Indian Mythology


What is the Bhagavadgita, and what is its message?

“The Blessed Lord’s Song,” the Bhagavadgita was composed about two thousand years ago and was inserted into the Mahabharata. It is a text frequently consulted for messages of ultimate truth. The poem is made up of seven hundred verses in Sanskrit. The teacher in the Gita, as it is often called, is the Lord Krishna, the charioteer of the hero Arjuna, who reveals the ultimate truths of existence itself.

As a great battle rages around him, Arjuna asks the obvious questions about the justification for the senseless killing that is war. Krishna justifies war in the context of duty (dharma). As a member of the warrior caste, Arjuna must do his duty without regard for the consequences. In any case, the individual is in actuality immortal, only seeming to control his destiny. The individual is ultimately linked to divine reality. Here Krishna, in effect, reveals himself as Vishnu, the incarnation of the impersonal supreme primal power, what many Hindus would call Brahman. As Vishnu, Krishna is the universal poet who contains within himself the whole epic of existence. The relationship of Arjuna to Krishna is a metaphor for the true connection between the human and the divine.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Mythology Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App