Shrimad Bhagavad Gita is the most popular and ancient Hindu religious text. Today, you will come to know all the relevant and important aspects related to Srimad Bhagavad Gita.
Let’s begin this exciting journey and come to know about Shrimad Bhagavad Gita?
Table of Contents
What is Shrimad Bhagavad Gita?
In simple terms, Shrimad Bhagavad Gita is a sacred Hindu religious text that contains knowledge about how we should lead our life. It teaches us what is good and evil in human life. It gives us inspiration about the right way of leading our lives.
The meaning of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita is – “Song of the Lord.”
It is written in the poetic form in Sanskrit and covers many Hindu spiritual and intellectual theories. It is a narration that attempts to integrate spiritual values into ordinary life.
It’s in a narrative form that describes the dialog between Lord Krishna and Pandava prince Arjun that happened on the battlegrounds before the Great Mahabharata War when Arjun became depressed and was about to leave the war.
Lord Krishna inspired Arjun to take on life’s challenges and fight the enemies (the Kauravas) with all the might.
So, Srimad Bhagavad Gita is a sermon that was given by Lord Krishna to inspire Arjun to fight in the Mahabharata War.
Image Credit: bhagavad-gita.us
It is very amazing that the knowledge contained in Bhagavad Gita is still meaningful and relevant for the humans in the present age of Kaliyuga.
Moreover, Bhagavad Gita will remain relevant and inspirational even for future generations. Its knowledge surpasses time barrier to benefit humankind in all the ages. It guides us towards the path of “Karma Yoga.”
It contains a description of “Gyana Yoga,” “Bhakti Yoga,” and “Karma Yoga” and “Rajas Yoga.” It tells us whosoever follows these paths surely lead a fulfilled life and attains Moksha (freedom from the cycle of birth and death).
The teachings of Bhagavad Gita were known to three persons.
Yes, it was Arjun, of course.
Besides Arjun, it was known to Dhritarashtra and Sanjay (he had the Divya Chakshu, Vision, through which he narrated the whole Mahabharata War to Dhritarashtra including Bhagavad Gita).
Shrimad Bhagavad Gita is considered equivalent to the Hindu Upanishads. It contains the essence of Vedas and Upanishads. It is also known as “Gita Upanishad.”
Here, we list out the main points emphasized in Shrimad Bhagavad Gita.
- Human beings should not abandon confidence in any adverse circumstance. They should have faith in God.
- Truth always wins in the end.
- The soul or the “Atman” is neither born nor does it die
- You should not have any regrets for the past.
- Whatever is yours belonged to somebody else yesterday, and will belong to somebody else the day after tomorrow. You attach yourself with the belongings and create sorrow for yourself.
- Change is the law of the universe.
- The body is made of fire, water, air, earth, and ether, and will disappear into these elements.
- Only the soul (Atman) is permanent
- Your every act should be a dedication to the God Almighty.
Mahatma Gandhi has said:
“Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day.”
So, Srimad Bhagavad Gita contains divine knowledge about human consciousness. It is a part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.
What is the Context of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita?
At the start of Mahabharata War, Arjun is deluded and disturbed. He’s in a moral dilemma and considers it evil to indulge in violence and fight the Kauravas.
He is worried about the death that will result from the war. Arjun is not ready to fight the war. He puts down his arms.
Arjun seeks Krishna’s counsel about whether he should renounce war. The discourse given by Lord Krishna to Arjun constitutes the Bhagavad Gita.
Krishna counsels Arjun that he should fulfill his duties as a Kshatriya (warrior) and participate in the war without worrying about the outcome. He teaches Arjun “selfless action” or Karma Yoga.
What is the story of Bhagavad Gita?
The Bhagavad Gita explains the Hindu Paths to Salvation.
It is a conversation that occurred between Lord Krishna and the Pandava prince Arjun.
The episode of Bhagavad Gita happened when the Pandavas and the Kauravas were about to go to war with one another.
At this point, Arjun got deeply depressed. He did not want to shed his families’ blood.
At this very moment, Lord Krishna steps in and counsels Arjun to participate and fight his enemies (Kauravas) in the Mahabharata War.
