In the epic masterpiece, Mahabharata, the longest poem in the world, the history of ancient India is documented. The story, full of twists and turns, romance and tragedy, philosophy and poetry, reaches its climax at the onset of a devastating war between a family in feud.
Over 5000 years ago, innumerable troops had converged on Kurukshetra (90 miles north of present-day Delhi) for what was billed as the greatest battle ever. Through a series of intrigues and conspiracies, the evil-minded Kauravas had usurped the throne of the Pandavas. Though born in the same clan, the Kauravas (sons of Dhritarastra) and the Pandavas (sons of Pandu) were at polar opposites. The former were plagued by greed, selfishness and pride, whereas the saintly Pandavas were individuals of the highest moral stature, dedicated to virtue, devotion and righteousness. Though grossly exploited and mistreated, the Pandavas repeatedly sought amicable means to redress the injustice, but the stubborn and greedy Kauravas were unwilling to budge an inch. Military battle and a trial of arms was inevitable.
Arjuna, the talented and dynamic Pandava archer who carried a heavyweight burden of expectation, readied himself for a face-off. As tumultuous battle cries pervaded the air, the distinguished warrior suddenly experienced a moment of doubt. He requested Krishna, the Supreme Person who had assumed the position of a humble driver, to steer his chariot to the middle of the battlefield. There, Arjuna registered the reality before him – the inevitable suffering and death that would consume his family, friends, fellow countrymen and soldiers who had assembled on that battlefield.
This triggered an existential confusion! In desperation, Arjuna began asking questions he had never raised before. These were the ‘big’ questions, inquiries pertaining to the happiness we all so much seek. These are the questions which linger deep within us all, but remain unaddressed in most people’s lifetime. A penetrating conversation with Krishna ensued, gems of invaluable wisdom surfaced, and the Bhagavad-Gita (‘the song of God’) was born.
The Gita was spoken to comfort, coach and convince Arjuna in his moment of weakness. Krishna’s purpose, however, was much broader. On our own ‘battlefield of life’ we’ll all encounter moments of confusion which prompt us to venture beyond the routine treadmill of life. The Bhagavad-Gita presents timeless answers to those perennial questions, offering an opportunity to upgrade our life on every conceivable level. Ancient wisdom, eternally relevant.
For each chapter we have referenced specific verses from the Bhagavad-Gita which will offer greater insight and inspiration. We encourage our readers to take full advantage of Gita3 by simultaneously referring to the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is.