Some people attain the peaceful relaxation that comes through listening to beautiful sounds.. and that leads to s’Anti or peace… the first step to gnyaana or knowledge.
It also creates in them a strong samskAra or leaning towards the gIta and a familiarity with sanskrit terms.. which come in useful later. Some people recommend it when the baby is still in the womb.
The Bhagavad Gita gives the essence of all the Upanishads. It was taught by Sri Krishna to Arjuna on a battlefield. Arjuna was a warrior prince, a hero, who was beset by all manner of doubts when he had to fight his own cousins for his rights. Krishna told Arjuna to do his duty and where his duty lay as a warrior when on the battle field. He taught him the true nature of the soul, the universe and God. He taught him the right way of action. The Bhagavad Gita is important to all Hindus, irrespective of their professions. It tells us what to do when we are in a dilemma and how to do it. The Bhagavad Gita literally means “The Song of God.” There are other Gitas too, like the Ganesa Gita, Ashtavakra Gita, Devi Gita and so on and all of them have their own value.
Chapter 1 : Arjuna Vishada Yoga : First 19 slokas : Battle Preparation
The first 19 slokas describe the battle preparations as narrated by Sanjaya to Dhritarashtra. Embedded in those slokas is Duyodhana’s description of his large army to Drona and a comparision of strengths.
The first two words are Dharma-Kshetra and Kuru-Kshetra – immediately setting the tone of ethics and duty that will form a major part of the discussion in the entire Bhagavad Gita. The slokas take you to the battlefield where great warriors are blowing resounding conches all indicating their readiness for battle!
The whole Gita is written in the form of a conversation. First, Sanjaya, the charioteer of the blind king Dhritarashtra, described to him, how the armies were arrayed on both sides of the battlefield. On one side were Dhritharashtra’s sons, their larger armies and allies. On the opposite side were his nephews, Arjuna among them, and their armies and allies. There were powerful warriors arrayed on both sides. There were the tumultuous sounds of conches, drums, and trumpets.
Sri Krishna is called ParthaSarathi because he was Arjuna’s Charioteer in the Mahabharatha war. Partha is one of Arjuna’s many names. Again, philosophers say that Krishna being Arjuna’s charioteer is symbolic: a true devotee gives the reins of his life to God.
You can find the Bhagavad Gita within the Mahabharata at this link http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/mbs/mbs06023.htm. The 23 rd Adhyaya of the 6th Parva of the Mahabharata is the first chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. Today it is known by the name Arjuna Vishada Yoga. Sri Ramanujacharya has given a detailed prosaic summary of this chapter in his commentary. You can find it here : Bhagavad-gita :: Chapter 01 :: Ramanuja Bhasya.
Sankaracharya has not spent too much time on these slokas. He clubs them along with the first 9 slokas of the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, or the first 9 slokas of the 24th chapter of book 6 of the Mahabharata. You can find his commentary here: Bhagavad-gita :: Chapter 01 :: Sankara Bhasya. He summarises that s’oka and moha are the seeds of samsara. He says that Krishna used Arjuna‘s dilemna as an occasion for teaching the whole world about Dharma. (Original Post)
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