The Bhagavad-Gita
The Mahābhārata is both epic poem and theological text, but its massive length
discourages all but the most resolute readers from surveying its entire length --
almost two million words.  But the section known as the
Bhagavad-Gita, comprised
of a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna can be appreciated in isolation from the
rest of the work, and serves as a valuable introduction to Hindu thought.  This
sacred text is embedded in the sixth book of the Mahābhārata, and is set on the
battlefield of Kurukshetra shortly before the clash of opposing forces.  Krishna is
Bhagavan, or the divine one, and his discourse covers both practical matters
related to Arjuna's responsibilities as a warrior and leader, as well as metaphysical
concepts relating to the soul and dharma.   In the context of the Mahābhārata, this
dialogue serves to awaken Arjuna to the call of duty -- and in the ensuing battle,
Krishna serves a charioteer for Arjuna.