The Song Goes Ever On: A Brief Look at the Uddhava Gita

How to Cite

Edwin F Bryant. (2022). The Song Goes Ever On: A Brief Look at the Uddhava Gita: Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 12(1), 9–14. Retrieved from


The Uddhava Gita (found in the eleventh book of the Bhagavata Pu-ratta) is one of the many Vas" associated with the Vaishnava tradition. Though the Bhagavad Gita is arguably the most famous of these girds, the tradition offers us Gila Govinda, Gopi Gita, Venu Gita, Bhramara Gita, and several others. Gita means "song," and within the context of sa­cred literature, it refers to particularly mellifluous and blessed songs of divine truth, uttered by great devotees or by the Lord himself.

In some ways, the Uddhava Gita is among the most important of the genre, for it focuses on Krishna's final instructions before leaving the earthly plane. More, these instructions are delivered to Uddhava, who is recognized by the tradition as a mahabhagavata, or "greatest amongst the devotees," and as tnukhyatia knwparigrahe, "foremost of those who are intimate with Krish­na." (Bh.P. 3.4.24) He is also Krishna's cousin, and practically his twin.

For these reasons and others-, it is curious that the Uddhava Gita has never enjoyed the fame of its sister text, the Bhagavad Gita, with which it shares several verses in common. (Bryant, in his endnotes, points out the specific verses found in both texts.) In certain ways, the Uddhava Gita goes further than the Bhagavad Gita, illuminating its central teaching of devotion to Krishna and emphasizing the importance of seeing Krishna everywhere, in - everyone, and at all times.

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