It becomes very essential to understand and become aware of our rich cultural heritage. This also includes the knowledge about our Hindu Vedic texts and Hindu Scriptures. There are many confusions regarding certain Hindu Literary Texts, one big confusion is about the difference between the pious Srimad Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. People often consider Srimad Bhagavatam the same as Srimad Bhagavad Gita. My dear friends, it is not!
The Srimad Bhagavad Gita is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is the sixth book of Mahabharata, one of India’s most famous epic poems, whereas, The Srimad Bhagavatam is popularly known as Bhāgavata Purāṇa, which is one of the 18 Puranas in Hinduism!
The Srimad Bhagavad Gita
The Srimad Bhagavad Gita often referred to as “the song of Lord” is the most important part of the great Indian Hindu Epic “Mahabharata”. It is the part of the sixth part of the Mahabharata called ‘Bhisma Parva’. The Pious holy book consists of 18 small chapters and has around 700 verses, and is also among the most important religious texts in Hinduism. The Gita teaches the Yoga of Synthesis. It ranks high in the religious works of literature in the world.
The Bhagavad Gita is a discourse between the divine Lord Krishna and the mighty warrior Prince Arjuna. Lord Krishna serves as a charioteer for Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra as Arjuna gets into a state of war with his own cousins.
When Arjuna saw his former friends, comrades, and his own family members towards his opposing side on the battlefield, he lost his confidence and refused to take part in the battle which he thought would result in the death of his own family. Then, Lord Shri Krishna guided Arjuna on what constitutes the right action, proper understanding, and ultimately, the meaning of life and nature of the divine. He convinced Arjuna that it was his duty to fight against the wrong (adharma) regardless of the consequences. This instilled a lot of confidence in Arjuna and cleared all his doubts. Consequently, he was able to achieve victory in the war!
The Srimad Bhagavad Gita combines the concepts that are expressed in the central major texts of Hindu Dharma- The Vedas and The Upnishads, which here incorporated into a single vision of credence in the existence of one universal creator and the unification of all existences together! This pious book instructs a human being to look beyond all illusions by getting the soul and the mind in tune with each other.
The Pious Srimad Bhagavad Gita gives an individual a “Way of Living” and it must also be looked upon as its identity of being just a Religious text when rather, it gives all human beings a purpose to live to the fullest, undefeated!
The Srimad Bhagavatam
The Srimad Bhagavatam is also known as Bhagavata Puran is the 5th major Purana amongst 18 different Puranas in Hinduism. It is considered to be the essence of all the Vedas. Srimad Bhagavatam contains 18,000 verses in 335 chapters and consists of 12 subdivisions of books. These 12 books together tell the complete history of the Vedic culture, as well as stories of Lord Krishna and his incarnations.
As it begins, the forces of evil have won a war between the benevolent devas (deities) and evil asuras (demons) and wish to rule the universe. Truth re-emerges as Lord Shri Krishna, (called “Hari” and “Vāsudeva” in the text) first makes peace with the demons, understands them, and then creatively and intelligently defeats them, bringing back hope, justice, freedom, and happiness in the universe.
The Bhagavata Purana, like other Puranas, also discusses a wide range of topics including cosmology, astronomy, genealogy, geography legend, music, dance, yoga, and culture. The Bhagavata Purana is a revered text in Vaishnavism, a Hindu tradition that reveres Lord Vishnu. The text presents a form of dharma that competes with that of the Vedas, wherein devotion (bhakti) ultimately leads to self-knowledge, salvation (moksha), and bliss.
The text consists of twelve books (skandhas) totaling 332 chapters (adhyayas) and between 16,000 and 18,000 verses depending on the recension. Similar to the other Puranas, the Srimad Bhagavatham is written by Sage Vyasa. Sage Shuka, who was Vyasa’s son, recited the Bhagavatam to King Parikshit who was cursed to die in 7 days, by Sage Shrungi.
Of the innumerable collections of spiritual teachings found in Vedic literature, Srimad-Bhagavatam is considered the topmost!
Note: Always believe in the greatness of Sanatan Dharma, which gave the world a purpose of life, do not forget to chant the glories of the Lord who is the supreme creator and protector of all existences. If one cannot read, one must always respect and try to understand the essence of the great Vedas and Puranas to grasp the ultimate realities of life!
Written By: Kashish Rai (@KaafyyFilmyy)