What can you tell us about the author in Bhagavad Gita?How is the author’s background reflected in his work in bhagavad gita? What is the significance of your chosen passage? What led you to...

What can you tell us about the author in Bhagavad Gita?

How is the author’s background reflected in his work in bhagavad gita?

What is the significance of your chosen passage?

What led you to select it?

What cultural differences do you notice when you compare your selection to the Western Civilization texts we’ve been reading or other texts you’re familiar with?

1 Answer | Add Yours

thanatassa's profile pic

thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The authorship of the Bhagavad Gita is not known. The text we now have was added to the Mahabharata at some point between the fifth century BCE and the first century CE, but it is impossible to date precisely. Its genre, that of a dialogue between a sage and a younger disciple, or person seeking wisdom, is a common genre in religious literature, found in the Christian tradition of “sayings Gospels” and the Confucian literature as well. Because there is no individual author per se, but probably a gradual assimilation of stories and sayings in the manner of oral tradition, one finds a formulaic agglutinative style typical of wisdom literature (i.e. one cannot speak of “the author’s background” but instead of “oral tradition”). In this, it has a great deal in common with other western and eastern sacred texts and oral epos of a similar nature, but differs from single-authored texts in lacking individuated characters and singular voices.

(NB: Since you did not list a specific passage, it is not possible to answer: “What is the significance of your chosen passage?” and “What led you to select it?”. Therefore I have chosen to answer the other two questions.)

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,917 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question