Ed’s History Challenge: The Bhagwat Gita

DSC_0376-Gita

For this week’s challenge, I am going to go into a bit of mythology. Why do I do this? Because, in India, often mythological lessons and stories blend into historical legend and myth becomes fact in the minds of many.

Mythology is often a living thing in India, in whatever warped form it may exist today.

One of our great epics is the Mahabharatha, and one of the climatic moments in this epic took place at Kurukshetra, in North India. This is where the battle between the armies of the 5 Pandava brothers, and the 100 Kaurava brothers took place.

Krishna was the charioteer for Arjuna, the archer, the third of the five Pandava brothers. At the start of the battle, Arjuna asked Krishna to wheel his chariot to the battle front and when he saw his cousins (the Kauravas) and his uncles and friends there, ready to do battle with him, he lost his nerve.

That is when Krishna recited the Bhagwat Gita (we pronounce it, in Hindi, as The Bhagwat Geet), and then exhorted Arjuna to do battle.

The Bhagwat Geet translates as “The Song Divine”, and is a pithy and wise book. Easy to read and hard to understand.

This photograph was taken at the very place that the Bhagwat Geet was said to have been recited. The soles of Krishna’s feet were said to have divine markings, and these are shown in the marble replica, at which the woman is praying.

It is a remarkably simple, quiet and serene place. It is very unlike the chaos of most Hindu temples. You feel the peace in the trees of this place.

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