The Bhagavad Gita ('the song of the Spirit' ). An ancient Indian scripture consisting of eighteen chapters from the sixth book (Bhishma Parva) of the Mahabharata epic. Presented in the form of a dialogue between the avatar (q.v.) Lord Krishna and his disciple Arjuna on the eve of the historic battle of Kurukshetra, the Gita is a profound treatise on the science of yoga (union with God) and a timeless prescription for happiness and success in everyday living.
The Gita is allegory as well as history, a spiritual dissertation on the inner battle between man's good and bad tendencies. Depending on the context, Krishna symbolizes the guru, the soul, or God; Arjuna represents the aspiring devotee. Of this universal scripture Mahatma Gandhi wrote: "Those who will meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day. There is not a single spiritual tangle which the Gita cannot unravel."