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Bhagavadgita

Bhagavad-gita is known also Gitopanisad, the essence of Vedic knowledge, and one of the most important of the various Upanisads in Vedic literature. The title of Bhagavad Gita is two Sanskrit words. Bhagavad comes from the word Bhagavan which refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and ‘gita’ means song. Sometimes we hear the Gita referred to in English as “The Song of God,” and this is a reasonable English translation of the title and it is a fairly accurate description of what the Bhagavad Gita is.

The Bhagavad Gita was spoken by Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to His friend Arjuna on  the battlefield of Kurukshetra around five thousand years ago.The spirit of Bhagavad-gita is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita itself. It is just like this. If we want to take a particular medicine, then we have to follow the particular direction mentioned on the label of the medicine. We cannot take the particular medicine according to our own direction or by the direction of a friend, but we have to take the medicine under the direction given on the label of the bottle and as directed by the physician. Similarly, the Bhagavad-gita also should be taken or accepted as it is directed by the speaker Himself. The speaker of the Bhagavad-gita is Lord Sri Krsna. He is mentioned in every page of the Bhagavad-gita as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan. Of course, “bhagavan” is sometimes designated to any powerful person or any powerful demigod, but here bhagavan is certainly designated to Sri Krsna, a great personality, but at the same time we must know that Lord Sri Krsna, as He is confirmed by all the acaryas… I mean to say, even Sankaracarya, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, NimbarkaSvami and Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu and many others. In India there were many authoritative scholars and acaryas, I mean, authorities of the Vedic knowledge. All of them, including Sankaracarya, has accepted Sri Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord Himself has also established Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the Bhagavad-gita. He is accepted so in the Brahma-samhita and all Puranas, especially in the BhagavataPurana, krsnastubhagavansvayam [SB 1.3.28]. So therefore we should take Bhagavad-gita as it is directed by the Personality of Godhead Himself.

It is not that the Bhagavad Gita was invented by Krishna 5,000 years ago when He spoke it to Arjuna. No. Krishna says: “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. The supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.” (Bhagavad Gita 4.1 & 4.2)Here Krishna is giving the history of the Bhagavad Gita stretching way back to the time when Krishna instructed the same Bhagavad Gita to Vivasvan the sun god. SrilaPrabhupada estimates in his purport that this was at least 120 million years ago and that the Gita has existed in human society for two million years.So the Bhagavad Gita was not a new book even when Krishna spoke it some 5,000 years ago. Then He was simply repeating the same thing He taught the sun god Vivasvan around 120 million years ago.

Although the Bhagavad Gita is the most ancient book, it is still studied today by millions and the teachings of Krishna in it are still very relevant to solving the problems we face in today’s world. This proves the eternal value of the timeless knowledge Krishna shares with His friend Arjuna.

Even in the Vedic literatures the other sections of the Vedas may have quotes from God but they are written about God, they describe God, rather than being a direct conversation with God.The Gita is unique in the world as it is a direct conversation between Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and his friend Arjuna so we need to take this book very seriously and study it very carefully.