[122], Some translators title the fourth chapter as Jñāna–Karma-Sanyasa yoga, The Religion of Knowledge, Wisdom in Action, or The Yoga of Renunciation of Action through Knowledge. [120][121] According to Flood and Martin, chapter 3 and onwards develops "a theological response to Arjuna's dilemma". The battle of the Mahabharata raged for 18 days. The Pandava prince Arjuna asks his charioteer Krishna to drive to the center of the battlefield so that he can get a good look at both the armies and all those "so eager for war". This Absolute in Gita is neither a He nor a She, but a "neuter principle", an "It or That". However, variant readings are relatively few in contrast to the numerous versions of the Mahabharata it is found embedded in, and the meaning is the same. In addition to being the author, he is also a major character in the Mahabharata, although not the Gita. According to Edwin Bryant and Maria Ekstrand, this school incorporates and integrates aspects of "qualified monism, dualism, monistic dualism, and pure nondualism". [142] This is an idea found in the Rigveda and many later Hindu texts, where it is a symbolism for atman (soul) and Brahman (Absolute Reality) eternally pervading all beings and all existence. [77] The Gita synthesis goes further, according to its interpreters such as Swami Vivekananda, and the text states that there is Living God in every human being and the devoted service to this Living God in everyone – without craving for personal rewards – is a means to spiritual development and liberation. [190] While bhakti is mentioned in many chapters, the idea gathers momentum after verse 6.30, and it is chapter 12 where the idea is sustainly developed. [275], The Bhagavad Gita is referred to in the Brahma Sutras, and numerous scholars including Shankara, Bhaskara, Abhinavagupta of Shaivism tradition, Ramanuja and Madhvacharya wrote commentaries on it. [44][note 7], According to Arthur Basham, the context of the Bhagavad Gita suggests that it was composed in an era when the ethics of war were being questioned and renunciation to monastic life was becoming popular. The Bhagavad Gita is an evolving response dealing with the conflicts between the Vedas and the Vedantas. [18][112][113] The fifteenth chapter expounds on Krishna theology, in the Vaishnava Bhakti tradition of Hinduism. [161] It covers many topics, states Easwaran. [147][148] The 13th chapter of the Gita offers the clearest enunciation of the Samkhya philosophy, states Basham, by explaining the difference between field (material world) and the knower (soul), prakriti and purusha. Krishna describes the process of devotional service (Bhakti yoga). [200], Sivananda's commentary regards the eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita as having a progressive order, by which Krishna leads "Arjuna up the ladder of Yoga from one rung to another. The Bhagavad Gita is part of the Mahabharata, which was written by the sage Vyasa. You have no right to the fruits of work. Mark Cubbon. [218] The Bhishma Parva sets the stage of two ideologies in conflict and two massive armies gathered for what each considers as a righteous and necessary war. All phenomena and individual personalities are a combination of all three gunas in varying and ever-changing proportions. Who wrote the Bhagavad Gita? [258] For some native translators, their personal beliefs, motivations, and subjectivity affect their understanding, their choice of words and interpretation. [240] Some of the ideas in the Bhagavad Gita connect it to the Shatapatha Brahmana of Yajurveda. An authentic manuscript of the Gita with 745 verses has not been found. "[115] This and other moral dilemmas in the first chapter are set in a context where the Hindu epic and Krishna have already extolled ahimsa (non-violence) to be the highest and divine virtue of a human being. In the Gita, the most powerful articulation of this idea comes not in the second chapter, echoed in Emerson’s poem, but in the 11th, when Krishna shows his true nature to Arjuna. [34] The Gita, states van Buitenen, was conceived and developed by the Mahabharata authors to "bring to a climax and solution the dharmic dilemma of a war". Richard Davis tells the story of this venerable and enduring book, from its origins in ancient India to its reception today as a spiritual classic that has been translated into more than seventy-five languages. Therein, in the third section, the Gita forms chapters 23–40, that is 6.3.23 to 6.3.40. [101][103] The compiled dialogue goes far beyond the "a rationale for war"; it touches on many human ethical dilemmas, philosophical issues