Mahaabhaarat | Geetaa


Home | Mahaabhaarat | Kathaa | Geetaa


Previous | Next



1. Geetaa - Index
2. Geetaa - Introduction
3. Geetaa - Prolog and Synopsis
4. Geetaa-Special
5. Other Geetaa
6. Geetaa-to-Others

In Dwaapar Yug, in Hastinaapur, there ruled a king named Shaantanu who had one son from Gangaa named Devavrat (later called Bheeshm). Devavrat vowed to be lifelong Brahmchaaree to fulfill the condition of Daash Raaj so that his father could marry Daash Raaj's daughter Satyavatee. Shaantanu had two sons more from Satyavatee - Chitraangad and Vichitraveerya.

Chitraangad died without marriage and Vichitraveerya was married to two Kaashee princesses, Ambikaa and Ambaalikaa, but he also died early, childless. Then Satyavatee called Ved Vyaas Jee, her first-born son from Maharshi Paraashar, and he produced three sons - Dhritraashtra from Ambikaa, Paandu from Ambaalikaa and Vidur from the maid of Ambikaa. Since Dhritraashtra was blind, and Vidur was a maid's son, Paandu was appointed the king of Hastinaapur. Paandu was married to Kuntee and Maadree and Dhritraashtra was married to Gaandhaaree.

Unfortunately, Paandu killed a Rishi by mistake. That Rishi died after giving him a Shaap that he would live childless and would die whenever he will be with his wife. Fortunately Kuntee had a Mantra, given by Muni Durvaasaa, to call Devtaa, so she had three sons for herself - Yudhishthir from Dharm Raaj, Bheem from Pavan Dev, and Arjun from Indra Dev; and two sons - Nakul and Sahadev from Ashwinee Kumaar for Maadree. Eventually Paandu died, Maadree became Satee with him and Kuntee came back to Hastinaapur with her five sons.

Gaandhaaree had 100 sons and one daughter. Duryodhan was her eldest son but he was younger to Kuntee's first two sons - Yudhishthir and Bheem. When Paandav (Paandu's sons) came to live in the palace, Duryodhan thought as if his royal rights have been snatched, so he was always jealous with Paandav. He tried to even kill them several times but could not succeed. Both Kaurav and Paandav had their education from Dronachaarya. When they grew up Yudhishthir was declared the Crown Prince. This was just unacceptable to Duryodhan, so he planned for a Laakh Palace to burn all Paandav along with Kuntee, but with the help of Vidur Jee they escaped unhurt from there. On Vidur's advice they lived in forest for sometime. In the meantime, Bheem  married Hidimbaa and had son from her named Ghatotkach. He killed Bakaasur Raakshas also. Arjun won Draupadee in Swayamvar but she was married to all five Paandav later at the order of Kuntee. Duryodhan was not happy with this marriage also. Later he came to know that only Arjun took away Draupadee, it means that his plan to burn them alive failed and they were still alive. Dhritraashtra had to welcome them in Hastinaapur.

Duryodhan clearly refused to live with Paandav in the same kingdom, so Dhritraashtra had to divide the kingdom. Duryodhan lived in Hastinaapur, and Paandav were given Khaandav Prasth area. They inhabited Indraprasth for themselves at the place of Khaandavprasth. Bheem killed Jaraasandh and Yudhishthir did Rajsooya Yagya. Kaurav also came to attend it and Duryodhan got more jealous than before after seeing the wealth of Paandav.

After coming back from Indraprasth, Duryodhan conspired with his Maamaa Shakuni and invited Paandav for dice game, for which they came. There he cheated them, so Yudhishthir lost the game. He lost everything including his kingdom and riches, even Draupadee. Duryodhan was looking for this opportunity. He asked Dushaasan to bring Draupadee in the court. He did so by pulling her hair. Duryodhan ordered him to take off her all the clothes also in the court. Dushaasan tried but Krishn helped her and he could not do so. Later Draupadee could succeed to get everything back for Yudhishthir from Dhritraashtra. Duryodhan was not at all happy with this. He thought of another plan and played the dice game second time. This time also Yudhishthir lost the game and they had to go to forest for 13 years - 12 years of exile and one year of Agyaatvaas (inognito), along with Draupadee, according to the condition.

When they had successfully completed their term of banishment, they asked Dhritraashtra as what did he want. Did he want to give their rights peacefully, or give them by fight. Duryodhan point blankly refused to give them the land even equal to point of a needle. This resulted in war.

Kurukshetra field was decided for fighting. Both armies gathered in the field the day war was to start. Bheeshm declared the war by blowing his conch, and after that all others, including Paandav's army, also blew their conches. Then Arjun asked Krishn, his Saarathee, to take his chariot in the middle of both the armies so that he could see those people with whom he was going to fight, so Krishn did. There when he saw his elders, brothers, friends, relatives, well-wishers standing opposite to him with the desire to fight with him, he trembled with emotions, he kept his bow down, he sat down in the back of his chariot with sorrow and said to Krishn - "Hey Krishn, Are these the people I am going to fight with? They are a ll my elders, Guru, brothers, friends, relatives etc. I cannot be happy after killing them. What is the use of that kingdom in which our own people are not there. I cannot fight with them."

