All of us aware of Srimad Bhagavd Gita. Gita refers to a divine song or powerful spiritual message conveyed by one to another in most cases from a standpoint of a Guru (teacher) to a Shishya. These were different conversations which had taken place between various people on how to conduct oneself or how to face situations during testing periods. The clarifications or solutions provided during such periods were termed as Gita.
A closer look at all the Gitas show that most of them occurred in the Mahabharata.
A look at the various forms of Gita (in alphabetical order) are as given below:
1. Anu Gita: It occurs in the Mahabharata in the Ashwamedha Parva. Adhyaaya 16. The conversation is between Pandava Prince Arjuna and Shri Krishna after the war and coronation of Yudhisthira as King.
2. Ashtavakra Gita: It is a conversation between King Janaka and Ashtavakra on soul, bondage and ultimate reality, emphasis being on renunciation or Sanyasa.
3. Avadhutha Gita: It is based on the principles of Advaitha Vedanta and is said to have been sung by Lord Dattatreya who was considered an Avadhuta or a saint born on this earth beyond ego concsciousness and duality.
4. Bhagavad Gita: It is a 700 verse scripture from the Mahabharata adhyaaya 25 to 42(18 chapters) of Bhishmaparva between the Pandava Prince Arjuna and Lord Krishna who acts as his guide and charioteer.
5. Bhikshu Gita: It is in Shrimad Bhagvat Purana, chapter 5 of Skanda 12. It is in the form of a dialogue between King Parikshit and Sage Suka and is a brief exposition of the Vedanta philosophy, Brahman and the Atma.
6. Bodhya Gita: It is from Mahabharata, Book Moksha parva which is a part of the Book Shanti Parva. It is a conversation between Rishi Bodhya and King Yayati.
7. Brahma Gita: It is from the Skanda Purana, 4th adhyaya of Sutha Samhita and first twelve chapters of Yagya Vaibhava Khanda. There is another version with the same name in the latter part of the nirvana portion of 173 to 181 in Yoga Vasishta.
8. Brahmana Gita: It is a part of the Anu Gita which has been mentioned above.
9. Devi Gita: It is part of the Devi Bhagavatham written by the great sage Vyasa, seventh Skandha from adhyaya 31 to 40. It tells us about an incarnation of the Devi wherein she describes her own nature, nature of her worship with meditation, yogic practices, rituals and other austerities.
10. Ganesha Gita: It is from Ganesh Puran, chapters 138-148 of the Kridakandha which is modelled on the Bhagavad Gita where Ganesha is given the divine and central role. It is a discourse between King Varenya and Lord Ganesha in the form of Gajanana.
11. Gopika Gita: It is the song of the Gopis or the cowherd girls of Brindavan and their deep and selfless love to Lord Krishna. This is in the tenth chapter of the Bhagavat Puran which is the story of Lord Vishnu as told by the great Sage Suka to King Janamejaya.
12. Guru Gita: It was written by Sage Vyasa and consists of 352 verses. It is part of the Skanda Puran and is a dialogue between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in which she asks him to teach her all about the Guru tattwa.
13. Hamsa Gita (or also referred to as Uddhava Gita): It is in Shrimad Bhagavat Puran, Skandha 11,verse 40 section 6 to section 29 comprising of more than 1000 verses and consists of Krishna’s final discourse to Uddhava before Krishna leaves his mortal coil on Earth.
14. Hanumad Gita: It is the discourse that was given by Goddess Sita to Hanuman after their return back to Lanka after the defeat of Ravana and the coronation of Lord Rama.
15. Hari Gita: It was the name given by Sage Narada to the Bhagavad Gita in the Mahabharata, Book Shanti Parva, verse 10, chapter 346.
16. Haritha Gita: It is from Mahabharatha, Mokshaparva as a part of Shantiparva. It speaks of non violence in association with sanyasa ashram. It contains twenty verses attributed to Haritha Muni
17. Ishvara Gita: First 11 chapters of Uttara Vibhaaga from Kurma Purana. It contains the teachings of Lord Shiva also referred to as Ishvara and contains not only the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita but also many new themes like worshipping the Linga, Patanjali’s eight fold yoga and it believes that Shiva and not Lord Krishna is the ultimate goal.
18. Kapila Gita: It is from Shrimad Bhagavat Purana, Skandha 3, Chapters 23 to 33. It is the story of how Sage Kapila offers solace to his old mother Devahuti whose soul is hungering for spiritual knowledge.
19. Manki Gita: It is from Mahabharata, Moksha parva as a part of Shanti Parva. It is a story narrated in 50 verses of a saint named Manki and his two bullocks, the core message being give up desire and greed and develop compassion for all beings.
20. Pandava Gita or Prapanna Gita: It is called the Song of Surrender and it is made up of a compilation of quotes from many great personalities from the Puranic age who have glorified the Lord including all the Pandavas.
21. Parasara Gita: It is from Mahabharata, Moksha Parva as a part of Shanti Parva and it is the longest of all the Gitas of the Shanti Parva. It consists of nine chapters. It is said to be a dialogue between Sage Parasara the father of Sage Vyasa and King Janaka.
22. Pingala Gita: It is from Mahabharata, Moksha Parva as a part of Shanti Parva. It is a beautiful story told by Shri Krishna to Uddhava about a prostitute Pingala and her story of liberation.
