I love the Bhagavad Gita's take on everything and I am very pro-Krishnaism, however I am slightly confused on the Gita's view on other religions. Does the Gita claim that the "god" described in Christianity, Islam, etc. is ultimately the same in the form of the Supreme Godhead? Is this interpretation correct?
@Krishna's comment above to your question is right; the Gita was spoken long before any of the other great world religions were around.
Krishna says (Gita IV. 7-8):
Whenever there is a decline of dharma, O Bharata, and a rise of adharma, I incarnate Myself.
For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of dharma, I am born in every age.
So Krishna says that he will incarnate Himself again and again when needed; many people believe that Krishna Himself incarnated as Christ. To answer your question, yes, the same God worshiped in other religions is the same Supreme Godhead of the Gita.
and in Gita IV. 11:
In whatsoever way men approach Me, even so do I reward them; for it is My path, O Partha, that men follow in all things.
God does not belong to one religion, all religions belong to God. You can approach Him through all paths, all religions lead to Him. Different approaches will have different views of the same thing, one view does not invalidate the other. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said (Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna):
He who is called Krishna is also called Siva, and bears the name of the Primal Energy, Jesus, and Allah as well--the same Rama with a thousand names. A lake has several ghats. At one the Hindus take water in pitchers and call it 'jal'; at another the Mussalmans take water in leather bags and call 'pani'. At a third the Christians call it 'water'. Can we imagine that it is not 'jal' but only 'pani' or 'water'? How ridiculous! The substance is One under different names, and everyone is seeking the same substance; only climate, temperament, and name create differences. Let each man follow his own path. If he sincerely and ardently wishes to know God, peace be unto him! He will surely realize Him.
And Gita (VII. 7):
There exists nothing whatsoever higher than I am, O Dhanajaya. All is strung on Me as a row of gems on a thread.
All the different religions are simply gems strung around the Supreme Godhead.
First addressing your confusion about Gita's view on other religions.
Gita has never opinionated on any religion; not even Hinduism! Historically the term "Hindu" itself was originated in Iran. Ofcourse, Hinduism carried the Gita forward. (Don't mistake "Hinduism" to be a religion, it's a "way of life", according to Indian Supreme Court.)
The only (falsely interpreted) mention about other "Religions" is here:
sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
Abandon all varieties of religions and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.
Since there is no single word translation in western language for Dharma, people often label "Religion" as "Dharma" which not right, though Religion plays important part in defining Dharma. Dharma can be appx termed as "Conformance of own duties with righteousness".
Now answering your question:
NO Gita does Not claim that god described in Christianity and Islam are ultimately same in form of Supreme Godhead.
For below reasons:
- Islam & Christianity did not exist when Gita was said. Though some scholars like Zakir Naik has claimed that Islam existed with beginning of humanity, there is no evidence of that.
- Gita advocates that "Formful God" is easier to achieve than "Formless God". It directly contradicts with Islam. You may refer beginning of Chapter-12
- With respect to Christianity, many concepts are matching with Hinduism like Oneness of god who created everything, trinity, multiple gods. But again, there is no such claim in Gita.
Apart from Abrahamic religions, If I take the liberty to quote Bhagavad Gita and its commentary by Srila Baladev Vidyabhushan called 𝑮𝒊𝒕𝒂 𝑩𝒖𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒏 , regarding its views on other Indian religions like Buddhism, Jainism, then these 👇 would be some of the relevant quotes of the Gita Verses along with the commentary.
