Mahabharata is the longest epic ever known to mankind. It is a complete epic
because, besides being a literary classic, it is a supreme treatise on yoga,
philosophy, and the science of human behavior. It is an
exhaustive manual of morals and manners.
origin of the Mahabharata is shrouded in mystery. Countless scholars have tried
to trace the personality of its author. Finally, Krisna
Dwaipayan Vedavyasa (in short Vyasa) has been
mentioned by many as its compiler. But doubts still persist on all these
was it possible for one man to compose over a hundred thousand verses? Being
handed down by oral tradition, was the Mahabharata finally written down in 800
B.C., or 2000 B.C.? There is no conclusive answer.
West, there is a tendency to put a time frame from the historical perspective
on everything which the people of Vedic culture do not agree with. In this
case, rather, they would prefer to say in the ancient time.
it continues to maintain its prestige as Siddha Kavya, "the Epic superior to the great epics" and
also as the scripture of the eternal message. The text with its available recensions points to three oral versions:
first, as recited by Vedavyasa (in shot Vyasa) himself,
next, as recited by his disciple Vaisampayana to Janmenjaya,
the third as narrated again by Sage Sauti, who had
heard Vaisampayana's recital.
and interpolations must have crept in at various times, till the advent of the
printing press and the standard editions. So, there are variations in
references in some places in different versions.
The Bhagavad Gita :
From the Events of the Historical Perspective to the
Breath in everybody's Life
Bhagavad Gita, the famous holy book of the Vedic Aryya
Civilization, is a tiny part of the Mahabharata, the great epic of India. It is
in the Bhisma Parba of the
Mahabharata. The Bhagavad Gita contains seven hundred verses in eighteen
King Vichitravirya of Hastinapur
(currently Delhi) died without children, his mother, queen Satyavati,
requested her son, Sage Vyasa (the complier of the Mahabharata), whom she
conceived in her maiden age from Yogi Parasara, to
produce sons through the two queens (both queens were daughters of King Kasiraj) of his younger brother, Vichitravirya,
so that the lineage could continue. He obliged his mother's request although he
was observing a long vow of austerity at that time and his physical appearance
had become terrible. As a result, he requested her to wait for a time, but she
did not want to wait as it was very important and necessary. The
daughters-in-law were told that one of their brothers-in-law would visit them,
but it was not mentioned to them who it would be.
Vyasa visited the first queen, Ambika, seeing the
ugly form of Vyasa she closed her eyes; as a result, she gave birth to a blind
child, Dhritarastra. The second queen, her younger
sister, Amabalika, seeing the ugly Vyasa, became
pale, and as a result, she gave birth to a pale child, Pandu.
Bhagavad Gita is in dialectic form. It has four characters:
blind king, Dhritarastra, not being able to see,
loved to live in the dream world where he could see in the dream and that was
his understanding of life, as a dream. As a result, he had no idea of actual
life as an average person. Hence, he was representing the "blind
mind" in the light of Kriya.
Vyasa, being kind, offered Dhritarastra the divine
power of vision so that he could see the Kurukshetra war, but he declined the
offer considering that he had not seen the faces of his one hundred sons (the
Kauravas) since they were born, there was no interest or reason for him to see
them dying in the hands of the powerful Panda vas (the five sons of his younger
brother, Pandu). Instead, he said to Vyasa to give
the divine power to Sanjaya, one of his ministers
from whom he would get the report of the war.
2. Sanjaya, was representing the "just mind" in the
light of Kriya.
went to fight in the Kurukshetra war on behalf of the Kauravas and once he was
cornered by one of the Pandava generals who was about
to kill him. At that time, Vyasa appeared in the battlefield and requested the
general to spare Sanjaya's life. Thus Sanjaya returned to the blind king, Dhritarastra.
begin the Bhagavad Gita the blind king, Dhritarastra,
asked his minister, Sanjaya, "What has happened
at Kurukshetra between my sons, the Kauravas and the Pandavas, the sons of my
younger brother, Pandu, assembled for war?"
described the war to the blind King, Dhritarastra,
and towards the end of the Bhagavad Gita he admitted that it was possible to
describe it by the blessing of Vyasa (Vyasa prasadat).
Vyasaprasadat srutabanetad gujyamahang
Yogang Yogeswarat Krisnat sakshat kathayata swayam.
Bhagavad Gita 18:75
verse says, "By the blessing of Vyasa, I have heard this very secret Yoga
directly from the mouth of Krisna, the Lord of Yoga (Yogeswar). "
Prince Arjuna, the third Pandava, was the third
character of the Bhagavad Gita. He was representing "the power of prana
(the energy of the individual Jiva)",
the seeker, as the fire or energy element from the middle of the body at the
lumbar center behind the navel.
4. Lord Krisna (the
fourth character) as Prince Arjuna's guide (Guru) and
pilot of his chariot, from the Ajna Center (that is, at the medulla oblongata), the reflection
of which is seen at the area between the eyebrows in the spiritual "Third
from these four characters of the Bhagavad Gita, a detailed list is given
towards the end of the introduction of the prominent players of the Kurukshetra
war, the repetition of the ancient war of the gods and anti-gods.
message of the Bhagavad Gita was told by Lord Krisna
to Prince Arjuna, the third Pandava, in the midst of
the war which was about to begin between the Pandavas and their cousins, the
Kauravas, at Kurukshetra.
background in brief was that from the very young days there was a competition
and trouble between the Kauravas (the one hundred sons of blind king Dhritarastra) and the Panda vas (the five sons of Pan du,
the younger brother of Dhritarastra).
