Many Paths to Enlightment - The Bhagavad Gita
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This paper discusses the Bhagavad Gita, a chapter in the Hindu epic poem the 'Mahabharata. The paper first briefly summarizes the Gita and then proceeds to analyze the lessons it teaches, pointing out that its focus is on how we can use religious teachings in everyday life. The paper specifically discusses maya, reincarnation, the everlasting self, the yogic paths, and the notion of the righteous conflict or just war.
From the Paper:"The Bhagavad-Gita focuses on how to use religious teachings in everyday life. The lessons begin as the Pandava brother Arjuna is struggling between his duty to fight for justice and the companionship he feels for those he will meet on the battlefield. He becomes distraught and argues with Krishna that war is not justified. Krishna rationalizes the idea of just war to Arjuna using Dharma, or Duty. Krishna convinces him that religion must be put into practice and this sometimes means standing up for what is righteous. Does this mean that Krishna is teaching that it is ok to use violence under certain circumstances? It would seem like Arjuna is representing the perfect model of non-violence even willing to face his own mortality in order to not harm his friends and relatives. Krishna says that the battle about to take place is dharma yuddha, which means righteous war for the purpose of justice. Krishna exploits the fact that Arjuna is a warrior and convinces him that if he does not fight. He and his brothers will die and the kingdom will be lost. His dharma outweighs the guilt so he must fight. This certainly seems to imply that the Gita is promoting violence at least on some level. That will be critiqued by many including the author who stated that the Gita's message was "of the war within, the struggle for self-mastery that every human being must wage if he or she is to emerge from life victorious." This does seem to reflect the internal battle we all must endure between our inclinations towards good and evil. However there is still the question of how to reconcile the Gita's dharma yuddha with ahimsa. The two idea's being so sharply in opposition of one another. I'll defer to Gandhi to explain, "just base your life on the Gita sincerely and systematically and see if you find killing or even hurting others compatible with its teachings.""
Sample of Sources Used:
- Behrens, Laurence. Making the Case: An Argument Reader. 1 ed. Alexandria, VA: Prentice Hall, 2000. Print.
- Easwaran, Eknath, The Bhagavad Gita. 2 ed. Berkeley, CA: Nilgiri Press, 2007. Print.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Many Paths to Enlightment - The Bhagavad Gita (2010, October 27) Retrieved June 02, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/many-paths-to-enlightment-the-bhagavad-gita-145163/
"Many Paths to Enlightment - The Bhagavad Gita" 27 October 2010. Web. 02 June. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/many-paths-to-enlightment-the-bhagavad-gita-145163/>