Bhagavad Gita: The Theory of Soul vs. the Body

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Imagine yourself walking past a homeless man. His hopeless eyes catch yours while he asks, “can you spare (should be spare) some loose change, please look to your soul.” If you were to look deep into a mirror past the exterior fixtures of the face and see into the inner sanctum: what would you find? Why do people reference the soul before the actions of the body, and why do we associate the soul to a higher state of harmony? In the short novel Bhagavad Gita, Krishna, the Vrishni prince believes that the only way to ultimate harmony is to reject the body, including the brain and embrace the soul. Throughout the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains the eternal power of the atman or “soul” is the all-encompassing force over the body, while the body itself is considered an unpretentious vehicle that produces the soul’s movements and decisions. Although Krishna emphases the soul is more powerful than the body, he also believes the soul is more powerful than the mind.
Krishna describes the body in relation to the soul in the first disclosure during the great battle. Arjuna is caught in a situation where he must choose to fight and kill his own family in war (11). Krishna encourages Arjuna to fight, because nothing on Earth can harm the atman. Krishna believes, “these bodies have an end; but they are said to belong to the eternal embodied self that which is never lost and cannot be measured (21).” To Krishna the bodies are not significant on account of the body will only be a temporary vessel. Warfare is necessary in Krishna’s eyes in view of the atman will still survive death regardless of what the circumstance. This idea of the body being worthless to humanity is the central theme in Krishna’s theory. The body to him is a mere vessel that...

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...atman to take control. The Bhagavad Gita shows that the body is considered second to the soul. Through the practice of rejecting the body, an individual will conquer the art of yoga. To Krishna yoga is the way to gain mediation and peace, which will allow the atman to be one with Brahman. The larger realization is that the body is not the way to Brahman. Arjuna must reject his personal beliefs and his body temptations to encourage the soul to take over him. The body is portrayed as negative because the body has no real purpose in life but to contain the soul. The soul is considered the main reason for the body’s movements and thought process. The soul cannot be harmed while the body can be destroyed. It is this philosophy in the Bhagavad Gita that the body is temporary, but the soul will live forever and become part of the greater good.

Works Cited

Bhagavad Gita

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