BHAGAVAD GITA The Beloved LORD'S Secret Love Song

BHAGAVAD GITA The Beloved LORD'S Secret Love Song
  • Item #: 1230
BHAGAVAD GITA GRAHAM M. SCHWEIG The Meaning of the Bhagavad Gita The Bhagavad Gita comes to us from sacred India. Its verses of ancient wisdom on the mysteries of human existence speak to us today as if they had just been spoken. The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most loved works among the collections of scriptural texts found within the Hindu traditions. It also stands out among the holy books of the major world religions, for its flowing Sanskrit versus present a uniquely vivid portrait of the intimacy between humanity and divinity. Indeed, this divine intimacy is revealed in the form of a dialogue that takes the soul on an inward journey culminating in the ultimate state of yoga, in which souls unite with the heart of God. The Bhagavad Gita, often called simply “the Gita,” is essentially a book on yoga. This profound teaching is the book on yoga par excellence because it presents yoga in the most comprehensive sense of the term and in all its depth. As discussed in “Textual Illustrations,” yoga covers a board range of practices and visions, significantly more than what we encounter in the West, or for that matter more than what a reading of famous treatises on yoga, such as the sacred connection of humanity with divinity is gradually introduced and developed, then fully disclosed as the “supreme secret of yoga.” Bhagavad Gita may be translated as “the song of the Beloved Lord,” referring to Krishna, whose voice is prominent throughout the work. In the Bhagvad Gita, Krishna, perhaps the most loved of all manifestations of divinity in India, is identified as the ultimate and supreme Lord, from whom all other divine manifestations emanate. Gita means “song,” in the case one coming from Krishan or God. Clearly the text is a philosophical poem and not a song in the literal sense. At a deeper level, however, it is a song issuing forth from the heart of God. It is the secret call of the divinity for all souls to love him, to take the journey to him, to be blissfully united with him. The Bhagavad Gita in Context Although India is the birthplace of a variety of religious traditions, including Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, it is Hinduism that is the dominant religion in India today. Hinduism is composed of several primary and numerous less familiar traditions, all theological distinctive, yet each acknowledging the revelational authority of a common ancient scriptural source. Possibly the oldest sacred text in the world, dating as far back as 2500 to 1500 BCE, the collection of Sanskrit hymns known as the Vedas are foundational for the myriad traditions that come under the umbrella of Hinduism. These traditions that come under the umbrella of Hinduism. These traditions make up the largest constituency of religious practitioners in South Asia. Among these, the traditions that focus upon the supreme divinity of Krishna or his cosmic manifestation of Vishnu are known as Vaishnava, and they constitute the dominant form of religion. The Bhagavad Gita comes to us from this Vaishnava tradition, which is present throughout India and in the second half of the twentieth century, around the globe. The beloved book of India is often called the “bible of Hinduism” in the West. As the Bible is for Christians and the Qur’an for Muslims, so it could be said that the Bhagad Gita is for Hindus, for it is the single most influential philosophical sacred text coming from South Asia. Though it is, since the seventh century, the most widely read and commented on holy text in all of India, it comes from a tradition that reveres many sacred texts, unlike Western religious traditions, which focus on one sacred book of revelation. Moreover, though the Bhagavad Gita is usually read alone, it is a small section of a substantially larger text, perhaps the largest epic poem in the world, the Mahabharata.
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