A Bird's Eye View of the Uddhava Gita

The world appears    to you when the mind is working. During the dreamless sleep, the world    disappears to you because the mind is dissolved. Therefore, the world which    comes and goes many times a day is only a creation of the mind. The world is    unreal. The world is like a revolving firebrand. - Hamsa Gita

There are several Hindu Scriptural  texts by the name Gita though this name has come to be synonymous with the  Bhagavad Gita because of its popularity. There is another Gita which goes by  the name Uddhava Gita which is also in the format of a dialogue between Krishna  and his dear friend, Uddhava.  The timing  of this dialogue is when the Lord’s incarnation as Krishna is nearing its end.  The destruction of Yadava clan by mutual fratricidal fighting has already  started on account of a curse by the holy men on them. During such turbulent times  Krishna advised the Yadavas to move to Prabhasa for prayers. At this point  Uddhava, the great devotee and attendant of Krishna, apprehending the impending  danger, approached him for spiritual instructions.

These teachings of Krishna to  Udddhava, spread over 23 chapters-from the 7th to 29th -  of the 11th Skandha (Canto) of Srimad Bhagavatam came to be known as  the Uddhava Gita. In the Gita literature it ranks only next to the Bhagavad Gita.  These teachings are also called Hamsa Gita. The 11th Canto ends with  the final destruction of the Yadavas by mutual fighting and the exit of Krishna  after being shot at by a hunter. As  the Upanishads are the Jnana Kanda of the Vedas, so too the Uddhava Gita is the  Jnana Kanda of Srimad Bhagavatam, the quintessence of the devotional path.

Differences between the Uddhava  Gita And Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita is  known as ‘Song of the God’ whereas, Uddhava Gita is known as farewell message  of Krishna, a parting discourse, and is meant for those who have advanced  knowledge of Vedanta.

Uddhava Gita is  the message or speech given by Lord Krishna to his friend and devotee Uddhava  before his departure from the earth to console him from his sadness and  explaining why the "Yadu" race or Yadava community should fall; the  Bhagavad Gita is a clarion call for action and for performing one’s own duties.

In Bhagavad Gita  SriKrishna explains to Arjuna his duties as a warrior and prince and elaborates  on different Yogic and Vedantic philosophies, whereas in Uddhava Gita Krishna  explains about, spirituality, religion, code of conduct for various classes of  society and stages of life, supremacy of devotion, different paths to  enlightenment, mind as a root cause of all miseries and many other similar topics.

In both the  cases the listener is one only, In Uddhava Gita, it is Sri Krishna's friend  Uddhava; in Bhagavad Gita, it is Arjuna.
The Bhagvad Gita  was revealed by Krishna to Arjuna during the 18-day   long battle of Kurukshetra, while the  Uddhava Gita was revealed by Krishna to his Yadava friend, Uddhava during the  days prior to his departure from this planet.

Though both  Bhagvad Gita and Uddhava Gita were narrated by the great sage, Vyasa, Bhagvad Gita  was described in his epic Mahabharata while the Uddhava Gita was described by  him in his Pauranic work Srimad   Bhagvatam.

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