(Sanskrit: Song of God) One of the greatest of the Hindu scriptures, constituting part of the Mahabharata. It is written in the form of a dialogue between the warrior Prince Arjuna and the charioteer Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu. It was probably composed in the 1st or 2nd century AD, later than much of the epic. Concerned over the suffering the impending battle will cause, Arjuna hesitates, but Krishna explains that the higher way is the dispassionate discharge of duty without concern for personal triumph. The Bhagavadgita considers the nature of God and ultimate reality and offers three disciplines for transcending the limitations of this world: jnana (knowledge or wisdom), karma (dispassionate action), and bhakti (love of God). It has inspired numerous commentaries over the centuries, including those by Ramanuja and Mohandas K. Gandhi.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Bhagavadgita, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up Bhagavadgita? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.