The name, Bhagavad Gita, means “Song of the Lord,” referring to one of the central characters of the narrative, Lord Krishna. The tale takes place at the Battle of Kurukshetra, fought between Arjuna’s family and allies (the Pandavas) and those of the prince Duryodhana and his family (the Kauravas
On the brink of a great battle between warring branches of the same family, Arjuna is suddenly overwhelmed with misgivings about the justice of killing so many people, some of whom are his friends and relatives, and expresses his feelings to Krishna his charioteer—a combination bodyguard and court historian. Krishna’s reply expresses the central themes of the Gita. He persuades Arjuna to do his duty as a man born into the class of warriors, which is to fight, and the battle takes place.
The main message of the Bhagavad Gita is that the ultimate purpose of a human life is to realize one’s true self, and that one’s physical body, mental faculties, and sense organs are merely vehicles through which one can worship the divine.