I always wondered, why Gita contains 1st chapter, which doesn't have much of sermons unlike other chapters!

Or for that matter why Gita doesn't start with Krishna commencing on divine teachings?

  • 1
    Same Qn for long time! IMO many initial verses could have been part of Bhishma Parva & not main Gita. Answer can be in, who decided the partitions of all chapters.
    – iammilind
    Jul 1, 2017 at 15:10
  • @iammilind By the way, if you actually look at the traditional partition of chapters within the Bhishma Parva, the Bhagavad Gita Parva actually starts 12 chapters earlier than what we call the Bhagavad Gita. Jul 1, 2017 at 16:11
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    The first chapter sets the stage. It brings the reader into the circumstances as to why Krishna is delivering the Gita and how it was recorded. Jul 3, 2017 at 11:12
  • @SwamiVishwananda, then why not to include earlier chapter(s) as well?
    – SockPuppet
    Jul 11, 2017 at 5:31
  • @SockPuppet Realize God then you can ask Him directly why He did it the way He did. All is mere speculation without God realization. Jul 13, 2017 at 5:02

1 Answer 1


Swami Chinmayananda in The Holy Geeta explains the relevance of the first chapter of Gītā.

For the reader to gain a much fuller understanding of the Gītā, Chinmayananda says, having the same mental attitude as Arjuna is a prerequisite.

This chapter is called by a self-contradicting title. It is named as the "Yoga of ARJUNA'S GRIEF". If 'grief' could be Yoga, almost all of us, without a choice, are already Yogins.

In the commentary of this chapter, I indicated that the Arjuna-condition of utter despair is the auspicious mental attitude wherein the Geeta-seeds are to be sown, and the flowers of Krishna-perfection gathered. Be it in an individual or a society, in a community or a nation, religion and philosophy will be in demand only when the heart has come to experience the Arjuna-grief.

To the extent that the world of today has felt its incompetence to face the battle of life, not daring to destroy their near and dear values of economic expansion and industrial lust, to that extent it is fit for listening to the message of the Geeta. Just as the act of cooking, by itself, is not fulfilled without the eating that follows, so also, in spite of the best that may be available in life, a sense of incompleteness is felt and a deep hunger to gain a better awareness and a fuller existence in the world is experienced.

The scriptural texts cannot, in themselves, help any one. Since this mental condition is so unavoidable before the actual Yoga is started, even the initial mental condition is called by a wishful anticipation, as Yoga. For learning and living the Geeta, the Arjuna-condition is the initial sadhana.

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