A finely illustrated manuscript version of the Bhagavad Gītā, one of the most inspiring expressions of Hindu spirituality, produced in Rajasthan.
What is the Bhagavad Gītā?
The Bhagavad Gītā, or simply Gītā, is part of one of the major Indian epics, the Mahābhārata, and is formed of 700 verses divided in eighteen chapters. As two armies line up at Kurukshetra ready to engage in battle, Arjuna, a prince of the Pandava clan, is torn by doubts seeing among his enemies some of his relatives, friends and teachers. He turns to god Krishna, his battlefield charioteer and counsellor; a dialogue begins during which Krishna, encouraging Arjuna to fulfil his duty as a warrior, expounds on a vast range of philosophical and theological issues, ethics and the different ways of achieving true self-awareness and liberation.
The text in very clear Devanāgarī writing is inscribed, in black and red ink, within frames in red, black and gold with floral decorations. It is enriched by seventeen miniature paintings of the ten avatars of Vishnu and scenes from the legend of Krishna.
- Article by:
- Jacqueline Suthren Hirst
- Hinduism, Living Texts
Dr Jacqueline Suthren Hirst explores the Hindu sacred texts, discussing how some, the Vedic texts, remain unchanged, whilst others are open to different versions, tellings and translations, using the great Hindu epics as examples.
- Article by:
- Julius Lipner
- Hinduism, Sacred texts
Professor Julius Lipner discusses the distinctive nature of Hinduism and its sacred texts, drawing on the Vedas and epic compositions.