an Indian epic which is important in HINDU mythology. It is the "Great Story" which records the HISTORY of the descendants of Bhrata. The epic is about 100,000 verses long and includes numerous sub-sections. The main story is clearly older than the historic text which was compiled sometime between 400 B.C. and 400 A.D. There is no scholarly consensus as to whether the epic is based on historical events, or purely artistic invention. The central theme develops from the MYTHS of VISHNU'S AVATRS. The Goddess Earth is oppressed by DEMONS and over-population and in danger of being submerged in the ocean. To relieve her, the GODS take human FORM and descend to earth headed by Vishnu who is born as KRISHNA and who declares the THEOLOGY of the epic in the BHAGAVAD-GTA . The story then focuses on the HISTORY of the dynasty and its response to crisis over four generations.

Concise dictionary of Religion. 2012.

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  • BHAGAVAD-GITA —    literally translated The Song of the Lord. Probably the most popular book of HINDU SCRIPTURE in the West. In context it forms part of the great Indian EPIC, the MAHBHRATA, which can be dated somewhere between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D. For many… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • KALIYUGA —    the fourth age of the present aeon which in traditional HINDU COSMOLOGY started with the MAHBHRATA war some 5,000 years ago. It is the last age of a series of ages during which RELIGION and SOCIAL LIFE were in decline and will end in social… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • KRISHNA — (Krsna Sanskrit)    the most important incarnation of VISHNU (Viu Sanskrit) in HINDU MYTHOLOGY. The name literally means the Black One. The stories of the MAHBHRATA are about aspects of his earthly existence the most important SPIRITUAL section… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

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