Arjun puts questions upon questions to Lord Krishna as he is drowned in doubts and confusion. Krishna answers him every question in length explaining him the major tenants of the Hindu faith in the form of:
- Karma Yoga
- Jnana Yoga
- Bhakti Yoga
Krishna ultimately succeeds in convincing Arjun to fight the Mahabharata War and removes all his doubts and confusion.
All these discourses that Krishna gave to Arjun take the form of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita.
This conversation between Krishna and Arjun in Bhagavad Gita has been set in 18 chapters containing 700 slokas.
Bhagavad Gita Summary
Here, we give you a summary of each of these 18 chapters in Bhagavad Gita.
Chapter 1: The Battlefield of Kurukshetra – Vishada Yoga
The opposing armies of the Kauravas and the Pandavas stand poised for the great Mahabharata War in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. The mighty warrior Arjun takes the view of the battlefield observing both the armies.
He sees his friends, relatives, and teachers that are ready to fight against each other. Observing this mammoth sight, Arjun overcome by grief and pity. His mind wavers, and he fails in strength. He falls and throws his arms.
His determination fails, and he declines to fight the Mahabharata War.
Chapter 2: Krishna begins his teachings – Sankhya Yoga
Arjun calls upon Krishna.
Lord Krishna accepts Arjun as his disciple.
Krishna begins with his teachings.
He explains the fundamental difference between the material body and the eternal spiritual soul. Krishna clarifies the different ways of selfless service to the Supreme. He goes on to narrate the state of a self-realized person.
Chapter 3: The Description of Karma Yoga
Krishna explains to Arjun the secrets of Karma Yoga. He explains that actions bind human beings to this world.
The ones who follow the path of Karma Yoga can be liberated from it.
He tells Arjun to do the action for the pleasure of the Supreme.
One should do actions without selfish motives then only one can be liberated from the laws of karma (action and reaction).
By practicing the Karma Yoga, one can attain the knowledge of the self and the Supreme.
Chapter 4: Jnana Yoga – Transcendental Knowledge
Here, Krishna explains Arjun – the spiritual knowledge of the soul. One who realizes the soul unites with the Supreme Reality, The Brahman.
Krishna also tells Arjun, the necessity of approaching a Guru. He narrates the various aspects of a Realized Soul.
Chapter 5: Karma Vairagya Yoga
The essence of this chapter where Krishna explains to Arjun that one must renounce the fruits (results) of the action. The transcendental knowledge purifies the person with pure consciousness.
He is blessed with peace, detachment, spiritual vision, and bliss.
Chapter 6: Abhyasa Yoga or Dhyana Yoga
Here, Krishna describes the importance of meditative practice for controlling the mind and the senses so that one can realize God, Paramatma.
This practice of meditation (remembrance of God) culminates in Samadhi which is full consciousness of the Supreme.
Chapter 7: Paramahamsa Vijnana Yoga
Here, Krishna explains the Supreme Truth. He explains to Arjun that the supreme cause to everything, both material and spiritual is the God itself.
He informs Arjun that a true Yogi surrenders unto Him in devotion. However, the impious souls put their mind on other objects of devotion.
Chapter 8: Aksara-Parabrahman Yoga
Here, Krishna tells Arjun that one who chants the name of the Lord finally attains to him.
Chapter 9: Raja-Vidya-Guhya Yoga
Here, Krishna shares with Arjun the most confidential knowledge known as Raja Vidya Guhya Yoga. He tells Arjun that the soul is eternally related to the Supreme Lord which can be realized through transcendental devotional service (bhakti). One should devote oneself to the pure devotion of the Lord to realize Krishna Consciousness.
Chapter 10: Vibhuti-Vistara-Yoga
Here, Krishna reveals the divine energies that have manifested in the material world or the spiritual. Krishna tells Arjun that the Supreme Lord is the ultimate cause of all the causes. It supports the essence of everything. So, the Supreme Lord or the Krishna Consciousness is the supreme object of worship for all the beings.
Chapter 11: Visvarupa-Darsana Yoga
Now, Lord Krishna grants Arjun the divine vision and reveals his spectacular and limitless Universal Form. Krishna tells Arjun that His Universal Cosmic Form can only be seen by pure devotional service. No one has seen his Universal Form up-till now.
Chapter 12: Bhakti Yoga
Krishna tells Arjun with pure devotional service (Bhakti Yoga) one can attain the pure love of Krishna Consciousness. It is the highest end of spiritual achievement. He emphasizes that whosoever follow this supreme path develops divine qualities.
