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Gitarnava – Commentary On Bhagavad Gita By Dasopant

Gitarnava is a Marathi commentary on the Bhagavad Gita by Dasopant (1551-1615). Dasopant was a great devotee of Dattatreya in whose praise he wrote a number of Marathi literary works.

Dasopant was an austere follower of the Vedanta School and composed scholarly works on Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita.

Gitarnava was the first of his two commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita – a voluminous work, ocean-like, as the title indicates. Only one-third of Gitarnava is now available in print. Chapters I, II, XII, XIII and XVII have been published with 41,055 ovis (a Marathi metrical form of verse).

The commentary is in Puranic style, elaborating all the outstanding tenets of the Vedanta School. Gitarnava was followed by another commentary. Gitarnava Gitartha Chandrika – equally voluminous in Marathi and Sanskrit.

These two commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita explicating the Vedantic tenets on the lines of the great Shankaracharya are the landmarks in the author’s literary career.

It is curious to see that even though he is one of the greatest exponents of Vedanta, he seldom follow the beaten track of the traditional Shankara School. In all this works he is more reliant upon Upanishads and is keen to seek out the essence of Upanishadic textual secrets while commenting upon the Bhagavad Gita.

Gitarnava is a harmonious blend of Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. The author is keen to interlink Upanishads with the Bhagavad Gita. He elaborates the teaching of Upanishads in detail and switches over to the text of the Bhagavad Gita.

Gitarnava is the largest commentary both in size and scope. It is said that this huge commentary contains 125,000 verses, which are in the ovi meter. Marathi scholars and literary historians made an extensive search of the manuscript copies of Gitarnava and came to the conclusion that the original Gitarnava contains 120,000 verses. This huge work was completed in the year 1613 AD at Ambajogai (Beed District).

Dasopant, the author, besides being a polymath of Marathi literature was also a bilingual writer who composed his works in Sanskrit.

Source –
  • Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume IV – IHRF – Page 297
  • Medieval Indian Literature Surveys and Selections (1997) K Ayyappa Panicker – Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi
  • Classical Marathi Literature From the Beginning to AD 1818 (1979) Shankar Gopal Tulpule – Harrassowitz Wiesbaden.



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