This map shows the modern borders of India and its neighboring states. At the time The Bhagavad Gita was written as part of a massive epic (400 BCE – 400 CE), Kurukshetra was a powerful kingdom in a region with no dominating power or empire, a land up for grabs. The price of maintaining peace and establishing a dynasty is questioned by Arjuna, the hero of the Gita. People for centuries after the time of the story fought for control of this land, until the British Empire overcame local powers in the late 1700s. The nation of India would emerge from that empire in the 1940s.
This timeline shows both the history of the written story of The Bhagavad Gita and the history of Indian politics and religion that influenced that story.
|3000 BCE||The proto-Indo-European language develops in Central Asia.
|2800-2600 BCE||Indus script is developed.
|1700 BCE||The Indus Valley civilization ends, and Indo-Aryans fill the gap by invading India from the West.
|750 BCE||Indo-Aryans rule over the 16 mahajanapadas or "great states" in northern India, from the Indus River to the Ganges River.
|538 BCE||Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire, conquers northwestern parts of the Indian sub-continent.
|400 BCE - 400 CE|
|327-326 BCE||Alexander the Great visits the Indus Valley.
|First century CE||The Bhagavata Gita is composed.
|1785 CE||Charles Wilkins.