Who wrote the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads? And was Krishna a man?

Discussion in 'Hinduism' started by Silverbackman, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    The Krishna write the Bhagavad Gita? If not who wrote it? Also who wrote the Upanishads?

    The Baha'i consider Krishna a prophet which means he was a man at one point right? Was he a man who became a God, or was he a incarnation of God from the beginning? Is he one of the main figures of hinduism, whether a God or just a prophet? And was there an actual man named Krishna or was he a character of myth?

    Also I heard that Krishna, like Buddha and Jesus, resisted worldly pleasures for higher state of exsistance. Is this true?
     
  2. pohaikawahine

    pohaikawahine Elder Member

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    I'm sure there will be more answers to this from those that have more knowledge than I, but I read that "the Bhagavad Gita is found in the sixth of eighteen books that constitute India's great epic poem, the Mahabharata .... it is a sacred dialogue on yoga between Bhagavan Krishna - who was at once an earthy king and a divine incarnation - and his chief disciple, the Pandava prince Arjuna, purportedly taking place on the eve of the war of Kurukshetra. The authorship of the Mahbharata, including the Gita portion, is traditionally assigned to the illumined sage Vyasa, whose date is not known." This is from the historical origin of the Gita in the translation by Paramahansa Yoganada. me ke aloha pumehana, pohaikawahine
     
  3. Agnideva

    Agnideva Member

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    Like Pohaikawahine said, usually sage Vyasa is given credit for writing down the Gita. According to the story, Krishna spoke the Gita to Arjuna on the battlefield (in the year 3138 BCE). This sermon was seen by the bard, Sanjaya (by divine vision), and narrated to the blind king Dritarashtra. The whole event was known to Sage Vyasa, who narrated it to Lord Ganesha, who wrote down the Gita along with the whole epic of Mahabharata. Many people take this to be the literal truth. Some argue that the Gita was a much later addition to the Mahabharata epic.

    Krishna and Rama are the main figures in Vaishnavite Hinduism. According to Vaishnavism, Krishna was never a sage, a prophet, a messenger or a son of God. Krishna was/is God Himself in person, and was recognized as such by the wise during His lifetime. The ignorant, however, did not realize his divinity.

    I don’t know how much has been done to examine the historicity of Krishna. One of the upanishads (Chhandogya) does speak of Krishna, son of Devaki, in passing, but not as God-incarnate.

    Agnideva.

     
  4. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    I'm sure I recall a Reader's Digest "Book of Facts" article ascribing the composition of the Mahabarata as a continuous process between 100BC and 100AD, under a number of scribes - I'd really need to check for this source. However, as indicated, such an interpretation would certainly be at odds with more ancient Indian attributions. I'll watch out for references on this.
     
  5. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    Very Interesting. So Krishna dictated the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna, and Arjuna told Vyasa to write it down? Also if Krishna was actually God, does that mean he was the literal Brahman:eek:.

    By the was the epic the Mahabharata an actual historic event recognized by historians? The whole war and events?

    And what role does the Ramayana play in hinduism? I have heard Rama is the main other God in it. Is the Ramayana recognized as a historic event recognized the historians as well? And is the Ramayana before or after the Mahabharata?
     
  6. Agnideva

    Agnideva Member

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    I think in the story, Vyasa just knew the whole event (he was a contemporary to Arjuna and Krishna), so he wrote down the Mahabharata. In actuality, it is more likely, as Brian noted that the Mahabharata represents a collection of writings from different poets at different times. According to some scholars, Vyasa and his disciples wrote only 8000-10000 verses, but currently there are 100,000 verses in the epic.

    In Vaishnavism: Vishnu is the personal form of Brahman and Vishnu has incarnations here on earth. Vishnu has had 10 or more incarnations, but the most revered are Rama and Krishna. So Rama and Krishna are the earthly personifications of Brahman according to Vaishnava doctrine. The story of Rama if found in the Ramayana, whereas the story of Krishna is found in the Bhagavat Purana and Mahabharata. Ramayana is believed to have happened before the Mahabharata. Rama was a former incarnation of Krishna.

    Many Hindus accept that Ramayana and Mahabharata are actual historic events (much like many Christians believe in the stories in the Bible). Historians believe that there is historical truth in the core stories in both epics. Many places mentioned in the epics do exist. However, the historical accounts are shrouded in mythology, so it’s hard to tell fact from fiction.

     
  7. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    Many of the Bible's historic events did take place, although the aspects people questions as myths are the supernatural phenomenons such as when God intervenned. Is that where these two epics lie in what people believe of them?

    So the Rama is a former incarnation of Krishna huh? Rama and Krishna are basicly the same people then, right? So then why didn't Rama teach the code of morality taught in the Bhagavad Gita before when he came as Rama? What philosopies are taught by Rama in the Ramayana, and did Rama live a similar good life that Krishna lived (I'm assuming yes if they are the same people).

    How doShaivites and Shaktas view Krishna and Rama? And how did Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma, and Devi came about?

    And when do historians estimate when the events of the Ramayana and Mahabharata occured?

    All this gets more interesting and interesting;).
     
  8. Agnideva

    Agnideva Member

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    Yep. The issue is the same. Many of the events in the epics are also did take place, but there is also a lot of supernatural phenomena in them as well. The epics were passed down orally for a long time before they were written down, so many new things probably got introduced into them.

    Yes. In Vaishnavism it is taught that different incarnations come to fulfill different purposes. Rama taught by example. Rama lived a life of high ideals, self-sacrifice, and in strict adherence to the principles of truth and dharma. A later version of the Ramayana actually contains a short section called the Rama Gita. The Rama Gita is a discourse between Rama and his brother, Lakshmana, and contains philosophical teachings.

    Shaivite and Shakta theologies do not accept the doctrine of incarnation of God, but the truth is most Hindus follow religion very eclectically. So, Rama and Krishna are well known and highly respected among all Hindus. An alternate (non-Vaishnavite) understanding of incarnation is that they are very highly evolved souls known as Paramuktas. The paramuktas are eternally liberated from the cycle of birth and death, but their individuality is very close to becoming (but has not yet become) one with Brahman. It is said that the paramuktas willingly take on an avatar for the sake of delivering a large number of people.

    I will explain this according to Shaivite theology, which I understand best. In Shaivism, Shiva is the Supreme Lord and is synonymous with Brahman. Shiva is the Creator (Brahma), Sustainer (Vishnu) and Dissolver (Rudra). They are not separate beings, but just aspects of Shiva. Devi (Shakti), the Divine Mother, is the Divine Potency of Shiva. Shiva and Shakti are not distinct, they are one imagined as two. Shiva and Shakti are inseparable like the Sun and sunlight, or eyes and eyesight.

    I am not fully sure how Vaishnavite theology deals with this. But, I would really like to know, if someone knows :)

    Both epics contain a lot of astronomical references, which have been used by historians for dating. Conservative estimates put the Ramayana circa 2000 BCE and the Mahabharata events circa 1500 BCE. Liberal estimates go back much further.
     

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