As the world celebrates the Gita Jayanti today, Indus Scrolls brings to you some amazing facts about this unique book.
The scripture is a dialogue between Pandava prince Arjuna and Lord Krishna that takes place during the epic Mahabharata. It is revealed to the world by Sanjaya who sees and narrates the events of Mahabharata to Dhritarashtra.
Sage Vyasa who wrote Mahabharata is the author of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita and it is believed that it was composed in Sanskrit in the fifth or fourth century BC.
The Bhagavad Gita contains 18 chapters and 700 verses.
Warren Hastings the then Governor General of India ordered for Gita’s translation into English. It was translated in the year 1785 by Charles Wilkins. Soon it was translated into other languages such as German, French and Russian.
It has been translated into more than 170 languages including French, German, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Kazakh, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Hebrew, Arabic, and Swahili. More than 270 translations are available in English alone. The version by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, entitled Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, is “by far the most widely distributed of all English Gita translations.
Its first Braille version with the original Sanskrit text and a Hindi commentary was released on 30 November 2007.
There have been some interesting films based on the book as well. The Sanskrit film titled Bhagavad Gita directed by GV Iyer won the National Film Award for Best Film in 1993. Hollywood films The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber, The Legend of Bagger Vance, The Matrix and the Way of the Peaceful Warrior is based on the book. Hollywood actor Vin Diesel has also quoted the Bhagavad Gita in his film Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. A Kannada feature film made in graphics titled Srimadbhagavadgeete and directed by SR Girish interprets the Gita from a scientific and psychological perspective.
The scripture had a huge influence on the freedom fighters of India such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lala Lajpat Rai and several other eminent personalities of the world read Gita regularly and found the teachings helpful in their life.
Albert Einstein said, “When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect on how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous.”
“The Bhagavad-Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested by actions,” said missionary, doctor and musician Dr Albert Schweizer.
American poet and philosopher Henry David Thoreau confessed, “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial.”
Undoubtedly Gita is not just about Krishna as the Supreme God and Hindu religion but a guide to better living.