On this forum we are going to discuss knowledge, philosophy and culture. Sounds a bit too comprehensive isn’t it? But it helps. When your subject matter covers almost everything; you tend to avoid futile discussions like why something is or isn’t a topic being discussed here, you’d rather focus on the discussion!!
Alright then let’s begin. World over, amongst the forums of philosophical discussions Gita has always been a hot cake. Since childhood we have been hearing about this book in various contexts. As a child, some (Indians especially) may have memorized at least one of these chapters (often by force!). We move ahead with our life but the curiosity persists. Very few rarely try and pursue the book. Surprisingly Gita keeps knocking our door along the way, through trainings, TV serials, management presentations, online content, etc. The book keeps coming back to us rekindling our curiosity.
We know about Gita as a book of wisdom that solves most common but unusual questions the mankind faces. Gita crosses our path every now and then but does not grip our attention. Perhaps because philosophy and the Sanskrit language are the two seemingly dry and often avoided mediums.
Our first article is about this BHAGAVAD GITA.
First of all, let us learn some basic facts about Gita.
Gita is built in the form of verses. The total number of verses is 700 enunciated by 4 talking personas.
Dhritarashtra – Father of the Kauravas and Emperor of Hastinapura. He is blind by birth. The only verse he owns in the Gita is the first verse of the book. He ignites the engine like a child seeking a story from his Grandpa…..! He simply asks a question ‘O Sanjaya, what is going on at Kurukshetra, the battlefield of Kurus’ and the Gita begins. The character of Dhritarashtra ends here.
Sanjaya – The charioteer of Dhritarashtra and the temporary war correspondent during that time. He delivers live commentary on Kurukshetra war for Dhritarashtra. He has 41 verses in the Gita.
Arjuna – The archer brother amongst the Pandavas. He has 84 verses to his name in the Gita. Majority of these appear in the first chapter.
Lord Krishna – Almighty! Who preaches Gita to Arjuna on the battlefield. The highest number of verses in the Gita i.e. 574 verses are, of course delivered by Lord Krishna. He’s the orator rather author of the Philosophy.
The Gita is divided into a total of 18 chapters. The name of each of these is suffixed as ‘Yog‘. i.e. Arjuna Vishada Yoga, Sankhya Yoga, Karma Yoga etc. Every Yoga is prefixed by the main topic of that chapter. For example, the name of the 14th chapter is ‘Gunatraya Vibhaga Yoga‘. It, as the name suggests has the characteristics of ‘the three qualities’ and their symptoms.
Volumes of content is published every day across multiple media platforms, pushing back the old ones into oblivion. Assuming a bunch of 10 verses printed on each page, making a total of 70 pages; I mean, Gita is as short as a kids story book! Then what is it about the Gita that keeps going for thousands of years? What is in it that keeps appealing to generations of mankind? The answer is pretty simple.
In fact, the answer lies in the question itself. What has been the rarest and most valued gift to mankind amongst all species? An inquisitive and curious mind! Since the beginning of civilization or rather the beginning of the beginning itself, human being has always been on a quest. A quest about Life. A quest about existence, emotions, purpose and everything about these that is unfathomable or unknown. The questions Arjuna had before the war began is what shadows the human mind even today despite achieving so much of material progress. Gita provides answers……solutions….to the eternal queries of mankind. What are these queries……. What did Arjuna seek?
Questions …………. Arjunavishada ……………. in the next part.
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