What is the Bhagavad Gita?
The Gita is widely considered as one of the most important religious texts of Hinduism, along with the Vedas and the Upanishads. It’s also one of the most widely read and translated texts in the world. The Gita is a part of the epic Mahabharata, which is one of the longest poems ever written. However, despite its popularity and significance; many people have little understanding about what exactly this book contains. This article explains everything you need to know about the Gita, so keep reading to learn more!
The Srimad Bhagavad Gita is one of the most significant texts in the world. It’s also one of the most important religious texts in Hinduism, along with the Vedas and the Upanishads. The Gita is a part of the epic Mahabharata, which is one of the longest poems ever written. It’s believed that the Gita was spoken around 5,000 years ago. The word “Bhagavad” translates to Bhagavan, or God. Gita means song. Thus, it is called the ‘Song of God’.
The Gita is a conversation between one of the most famous figures in Hinduism, Lord Krishna, and his friend Arjuna. In this conversation, Krishna teaches Arjuna about how to look at reality with an open heart and an open mind, and with what attitude one should operate in the world and perform their duty or work.
The Battle of Kurukshetra
Gita was spoken by Sri Krishna, to his friend Arjuna, on the battlefield at Kurukshetra. This took place after Krishna left Vrindavan. Arjuna, a Pandava, one of the 5 sons of Pandu, was a great ksatriya and warrior.
In the midst, of the Mahabharata, the Great History of Inida, the Gita is tucked in the middle of what could be considered some of the most extreme family drama one could ever imagine.
Before the battle begins, the conch shells are being sounded by the different participants who have come to fight this battle. Arjuna, requests his friend Krishna, who has agreed to drive Arjuna’s chariot in the battle, but not fight, to take him out into the field for a better view of the field.
Arjuna observes those who have come to fight. Seeing he is about to go to battle with his cousins, uncles, and teachers, he begins to question the reasons and motives behind being there. Arjuna begins to tremble and reveals his mind to his friend Sri Krishna.
Why is the Gita important?
The Gita is important because it’s one of the most influential texts in the Hindu religion. The Gita is also significant because it explains the nature of reality, who we are as human beings, and how the world works. The Gita also offers a path that anyone can follow to live a meaningful life.
The Gita describes 18 types of yoga, ways to connect with Divinity.
The Gita teaches that everyone has the potential to live a meaningful and purposeful life, regardless of their circumstances. The Gita also offers advice about how to cultivate a positive attitude towards life. The Gita is an example of what spirituality can look like in practice. It’s a guide on how to cultivate positive attitudes, while keeping the mind and heart focused on Bhagavan.
Who was the author of the Gita?
The author of the Gita is often debated among scholars. The most commonly accepted theory is that Vyasa wrote the Gita. Vyasa is one of the seven great sages in Hinduism, and he’s believed to be the author of the four Vedas. Vyasa is also believed to be the author of the Mahabharata, which means that he wrote the Gita as part of this epic poem. Some people believe that Vyasa wrote the Gita as a summary of the Vedas, which he had compiled in one book.
18 Yogas of Gita
From these 18 types of yoga described, the question ‘What is the main message of the Bhagavad Gita’ can be answered.
- Visada Yoga – Known as the Yoga of the Dejection of the Spirit as it is a dharmic set of rules and takes us from the very level in which we find ourselves, assisting to detach us from the chaos of this world.
- Sankhya Yoga – This yoga means “empirical” or “number.” It relates to the process where implicit becomes explicit and where there exists neither creation or destruction. Both philosophers and highly intellectual people are often said to practice this yoga.
- Karma Yoga – According to Gita, Karma yoga instructs humans to select the path of action and self-sacrifice. The Gita considers renunciation and karma (action) as paths to liberation.A person should act without considering the fruits on their duty. One’s duties should be performed selflessly without desire to receive something in return.
- Jnana Yoga – Gita instructs people to seek ‘jnana’ or knowledge in order to enlighten and uplift their lives. According to the yoga of knowledge, people should seek knowledge in order to enlighten their lives. Sri Krishna says that there is nothing in this world more than knowledge.
- Karma Vairagya Yoga – The yoga practice of action performed for the benefit of others. Karma Vairagya yoga (karma sannyasa) is also called the path of renunciation of actions. This yoga explains actions and inaction, and working for the Supreme.
- Abhyasa Yoga – This yoga is connected to self-control and self realization. It is practiced by great sages to receive discipline and achieve a steady and tranquil state of mind. This yoga builds inner power and strengthen the mind, body and soul.
