Definition - What does Gita mean?
Gita is a Sanskrit word that means “song,” "singing,” “chanted” or “praised in song.” There are many gitas in Indian literature, but the work most associated with the term is the Bhagavad Gita, or "Song of God," which is often referred to simply as The Gita. It is considered one of the most popular and sacred scriptures in Hinduism.
Of the dozens — upwards of 60 — gitas, most are structured as instructions from the learned. In the Bhagavad Gita, for example, Lord Krishna gives instructions to the warrior, Arjuna, before battle.
Yogapedia explains Gita
In addition to the Bhagavad Gita, some other gitas include:
- Guru Gita — Found in the "Skanda Purana," it is Lord Shiva and his consort, Parvati's, song about the importance of a guru for spiritual growth.
- Ashtavakra Gita — The sage, Ashtavakra, explains to King Janaka about the nature of the soul and Self-realization.
- Anu Gita — A sequel to the Bhagavad Gita after the war that continues the conversation between Krishna and Arjuna.
- Uttara Gita — Describes jnana (knowledge) and yoga and is considered a supplement to the Bhagavad Gita.
- Rishabha Gita — The sage, Rishabha, explains to his children the purpose of human life and the way to liberation.
- Jivanmukta Gita — The nature of the realized soul, or jivanmukta, is explained by the sage, Dattatreya.
- Devi Gita — Presents the divine female as the powerful creator of the universe and describes Bhakti yoga.
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