Question: I understand the Bhagavad Gita is the recital from Lord Krishna to Arjuna, but who recorded all of His words and compiled it into the Gita?

Thank you for writing with your question. Sri Sanjaya, the saintly disciple of Vyasa Muni, was able to see the entire battle of Kurukshetra (including the conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna) by the power of his mystic vision. Sanjaya was an assistant of Dhritarashtra, who was blind from birth. Since Dhritarashtra was unable to see, he asked Sanjaya to describe the battle as he saw it with his mystical vision. On the first day of the battle, Sanjaya saw and heard Lord Krishna’s conversation with Arjuna, and he repeated it word for word to Dhritarashtra.

The scene of Dhritarashtra inquiring from Sanjaya about the battle was in turn seen by Sri Vyasa Muni by his mystical vision. He chose to include this discussion (which includes the narration of the Gita) between Sanjaya and Dhritarashtra in the Mahabharata. Thus the Bhagavad Gita begins with the words “dhritarashtra uvaca” or “Dhritarashtra said…” It begins with the king asking Sanjaya what was occuring on the battlefield. And Sanjaya replied by narrating the conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna.

Later Vyasa Muni wanted to put the Mahabharata in written form, and for this he took the assistance of Sri Ganesh. Lord Ganesha broke one of his tusks and used it as a pen. Vyasa Muni spoke the Mahabharata (which includes the Gita), and Lord Ganesha transcribed it.