What is the Bhagavad Gita?

What is the Bhagavad Gita?

Once upon a time, there was a great warrior named Arjuna, who was caught in the middle of some major family drama, which escalated to a full blown war at the Battle of Kurukshetra. 

The war was against two sets of cousins, the Kauravas and Pandavas. Picking a side wasn't so simple since there were mutual friends and family members on both sides.

Leading up to the war, one cousin from each opposing side visited Krishna to seek help. Krishna granted a choice to each cousin: they could either have Krishna or his army on their side during the war. Arjuna chose wisely, while Duryodhan chose the army.

However, once Arjuna approached the battlefield, seeing loved ones on both sides made him lose heart. He refused to take part in their demise.

Since Krishna was riding Arjuna's chariot, he felt it was the right time to give Arjuna a pep talk.

The Bhagavad Gita is essentially this "pep talk" -- if you will -- the dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna, on what constitutes right action, proper understanding and, ultimately, the meaning of life.

One of the things that makes the Gita so timeless is that its teachings are relevant in all walks of life, even thousands of years since its origin. Since it's comprised of 700 verses, it would be impossible for me to pick even one to share, but given the spirit of Christmas, I couldn't help but identify with this one in particular today...


dātavyam iti yad dānaṁ dīyate ‘nupakāriṇedeśhe kāle cha pātre cha tad dānaṁ sāttvikaṁ smṛitam

Roughly Translated:

A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return.