𝑰𝒏 𝑮𝒊𝒕𝒂 -𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒑𝒕𝒆𝒓 2. 𝑽𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒆 26.
atha cainaṁ nitya-jātaṁ nityaṁ vā manyase mṛtam tathāpi tvaṁ mahā-bāho nainaṁ śocitum arhasi
𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐢𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐥 𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐬, 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐥𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭, 𝐎 𝐌𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐲-𝐚𝐫𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐧𝐞❗
𝑮𝒊𝒕𝒂 𝑩𝒖𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒏 Commentary
'Having given his own opinion on why one should not lament for the soul, the Lord now speaks of the opinion of others, in order to give other viewpoints. The student, knowing these viewpoints and consequently destroying them along with their contamination, , should remain fixed, victorious, in the Lord’s viewpoint. Endowed with a body such as human form, composed of the four elements, consciousness arises from that, just as red color arises from betel nut or the potency arises in liquor. That body made of four elements is itself the ätmä. 𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒃𝒐𝒅𝒚 𝒊𝒔 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍, 𝒊𝒔 𝒔𝒖𝒃𝒋𝒆𝒄𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒊𝒕𝒔 𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒊𝒔 𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝒃𝒚 𝒓𝒆𝒈𝒖𝒍𝒂𝒓 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒄𝒆𝒑𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏. 𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒊𝒔 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝐋𝐨𝐤𝐚𝐲𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐬 𝒎𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒂𝒊𝒏.
𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑩𝒖𝒅𝒅𝒉𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒔 𝒔𝒖𝒄𝒉 𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝐕𝐚𝐢𝐛𝐡𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐤𝐚𝐬 𝒎𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑨𝒕𝒎𝒂 𝒊𝒔 𝑽𝒊𝒋𝒏𝒂𝒏𝒂 𝑺𝒗𝒂𝒓𝒖𝒑𝒂, 𝒅𝒊𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒐𝒅𝒚, 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒔𝒖𝒃𝒋𝒆𝒄𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒅𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒂𝒕 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒎𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕.
In both these philosophies, there should be no lamentation for the ätmä. The word atha in this verse indicates other opinions. Ca means api, even. If you cannot understand My words about the nature of the soul, then you can take the support of other doctrines such as that of the 𝐋𝐨𝐤𝐚𝐲𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐬.
In this philosophy which claims that the body is the ätmä, you consider that this self, the body, is continually born and continually dies. The word vä means “and.” Therefore you should not lament for this self (body), with such words as “Alas, how strange it is that we are preparing to commit greatly sinful acts. Driven by the desire to enjoy royal happiness, we are intent on killing our own kinsmen.” (BG 1.44) This is because in these two philosophies there is no fear of sin continuing into next life, since there is no next birth, and there is unavoidable creation and destruction of the selves (body), whose very nature is change. 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙇𝙤𝙧𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙖𝙙𝙙𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝘼𝙧𝙟𝙪𝙣𝙖 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙖 𝙢𝙤𝙘𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤𝙣𝙚. "𝙊 𝙢𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩𝙮-𝙖𝙧𝙢𝙚𝙙 𝙤𝙣𝙚! 𝙔𝙤𝙪, 𝙗𝙚𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙧𝙧𝙞𝙤𝙧𝙨 𝙛𝙤𝙡𝙡𝙤𝙬𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙑𝙚𝙙𝙞𝙘 𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙙𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨, 𝙨𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙝𝙤𝙡𝙙 𝙨𝙪𝙘𝙝 𝙬𝙧𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙬𝙨.❞
𝑰𝒏 𝑮𝒊𝒕𝒂- 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒑𝒕𝒆𝒓 16. 𝑽𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒆 8
asatyam apratithishtam te jagad ähur anishvaram | aparaspara-sambhutam kim anyat käma-haitukam ||8||
𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐬𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐢𝐬 𝐟𝐚𝐥𝐬𝐞, 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐚 𝐟𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐚 𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫. 𝐈𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐛𝐲 𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫. 𝐈𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐛𝐲 𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐞. 𝟖
