Theosophical Understandings of the Bhagavad Gita
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This paper discusses the ways in which two members of the theosophical society, William Judge from the West and Subba Row from the East, approach the Bhagavad Gita. The paper specifically looks at how, with respect to their backgrounds, their interpretations vary considerably. The paper also examines a number of similarities in Judge's and Row's understandings, which are explored in greater depth.
From the Paper:"Consistent with the dominant Theosophical position, Judge believes that the Gita needs to be interpreted as an allegory. Judge believes that it is important not to interpret the Gita literally but rather, read between the lines and find the hidden meaning within the text. This view is consistent with the Theosophical mandate in that they seek out esoteric works from a variety of religious and philosophical sources in order to expound their inherent meanings. In his discussion about the Great War found in the Gita, Judge states, "No doubt such a conflict did take place, for man is continually imitating the higher spiritual planes; and a great sage could easily adopt a human event in order to erect a noble philosophical system upon such an allegorical foundation." It is difficult to determine with any degree of accuracy whether or not the Great War found in the Gita was a historical event. It may very well have been the best setting to present a didactic exposition of the teaching. In any event, the intention of the author(s) remains open for interpretation."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Ronald W. Neufeldt: Modern Indian Interpreters of the Bhagavad Gita: A lesson in Allegory: Theosophical Interpretations of the Bhagavadgita. State University of New York Press, Albany. 1986 pp. 23.
- H.P.Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy; Ethics, Science, and Philosophy: Theosophical University Press: Pasadena, California. 1946. Pp. 154-5.
- Subba Row: Philosophy of the Gita; Adyar, India : Theosophical Pub. House, 1921. Pp 1.
- Ronald W. Neufeldt: Modern Indian Interpreters of the Bhagavad Gita: A lesson in Allegory: Theosophical Interpretations of the Bhagavadgita. State University of New York Press, Albany. 1986 pp. 13.
Cite this Comparison Essay:
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