Chapter 13: Ksetra-Ksetrajna Vibhaga Yoga
Here, Krishna explains Arjun the difference between the body, soul and the Super-soul. By understanding the difference between them, one can attain liberation from the material world.
Chapter 14: Gunatraya-Vibhaga Yoga
Here, Krishna discusses the qualities of material nature. These are goodness, passion, and ignorance. Lord Krishna explains all these modes, how they function, what are their effects, and how one can transcend them. He also goes on to state the symptoms of one who has transcended these states and got what is known as the transcendental state.
Chapter 15: Purushottam Yoga
Here, Krishna emphasizes the true Vedic knowledge.
He states that one should detach oneself from the material world known as “Maya.” The Supreme Reality is the Almighty Lord that exists in different forms. One should surrender to the Supreme Lord and engage in His devotional service.
Chapter 16: Daivasura-Sampada-Vibhaga Yoga
Here, Krishna clarifies Arjun the qualities of demoniac personalities. He tells Arjun that those who possess or are gripped by demon-like qualities have to take lower births and further material bondage. He also tells Arjun that people with divine qualities get the Lord’s grace and blessings. They begin to live regulated lives. They abide by the scriptural authority and attain spiritual perfection.
Chapter 17: Sraddhatraya-Vibhaga Yoga
Here, Krishna narrates about three types of faiths. They evolve from three modes of material nature. Those who perform acts abided by passion and ignorance only get impermanent and material results. However, those who perform acts filled with goodness have their hearts purified and tread on the path of devotion and Krishna Consciousness.
Chapter 18: Conclusion – Moksa-Opadesa Yoga
Here, Krishna explains the meaning of renunciation. He talks about Brahman Realization, the glories of the Bhagavad Gita and concludes it by saying that the highest path of religion is absolute. He consoles Arjun by saying that He is there to take care of the sins. So, he should surrender to Him with absolute faith. Finally, all the doubts, and confusions of Arjun are removed and is ready to take on the battle.
Now here we are listing some of the most frequently asked questions about Bhagavad Gita
How many slokas are there in Bhagavad Gita?
As you know now, Shrimad Bhagavad Gita has been set in as much as 18 Chapters.
It contains 700 Slokas in all.
Here, we go on to mention the number of Slokas in each of the chapters:
Chapter 1: Vishada Yoga – 46 verses
Chapter 2: Sankhya Yoga – 72 Verses
Chapter 3: Karma Yoga – 43 verses
Chapter 4: Jnana Yoga – 42 verses
Chapter 5: Karma Vairagya Yoga – 29 verses
Chapter 6: Dhyana Yoga – 47 verses
Chapter 7: Paramahamsa Vijnana Yoga – 30 verses
Chapter 8: Aksara-Parabrahman Yoga – 28 verses
Chapter 9: Raja-Vidya-Guhya Yoga – 34 verses
Chapter 10: Vibhuti-Vistara-Yoga – 42 verses
Chapter 11: Visvarupa-Darsana Yoga – 55 verses
Chapter 12: Bhakti Yoga – 35 verses
Chapter 13: Ksetra-Ksetrajna Vibhaga Yoga – 35 verses
Chapter 14: Gunatraya-Vibhaga Yoga – 27 verses
Chapter 15: Purushottam Yoga – 20 verses
Chapter 16: Daivasura-Sampada-Vibhaga Yoga – 24 verses
Chapter 17: Sraddhatraya-Vibhaga Yoga – 28 verses
Chapter 18: Moksa-Opadesa Yoga – 78 verses
Out of these 700 Slokas:
• 574 Slokas by Lord Krishna
• 84 Slokas by Arjun
• 41 Slokas by Sanjay
• 01 Slokas by Dhritarashtra
How old is the Bhagavad Gita?
It is estimated that Lord Krishna uttered the Bhagavad Gita about 7000 years ago to his disciple and friend Arjun.
However, Arjun was not the only one to hear the Bhagavad Gita.
As stated by Lord Krishna himself:
“I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu, in turn, instructed it to Iksvaku.”
Chapter 4: Verse 1
So, this science of Supreme Knowledge was initially initiated to Vivasvan which was then passed on to Manu and finally to his son Maharaja Iksvaku of the Raghu Dynasty in which Lord Ram appeared.