𝑮𝒊𝒕𝒂 𝑩𝒖𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒏 Commentary
'The Lord shows the conclusions of the demons. He speaks first of one soul (impersonal) philosophy. This world is false (asatyam), filled with error, like thinking shell is silver. The world has no basis (apratithishtam), like a flower in the sky. It has no God as a cause for its creation, maintenance and destruction (anishvaram). Being of this nature, it is just composed of an illusion. If there were a Supreme Lord within the world, the world He created would not be so ephemeral. Therefore they consider that the world must be false. This one soul without qualities, known by all sources of knowledge, because of error in knowledge, reflects itself through ignorance as another entity--in the form of the material world, the individual jivas and the Lord. From the time of realizing ones real nature as the one soul, there is no contradiction, there is only oneness. Until that time of awakening, everything is like elephants, horses and chariots in a dream. In realizing ones true nature, what was imagined out of ignorance should disappear along with the notion of being a separate jiva, just as the chariots and horses disappear during deep sleep. The Lord then describes the theory of svabhäva or nature, advocated by the 𝐁𝐮𝐝𝐝𝐡𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐬 . The world does not arise from the intercourse between men and women (aparaspara sambhütam) or like a potter produces a pot (with intention), since the parents produce a child with lack of knowledge. Even after men and women enjoy one time only, children appear, and scorpions appear from sweat spontaneously. Thus creation takes place by its own nature, spontaneously, by natures inherent properties. The Lord describes the theory of the 𝐋𝐨𝐤𝐚𝐲𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐬 (Carvaka). What more can be said? There is no purpose of the world except to fulfill lust. The lust between men and women alone is the cause of the world, being the motive for all action.Haitukam from hetu indicates some motive. Or the 𝐉𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐬 say that is the cause is ones own will-whatever one can imagine according to his reasoning power, he will say that is the cause of the world.'
𝑰𝒏 𝑮𝒊𝒕𝒂 𝑪𝒉𝒂𝒑𝒕𝒆𝒓 18. 𝑽𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒆 21
pṛthaktvena tu yaj jñānaṁ nānā-bhāvān pṛthag-vidhān vetti sarveṣu bhūteṣu taj jñānaṁ viddhi rājasam
❞ 𝐊𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰𝐥𝐞𝐝𝐠𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐫𝐚𝐣𝐚 𝐠𝐮𝐧𝐚 𝐛𝐲 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐯𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐭𝐲𝐩𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰𝐥𝐞𝐝𝐠𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐯𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐨𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐥 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐮𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐬.❞
𝑮𝒊𝒕𝒂 𝑩𝒖𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒏 Commentary
'This verse speaks of knowledge in the mode of passion. That knowledge which accepts that a different jiva ( pṛthaktvena ) assumes successive forms of deva, man and other creatures, where the jiva is destroyed with the destruction of each body; 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰𝐥𝐞𝐝𝐠𝐞 𝐛𝐲 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐬 𝐯𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐭𝐲𝐩𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐨𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 (nānā-vidhān bhāvān ),𝐬𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐚𝐬 𝐋⃨𝐨⃨𝐤⃨𝐚⃨𝐲⃨𝐚⃨𝐭⃨𝐚⃨𝐬⃨ 𝐁⃨𝐮⃨𝐝⃨𝐝⃨𝐡⃨𝐢⃨𝐬⃨𝐭⃨𝐬⃨,⃨ 𝐉⃨𝐚⃨𝐢⃨𝐧⃨𝐬⃨ ,⃨ 𝐌⃨𝐚⃨𝐲⃨𝐚⃨𝐯⃨𝐚⃨𝐝⃨𝐚⃨,⃨ 𝐨⃨𝐫⃨ 𝐋⃨𝐨⃨𝐠⃨𝐢⃨𝐜⃨ , 𝐢𝐬 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰𝐥𝐞𝐝𝐠𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐝𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧. 𝐒𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐨𝐜𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞: 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐥 (𝐋𝐨𝐤𝐚𝐲𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐬); 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐥 𝐢𝐬 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐬𝐢𝐳𝐞 𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲 (𝐉𝐚𝐢𝐧); 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐭𝐦𝐚 𝐢𝐬 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐦𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰𝐥𝐞𝐝𝐠𝐞 (𝐁𝐮𝐝𝐝𝐡𝐢𝐬𝐭); the ätmä is God, consisting of eternal knowledge alone (Mäyäväda); the ätmä, different from the body, is a conscious, all pervasive entity giving shelter to nine particular qualities (Nyäya philosophy).'