‘Gita’ is commonly understood as the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ in which Lord Krishna preaches Arjuna on various aspects of life. But you will be surprised to know that there are about sixty different kinds of ‘Gita’ which exist in the rich Indian tradition and each has got its own special place in the cultural heritage and the devotee’s heart. Gita is song or verse that appeals directly to the human heart. Verse is fluent to recite and easy to memorize. The ‘Gita’s contain instructions or answers given by the learned ones (Jivanmuktas and Aparoksha-Jnanis) to the eager questionings of earnest seekers. Let us know about the different kinds of ‘Gita’s.
1. Guru Gita – Conversation between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It stresses the need for and the importance of seeking a Spiritual Teacher (Guru) and extols his greatness. It is described in Skanda Purana.
2. Ashtavakra Gita – Conversation between Sage Ashtavakra and King Janaka. It speaks about Advaita Vedanta, bondage and self-realization. It emphasizes on the superiority of the Indwelling Atma to the frailties of the human body and its afflictions as symbolized by Ashtavakra. It is described in the Vana Parva of Mahabharata.
3. Avadhuta Gita – Conversation between Sage Dattatreya and Skanda (Lord Kartikeya). It asserts the highest realizations of a Jivanmukta or a realized soul.