According to rough estimates, the Bhagavad Gita had initially spoken at least 120,400,000 years ago.
Who wrote the Bhagavad Gita?
Bhagavad Gita has been described as the cream of all Vedic knowledge. It is the song sung by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna.
As the conversion between Lord Krishna and Arjun continued, it was narrated by Sanjay to the blind king Dhritarashtra, who was in the palace.
The Bhagavad Gita is a part of the great epic Mahabharata which was dictated by Rishi Ved Vyasa to Lord Ganesha. As Bhagavad Gita is a part of the Mahabharata, it comes under the form of Smriti.
So, it was Lord Ganesha who wrote it down with his broken tooth. In fact, Lord Ganesh had put a condition before Ved Vyasa that he should not stop during his dictation. Otherwise, He would stop writing the text.
However, this was countered by Ved Vyasa as he told Ganesh that he should understand first what is being said before writing it down. Ganesh finally began to write by repeating the word Om.
What is Dharma According to Gita?
The concept of “Dharma” as explained in the Bhagavad Gita can be broken down into three essential parts:
Concept One: Attain your Dharma
The Dharma as explained in the Bhagwad Gita relates to the “Law of Universe” which states that each person has its purpose or mission.
For example, Krishna tells Arjun that his “Dharma” is to be a warrior. So, he must fulfill it. Moreover, Krishna tells Arjun that it is not possible to escape his “Dharma.”
Bhagavad Gita states that whatever role or duties we are fulfilling at the moment transforms and acts as your Dharma. However, one should strive and endeavor for a more meaningful personal Dharma.
Concept two: Do it with Absolute Commitment
Bhagavad Gita stands by absolute commitment. Success only comes when you go full out, no holding back. So, Bhagavad Gita taught us to be more mindful and focused on our goals, actions, and endeavors.
Concept Three: Do not bother about the fruits of your labor
Bhagavad Gita teaches us the art of Karma Yoga. So, one should perform “Karma” or actions for the pleasure of the Lord.
One should not worry about the outcome of the actions and leave it on the Lord Almighty. This process of “Karma” frees us from the bondage of Karma (actions and reactions).
What is the message of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita?
Shrimad Bhagavad Gita contains spiritual wisdom from ancient India.
It is called as ‘Song of the God.’
Bhagavad Gita has helped an innumerable number of men and women for thousands of years to attain peace, happiness, and self-realization.
Bhagavad Gita teaches the path of devotion, duty, and selfless Karma. It answers major questions of our lives and existence. Gita helps you to attain enlightened in a world full of darkness.
It preaches the concept that we are not the body alone. We are immortal souls with omnipresent nature. Its central message is that we are one with the Cosmic Spirit or the Almighty God.
Our basic essence is the God itself.
It goes on to say that everything is a manifestation of the Brahman/Spirit.
The ultimate goal of humankind is self-realization. Once you detach yourself from worldly attachments and aversions, you can taste ultimate freedom or attain moksha.
Bhagavad Gita gives the formula for ultimate freedom, knowledge, and bliss.
What is the difference between Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam?
Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam are generally considered as the same text.
However, the truth is that they are different from one another.
Bhagavad Gita was spoken by Lord Krishna to Arjun on the battlegrounds of Kurukshetra before the start of Mahabharata War. It is concise in nature and consists of only 700 slokas set up in 18 chapters. It preaches Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Jnana Yoga.
Now, the Srimad Bhagavatam is one of the eighteen Maha Puranas of Hinduism. It is also known as Bhagavata Purana. Srimad Bhagavatam has the essence of all the Vedas.
The Srimad Bhagavatam has been spoken by Sage Sukhadeva Goswami, the son of Vyasa Deva, to King Parikshit when they were sitting on the banks of the Ganges. King Parikshit was cursed that he would die after seven days.
It contains about eighteen thousand verses divided into 12 cantons.
Srimad Bhagavatam is considered the best among all the Puranas. It offers knowledge of the Supreme and helps you to realize God. It promotes bhakti to Lord Krishna.
That’s all we have for you in this post.
Srimad Bhagavad Gita is the best resource for self-realization.
We hope that you have gained much insight into the essential aspects of Bhagavad Gita.
The post attempts to encourage you to read and understand the most sacred religious text of the Hindu – The Srimad Bhagavad Gita.
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