Difference between revisions of "Uttaragītā"

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<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
 
<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
  
Uttaragītā is one of the minor Gītās composed in imitation of the well-known Bhagavadgitā. Though sometimes mentioned in the colophons of the manuscripts as forming a part of the Mahābhārata or the Bhāgavata, it is not found in the extant texts of these works. By all the means, it is an independent work. It is in the form of a dialogue between Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa.
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Uttaragītā is one of the minor Gītās composed in imitation of the well-known Bhagavadgitā. Though sometimes mentioned in the colophons of the manuscripts as forming a part of the Mahā[[bhārata]] or the [[Bhāgavata]], it is not found in the extant texts of these works. By all the means, it is an independent work. It is in the form of a dialogue between [[Arjuna]] and Kṛṣṇa.
  
 
==Overview of Uttaragītā==
 
==Overview of Uttaragītā==
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==Content of Uttaragītā==
 
==Content of Uttaragītā==
 
===First Adhyāya===
 
===First Adhyāya===
It is made of 57 verses. Arjuna asks a question about Brahman, the knowledge of which gives immediate liberation. Kṛṣṇa replies that Brahman which is represented by Om in the scriptures is immutable and indestructible. Attaining to it, the knower is released from all the bondages. Practice of prāṇāyāma and meditating on Brahman helps in this attainment.
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It is made of 57 verses. [[Arjuna]] asks a question about [[Brahman]], the knowledge of which gives immediate liberation. Kṛṣṇa replies that [[Brahman]] which is represented by Om in the scriptures is immutable and indestructible. Attaining to it, the knower is released from all the bondages. Practice of [[prāṇāyāma]] and meditating on Brahman helps in this attainment.
  
Incidentally, Lord Kṛṣṇa says that dharma and adharma, the mind, the five senses and the five elements accompany the jīva even after the death of one body, as long as he has not attained the highest knowledge. Control of the senses as a necessary means of spiritual wisdom is greatly stressed.
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Incidentally, Lord Kṛṣṇa says that [[dharma]] and [[adharma]], the mind, the five senses and the five elements accompany the jīva even after the death of one body, as long as he has not attained the highest knowledge. Control of the senses as a necessary means of spiritual wisdom is greatly stressed.
  
 
===Second Adhyāya===
 
===Second Adhyāya===
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===Third Adhyāya===
 
===Third Adhyāya===
It has 17 verses which sums up the discussion and declares that the reality is to be sought from all the different sciences. Life is too short to master the various sciences. Yogins devoted to ātmajñāna<ref>Ātmajñāna means Self-knowledge.</ref> do not bother to visit the various places of pilgrimage. The work stresses that steady devotion to Keśava gives liberation to the yogin, especially if he is free from cravings.
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It has 17 verses which sums up the discussion and declares that the reality is to be sought from all the different sciences. Life is too short to master the various sciences. Yogins devoted to [[Ātmajñāna|ātmajñāna]]<ref>[[Ātmajñāna]] means Self-knowledge.</ref> do not bother to visit the various places of pilgrimage. The work stresses that steady devotion to Keśava gives liberation to the yogin, especially if he is free from cravings.
  
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
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* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram [[Krishna]] Math, Bangalore
  
 
[[Category:Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism]]
 
[[Category:Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism]]

Latest revision as of 02:47, 19 December 2016

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Uttaragita, UttaragItA, Uttaragitaa


Uttaragītā is one of the minor Gītās composed in imitation of the well-known Bhagavadgitā. Though sometimes mentioned in the colophons of the manuscripts as forming a part of the Mahābhārata or the Bhāgavata, it is not found in the extant texts of these works. By all the means, it is an independent work. It is in the form of a dialogue between Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa.

Overview of Uttaragītā

As per most of the manuscripts, it has three adhyāyas[1] containing 122 verses in all. Only one version contains 241 verses spread over six chapters. There is only one commentary ascribed to Gauḍapāda.[2] It is quite useful in understanding the text.

Content of Uttaragītā

First Adhyāya

It is made of 57 verses. Arjuna asks a question about Brahman, the knowledge of which gives immediate liberation. Kṛṣṇa replies that Brahman which is represented by Om in the scriptures is immutable and indestructible. Attaining to it, the knower is released from all the bondages. Practice of prāṇāyāma and meditating on Brahman helps in this attainment.

Incidentally, Lord Kṛṣṇa says that dharma and adharma, the mind, the five senses and the five elements accompany the jīva even after the death of one body, as long as he has not attained the highest knowledge. Control of the senses as a necessary means of spiritual wisdom is greatly stressed.

Second Adhyāya

It has 48 verses. When can one realize the omniscient, omnipresent Brahman and the means by which one can actually know “I am Brahman?” This is the question of Arjuna. Kṛṣṇa says that it is a direct experience like water becoming one with water or milk becoming one with milk. This is followed by a detailed description of the several nāḍīs in the body.

Third Adhyāya

It has 17 verses which sums up the discussion and declares that the reality is to be sought from all the different sciences. Life is too short to master the various sciences. Yogins devoted to ātmajñāna[3] do not bother to visit the various places of pilgrimage. The work stresses that steady devotion to Keśava gives liberation to the yogin, especially if he is free from cravings.


References

  1. Adhyāyas means chapters.
  2. He lived in circa A. D. 700.
  3. Ātmajñāna means Self-knowledge.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore