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Thanks for the response.....

The Gita is the core of the Mahabharata, one of the two great Hindu epics. The Mahabharata (Ma-ha-bha-ra-ta) is the story of Krishna, the other epic is Ramayana, the story of Rama. The Hindus have no single book like the Christian Bible, so the Epics, plus the Vedas (written over a long period) and commentaries called the Upanishads are the holy texts.

but Krishna and Rama are both incarnations of Vishnu, no?

....the christian bible is actually a bunch of small works cobbled together .... so not so
much different ( though for sheer poetry, i found The Gita far more inspiring )

are the "holy texts" 'holy' in the same way as Bible, ie, taken to be "word of god"?
or taken more allegorically/metaphorically?

Hinduism is a layered religion, starting with elemental worship and evolving into belief in a single Supreme being that can take any form (Rama, Krishna, etc.).

i think that partly clears up another question....
digging around the net, seems that Rama, Krishna are 'from' Vishnu, but there's also Brahma
and Shiva. Are those three from a single god?
Is that what you mean by 'layered' .... that originally there were lots of gods and as the
religion evolved, the lots were seen to be 'from' a few and then the few from one?

One interpretation is that Buddhism is to Hinduism as Protestantism is to Catholicism. Buddha is said to have been disturbed by the emphasis of form over function and wanted to define a simpler, purer truth.

interesting. i don't know enough about either ... have to try to think on that.

I am not sure of the literal translation of the passage you quote, but the Hindus did have the concept of billion and much larger numbers. You probably already knew that the Hindus first came up with the concept of zero, even :-)

i had heard that about Zero.
and there were later passages i think make it clear that they had the concept... say "billions
and billions" and maybe you just mean "lots and lots", say (something like) "a day and a night to Brahma is 4 billion years" and it must mean something more than "4 times lots"

of course, in the end, The Gita mostly gets it wrong
a sign of supreme confidence in your ability to understand and interpret the Gita.

bad joke. to the limited extent i understood it, i actually think it's mostly right.

again, thanks for your thoughts.

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