The Bhagavad Gita is a text from the chapter Bhisma Parva of the Mahabharata epic which is comprised of 700 verses. It is an extended dialogue between Prince Arjuna, similar to epic heroes such as Hector and Achilles, and Lord Krishna who is an “incarnation of the divine spirit.” This section of the work is entitled the Bhagavad Gita , the Song of God and is considered to be one of India’s most important documents of philosophy and religion.
The evolution of the Indian culture and religion began when the Indus River valley was invaded by the Indo-Aryans in about 1500 B.C.E. The Indo-Aryan invaders were subjected to a highly spiritual and advanced culture. They shared their culture with the Achaens and Dorians of Ancient Greece and Rome but adapted their ways to those of the Indus River valley. The culture that developed as a result of this convergence of cultural beliefs was very different from that of their ancestors. Modern-day Indian spirituality is based on the foundations of Indo-Aryan texts such as the Rig Veda, “one of the oldest Indo-European literary/philosophical works,” and the Upanishads. The focus of the Rig Veda is “rituals and prayers that lead to acceptance of earthly life.” The gods featured in the Rig Veda are “personifications of natural forces” just as the gods of early Greece. The Upanishads takes a turn away from the phenomena of natural forces and focuses on the “inner life and transcendental spirit.