Kauravas sent the Pandavas away for twelve years in exile and one more year to
live incognito in the forest by defeating them in a game of dice played in a
tricky way, and grabbed their portion of the kingdom.
thirteen years, when the Pandavas came back and claimed their portion of the
kingdom, the first Kaurava, Prince Duryodhana,
disputed that they had recognized the Pandavas in their incognito year; hence,
according to the terms agreed, they would have to go back again for twelve
years and one more incognito year in the forest, which their grandfather, Bhisma, did not agree with; rather, calculating accurately
he said that the Panda vas finished the tenure correctly and Duryodhana's dispute was not justified. But Duryodhana did
not agree with the grandfather's calculation and became adamant not to return
the Pandava's share. Then the first Pandava, Yudhisthira, proposed to
let them have just five villages to live in and they would be satisfied with
five villages only. At this, Prince Duryodhana said that without war he would
not give that much land which one could hold even at the tip of a needle.
result, war was not possible to avoid, and the war at Kurukshetra became
inevitable between the Kauravas and the Pandavas.
war was not possible to avoid because it was decided in the Brahmaloka
(the sphere of Brahma), that Lord Visnu would be
incarnate as Krisna to fulfill
his promises given to many people in the past. So it became clear that the war
of the devatas (deities or gods) and daityas and danavas (anti-deities
or anti-gods) of the ancient time would repeat on earth in the dwapara yuga, during the
incarnation of Krisna.
becomes imperative to mention here the ancient rivalry of these siblings. In
the ancient age, there was a sage by the name of Kasyapa
who was given many daughters in marriage by Daksha Prajapati. Sage Kasyapa had
twelve children by his wife, Aditi, and so they were
known as the twelve Adityas or devatas
(gods); by his wife, Diti, he also had many children
who were known as daityas (anti- gods); and also by
another wife', Danu, he had many children who were known as danavas
These devatas, on the one hand, and the daityas
and danavas on the other, always were in the habit of
fighting to have control over heaven. It is traditionally called Devasur sangram (the war between devas or the gods and the asuras
- the anti-gods).
the forthcoming plan of incarnation, all the devatas
were born to join the Pandava side and the daityas and danavas were born to
join the Kaurava side, and that was the reason why it
was not possible to avoid the war.
it was even decided when actually the war would start. The moon god, Soma, had
a son, Varchas, whom he loved so much and was so
attached to that he refused to spare him to incarnate. Lord Visnu
tried to convince Soma to contribute something and let Varchas
incarnate. Soma finally agreed with three conditions:
son had to be born as the son of Arjuna;
had to be born as Krisna's nephew; that meant Varchas had to be born as Abhimanyu,
in the womb of Subhadra, the sister of Krisna, and the wife of Arjuna;
had to be returned to Soma when Abhimanyu would
attain sixteen years of age. So it was fixed that the Kurukshetra war had to
start when Abhimanyu became sixteen years old.
the Panda vas were in exile, Abhimanyu was living
with Lord Krisna who taught him military science.
battlefield, Prince Arjuna requested Lord Krisna, his
guide and pilot, to place his chariot in the middle of the two waging groups of
war, so that he could see with whom he had to fight.
at the other side, he saw his grandfather, Bhisma, on
whose lap he played in childhood and treated him as his own father because his
own father, Pandu, died when he was a young child,
and as a result, he grew up playing on Bhisma's lap.
He noticed his military teacher, Dronacharya for whom
he had tremendous respect. He observed Kripacharya,
the priest, and his maternal uncle, Sailya; he loved
both of them and also he saw the Kauravas and others.
Arjuna became depressed, he did not like to fight. He said to Krisna, "I do not feel to fight. I do not want to kill
all these people whom I love and respect. My mouth is dry, my bow, Gandiva, is falling from the shoulder. I do not want the
kingdom, but rather, to go on living by begging, rather than killing these dear
ones. Again, if I kill them, then without men, the women of our dynasty will
mix with other men; as a result, there will be mixture of blood (varna sankar), which will create
problems and sins."
Arjuna increasingly became very depressed. At this point, Lord Krisna encouraged Arjuna and gave him advice to fight in
the middle of the war, and this became famous as the Bhagavad Gita.
Endowment in the University of
List of the Published Books
List of Illustrations
THE LORD'S LAY
(The Bhagavad Gita)
Bisad Yoga: Arjuna's Melancholy
Sankhya Yoga: Knowledge
Karma Yoga: Action
Jnana Yoga: Knowledge of Wisdom
Yoga: Action and Realization
Avyas Yoga: Practice
Yoga: Knowledge and Realization
Akshara-Brahma Yoga: The Eternal Self
Raja Vidya Raja Gujya Yoga: The Supreme Science and Supreme Secret
Bibhuti Yoga: Divine Glories
Biswarupa Darsan Yoga: The
Universal Form of the Self
Bhakti Yoga: Devotion
Kshetra-Kshetrajna or Prakriti Purusa Yoga: The Field
and the Knower of the Field
Gunatraya Bibhag Yoga: Threefold
Purusottam Yoga: The Supreme Person
Daibasura Sampad Bibhag Yoga: The Divine and Demoniacal Properties
Sraddhatraya Bibhag Yoga: The
Moksha Yoga: Liberation
The Author's Conclusion
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