In the older framework of the M ahabharata he appears as a great chieftain and ally of the Pandava brothers; and it is only in the interpolated episode of the Bhagavad-gita that he is identified with Vishnu and becomes the revealer of the doctrine of bhakti or religious devotion.
So great were his learning and piety that he was regarded as an incarnation of Siva, and his works (commentaries on the Vedanta Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads) exercised a permanent influence on Hindu thought.
One interesting analogy communicated by Professor Rapson, may, however, be cited from the Bhagavad-gita, iv.
Camperio, Una Gita in Cirenaica 0880; H.
Rhys Davids, and also from the many translations in all the European languages of the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads.