Whenever we hear word Gita we think about Bhagavad Gita. But do you know there are 60 different kinds of Gitas, like VyadhGita, RibhuGita, AstavakraGita, AwadhootGita and many more.
Out of these, Bhagavad Gita is most famous mainly because it’s part of Mahabharata and is told by Shrikrishna himself. But that’s not why it is important. The importance comes from what it contains, and how it can help reader. Additionally, there is nothing in Bhagavad Gita, that was not known when it was told by Shrikrishna, so lets try to understand what it contains.
Hinduism’s knowledge is spread across various vedas,. But, vedas are like ocean, and the real knowledge is hidden inside those hundreds of thousands verses. It is so obscure that people reading it mainly get lost in the yagnic, poetic, and singing portion and the real meaning is rarely understood.
Upanishads, (which are last portions of Vedas, so called Vedanta) brings out that knowledge and presents it in thousands of verses. Here, the knowledge is direct, but spread over 108 different upanishads. While it is comparatively easier to understand, but it is still very difficult to get an overview.
Bhagavad Gita is the only place which summarizes that same knowledge in 700 verses, and provides the great summary and a bird’s eye view to reader. This is one reason why Bhagavad Gita is important.
But, there is another reason. While providing summary, Bhagavad Gita also outlines various paths that one can use to reach Moksha/Self-Realization. Due to that, when one reads Bhagavad Gita, he/she can feel resonation with one of the paths described. This helps readers to identify what would be ideal path for them, be it Bhakti, Jnana, Dnaya, Karama or anything in-between.
In short, Reading Bhagavad Gita, not only gives one a summary of the Vedantic knowledge, but can also help to find a path one follow for attaining Moksha, and that makes it one of the most important scripture in Hinduism.