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The Bhagavad Gita Essay

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❶In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikiquote Wikisource. If Arjuna loses his life, then he gains heaven and if he wins then he gains the earth; thus there is no need for Arjuna to fear for his own fate.

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The Bhagavad Gita is part of the Prasthanatrayi , which also includes the Upanishads and Brahma sutras. These are the key texts for the Vedanta , [22] [23] [24] which interprets these texts to give a unified meaning. Advaita Vedanta sees the non-dualism of Atman and Brahman as its essence, [11] whereas Bhedabheda and Vishishtadvaita see Atman and Brahman as both different and non-different, and Dvaita sees them as different.

In recent times the Advaita interpretation has gained worldwide popularity, due to the Neo-Vedanta of Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan , while the Achintya Bheda Abheda interpretation has gained worldwide popularity via the Hare Krishnas , a branch of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Although early Vedanta gives an interpretation of the sruti texts of the Upanishads, and its main commentary the Brahman Sutras, the popularity of the Bhagavad Gita was such that it could not be neglected.

In the epic Mahabharata , after Sanjaya —counsellor of the Kuru king Dhritarashtra —returns from the battlefield to announce the death of Bhishma , he begins recounting the details of the Mahabharata war.

Bhagavad Gita forms the content of this recollection. He asks Krishna to drive to the center of the battlefield so that he can get a good look at both armies. Realising that his enemies are his own relatives, beloved friends, and revered teachers, he turns to his charioteer and guide, God Incarnate Lord Shri Krishna, for advice.

Responding to Arjuna's confusion and moral dilemma, Krishna explains to Arjuna his duties as a warrior and prince, elaborating on a variety of philosophical concepts.

Bhagavad Gita comprises 18 chapters section 25 to 42 [32] [web 2] in the Bhishma Parva of the epic Mahabharata and consists of verses [33] Because of differences in recensions , the verses of the Gita may be numbered in the full text of the Mahabharata as chapters 6. The verses mostly employ the range and style of the Sanskrit Anustubh metre chhandas , and in a few expressive verses the Tristubh metre is used. The Sanskrit editions of the Gita name each chapter as a particular form of yoga.

However, these chapter titles do not appear in the Sanskrit text of the Mahabharata. Prathama adhyaya [40] The Distress of Arjuna [37] contains 46 verses: Arjuna has requested Krishna to move his chariot between the two armies.

His growing dejection is described as he fears losing friends and relatives as a consequence of war. Sankhya yoga The Book of Doctrines [37] contains 72 verses: After asking Krishna for help, Arjuna is instructed into various subjects such as, Karma yoga , Gyaana yoga, Sankhya yoga, Buddhi yoga and the immortal nature of the soul.

Sankhya here refers to one of six orthodox schools of the Hindu Philosophy. This chapter is often considered the summary of the entire Bhagavad Gita. Krishna explains how Karma yoga, i. Krishna reveals that he has lived through many births, always teaching yoga for the protection of the pious and the destruction of the impious and stresses the importance of accepting a guru.

Arjuna asks Krishna if it is better to forgo action or to act "renunciation or discipline of action". Dhyan yoga or Atmasanyam yoga Religion by Self-Restraint [37] contains 47 verses: Krishna describes the Ashtanga yoga.

He further elucidates the difficulties of the mind and the techniques by which mastery of the mind might be gained. Gyaana—ViGyaana yoga Religion by Discernment [37] contains 30 verses: Krishna describes the absolute reality and its illusory energy Maya. This chapter contains eschatology of the Bhagavad Gita. Importance of the last thought before death, differences between material and spiritual worlds, and light and dark paths that a soul takes after death are described.

Krishna explains how His eternal energy pervades, creates, preserves, and destroys the entire universe. Vibhuti—Vistara—yoga Religion by the Heavenly Perfections [37] contains 42 verses: Krishna is described as the ultimate cause of all material and spiritual existence.

Arjuna accepts Krishna as the Supreme Being, quoting great sages who have also done so. Bhakti yoga The Religion of Faith [37] contains 20 verses: In this chapter Krishna glorifies the path of devotion to God. Krishna describes the process of devotional service Bhakti yoga.

