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There are various Gitas described in scriptures like Bhagavad Gita (revealed by Lord Krishna to Arjuna), Astavakkra Gita, Rudra Gita, Uddhava Gita ( again revealed by Lord Krishna to Uddhava) devi gita? and may be many more.

My question is why Bhagavad Gita is so famous than all other gita's?

You find that most of famous acharyas like Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva, Vedanta Desika, Madhusudana Saraswati etc all have written commentary on Bhagavad Gita of Lord Krishna only.

One simple answer that comes instantaneously is that it was told by Supreme Lord Krishna.

But, are there any other specific reasons. I dont want wild speculations. Is there any specific reason or reasons mentioned by acharyas as to why Bhagavad Gita is the ultimate gita?

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    Good question! The fact that it was told by Krishna isn't sufficient to dIstinguish it, because the Anu Gita and Uddhava Gita were also told by Krishna. I think one difference is that the Bhagavad Gita was an ancient wisdom that was just revived on the battlefield of Kurukshetra; it was told by Vishnu in an earlier Mahayuga to Surya, and it guided the ancient kings of the solar dynasty, but then it was lost. – Keshav Srinivasan Jul 27 '15 at 3:09
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    Another thing worth noting is that the Bhagavad Gita was originally associated with Bhagavata Dharma aka the Pancharatra movement; the notion of nishkama karma (desireless action) as embodied in the "karmanye vadhikaste..." verse is characteristic of Pancharatra thought (see my answer here). Then Adi Shankaracharya and the other thinkers of the Vedanta school who came after him started accepting the Bhagavad Gita as the essence of the Upanishads. I think it may have been because all the early Vedantic thinkers were Vaishnavas for some reason. – Keshav Srinivasan Jul 27 '15 at 3:20
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    Oh, one other thing: there are a lot of "Gitas" in various Puranas which many consider to be interpolations, so part of the difference may just be that the Bhagavad Gita is considered authentic. – Keshav Srinivasan Jul 27 '15 at 20:11
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    @Krishna, A wild speculation, may be stupid also but I think as time changes, the way of living, understanding, teaching, culture, etc also changes. We know that there is a decline in the Dharma in different yugas. So may be the teachings in the previous yugas were such that less has to be explained as Dharma already existed in more ratio & people were already following most of it but later as the yuga change, there is a need to explain more. So Dwapar being the latest yuga containing Gita is currently the most common one until it is written again with respect to things prevailing in Kalyuga. – Aby Jul 28 '15 at 15:10
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    Another reason I can think of is that Mahabharata is a very famous text and most people have read/heard of it than the other puranas/texts and Bhagwat Geeta being a part of it made that more famous. – Aby Jul 28 '15 at 15:12
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Swami Gambhirananda says in his introduction to his translation of the Bhagavad Gita with Adi Shankaracharya's commentary:

The Gita is part of what is called the three-fold canon (Prasthana-traya) of Hinduism, the other two being the Upanishads and the Brahma-Sutras.

The Gita is ranked among the greatest religious books of the world, and in India it occupies a position next only to the Upanisads. In fact, it Is considered as a summing up of the Upanisads; in certain places it quotes from them almost verbatim. There is a commonly known verse which says, ‘All the Upanisads are cows, the milker is Sri Krsna, the calf is Arjuna, the enjoyers are the wise ones and the milk is the fine nectar that the Gita is.’ The book has been translated into all the widely spoken Iangauges in India as also into the principal languages of the world. As early as the time of Akbar (1556-1605) the book was translated into Persian separately by Abu-‘l- Fazl and Faizi.

About the Bhagavad-Gita, the Encyclopaedia Britannica (vol. viii, pp. 937-8) writes: ‘The influence of the Bhagavad-Gita has been profound. It was a popular text open to all who would listen and fundamental for all later Hinduism.’

