The Bhagavad Gita is a Hindu scripture. It comprises 700 verses over 18 chapters, although there is evidence that earlier versions had 45 more verses. It is part of a larger work, the sixth book of the epic Mahabharata.
As the Mahabharata is traditionally attributed to Vyasa, a sage who is known as an avatar of Vishnu, among other things, the Gita is also attributed to him. There is no clear consensus as to when the Gita was written. Theories range from as early as the fifth century BC to the second. It is likely, however, that the earliest written parts are no older than the Mahabharata, which probably has its origins in between the ninth and eighth centuries BC and which reached its final form sometime around the fourth century AD.
It should also come as no surprise that biographical information about Vyasa is shaky at best. According to legend he was the son of Satyavati and Parashara. Satyavati was the queen of Kuru king Shantanu. Before she married Shantanu, she worked to ferry people across rivers like the Yamuna. She was the adopted daughter of a fisherman who had found her inside a pregnant fish. The fisherman had found two babies, one male and one female, in the fish. He gave the male to the king, who let him keep the girl, which the king named Matsya-gandhi ("she who has the smell of fish") due to her persistent fishy odor. The fisherman named her Kali, "the dark one", for her complexion, and she was later known as Satyavati ("truthful").
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