The mythical stories surrounding Kerala's historical roots are Hindu in nature. Kerala produced a broad array of saints and religious movements. Kerala is home to a diverse range of Hindu practices. There are several Shiva and Vishnu sects in Kerala. Lord Krishna is widely revered throughout Kerala, with Guruvayur Temple being one of the most well-known temples for Lord Krishna worship. The Bhagavad Gita (also known as the Gita or 'The Song of God') is a well-known Hindu sacred text that is studied throughout the state.
The Bhagavad Gita translated as, ‘The Song by God’ is an excerpt from the famous Hindu epic, Mahabharata. Considered one of the holy scriptures of Hinduism, the Bhagavad Gita uses the conversation between the Pandava prince, Arjuna, and his guide and charioteer, Krishna to impart spiritual wisdom. The main premise of the Bhagavad Gita stands firm on the monumental conversation that occurs between Arjuna and Krishna prior to the iconic Kurukshetra War that is depicted in the Hindu epic, Mahabharata. Two large armies have come together to harm each other. Arjuna, the Pandava prince, orders his charioteer Krishna to take him to the center of the battleground so he can get a proper view of both the armies and all those "so keen for war." He realizes some of his foes are relatives, cherished friends, and respected teachers. Due to this realization, he faces a moral dilemma that fills him with apprehension and despair on the battlefield. This, in turn, causes him to drop his bow and rethink his decision. The text is centered around the characters Arjuna, Krishna, Sanjaya, and Dhritarashtra.
The Bhagavad Gita is the pinnacle of Hindu synthesis, encompassing its numerous religious traditions. According to Gita scholar Keya Maitra, the synthesis takes place at both spiritual and socio-religious levels. The manuscript does not assert a single correct marga (path) to divinity. It freely synthesizes and recognises various ways of life, balancing transcendental endeavors through action (karma), knowledge (gyana), and reverence (bhakti). The Bhagavad Gita's synthesis deals with the question of what represents the righteous path and one required for spiritual enlightenment and a release from the cycles of reincarnation (moksha). It explains whether one should give up an earthly lifestyle to become an ascetic, live an earthly life committed to one's responsibility and vocation, or live an earthly life dedicated to a personalized God in the disclosed form of Krishna. Thus, the Gita explores and synthesizes Hinduism's three domineering patterns: enlightenment-based renunciation, dharma-based householder life, and devotion-based religious beliefs.
Q1. What is the significance of the Bhagavad Gita?
The Bhagavad Gita is considered an important text in Hindu traditions because it contains wisdom that helps an individual break the cycle of life and death.
Q2. What are the main themes discussed in the Gita?
The main topics covered in the Bhagavad Gita are the Atman (Self), the Brahman (Absolute Reality), self-discipline, renunciation and ritual practices, Dharma and Moksha.
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