Bhagavad Gita: Difference between revisions

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[[File:Arjuna and Krishna at the Mahabharata war, Bhagavad Gita, Kurukshetra, Haryana.jpg|thumb|right|alt=Photograph of a bronze chariot. The discourse of Krishna and Arjuna in Kurukshetra is the Bhagavad Gita.|The ''Bhagavad Gita'' is a discourse between Krishna and Arjuna set in a chariot at the start of the Mahabharata war]]
In the Indian tradition, the ''Bhagavad Gita'', as well as the epic ''[[Mahabharata]]'' of which it is a part, is attributed to sage ''[[Vyasa]]'',<ref name="Folwerxxvi">{{harvnb|Fowler|2012|page=xxvi}}</ref> whose full name was ''Krishna Dvaipayana'', also called ''Veda-Vyasa''. Veda Vyasa was born in Nepal. {{sfn|M.V. Nadkarni|2016|pages=16}} Another Hindu legend states that Vyasa narrated it while the elephant-headed deity [[Ganesha]] broke one of his tusks and wrote down the ''Mahabharata'' along with the ''Bhagavad Gita''.<ref name="McLeod2014p168"/><ref name="Slavitt2015vii">{{cite book|author=David Slavitt|title=Mahabharata|url= |year=2015|publisher=Northwestern University Press|isbn=978-0-8101-3060-9|page=vii}}</ref>{{refn|group=note|This legend is depicted with Ganesha (Vinayaka) iconography in Hindu temples where he is shown with a broken right tusk and his right arm holds the broken tusk as if it was a stylus.<ref name="Rao1985">{{cite book|author=T.A. Gopinatha Rao|title=Elements of Hindu Iconography|url= |year=1985|publisher=Motilal Banarsidass |isbn=978-81-208-0878-2|pages=xvii, 58–61}}</ref><ref>{{cite book|author=Lawrence Cohen|editor=Robert L. Brown|title=Ganesh: Studies of an Asian God|url=|year=1991|publisher=State University of New York Press|isbn=978-0-7914-0656-4|page=132}}</ref>}}
Scholars consider Vyasa to be a mythical or symbolic author, in part because Vyasa is also the traditional compiler of the [[Vedas]] and the [[Puranas]], texts dated to be from different millennia.<ref name="McLeod2014p168">{{cite book|author=Alexus McLeod|title=Understanding Asian Philosophy|url= |year=2014|publisher=A&C Black|isbn=978-1-78093-631-4|pages=168–169}}</ref><ref>{{cite book|author=George M. Williams|title=Handbook of Hindu Mythology|url= |year=2008|publisher=Oxford University Press|isbn=978-0-19-533261-2|page=304}}, Quote: "Veda Vyasa was said to have edited the four Vedas and authored the Puranas and the Mahabharata. Accomplishing all that would require a human who lived several thousand years, so scholars do place the story of his achievements as those of one man in the area of mythology."</ref>{{sfn|Davis|2014|p=37, Quote: "Textual historians generally prefer terms that undercut any implications of Vyasa's actual authorship. They refer to Vyasa as a mythical or symbolic author of the Mahabharata."}} The word ''Vyasa'' literally means "arranger, compiler", and is a surname in India. According to Kashi Nath Upadhyaya, a ''Gita'' scholar, it is possible that a number of different individuals with the same name compiled different texts.{{sfn|Upadhyaya|1998|page=25 with footnote 1}}