INTRODUCTION TO THE BHAGAVADGITA
The Bhagavadgita, or the Song of the Lord, is a dialogue between Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu, and his friend and disciple, Arjuna. This dialogue takes place in the Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata. The Bhagavadgita is composed of 700 (or 701) shlokas (verses) arranged in 18 chapters. It is one of the best-known philosophical texts of Hinduism, and is said to contain the essence of Upanishadic thought.
The Bhagavadgita occurs just before the great battle of Mahabharata begins. The army mustered by the five Pandava brothers was to fight the battle against the army of the Pandava’s cousin, Duryodhana, who had robbed them (the Pandavas) of their rightful kingdom and further, refused to participate in any plans for a compromise. After making all possible attempts to peacefully get back their kingdom, or even the right to own a mere five villages in the kingdom, the Pandava brothers decided to fight a war to gain justice.
Arjuna, the third of the five Pandava princes, was perhaps the greatest and most renowned warrior-hero in the Pandava army. Before the battle began, both Duryodhana and Arjuna went to Krishna to seek his aid. Krishna said that he would not personally lift weapons and fight in the battle, but the cousins could choose to have him, unarmed, on their side, or to have the use of his large army. Arjuna chose to have Krishna with him, and Duryodhana was delighted to add the vast, skilled army of Krishna to his forces. Krishna agreed to drive Arjuna’s chariot and thus to be with him throughtout the battle.
Just before the fighting commenced, Arjuna asked Krishna to place his chariot between the two armies, so that he could take a good look at his enemy. In the enemy ranks, Arjuna saw his cousins, other relatives and his teachers. At this crucial moment, Arjuna’s attachment to his preceptors and family came to the fore, and doubt entered his mind as to the ‘rightness’ of the battle. In his confusion, he no longer knew the course of action that he should take, and he turned to Krishna for guidance. Krishna talked to him, helping him to examine his own motives and desires, and showing him ways to rise above the limitations of his own personality to do what was best for himself and good for society. This dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, is the Bhagavadgita.
The eighteen chapters of the Bhagavadgita are classified as ‘yogas’, starting with the ‘yoga’ of Arjuna’s depression and ending with the yoga of ‘liberation through renunciation’. The eighteen chapters are:
Chapter 1: अर्जुनविषादयोग - arjunavishadayoga
The Yoga of The Despondancy of Arjuna
Chapter 2: संख्यायोग - sankhyayoga
The Yoga of Knowledge
Chapter 3: कर्मयोग - karmayoga
The Yoga of Action
Chapter 4: ज्ञानविभगयोग - jyanavibhagayoga
The Yoga of The Division of Wisdom
Chapter 5: कर्मसंन्यासयोग - karmasannyasayoga
The Yoga of Renunciation of Action
Chapter 6: ध्यानयोग - dhyanayoga
The Yoga of Meditation
Chapter 7: ज्ञानविज्ञानयोग - gyanavigyanayoga
The Yoga of Wisdom and Realisation
Chapter 8: अक्षरब्रह्मयोग - aksharabrahmayoga
The Yoga of The Imperishable Brahman
Chapter 9: राजविद्याराजगुह्ययोग - rajavidyarajaguhyayoga
The Yoga of The Kingly Science and the Kingly Secret
Chapter 10: विभूतियोग - vibhutiyoga
The Yoga of The Divine Glories
Chapter 11: विस्वरूपदर्शनयोगा - visvarupadarshanayoga
The Yoga of The Vision of the Cosmic Form
Chapter 12: भक्तियोग - bhaktiyoga
The Yoga of Devotion
Chapter 13: क्षेत्रक्षेत्रविभागयोगा - kshetrakshetravibhagayoga
The Yoga of The Distinction Between the Field and the Knower of the Field
Chapter 14: गुणत्रयविभागयोग - gunatrayavibhagayoga
The Yoga of The Division of the Three Gunas
Chapter 15: पुरुषोत्तमयोग - purushottamayoga
The Yoga of The Supreme Spirit
Chapter 16: दैवासुरसम्पद्विभागयोग - daivasurasampadvibhagayoga
The Yoga of The Division Between the Divine and the Demoniacal
Chapter 17: श्रद्धात्रयविभागयोग - sraddhatrayavibhagayoga
The Yoga of The Division of the Threefold Faith
Chapter 18: मोक्षसंन्यासयोग - mokshasannyasayoga
The Yoga of Liberation By Renunciation
INTRODUCTION TO THE SUPERSITE
This is an effort to bring the heritage of Indian Scriptures to the Internet. The project attempts to harness modern technology to make one of the most ancient sources of wisdom in the world accessible to the contemporary reader. On this Supersite, you can view the entire Bhagavadgita in its original language (Sanskrit), or in English or Hindi translations. The text can be viewed in any one of ten Indian language scripts (Assamese, Bengali, Devanagari, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil,Telegu), or in Roman (English script). The Supersite also contains many Classical and Contemporary Commentaries on the Bhagavadgita, together with translations in Hindi and English, and many more texts are on the anvil.
This Supersite allows you to view the Sanskrit slokas [verses] of the Bhagavadgita in 11 language scripts: Assamese, Bengali, Devanagari, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi, Roman, Tamil and Telegu. When viewing the texts you have selected, choose the desired script from the drop-down list of available scripts in the Navigation Window at the top of the page; the slokas [verses] of the Bhagavadgita will be phonetically transliterated into the script of your choice. The transliteration is not yet perfect, especially for those languages where spellings are not phonetic and words are constructed in ways that are unique to that language. We welcome suggestions/corrections to the multilingual version. If you would like to volunteer to proof-read any of the Indian language texts, please contact us.