The "Song Celestial" is a commentary on sacred literature in the spirit of personal devotion or bhakti that had become the dynamic force of later Hinduism. It came to be added to the Mahabharata, originally a secular epic, in the form of a beautiful poem believed to have been recited by Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu, to Arjun on the eve of the battle to persuade him to do his duty as a kshatriya when he showed a reluctance to fight against his kinsmen. As suggested by Abu Rehan Alberuni's remarks, already by the beginning of the 11th century, this Vaishnav version of Brahmanical faith appears to have become more popular in northwestern India. The Bhagwadgita was perceived by Alberuni as the most important religious text of the Hindus, though the version he quotes is not the standard one.
   See also Vaishnavas.

Historical dictionary of Medieval India. . 2011.

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