The Gita has been set in the Mahabharata, an epic dealing with family-
struggle. The central message of this great epic written by Vyas is
presented in the form of the Gita. The dialogue between Krishna and
Arjuna distills the essence of all Upanishads. The word Arjuna means one
who is honest and straightforward in nature. Derived from Sanskrit root
‘arj” it also means acquirer of esteemed knowledge. Krishna representing
God Almighty is the repository of knowledge and he is the narrator.
Incidentally Arjun, the devotee who listened to this great teaching, is
also called Krishna. Similarly original name of Vyas was also Krishna
Dwaipayana. Thus Krishna is the writer, Krishna is the narrator and
Krishna is the listener of the Gita. This world is a battlefield where
righteousness and wickedness constantly fight with one another. Pandavas
having divine qualities of truthfulness, contentment, restraint,
fortitude, mercy, amiability and forgiveness represent righteousness.
Kauravas having royal support represent wickedness and have demoniac
disposition of egotism, hatred, envy, rancour, conspiracy, cruelty,
greed, ignorance, anger, indulgence and duplicity. The forces of
goodness and wickedness are arrayed in human form. Arjun, main hero of
righteousness, seated in a chariot is placed by Krishna between the two
armies. Here he sees relationship and kinship and becomes infatuated. He
forgets his duty to fight for righteousness. He thinks that the battle
is for the kingdom of Hastinapur which cannot be enjoyed without
kinsmen. Despondency overcomes his mind and intellect. He behaves like a
coward and tells Sri Krishna that he cannot fight.