The Bhagavad Gita (Sanskrit: “The Song of the Bhagavan”), often referred to as simply the Gita, is a 700-verse scripture that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. This scripture contains a conversation between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide Lord Krishna on a variety of theological and philosophical issues.
Faced with a fratricidal war, a despondent Arjuna turns to his charioteer Krishna for counsel on the battlefield. Krishna, through the course of the Gita, imparts to Arjuna wisdom, the path to devotion, and the doctrine of selfless action.
Numerous commentaries have been written on the Bhagavad Gita with widely differing views on the essentials, like Adi Sankara’s commentary on the Gita in the eighth century. Commentators see the setting of the Gita in a battlefield as an allegory for the ethical and moral struggles of the human life. The Bhagavad Gita’s call for selfless action inspired many leaders of the Indian independence movement including Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who referred to the Gita as his “spiritual dictionary”.
The Bhagavad-Gita is full of moral values, pearls of wisdom and a divine message sans bounds of time.
Bhagavad Gita (Part 1)
sung by Ghantasala
Ghantasala breathed life into his rendition of the Bhagavad-Gita and left it adorned as a spiritual treat. His endeavour in bringing the essence of the Gita unto the lay and the learned on the wings of poesy in a mellifluous musical strain left an everlasting imprint on the minds of generations of its listeners.
Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao
Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao (1922–1974) was a Legendary and Distinguished Indian playback singer and music composer of Telugu films and many other languages such as Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Tulu and Hindi. He was the recipient of the Padmashree award, India’s fourth highest civilian award. For nearly more than a quarter of a century, he was the distinguished voice of Telugu films. He composed exemplary music for more than 100 movies in Telugu, Tamil and Kannada films.
He composed and sang the Bhagavad Gita just before his death in 1974, (he died of throat cancer, which effected his rendering of famous Gita sloka, as evident from voice failing due to throat cancer can be noted between Part-1 & II of the Bhagavad Gita) a rendition which became highly acclaimed and continues to be as popular as ever. Ghantasala breathed life into his rendition of the Bhagavad-Gita and left it adorned as a spiritual treat. His endeavour in bringing the essence of the Gita unto the lay and the learned on the wings of poesy in a mellifluous musical strain left an everlasting imprint on the minds of generations of its listeners. It is one thing for the maestro to render musically more than 10,000 songs in all in general and quite another to import the essence of about 700 hymns of the Bhagavad-Gita in just 100. There have been many who sang the hymns of the song celestial but could not match with Ghantasala. Ghantasala could captivate his listeners of the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ through his own style and that of the inherent divine force of the classic.
He served as the Aaasthana Gaayaka (court musician) for the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. The famous & much acclaimed renderings of Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao include private albums, like Bhagawad Gita, Patriotic Songs, Padyalu (a unique genre of Telugu – singing the verses in dramatic style), Pushpa Vilapam, Devotional and folk songs. His recording of “Bhagawad Gita” can now be heard daily in the Tirumala temple. The “Bhagawad Gita” music directed and sung by Ghantasala continues to be as popular as ever even today.
Ghantasala was “no mere singer” but also a “true poet” who with his melodious voice could comprehend and did give expression to the deepest feelings of love, pity, joy, suffering, piety, happiness and bitterness in a manner no one else could, or did. The “Melody King” legendary Ghantasala continues to hold sway over millions of music lovers, crossing generation barriers, with the mellifluous magic spell of his golden voice. Gifted with what V. A. K. Ranga Rao called “the most majestic voice”, he helped Telugu film music develop its own distinct character which remains unparalleled.
He won the “best singer award” in the Telugu film industry every year for three decades, a feat perhaps unachieved by any other playback singer. Ghantasala was honoured with the “Padmashri” by the Government of India. On 11 February 2003, a stamp was released in honor of Ghantasala at Telugu Lalita Kala Toranam, Public Gardens, Hyderabad.