The importance of the Gita for the Hindu public is proved by the fact that almost all the religious leaders following Sankaracarya have interpreted the Gita according to their own schools of thought. Among them Ramanujacarya (eleventh century A.D.), Madhvacarya (1199-1276), Vallabhacarya (1479), Kesava Kasmiri, a follower of Nimbarkacarya (1162), Vijnana Bhiksu, Jnaneswar and Tukaram wrote commentaries or elucidations on the Gita. In modern times also, such annotations have been written by B.G. Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi and Sri Aurobindo among others.

About the influence of the Gita on other countries and religions Radhakrishnan writes, ‘The Gita has exercised an influence that extended in early times from China and Japan, and lately to the lands of the West. The two chief works of Mahayana Buddhism, Mahayana-sraddhotpatti (The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana) and Saddharma-pundarika (The Lotus of the True Law) are deeply indebted to the teaching of the Gita. It is interesting to observe that the official exponent of the “German Faith”, J. W. Hauer, a Sanskrit scholar who served for some years as a missionary in India, gives to the Gita a central place in the German faith.’ (Bhagavadgita, p. 11.) Dara Shuko was enamoured of the Gita. We have already indicated that the Gita travelled to Persia during the Mughal Age. In recent times it has been appreciated by eminent men and scholars like Dr. L. D. Jarnett, Warren Hastings, Charles Wilkins (who translated the Gita into English in 1758), Carlyle and Aldous Huxley.

Gambhirananda quotes Sankarcharya's introduction to his commentary on the Gita:

Vedavyasa, who was omniscient and possessed of godly qualities, set forth in seven hundred verses under the name of Gita, that dharma as it was instructed by the Lord. This scripture called the Gita, which is such, is the collection of the quintessence of all the teachings of the Vedas, and its meaning is difficult to understand.

All of the commentators when doing their commentaries on the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutras extensively quote from the Gita to support their interpretations. As Shankaracharya said above, the Gita is the "quintessence of all the teachings of the Vedas."

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    @@Swami Vishwananda - ok, but is there any specific reason why other gitas are relegated to second place when compared to Bhavagavad Gita. – user808 Jul 27 '15 at 14:51
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I do not know whether this reply suits to your question.

Let us consider an issue: Which film one would find attractive - A documentary on rural development (or) a feature film with the Hero of the film dedicating himself to the rural development duly having commercial aspects of a film,i.e, some melodious songs, fights, etc.

A common man with ordinary intelligence will get attracted to the feature film.

I have gone personally gone through Guru Gita and Avadhuta Gita only. To be frank with you - they contain the lessons for a person in spiritual line, but the language is tough. And, persons interested in advancing themselves in spiritual line will only search for them.

Coming to Bhagavad Gita, it's language is simple, but inner meaning is very difficult to grasp. It's only advantage is - whoever reads Mahabharata, has to read it.

So the popularity.

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One way to determine importance of a text is by seeing how other texts describe it. An example is: Puranas, since each purana says about itself being the best of all, in order to determine the best, we need to look what other puranas say about a particular purana.

Now, Bhagavat Gita is glorified as an important text in other puranas. That gives us idea why previous acharyas chose it over other gitas.

For example 381st chapter named 'The essence of Bhagavad Gita' of Agni Purana says that Gita is foremost of all Gitas.

The first verse reads as follows:

Fire god said: I shall describe the essence of the Bhagavad Gita, that is foremost among all the gitas and which Krishna imparted to Arjuna in olden days and which yields enjoyment and emancipation.

Similarly there is whole Gita Mahatmya section in Padma Purana wherein chapter wise merits of all the 18 chapters of Gita are described.

Gita itself describes about its history in the beginning of 4th chapter

Bg 4.1 — The Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikṣvāku.

Bg 4.2 — This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.

Bg 4.3 — That very ancient science of the relationship with the Supreme is today told by Me to you because you are My devotee as well as My friend and can therefore understand the transcendental mystery of this science.

