Shree Krishna told the Gita to Arjun on the battlefield of Kurukchetra, just as the war was about to begin. We can imagine the scene: millions of warriors, weapons at the ready, aligned on each side; lines of foot soldiers, horses, elephants and chariots stretched for miles. The thunder of drums and conches had already shaken the air, signaling the start of the battle. At this crucial moment, as both sides were perched on the precipice of war, everyone was amazed to see Arjun’s chariot making its way to the center of the battlefield and stopping. Arjun had requested Shree Krishna to guide his chariot to such a vantage point where he could see the armies of both sides. Then the anxious armies watched with a mixture of curiosity and bewilderment as Shree Krishna and Arjun proceeded to engage in a lengthy discussion, there in the middle of the battlefield, while both sides waited.
The Armies Waited While Krishna And Arjun Talked-
When people hear this, some wonder if it was possible for Krishna to relate the entire Gita to Arjun at that time. Surely He must have told the gist to Arjun, and then quickly got on with the war; then later, when Ved Vyas produced the Gita in a written form, he must have expanded on the topics. In fact, there is nothing in either the Gita or the Mahabharat to support this theory. According to our scriptures, the Gita, as it is written, is a word-for-word transcript of the conversation that took place on that day. Being a ‘dharm yuddh‘, the war was to be fought according to a previously agreed upon set of rules. Both sides would have been forced to wait for Krishna and Arjun to finish speaking and return to their side before beginning the battle. The entire Gita is only 700 Sanskrit verses, meaning that it would have taken three or four hours for the entire conversation to take place. Only when they were finished and Arjun returned to his side, ready to fight, did the war begin. So, what we have today is word-for-word what Krishna said to Arjun that day on the battlefield.
How Ved Vyas Produced An Authentic Record Of What Krishna Told Arjun-
Some may also wonder: How did Ved Vyas know what was said that day? Was Arjun taking notes? Sanjay, with his Divine sight and hearing, also witnessed the telling of the Gita and related it to Dhritrashtra. Did either of them take notes? Or did Shree Krishna later explain to Ved Vyas what was said that day? The answer is that none of the above was required, because Ved Vyas is already an avatar of Shree Krishna. Shree Krishna has many forms, and one of those forms is Ved Vyas. He descends in this form at the end of every dwaparyug to rewrite all of the Hindu scriptures. At that time, He also produces the Gita in a written form. Since Ved Vyas is a form of Krishna, it means that in one form, Shree Krishna told the Gita, and in another form – as Ved Vyas – He wrote the Gita. So there is no question of any mistake being made in the recording of the conversation. This means that the Gita we have today is the authentic account of the discussion between Krishna and Arjun that day on the battlefield of Kurukchetra, more than 5,000 years ago.
Before we learn the actual teachings of the Gita, we must discover who is qualified to hear the knowledge. This will be the topic of the next entry. Also read, Dangers Of Learning The Gita on One’s Own,