He also explains different forms of spiritual disciplines. The difference between transient perishable physical body and the immutable eternal soul is described. The difference between individual consciousness and universal consciousness is also made clear. Gunatraya—Vibhaga yoga Religion by Separation from the Qualities [37] contains 27 verses: Krishna explains the three modes gunas of material nature pertaining to goodness, passion, and nescience.

Their causes, characteristics, and influence on a living entity are also described. Purusottama yoga Religion by Attaining the Supreme [37] contains 20 verses: Krishna identifies the transcendental characteristics of God such as, omnipotence , omniscience , and omnipresence. Krishna explains that this tree should be felled with the "axe of detachment", after which one can go beyond to his supreme abode. Krishna identifies the human traits of the divine and the demonic natures.

He counsels that to attain the supreme destination one must give up lust, anger, greed, and discern between right and wrong action by discernment through Buddhi and evidence from the scriptures. Krishna qualifies the three divisions of faith, thoughts, deeds, and even eating habits corresponding to the three modes gunas. Moksha—Sanyasa yoga Religion by Deliverance and Renunciation [37] contains 78 verses: In this chapter, the conclusions of previous seventeen chapters are summed up.

Krishna asks Arjuna to abandon all forms of dharma and simply surrender unto him and describes this as the ultimate perfection of life. The term dharma has a number of meanings. If one reads this one Shloka, one gets all the merits of reading the entire Bhagavad Gita ; for in this one Shloka lies imbedded the whole message of the Gita.

Shake off this petty faintheartedness and arise, O scorcher of enemies! The Bhagavad Gita is set in the narrative frame of the Mahabharata , which values heroism , "energy, dedication and self-sacrifice", [4] as the dharma , "holy duty" [47] of the Kshatriya Warrior.

According to Malinar, the dispute between the two parties in the Mahabharata centres on the question how to define "the law of heroism". This duty consists first of all in standing one's ground and fighting for status. The main duty of a warrior is never to submit to anybody. A warrior must resist any impulse to self-preservation that would make him avoid a fight. In brief, he ought to be a man puruso bhava ; cf. Some of the most vigorous formulations of what called the "heart" or the "essence" of heroism ksatrahrdaya come from the ladies of the family.

They are shown most unforgiving with regard to the humiliations they have gone through, the loss of their status and honour, not to speak of the shame of having a weak man in the house, whether husband, son or brother. Michaels defines heroism as "power assimilated with interest in salvation". Even though the frame story of the Mahabharata is rather simple, the epic has an outstanding significance for Hindu heroism.

The heroism of the Pandavas, the ideals of honor and courage in battle, are constant sources of treatises in which it is not sacrifice, renunciation of the world, or erudition that is valued, but energy, dedication and self-sacrifice. According to Malinar, "Arjuna's crisis and some of the arguments put forward to call him to action are connected to the debates on war and peace in the UdP [Udyoga Parva]".

The eighteenth chapter of the Gita examines the relationship between svadharma and svabhava. Aurobindo modernises the concept of dharma and svabhava by internalising it, away from the social order and its duties towards one's personal capacities, which leads to a radical individualism, [53] "finding the fulfilment of the purpose of existence in the individual alone.

Gandhi's view differed from Aurobindo's view. The first reference to dharma in the Bhagavad Gita occurs in its first verse, where Dhritarashtra refers to the Kurukshetra, the location of the battlefield, as the Field of Dharma , "The Field of Righteousness or Truth". Unlike any other religious scripture, the Bhagavad Gita broadcasts its message in the centre of the battlefield. Eknath Easwaran writes that the Gita ' s subject is "the war within, the struggle for self-mastery that every human being must wage if he or she is to emerge from life victorious", [59] and that "The language of battle is often found in the scriptures, for it conveys the strenuous, long, drawn-out campaign we must wage to free ourselves from the tyranny of the ego, the cause of all our suffering and sorrow.

Jorge Angel Livraga also sees the battle as a reflection of the human condition, a necessary inner battle to overcome one's faults. Each one of us wages, or one day will wage, the same battle of Arjuna. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi , in his commentary on the Gita , [62] interprets the battle as "an allegory in which the battlefield is the soul and Arjuna, man's higher impulses struggling against evil". Swami Vivekananda also emphasised that the first discourse in the Gita related to the war could be taken allegorically.

