Which is the main book of the Hindu religion?


When we talk about the holy books in Hinduism, we can see that there are a large number of sacred books. There are 4 Vedas, 108 Upanishads, 18 Puranas, the Bhagavad Gita and also the Ramayana. But the question that arises here is, if we have so many holy books, which among them is the main book?

The Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita, both are equally important but if we have to choose only one main sacred book then it would be the Bhagavad Gita. It teaches us the basics of Hinduism in the form of poetry taken from the epic Mahabharata.

Krishna Arjuna Gita

Brief History About All the Holy Books in Hinduism

Religious Book

The Vedas contain a huge collection of poetic hymns of wisdom, joyful chants, prayers and sacred texts having spiritual significance.
The four Vedas are:

  1. Rig Veda
  2. Sama Veda
  3. Yajur Veda
  4. Atharva Veda

The Upanishads contain central concepts of Hinduism. The Puranas contain systematic recitation about the history of the universe.
The names of the Puranas are:

  1. Vishnu Purana
  2. Vayu Purana
  3. Varaha Purana
  4. Vamana Purana
  5. Skanda Purana
  6. Shiva Purana
  7. Padma Purana
  8. Narada Purana
  9. Matsya Purana
  10. Markandeya Purana
  11. Linga Purana
  12. Kurma Purana
  13. Garuda Purana
  14. Brahmavaivarta Purana
  15. Brahmanda Purana
  16. Brahma Purana
  17. Bhagavata Purana
  18. Agni Purana

The Bhagavad Gita is a part of the Mahabharata. It contains 700 verses in total. The Ramayana teaches us to always follow the path of righteousness.

When and By Whom was the Gita Written?

 It is believed that Bhagavad Gita was written between 400BCE and 200 BCE. It is said that Sage Ved Vyas wrote Mahabharata and because Gita is a part of Mahabharata. Sage Ved Vyas is the writer of the Bhagavad Gita as well. Some people also believe that sage Ved Vyas narrated the whole Gita to Lord Ganesha and Lord Ganesha wrote it.

Bhagavad-Gita Book
Gita: Amazon

When sage Vyas asked Lord Ganesha to write the Gita, Lord Ganesha agreed but he introduced a condition in front of Vyas. He said he’ll write the Gita for him only if sage Vyas narrated the Gita to him continuously, without any break. Sage Vyas agreed but he also introduced a condition, he said Lord Ganesha has to understand every word and then he should write it down. Lord Ganesha also agreed. Whenever sage Vyasa needed a break, he used to use very complex words and Lord Ganesha took time to understand the meaning of those words. That’s how the whole Bhagavad Gita was written.

Why Bhagavad Gita is the Holy Book of the Hindus?

The Bhagavad Gita was revealed by Lord Krishna.

He taught us how to tackle every problem of life in Gita. It is believed that the Gita contains the answer to every question.

One thing on which Lord Krishna concentrated the most is to teach us that without thinking about the result we should only focus on doing our work. The Bhagavad Gita not only tells us about the essence of life but it can help us to develop our personalities as well. Many universities are following the Bhagavad Gita as their academic book. The Gita teaches us to treat everyone equally, to do good and never expect anything in return, to never run away from our responsibilities and duties and many more things. That’s why it is considered the most auspicious and the main holy book in Hinduism.

What is the Main Idea or Message of the Bhagavad Gita?

The Bhagavad Gita mainly teaches us about three themes:

  1. love
  2. action
  3. knowledge

It teaches us that we should stay away from all the materialistic things and we should only focus on purifying our existence by doing bhakti or devotion and yoga. It teaches about the duties of every class of the caste system. It talks about the conflicts that we face in life. The conflicts are not only physical and mental but also spiritual. It teaches us how to deal with every conflict and how to recognize the ultimate truth of the universe.  We should treat everyone equally and we should always follow the path of righteousness and truth.

What Happens After Death According to the Bhagavad Gita?

The Bhagavad Gita says that every person that has taken birth on this Earth will die someday. But after death, only our body dies. Our soul never dies, it only changes the body. It is immortal. No weapon can kill it, no fire can burn it, no water can drown it and no wind can dry it. After death, our body combines with the things it is made up of  – earth, air, fire, water, and space. The body sleeps forever but the soul flies away. So, one should not fear death.

What does the Bhagavad Gita say About the Caste System?

The Varna or system is mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita. It describes qualities of all the four castes: – Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras. About Brahmin’s qualities the Bhagavad Gita says, they should possess  – purity, peacefulness, knowledge, honesty, tolerance, wisdom and righteousness. About Kshatriyas, the Bhagavad Gita says that they should possess qualities like – courage, resourcefulness, determination, heroism, power and leadership skills. For Kshatriyas, the qualities mentioned in the Gita are: they should indulge in cow protection, business, and farming activities. For Shudras, the Gita says they should provide labor and services to other castes. The caste system mentioned in Gita was based on occupation and work and not on birth.

Do Witnesses take an oath by the Holy Gita in Indian Courts?

Cross Oath India

Earlier, Gita was used to making witnesses take the oath because it is the holy book and it is respected by everyone who follows Hinduism. If the person takes an oath by the holy Gita it means he’ll speak only the truth because he has to give respect to the Gita. If someone is Muslim or Christian then, their respective holy books were used to make the witnesses take the oath. But all this ended in 1840. Now, no witnesses take an oath by their respective holy books.

Why Should One Read the Bhagavad Gita?

If one reads the Bhagavad Gita even once, he understands a lot of things including the meaning and objective of life. It helps us to understand every aspect of life from Lord Krishna’s point of view. It covers each and every question that can arise in a person’s mind and it answers all those questions too. It teaches us to rise above all modes of nature. It is also mentioned in Gita that one can unite intimately with the god through Yoga. Gita concentrates on teaching us that we should follow our prescribed duties without thinking about anything else. If we perform our duties with righteousness then everything will automatically fall in place.

Krishna Temple Devotees performing duties

Shrimad Bhagwad Gita is the most sacred and the main book in Hinduism. One should definitely read it at least once to get the answer to each and every question possible. It helps one to develop his personality and makes one realize the motive of human life. Nothing can be more inspiring and motivating than Shrimad Bhagavad Gita.

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