The Gita, or Bhagwad Gita, is the most widely read of all the Hindu scriptures. It is known around the globe, having been translated into dozens of languages. It is ubiquitous here in America, where multiple interpretations of it can be found on the shelves of almost all libraries and book stores. However, if one reads the Gita on his own, although he may find inspiration, he may not be able to understand the philosophical concepts correctly. As you will see below, the Gita is the essence of the Vedas and Upnishads. When such a vast knowledge has been condensed into so few verses – the Gita contains only 700 verses – it is understandable that not only laypeople, but even great scholars may find it difficult to understand the precise meaning of the verses. Thus, in this series, I will be explaining the main philosophical concepts of the Gita, in a direct and simple way, as they have been explained by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj.
Before discussing the philosophical concepts of the Gita, it will be helpful to understand what the Gita is and from where it came. The Gita is said to be the essence of the Upnishads, which are themselves the uttar bhag, or culmination of the Ved. Thus, to understand what the Gita is, we must know what the Ved and Upnishads are.