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I do not think any book like the Bhagavad Gita is called Ultimate over other Gitas by any Acharya as all are spiritual scriptures and so therefore holy. According to many saints, Vishnu is the Ultimate God.To many its Devi and so on. Most realized souls venerate all the forms.

If Ultimate is implied to mean most widely acceptable I think one reason of this is the early commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya .He while reviving Hinduism by establishing the Advaitavada, wrote a commentary of this Gita as a part of His commentaries of the Prasthanatrayi. Swami Vivekanda told:"Some infer that Shankaracharya was the author of the Gita, and that it was he who foisted it into the body of the Mahabharata."(Thoughts on Gita, 1897).He thought, however that who wrote it is unimportant. Its real greatness, which can be termed ultimacy, is in the synthesis of all the four yogas.

The commentaries of the Acharyas of all famous sampradayas and by some other famous people also made it popular. Sant Jyaneswarji was definitely one of them. I personally think that the Acharyas of different schools wrote commentaries of this Gita primarily to make the difference of their stands from that of Adi Sankaracharya clear. Swami Jagadiswarananda points out that even though there are 745 slokas in the Bhagabadgita as per Byasdeva's saying in the Mahabharata (Bhishma parba, Chapter 43, sloka 7), Adi Sankaracharya made commentary of only 700 slokas and ALL CONSEQUENT ACHARYAS also wrote commentaries of these very 700 verses and spared the other slokas (Ref: Srimadbhagavadgita, Udbodhan, page 60). I think this proves my point.

I accept Swami Vivekananda's view that this Gita is unique because of the synthesis of the four yogas-- Raja yoga, Jyana yoga, Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. His Guru Sri Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansadeva has also told that the Bhagavadgita contains the essence of all holy scriptures.

But I repeat, which Gita is the 'Ultimate' would depend on the one who is reading or preaching it. All the Gitas provide highest spiritual Wisdom.

Of course, its my personal view. And so open to debate. I do not care much about what the Puranas say, because there are many versions and there is so much contradiction. The Padma Purana brands Sri Adi Sankaracharya, one of the greatest saints the world has ever seen as pseudo-buddhist and His doctrine as false. This has been put in the lips of Lord Shiva! If such puranas declare some scripture as the Ultimate, I am the last person to believe that. According to Swami Jagadiswarananda, all the other Gitas have been compsed in the 2nd Century CE immitating Srimadbhagabadgita (Udbodhan Gita, page 40). But such an opinion I think is also quite debatable.

Ref: 1.Sri Sri Ramakrishnakathamrita 2.Thoughts on Gita by Swami Vivekananda. 3. The introduction part of Srimadbhagabadgita of Udbodhan Karyalaya by Swami Jagadiswarananda.

  • That's something never heard of. That other acharyas wrote Gita Bhasyas only to refute Shankara. Your answer is pure opinion. How many times will this keep getting repeated, I don't know. Maybe we should make a policy change that opinions are allowed as answers, like it was clarified for me just recently. – Ambi Jan 23 at 16:54
  • @Ambi i believe yuktiheena vicharena dharmahanih prajayate. you are free to think otherwise and do whatever you wish. thanks – user17294 Jan 23 at 16:57
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    Everyone who knows about Bhagavad Gita and history knows that it is not written by Adi Shankara and it has back ground and mention in other puranas. If that logic is to be believed, many Puranas are hugely interpolated (at least 3 or 4)? – Sarvabhouma Jan 23 at 17:19
  • This answer looks like your opinion. Please quote sources for your points. – The Destroyer Jan 23 at 17:20
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    @ParthaBanerjee It asks "Is there any specific reason or reasons mentioned by acharyas as to why Bhagavad Gita is the ultimate gita?" S, personal opinions might not be proper for this question. That quote of Vivekananda doesn't explain how it is considered as ultimate Gita i think. – The Destroyer Jan 23 at 17:27

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