Essay PreviewMore ↓
The Bhagavad-Gita begins with the preparation of battle between the two opposing sides: on the left stands the collected armies of the one hundred sons of Dhritarashtra and on the right lies the soldiers of the Pandava brothers. Warring relatives feuding over the right to govern the land of Kurukshetra, both forces stand poised and ready to slaughter one another. The warrior Arjuna, leader of the Pandava armies, readies himself as his charioteer, the god Krishna, steers toward the opposition when the armies are ready to attack. Arjuna stops Krishna short before the two sides clash together. Hesitation and pity creeps into Arjuna’s heart as he surveys his family and relatives on the other side; he loses his will to win at the cost of the lives he still loves. As Arjuna sets down his bow and prepares for his own death, the god Krishna begins his council with Arjuna, where Krishna uses various ideas on action, self-knowledge, and discipline to reveal to Arjuna the freedom to be attained from the suffering of man once Arjuna finds his devotion to Krishna.
Before Krishna begins his teachings, Arjuna analyzes his emotions and describes to Krishna the way his heart feels. “Krishna, I seek no victory, or kingship or pleasures” (The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 25). Arjuna admits that he stands to gain nothing of real worth from the war. He knows he cannot consciously triumph over family for his own wealth and glory. “We [Pandava brothers] sought kingships, delights, and pleasures for the sake of those assembled to abandon their lives and fortunes in battle” (The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 25). Arjuna continues on to state that once the family is destroyed and family duty is lost, only chaos is left to overcome what remains.
He goes so far as to describe how chaos swells to corrupt even the women in the families, creating disorder in society. Arjuna tells Krishna that the punishment for men who undermine the duties of the family are destined for a place in hell. Finally, Arjuna asks Krishna which is right: the tie to sacred duty or reason?
Krishna begins his explanation by stating that all life on earth is indestructible. “Never have I not existed, nor you, nor these kings; and never in the future shall we cease to exist” (The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 31). Because life has always been, reasons Krishna, then how can man kill or be killed when there is no end to the self?
How to Cite this Page
"ExploringThe Bhagavad Gita." 123HelpMe.com. 24 Sep 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Thoreau’s Walden and the Bhagavad-Gita convey an empowering awakening of one’s consciousness, revealing the self’s capability for individual freedom; although at a first glance, Walden’s emphatic individualism stands at odds with the latter’s principle of oneness. While the nature of the Gita is revelatory and mystical, Walden differs from it in that it primarily consists of Thoreau’s personal reflections and meditation. Thus, the works have decidedly different starting points. However, this apparent contrast becomes negligible in light of their common underlying principles and professed ends.... [tags: Thoreau Walden Bhagavad Gita Essays]
3927 words (11.2 pages)
- The words sacrifice and freedom transcend barriers of culture and religion. They are manifested differently to each people, but to each they pervade traditions, daily life, and moral problems. Both become a part of who we are and who we will be, a part of the very marrow of the human experience, they shape our thoughts and emotions. The Hindu text, The Bhagavad-Gita and the mythical work Till We Have Faces by Christian author C.S. Lewis are separated by an inconceivable amount of time and place.... [tags: The Bhagavad-Gita Essays]
900 words (2.6 pages)
- Considered by most as the authority and seminal scripture relaying together all schools of Hindu philosophy, the Bhagavad Gita, is simply one big epic poem (by Western standards), where Sri Krishna reveals himself to Arjuna, a warrior on the eve of a great war with his own family to restore the throne to its rightful heir. This epic serves as metaphor for The Path the spiritual aspirant must take to attain illumination and become one with Krishna. (http://blogcritics.org/books/article/book-review-bhagavad-gita/).... [tags: Philosophy, Krishna, Jesus]
1904 words (5.4 pages)
- Over the course of time in literature, movies, and in reality humans have come across heroes. A hero is not so easily defined though. Is it someone who saves others in dire need. Or maybe it’s someone who defeats the bad guy and gets the girl. It could be an awesome parent or friend or another relative who’s a good role model for someone. A credible definition of a hero can be seen if an observation is placed towards western culture. Heroes are depicted as bigger than life figures that defy the odds and always come on top, with happy endings most often.... [tags: Character Analysis, Hero]
934 words (2.7 pages)
