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Play now 28 mins

The Bhagavad Gita

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 16 July 2011

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Bhagavad Gita.

The Bhagavad Gita - a 700-verse section of the Sanskrit epic the Mahabharata - is one of the most revered texts of Hinduism.

Written in around 200 BC, it narrates a conversation between Krishna, an incarnation of the deity, and the Pandava prince Arjuna.

It has been described as a concise summary of Hindu theology, a short work which offers advice on how to live one's life.

The Gita is also a philosophical work of great richness and influence.

First translated into English in the 18th Century, it was quickly taken up in the West.

Its many admirers have included Mahatma Gandhi, whose passion for the work is one reason that the Bhagavad Gita became a key text for followers of the Indian Independence movement in the first half of the 20th Century.

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