Bhagavad Gita, 18th century


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 manuscript

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.

Full title:
Bhagavad Gītā
18th century, India
Usage terms

Public Domain. Please consider cultural, religious & ethical sensitivities when re-using this material.

Held by
British Library
Or 8837

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