- In the book Bhagavad Gita, Krishna teaches Arjuna how to reach the highest stage of spirituality, and ultimately the divine God. Krishna gives Arjuna a clear road map to follow so he can reach this goal. Yoga is the main tool to obtain spirituality and it takes a lot of hard work and true determination to do so. The main part of reaching spirituality is to depart this world and sense objects, and build strong morals. Upon giving up worldly desire, one cannot but seek the Devine and by seeking God, one will become spiritual.... [tags: krishna, arjuna, divine god, socrates]
1077 words (3.1 pages)
- Merriam- Webster online dictionary defines an epic hero as, “ A grand and noble character in an epic poem, admired for great achievements or effected by grand events.” The same dictionary also defines an epic poem as, “a story told about a hero or exciting events.” The Epic of Gilgamesh is often considered the oldest story on earth; which would make Gilgamesh, the story’s controversial main character, and the world’s oldest epic hero. This epic set a precedent for all epics to follow; it displayed most of the traits that society commonly perceives an epic hero and epic poem should have.... [tags: Compare Contrast Essays]
1342 words (3.8 pages)
- The Bhagavad Gita as translated by Juan Mascaro is a poem based on ancient Sanskrit literature contained in eighteen chapters. The period of time, around which it was written, although it is merely an educated guess, was approximately 500 BCE. “…there are a few archaic words and expressions, some of the greatest scholars have considered it pre-Buddhistic, i.e. about 500 BC,” (Bhagavad Gita, xxiv). This quote is found in the introduction to the book and further explains that the exact time it was written is undeterminable.... [tags: essays research papers]
855 words (2.4 pages)
- The Teachings of Bhagavad-Gita The Bhagavad-Gita teaches many things, and amongst these, morality and moral law are developed for the Hindu religion. What Krishna, the primary Hindu god, declares in this somewhat epic poem to be the "basis of good in this world" (stanza 3, pg. 620 of text) is for people to take action. Action, as he goes on to state, is within the very nature of our beings to do. Krishna even states that "without action you even fail to sustain your own body" (stanza 8, pg. 620 of text).... [tags: Hindu Hinduism Religion]
928 words (2.7 pages)
- Bhagavad Gita The story of the book begins with Arjuna misunderstanding why it is correct for him to take action in battle. As Prince Arjuna stands in his chariot on the battlefield he recognize his enemies as, his cousins, teachers and friends. Arjuna, who was born a warrior, overcomes with pity and looses interest in battling with the enemy. He looks to Lord Krishna, and questions him how he could battle with men who deserves his own worship. Krishna replies "You grieve those beyond grief, and speak words of insight; but learned men do not grieve for the dead or the living" (Miller p31).... [tags: Papers]
654 words (1.9 pages)
- The Meaning of Yoga It is common to associate the word Yoga with a system of physical postures and meditation. But Yoga in its original form has a deep spiritual significance which is lost in today’s body-centered world. The Sanskrit word Yoga comes from the verb root Yuj, which means to link or to connect. When we talk about linking or connection, an obvious question arises: to connect what with what. The very word “connection” implies that there must be two different entities separated from one another, and they need to be connected.... [tags: Yoga India Indian Spirituality Sprit Spiritual]
2620 words (7.5 pages)
To complete his sacred duty, Arjuna must perform the necessary actions for the duty to be achieved. “Be intent on action, not on the fruits of action; avoid attractions to the fruits and attachment to inaction!” (The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 36). In the third teaching, the abstinence from action fails because one cannot merely reject one’s actions and find success. Inaction threatens the well-being of the physical body, warns Krishna. Discovered through techniques like yoga and inner reflection, action allows the freedom of the self to be found and attained.
Once Arjuna loses desire in the consequences of his actions, then a new kind of discipline can be realized. Understanding, rated superior to action by the god Krishna, provides the necessary tools to perform the skills needed to execute the action. Krishna warns Arjuna that this understanding can be lost once man begins a downward process by lusting after pleasurable objects which creates desire, and from desire anger is born, from anger arises confusion, from confusion comes memory loss, and from this the loss of understanding, signaling the ruin of man. Krishna blames Arjuna’s current emotions on worldly desires, and encourages Arjuna to seek a detachment from these worldly ties, so that the duty may be completed and Arjuna will achieve his release from human suffering.
