindu mythology, the Bhagavad Gita was written by the god Ganesha, as told to him by the sage Veda Vyasa. The Bhagavad Gita presents a synthesis of various Hindu ideas about dharma, theistic bhakti, and the yogic ideal of moksha. The text covers Jñāna, Bhakti, Karma, and Rāja yogas, while incorporating ideas from the Samkhya-Yoga philosophy. The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most revered Hindu texts and has a unique pan-Hindu influence. Numerous commentaries have been written on the Bhagavad Gita with differing views on its essentials.
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