Bhagavad Gita forms part of Hindu epic Mahabharata. The sermon of Bhagavad Gita was given to mankind by Lord Krishna in the historic battle of Mahabharata that was rightly termed as battle of dharma (righteousness).
The battle of Mahabharata was a Dharma yuddha fought between dharmic and adharmic forces of nature. The dharmic forces comprised of people who sided righteousness all the time. The adharmic forces comprised of people with evil intentions. Even though the kingdom rightly belonged to Pandava Kings who were elder in the family… King Duryodhana fought tooth and nail to usurp the kingdom from his co-brothers.
Initially Pandava Kings handed the kingdom peacefully to King Duryodhana but whence time for Pandava Kings to rule came… King Duryodhana refused to part with kingdom. And then ensued battle of dharma… mother of all battles fought in entire history of mankind. From beginning Lord Krishna sided Pandavas (the righteous kings). Lord Krishna knew outcome of battle even before start of war but his pleadings with King Duryodhana fell on deaf ears.
What astonished all was attitude of Bhishma Pitamah (maternal grandfather) and even Dronacharya (the respected guru of entire clan) who sided King Duryodhana (one full of deceit and treachery)!
When both armies lined up for battle… on seeing his beloved grandfather and guru Dronacharya standing on opposite side… King Arjuna refused to fight. When Lord Krishna… the charioteer of King Arjuna failed to convince King Arjuna to fight… he gave sermon of Bhagavad Gita to King Arjuna. As King Arjuna gradually realized that it was his folly not to fight… he slowly prepared self to fight battle of Mahabharata… battle of dharma (righteousness)!
In the sermon Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna admonished King Arjuna by calling him a coward. Lord Krishna stated that King Arjuna was supposed to fight the battle as a King for the sake of his countrymen even though many of his cousins and family members existed in the opposite camp. Lord Krishna further emphasized that body of King Arjuna was only a medium… it was our soul atman, the spirit within that was always governing in cosmic system.
It was our soul atman, the spirit within that manifested human form to work out its karma. Lord Krishna emphasized on King Arjuna that Arjuna was duty-bound to fight the enemy. Practically he had no other choice as a King. No sooner King Arjuna realized his folly… he fought the battle with full vigor. Lord Krishna told Arjuna that he was fighting battle of dharma (righteousness) against evil forces of adharma (lawlessness). Lord Krishna emphasized Arjuna to fight the battle with an unattached attitude.
Lord Krishna also indicated to Arjuna that if his maternal grandfather Bhishma Pitamah and favorite guru Dronacharya sided evil forces… they were wrong! To fight the enemy was his dharma (his eternal right) and none in the world could stop him from doing so. As the sermon of Bhagavad Gita prolonged further… King Arjuna eventually realized the gravity of situation. He finally fought a pitched battle with the enemy along with his four brother kings.
The epic Mahabharata carried utmost importance in life of human beings not only in India but world over. As sermon of Bhagavad Gita is part of epic Mahabharata… both Bhagavad Gita and epic Mahabharata are invaluable documents in life of human beings.
The complete essence of human life is contained in teachings of Bhagavad Gita. By following wisdom contained in Bhagavad Gita seriously and ceremoniously… any human being world over could easily reach stage of enlightenment (kaivalya jnana). One may follow any religion, faith or belief but to gain enlightenment in present life… our indulgence in sacred teachings of Bhagavad Gita was an absolute must… one could never do without!