Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta in hindi: It presents a synthesis of the concept of Dharma, theistic bhakti, the yogic ideals of moksha through jnana, bhakti, karma, and Raja Yoga of geetaji.
The Geeta is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide and charioteer Lord Krishna. Facing the duty as a warrior to fight the Dharma Yudhha or righteous war between Pandavas and Kauravas, Arjuna is counselled by Lord Krishna to "fulfill his Kshatriya (warrior) duty as a warrior and establish Dharma."Inserted in this appeal to kshatriya dharma (chivalry) is "a dialogue ... between diverging attitudes concerning methods toward the attainment of liberation (moksha)". The Bhagavad Geeta was exposed to the world through Sanjaya, who senses and cognizes all the events of the battlefield. Sanjaya is Dhritarashtra's advisor and also his charioteer.
The Bhagavad Geeta presents a synthesis of the concept of Dharma, theistic bhakti, the yogic ideals of moksha through jnana, bhakti, karma, and Raja Yoga (spoken of in the 6th chapter) and Samkhya philosophy.
Numerous commentaries have been written on the Bhagavad Geeta with widely differing views on the essentials. Vedanta commentators read varying relations between Self and Brahman in the text: Advaita Vedanta sees the non-dualism of Atman (soul) and Brahman as its essence, whereas Bhedabheda and Vishishtadvaita see Atman and Brahman as both different and non-different, and Dvaita sees them as different. The setting of the Geeta in a battlefield has been interpreted as an allegory for the ethical and moral struggles of the human life.
The Bhagavad Geeta's call for selfless action inspired many leaders of the Indian independence movement including Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Gandhi referred to the Geeta as his "spiritual dictionary".
The epic Mahabharata is traditionally ascribed to the Sage Vyasa; the Bhagavad Geeta, being a part of the Mahabharata's Bhishma Parva, is also ascribed to him.
Due to its presence in the Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Geeta is classified as a Smriti text or "that which is remembered". The smriti texts of the period between 200 BCE - 100 CE belong to the emerging "Hindu Synthesis", proclaiming the authority of the Vedas while integrating various Indian traditions and religions.
The BhagavadGeeta combines many different elements from Samkhya and Vedanta philosophy. In matters of religion, its important contribution was the new emphasis placed on devotion, which has since remained a central path in Hinduism. In addition, the popular theism expressed elsewhere in the Mahabharata and the transcendentalism of the Upanishads converge, and a God of personal characteristics is identified with the brahman of the Vedic tradition. The BhagavadGeeta thus gives a typology of the three dominant trends of Indian religion:
* Dharma-based householder life,
* Enlightenment-based renunciation, and
* Devotion-based theism.
Bhagavad Geeta comprises 18 chapters in the Bhishma Parva of the epic Mahabharata and consists of 700 verses. Because of differences in recensions, the verses of the Geeta may be numbered in the full text of the Mahabharata as chapters 6.25–42 or as chapters 6.23–40. According to the recension of the Geeta commented on by Adi Shankara, a prominent philosopher of the Vedanta school, the number of verses is 700, but there is evidence to show that old manuscripts had 745 verses. The verses themselves, composed with similes and metaphors, are poetic in nature. The verses mostly employ the range and style of the Sanskrit Anustubh meter (chhandas), and in a few expressive verses the Tristubh meter is used.
The Sanskrit editions of the Geeta name each chapter as a particular form of yoga. However, these chapter titles do not appear in the Sanskrit text of the Mahabharata. Swami Chidbhavananda explains that each of the eighteen chapters is designated as a separate yoga because each chapter, like yoga, "trains the body and the mind". He labels the first chapter "Arjuna Vishada Yogam" or the "Yoga of Arjuna's Dejection". Sir Edwin Arnold translates this chapter as "The Distress of Arjuna".
The Chapters of Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta
* Chapters 1–6 = Karma yoga, the means to the final goal
* Chapters 7–12 = Bhakti yoga or devotion
* Chapters 13–18 = Gyaana yoga or knowledge, the goal itself
Bhagavad Geeta offers a practical approach to liberation in the form of Karma yoga. The path of Karma yoga upholds the necessity of action. However, this action is to be undertaken without any attachment to the work or desire for results. Bhagavad Geeta terms this "inaction in action and action in inaction (4.18)". The concept of such detached action is also called Nishkam Karma, a term not used in the Geeta. Lord Krishna, in the following verses, elaborates on the role actions, performed without desire and attachment, play in attaining freedom from material bondage and transmigration. To action alone hast thou a right and never at all to its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive; neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction.
Bhagavad Geeta explains bhakti as a mode of worship which consists of unceasing and loving remembrance of God. Faith (Sraddha) and total surrender to a chosen God (Ishta-deva) are considered to be important aspects of bhakti. Theologian Catherine Cornille writes, "The text [of the Geeta] offers a survey of the different possible disciplines for attaining liberation through knowledge (Gyaana), action (karma), and loving devotion to God (bhakti), focusing on the latter as both the easiest and the highest path to salvation." M. R. Sampatkumaran, a Bhagavad Geeta scholar, explains in his overview of Ramanuja's commentary on the Geeta, "The point is that mere knowledge of the scriptures cannot lead to final release. Devotion, meditation, and worship are essential." Ramakrishna believed that the essential message of the Geeta could be obtained by repeating the word Geeta several times, "'Geeta, Geeta, Geeta', you begin, but then find yourself saying 'ta-Gi, ta-Gi, ta-Gi'. Tagi means one who has renounced everything for God." In the following verses, Krishna elucidates the importance of bhakti.
Jnana yoga is the path of wisdom, knowledge, and direct experience of Brahman as the ultimate reality. The path renounces both desires and actions, and is therefore depicted as being steep and very difficult in the Bhagavad Geeta. This path is often associated with the non-dualistic Vedantic belief of the identity of the Ātman with the Brahman. For the followers of this path, the realisation of the identity of Ātman and Brahman is held as the key to liberation.