- Paramahamsa Vijnana Yoga – This yoga is the process of achieving the Supreme in the path of wisdom.
- Aksara-Parabrahman Yoga – This is the yoga of Imperishable Brahman. It teaches how to remain connected to Supreme.
- Raja-Vidya-Guhya Yoga – This yoga, one makes efforts to please the Supreme, in order to gain secret knowledge. Raja Vidya yoga is also known as the king of sciences. Raja-Vidya-Guhya yoga is the 9th chapter of Gita where devotion has been stated to be the best means to connect Supreme. It is the most secret and confidential.
- Vibhuti Vistara Yoga – This yoga guides on how to see the opulence of the Supreme throughout the universe. How to see that God is the origin of all that is.
- Visvarupa-Darshan Yoga – This yoga is how the Supreme being pervades all that is. Arujna asked for this darshan, for eyes to see this while Gita was being spoken. The view was so amazing as well as terrifying, Arjuna requested to have this darshan hidden.
- Bhakti Yoga – This yoga places emphasis on the connection between God and His followers. The focus is on love and devotion. This yoga encourages the practitioner to become one with the Divine, which is God, by offering whatever one may have with loving devotion.
- Ksetra-Ksetranja Vibhaga Yoga – This yoga illustrates the kshetra, or the field, the ksetranja refers to the knower of this field.
- Gunatraya-Vibhaga Yoga – The yoga that helps to discern the world by examining its three gunas, also known as qualities or modes of nature. These are known as sattvic, rajasic, and tamasic.
- Purusottama Yoga – This yoga is the fifteenth chapter of the Gita which is the timeless & transcendental aspect of God. Sri Krishna reveals that the purpose of this transcendental knowledge is to detach from the bondage identification with the material world.
- Daivasura-Sampada-Vibhaga Yoga – This yoga describes the divine and demoniac characteristics. The sixteenth chapter of Gita describes explicitly these natures among human beings.
- Shraddhatraya Vibhaga Yoga – This yoga is focused on goodness, passion, and ignorance in life. A person should be conscious of his actions and thoughts. Sraddhatraya-Vibhaga Yoga is the three divisions of faiths. This yoga describes sacrifice, charity, and austerity. Sri Krishna speaks about the nature of faith that determines the quality of life.
- Moksha-Upadesha Yoga – The 18th yoga described in the Gita, teaches a person to detach from worldly distractions and surrender to God. Chapter 18 is a summary of the Bhagavad Gita.
Key Teachings in the Gita
There are many important teachings in the Gita, but some of the most significant ones are explained below.
- The Wheel of Samsara – The Gita begins by explaining the Wheel of Samsara, which is a visual representation of the cycle of life and death.
- The Three Gunas – The Gita also explains the three gunas, or qualities, that exist in everything. The three gunas are sattva, rajas, and tamas. Sattva is pure joy; rajas is pure passion; tamas is pure ignorance.
- The Five Paths of Yoga
- The Gita also explores the five paths of yoga; which are the yamas, niyamas, asanas, pranayama, and dhyana or meditation.
- The Purpose of Life – The Gita also explores what the purpose of life is. The goal of life is to find peace and joy.
The Gita Today
The Gita has been read by millions of people around the world for centuries. People who practice the Hindu religion often study the Gita as part of their devotional practice. Many people who aren’t Hindu have also read the Gita and found it to be meaningful and helpful. There are also many people who study the Gita as part of a formal path of yoga.
They may look at the text as part of a class that’s held at a yoga studio, or they may study it on their own. There are also many people who read the Gita as part of their spiritual practice, even if they don’t identify with a certain religion. They may find that this text resonates with them and helps them cultivate positive attitudes and thoughts.
Versions & Translations of Gita
Version by Hari Chetan
Version by Paramahamsa Viswananda
Version by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Version by Swami Prabhavananda
Version by Ranchor Prime
Version by Swami Mukundananda
Version by Paramahamsa Yogananda
Version by Gita Press
Version by Chaitanya Charan – 365 Mindfulness
Version by Swami Swarupananda
Version by Eknath Easwaran
The Gita is a sacred text that offers insight into the nature of reality and what it means to live a meaningful life. The Gita is a conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, and it explores what the purpose of life is, what the three gunas are, and five paths of yoga.
The Gita is important because it’s one of the most influential texts in the Hindu religion, and it offers a path that anyone can follow to live a meaningful life.
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