and life's choices. [149] According to Miller, this is the chapter which "redefines the battlefield as the human body, the material realm in which one struggles to know oneself" where human dilemmas are presented as a "symbolic field of interior warfare". Two massive armies representing different loyalties and ideologies face a catastrophic war. T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) had some knowledge and regard for the Upanishads, which are the storehouse of the invaluable perennial treasures of human wisdom, and some of his poems reflect the message of the Upanishads. You will be very near to Almighty! The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most confidential knowledge and realization, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence. [378], "Gita" redirects here. He does not want to fight to kill them and is thus filled with doubt and despair on the battlefield. [18][112][113] Krishna reveals his divine being in greater detail, as the ultimate cause of all material and spiritual existence, one who transcends all opposites and who is beyond any duality. [88], The Bhagavad Gita manuscripts exist in numerous Indic scripts. [108][web 3] For example, Swami Chidbhavananda describes each of the eighteen chapters as a separate yoga because each chapter, like yoga, "trains the body and the mind". [257] A translation "can never fully reproduce an original and no translation is transparent", states Richard Davis, but in the case of Gita the linguistic and cultural distance for many translators is large and steep which adds to the challenge and affects the translation. [203][83][84] Others consider it as a progressive stage or a combination of Karma yoga and Bhakti yoga. [24] Another Hindu legend states that Vyasa narrated it while the elephant-headed deity Ganesha broke one of his tusks and wrote down the Mahabharata along with the Bhagavad Gita. [98] At dramatic moments, it uses the tristubh meter found in the Vedas, where each line of the couplet has two quarter verses with exactly eleven syllables. He discusses jnana (knowledge) and vijnana (realization, understanding) using the Prakriti-Purusha (matter-soul) framework of the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy, and the Maya-Brahman framework of its Vedanta school. "[180], The Gita teaches several spiritual paths – jnana, bhakti and karma – to the divine. A. [10][11][12] The synthesis is at both philosophical and socio-religious levels, states the Gita scholar Keya Maitra. [25][26][note 3], Scholars consider Vyasa to be a mythical or symbolic author, in part because Vyasa is also the traditional compiler of the Vedas and the Puranas, texts dated to be from different millennia. In Minor's view, the Harvard scholar Franklin Edgerton's English translation and Richard Garbe's German translation are closer to the text than many others. Soon the work was translated into other European languages such as French (1787), German, and Russian. This chapter is an overview for the remaining sixteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita. Thus, the first version of the Bhagavad Gita may have been composed in or after the 3rd century BCE. [18][112][113] In the final and long chapter, the Gita offers a final summary of its teachings in the previous chapters. Steven Pressfield acknowledges that the Gita was his inspiration, the golfer character in his novel is Arjuna, the caddie is Krishna, states Rosen. The later verses of the chapter return to the discussion of motiveless action and the need to determine the right action, performing it as one's dharma (duty) while renouncing the results, rewards, fruits. He describes the difference between transient perishable physical body (kshetra) and the immutable eternal soul (kshetrajna). The Bhagavad Gita is the title of Winthrop Sargeant's translation, first published in 1979, of the Bhagavad Gītā (Sanskrit: भगवद्गीता, "Song of God"), an important Hindu scripture. [note 16] Nikhilananda's allegorical interpretation is shared by Huston Smith. Religious leaders and scholars interpret the word Bhagavad in a number of ways. Vyasa's authorship of the epic is also questionable, as the length of the poem is some 100,000 couplets, about seven times the combined length of the Iliad and Odyssey put together. [259][260][261] Some translations by Indians, with or without Western co-translators, have "orientalist", "apologetic", "Neo-Vedantin" or "guru phenomenon" bias. [283], Abhinavagupta was a theologian and philosopher of the Kashmir Shaivism (Shiva) tradition. 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