23. Rama Gita: It is from Adhyaatma Ramayan which is a part of Brahmanda Purana in the 5th Sarga of the Uttara Khanda which is the common Gita generally referred to. The other one is common in Tamil Nadu and is found in Guru Gyana Vasishta in TattvaSaarayana. There are three Khandas(parts) in this text namely Gyana Kanda(knowledge), Upasana Khanda(spiritual practice) and Karma Kanda(actions). The Rama Gita has 18 chapters in the second pada of the Upaasana Kanda.
24. Ramana Gita: This Gita was written by Shri Ramana Maharishi in Sanskrit. It was recorded by one of his foremost disciples Shri Ganapati Muni who in the company of several other disciples received answers to 37 Questions which were put forward to Shri Ramana along the lines of the Bhagavad Gita and formed 18 chapters of 300 verses
25. “Ribhu Gita*: It forms the sixth part of the Shiva Rahasya Purana and it is a dialogue between Sage Ribhu and Sage Nidagha in about two thousand verses on the Self and Brahman.
26. Rudra Gita: It is contained in Skanda 4 of the Srimad Bhagavatha of chapter 24 in shlokas 16-79 and in Varaha Puran in chapters 70-72.They are instructions given by Lord Shiva to Prachetas (Daksha). It contains verses dedicated to the glory and magnificence of Lord Vishnu. It eulogizes the worship of Vishnu to the path of liberation and self realization and also talks about Hinduism and its teachings.
27. Sampaaka Gita: It is from Mahabharata, Mokshaparva as a part of Shantiparva. It consists of twenty one verses in which Sampaaka a learned and pious Brahmin gives the message that one could attain everlasting happiness only through renunciation.
28. Shiva Gita: It is from Patala Khanda of Padma Purana and it is made up of 16 chapters. In this Gita, Sage Agastya consoles Rama when Ravana takes away Sita and advises him to pray to lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appears before Lord Rama and his teachings to Lord Rama forms the Shiva Gita.
29. Sruti Gita: It is contained in Skandha 10, chapter 87 of Srimad Bhagavatam where in King Parikshit asks Sage Suka to explain the attributeless Brahman against the theory of the Gods with attributes.
30. Surya Gita: It is found in Guru Gyana Vasishta in TattvaSaarayana. There are three Khandas(parts) in this text namely Gyana Kanda(knowledge),Upasana Khanda(spiritual practice) and Karma Kanda(actions). The Surya Gita is in first five adhyaayas in the third pada of Karma Kanda. (Vishishta Advaita)
31. Suta Gita: It is from Skandha Purana ,Adhyaayas 13 to 20 of Yagya Vaibhava Khanda. It refutes dualism and strictly advocates monism. It differs from the Bhagavad Gita as the Bhagavad Gita gives lots of space for further interpretations other than monism but the Suta Gita does not accept any other idea or interpretation
32. Swaminarayan Gita or Yogi Gita: It is a selection of teachings and prayers of Shri Yogiji Maharaj who was the fourth spiritual successor of Swaminarayan and gives the attributes necessary for a devotee to practice to attain liberation and spiritual enlightenment.
33. Uttara Gita: It is said that after enjoying all the pleasures of the kingdom and the materialistic world as Arjuna grew older, a sense of detachment came over him and he approached Krishna to impart to him the knowledge of the Brahman. It consists of three chapters and it gives answers to Arjuna’s questions.
34. Vallabh Gita: Vallabh Gita is also referred to as Shodasha granthas as Shri Vallabh taught his disciples to seek the true goal of life which is liberation. It is a collection of sixteen works of Shri Vallabh in which all range of subjects have been discussed.
35. Vasishta Gita or Yoga Vasishta: It is a discourse given by Maharishi Vasishta to Prince Rama when Rama is said to be in a dejected state. It consists of 32000 shlokas and is associated with the principles of non duality and Advaita Vedanta.
36. Vibheeshana Gita: This Gita is taught by Lord Rama to Vibheeshana on the battlefield of Lanka and advises Vibheeshana on the virtues of devotion, faith and right values.
37. Vicakhnu Gita: It is from Mahabharata, Mokshaparva as a part of Shanti parva. It speaks about Ahimsa or non violence. It consists of eleven verses and it tells us about King Vicakhnu’s visit to a yagna where animal sacrifice is to be performed and his moving pleas for Ahimsa. This is narrated by Bhishma to Yudhisthira.
38. Vidhura Gita: It is a dialogue between Vidura and King Dhritarashtra wherein he not only advises him about the science of politics but values of right conduct, fairplay and truthfulness.
39. Vritra Gita: It is from Mahabharat, Moksha Parva as a part of Shanti Parva. It is said to be a dialogue between a fierce demon Vritrasura and Shukracharya the Guru of all the demons (Asuras) and it consists of two chapters.
40. Vyaadha Gita: It is from Vana Parva Mahabharata and consists of the teachings given by a butcher(Vyaadha) to a monk which was related to Pandava prince Yudhisthira by Sage Markandeya. The arrogant monk is humbled by the simple butcher who teaches him ‘Nishkama Karma’.
41. Vyaasa Gita: It is from Kurma Purana, from 12th Adhyaaya onwards of Uttara Vibhaaga and Sage Vyaasa teaches the highest path to self knowledge. It emphasizes the unity of faiths and on the philosophy of non dualism.
42. Yama Gita: It is said to be of three types-1)In Vishnu Puran 3rd Ansh upto 7th chapter. 2) In Agni Purana,3rd khanda adhyaaya 381 and 3)In Narasimha Purana 8th adhyaaya.