The discussion of passion in the fourteenth teaching illustrates one of many inconsistencies in Krishna’s argument. “Know that passion is emotional, born of craving and attachment, it binds the embodied self with attachment to action” (The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 122). Previously, Krishna counseled that a strong detachment from action, as well as from the fruits of action, is necessary for the success of the endeavor. In a sense, Krishna says that passion creates the drive and will needed to accomplish an action. “When passion increases, Arjuna, greed and activity, involvement in actions, disquiet, and longing arise” (The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 122). Exactly what merits the longing remains to be seen; Krishna gives the impression that this craving may deal with the fruits of action, a clear contradiction to Krishna’s past words. In this sense, Krishna describes a unit of the three qualities that bind man to the self. Including passion, lucidity, and dark inertia, these qualities (while being praised by Krishna) must be transcended for the achievement of liberation.
To receive all knowledge of the cosmos and the self, Arjuna learns of Krishna himself. Krishna describes himself as having eight aspects: earth, fire, water, wind, space, mind, understanding, and individuality. These are his more worldly factors labeled as his lower nature. His upper nature is Krishna’s ability to sustain the universe, and be the source of all in existence. The three qualities of nature arise from him, as well as the beneficial aspects of strength without desire and desire without imposing on the duty all man must possess.
“The disciplined man of knowledge is set apart by his singular devotion; I am dear to the man of knowledge, and he is dear to me” (The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 73). To Krishna, the man of wisdom and knowledge goes hand in hand with the man who has complete devotion to the god. Krishna likens the man of knowledge to himself, saying “...self-disciplined, he holds me to be the highest way” (The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 73), once again establishing the need for complete submission. Knowledge, while seen as a way to achieve freedom, requires enough discipline to be able to fully devote oneself to the god Krishna.
It is through devotion, Krishna reveals, that man can truly achieve freedom from life and death. “By devotion alone can I, as I really am, be known and seen and entered into, Arjuna” (The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 108). In his teaching on devotion, Krishna tells Arjuna to “renounce all actions to me” (The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 112)
In the fifth teaching, Krishna calls for the release from attachment and the fruit of the action, saying that once this occurs, then joy is found in the detached individual. Yet, freedom can not be achieved through renunciation alone; it is action with discipline that is essential for the success of the enlightened.
As Krishna continues his discourse, he begins to talk about the divine and demonic qualities inherent in all of man. “All creatures in the world are either divine or demonic;” (The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 133). Apparently, all creatures are naturally good or evil. “...do not despair, Arjuna, you were born with the divine” (The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 133). Born with the quality of good or evil, the individual is fated to be what is in his nature. If it is his duty to be evil, then it is at evil that the man will succeed. Krishna states that living in evil leads to the bondage of the self in worldly things. Unable to free himself, the demonic man is forced to repeat the cycle of life and death in an everlasting pattern as Krishna casts each evil man back into demonic wombs. Krishna also identifies the evil man as a slave to his own desires. Controlled and dictated by futile efforts, “they hoard wealth in stealthy ways to satisfy their desires” (The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 134). The god also warns against three gates of hell: desire, anger, and greed. The renunciation of these allows for the release of the self.
In the seventeenth teaching, Krishna discusses the differences in the nature of man. As stated before, these three aspects (also thought of as aspects of faith) are lucidity, passion, and dark inertia. The lucid man sacrifices to the gods, eats of the rich and savory foods, and sacrifices with all the traditions met. The man of passion sacrifices to the spirits and demons, eats harsh and bitter food that cause suffering, and sacrifices only to gain. The man of dark inertia sacrifices to the dead and ghosts, eats food that has long spoiled, and sacrifices void of faith or any real emotion. Into one of these three types fits every human on earth. Krishna praises the lucid while warning of the passionate and the darkly inert.
The discussion comes to a close when Krishna begins to summarize and conclude the points he has already mentioned. He specifies the difference between “renunciation” and “relinquishment”. Renunciation is the refusal of action grounded in desire, while relinquishment is the rejection of the fruit of action. In death, the relinquishing of the fruits allows the self to lose all ties to the body and the desires that go with it. Krishna reminds him that resistance to his duty, that is, refusal to go into battle is futile because Arjuna’s nature compels him to it. Krishna spurns Arjuna to go against his will and do what his heart forbids. Arjuna learns to take refuge in Krishna and to commit fully to him. Krishna vows that Arjuna will be received to him in good time.
“Arjuna, have you listened with you full powers of reason? Has the delusion of ignorance now been destroyed?”
“Krishna, my delusion is destroyed, and by your grace I have regained memory; I stand here, my doubt dispelled, ready to act on your words.”
(The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 153)
Thus Arjuna, through his discourse with the god Krishna, accepted his duty with devotion and learned how to overcome his desire, while freeing himself from all worldly suffering.