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Harita Gita In The Mahabharata

The Harita Gita, also known as the Hāritīya Gītā, is a lesser-known part of the Mahabharata. It is often included among the various "Gitas" within the epic, which are dialogues of philosophical and spiritual significance. The Harita Gita is a conversation between Harita, a sage, and his disciples, exploring themes of dharma (duty/righteousness), ethics, and the nature of reality.

Context within the Mahabharata

  • Placement: The Harita Gita is found in the Shanti Parva (Book of Peace), specifically in the Moksha Dharma section. The Shanti Parva is the twelfth book of the Mahabharata, which primarily deals with the aftermath of the great war, and includes discourses on governance, philosophy, and duties of kings and individuals.
  • Content: In this Gita, Harita imparts wisdom to his disciples, focusing on various aspects of moral and ethical conduct, and the pursuit of spiritual knowledge. The dialogue touches upon how one should live a life in accordance with dharma and the pursuit of moksha (liberation).

Key Themes

  1. Dharma: The central theme of the Harita Gita is dharma, emphasizing the importance of righteous living and fulfilling one's duties.
  2. Ethics: Harita discusses ethical dilemmas and the importance of making decisions that align with moral principles.
  3. Spiritual Knowledge: The dialogue encourages the pursuit of spiritual wisdom and understanding the deeper truths of existence.
  4. Liberation (Moksha): The ultimate goal of following dharma and gaining spiritual knowledge is to attain moksha, liberation from the cycle of birth and death.


The Harita Gita, like other Gitas within the Mahabharata, serves to provide guidance on how to lead a life that is morally and spiritually fulfilling. It complements the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita by offering another perspective on dharma and the path to liberation.

Comparison with the Bhagavad Gita

  • Scope: While the Bhagavad Gita is a direct dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, addressing the immediate moral and spiritual crisis faced by Arjuna, the Harita Gita is more of a didactic discourse.
  • Content: The Bhagavad Gita covers a broad range of philosophical topics, including devotion, karma, and jnana (knowledge). The Harita Gita, on the other hand, is more focused on ethical living and dharma.

In summary, the Harita Gita provides valuable insights into ethical living and the pursuit of spiritual knowledge, enriching the philosophical and moral landscape of the Mahabharata. It underscores the importance of dharma and offers guidance for achieving a life of righteousness and eventual liberation.