Then whatever Krishn told him to encourage him to fight, that is known and famous as Geetaa. The same dialog is given here. Ved Vyaas Jee gave Sanjay, Dhritraashtra's Saarathee, the Divine eyes to see the war scenes and report them to Dhritraashtra as he was blind, so this Geetaa starts with Dhritraashtra's question - "Hey Sanjay, Tell me what Paandav and my sons did in battlefield?"

Bhagvad Geetaa - Synopsis

In the 1st chapter, Arjun gets into despondency and describes the horrendous fallout of the war.
In the 2nd chapter Krishn admonishes him and starts a long philosophical discourse. Since the soul is immortal, there should not be grievance over death and destruction. When a work is done as duty without detachment, it leads to perfection. A perfect man becomes equanimous‚ under the vicissitudes of life.

In the 3rd chapter, Krishn clears the doubts about‚ Gyaan‚ and Karm and says that the path of Karm is easier. He advices to perform duties without selfish motives.
Again, in the 4th chapter, He extols the greatness of‚ Gyaan‚ or spiritual wisdom while saying that He is God himself and has come down to save Dharm.

In the 5th chapter, clearing the doubt as to whether renunciation of action (Karm Sanyaas) or Yog of action (Karm Yog) is better, he says that Karm Yog is better and advises to maintain equanimity while doing Karm.
in the 6th Chapter, the process of Dhyaan (Meditation) is described. A graphical description of the methods to control the mind is depicted.

In the 7th Chapter, Krishn says that He has created the Universe drawing from Prakriti and only if one surrenders to Him can transcend His power of delusion (Maayaa).
In the 8th Chapter, then He describes how a person who remembers Him at the time of death attains Him. The paths taken by the Jeev after death the paths of light and smoke- are explained.

In the 9th Chapter, if a person can worship Him with devotion, He accepts them and blesses. His devotees will never perish (ninth).
The 10th Chapter is devoted to the delineation of divine manifestations.

In the 11th Chapter, He reveals His Vishwa Roop and Arjun offers prayers to Him. This celestial form can be seen only by those who have intense devotion.
In the 12th Chapter, contemplation on the Unmanifest form (A-Vyakt) is difficult and so He advises to cultivate devotion to Him. The characteristics of a Bhakt (ideal devotee) are explained.

Its 13th Chapter describes the body (Kshetra) and the Self (Kshetragya). The concepts of Gyaan and Gyeya and Prakriti and Purush (the Knowledge, Brahm, nature and the Self) are introduced. Prakriti or Nature comprises of three Gun - the Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas.
In the 14th Chapter a detailed description of all the three Gun is given and also of the person who has transcended them.

In the 15th Chapter, Samsara is described as an inverted tree with its roots above (in Brahman). By taking refuge in Him, the tree can be cut and Moksh is attained. Description of transmigration of soul is also given.
In the 16th Chapter, Krishn then goes on to describe the the traits which make a person divine or a demon. He advises Arjun (through him to us too) to avoid three gateways to hell- lust, anger and greed.

The 17th Chapter describes Shraddhaa (faith), food, sacrifices (Yagya), austerity (Tapas) and donations (Daan). He gives the aphorism Om Tat Sat.
The 18th Chapter is the longest chapter. It deals with several miscellaneous topics like renunciation, Tyaag, Karm, Kartaa, Gyaan etc. The division of the society into four Varn according to the nature and vocation is mentioned. He finally advises Arjun to surrender himself to Himself (the Lord) and promises him to free him from all sins. Arjun finally vows to fight the righteous war before him.

Continuity in Bhagvad Geetaa

It is not realized by many that there is a vital connection between one chapter and the next one in the Geetaa. Arjun was despondent in the beginning (in the 1at Chapter) and the 2nd Chapter opens his eyes to give him confidence, strength and courage. He is told then about the techniques of Karm Yog and renunciation of the fruits of action. The methods to control the senses and mind and to practice concentration and meditation are dealt with next. The Lord then describes His various manifestations in order to prepare Arjun for the vision of the glorious cosmic form. When Arjun understood the nature of Jeevan Mukt after experiencing the magnificent cosmic vision, he gets the knowledge of the field and the knower of the field, of the three Gun and the Purushottam. He also knows divine attributes and the three kinds of faith. In the end, he understands the the essence of Sanyaas (renunciation). Then he exclaims - “My Lord, my delusion is destroyed; I have attained knowledge through your grace. All my doubts have gone completely and now I will act as per your advice."


Home | Mahaabhaarat | Kathaa | Geetaa

Previous | Next

Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 02/03/13