This Kurukshetra War is only an allegory. When we sum up its esoteric significance, it means the war which is constantly going on within man between the tendencies of good and evil. In Aurobindo 's view, Krishna was a historical figure, but his significance in the Gita is as a "symbol of the divine dealings with humanity", [66] while Arjuna typifies a "struggling human soul".

That is a view which the general character and the actual language of the epic does not justify and, if pressed, would turn the straightforward philosophical language of the Gita into a constant, laborious and somewhat puerile mystification But there is this much of truth in the view, that the setting of the doctrine though not symbolical, is certainly typical.

Here in the Bhagavad Gita , we find a practical handbook of instruction on how best we can re-organise our inner ways of thinking, feeling, and acting in our everyday life and draw from ourselves a larger gush of productivity to enrich the life around us, and to emblazon the subjective life within us.

Other scholars such as Steven Rosen, Laurie L. Patton and Stephen Mitchell have seen in the Gita a religious defense of the warrior class's Kshatriya Varna duty svadharma , which is to conduct combat and war with courage and do not see this as only an allegorical teaching, but also a real defense of just war. Indian independence leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai and Bal Gangadhar Tilak saw the Gita as a text which defended war when necessary and used it to promote war against the British Empire.

Lajpat Rai wrote an article on the "Message of the Bhagavad Gita". He saw the main message as the bravery and courage of Arjuna to fight as a warrior. Lies, deceit, murder, everything, it was argued, may be rightly used. How far the leaders really believed this teaching no man can say; but the younger men got filled with it, and many were only too sincere.

Liberation or moksha in Vedanta philosophy is not something that can be acquired or reached. While the Upanishads largely uphold such a monistic viewpoint of liberation, the Bhagavad Gita also accommodates the dualistic and theistic aspects of moksha. The Gita , while occasionally hinting at impersonal Brahman as the goal, revolves around the relationship between the Self and a personal God or Saguna Brahman.

A synthesis of knowledge, devotion, and desireless action is given as a prescription for Arjuna's despondence; the same combination is suggested as a way to moksha. Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita refers to the skill of union with the ultimate reality or the Absolute. Sivananda's commentary regards the eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita as having a progressive order, by which Krishna leads "Arjuna up the ladder of Yoga from one rung to another.

Swami Gambhirananda characterises Madhusudana Sarasvati's system as a successive approach in which Karma yoga leads to Bhakti yoga, which in turn leads to Gyaana yoga: As noted by various commentators, the Bhagavad Gita offers a practical approach to liberation in the form of Karma yoga. The path of Karma yoga upholds the necessity of action. However, this action is to be undertaken without any attachment to the work or desire for results. Bhagavad Gita terms this "inaction in action and action in inaction 4.

The concept of such detached action is also called Nishkam Karma , a term not used in the Gita. To action alone hast thou a right and never at all to its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive; neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction.

Fixed in yoga, do thy work, O Winner of wealth Arjuna , abandoning attachment, with an even mind in success and failure, for evenness of mind is called yoga. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi writes, "The object of the Gita appears to me to be that of showing the most excellent way to attain self-realization", and this can be achieved by selfless action, "By desireless action; by renouncing fruits of action; by dedicating all activities to God, i.

The following verses illustrate this: When a man dwells in his mind on the object of sense, attachment to them is produced. From attachment springs desire and from desire comes anger.

From anger arises bewilderment, from bewilderment loss of memory; and from loss of memory, the destruction of intelligence and from the destruction of intelligence he perishes. The introduction to chapter seven of the Bhagavad Gita explains bhakti as a mode of worship which consists of unceasing and loving remembrance of God.

Sampatkumaran, a Bhagavad Gita scholar, explains in his overview of Ramanuja's commentary on the Gita , "The point is that mere knowledge of the scriptures cannot lead to final release. Devotion, meditation, and worship are essential. Tagi means one who has renounced everything for God. And of all yogins, he who full of faith worships Me, with his inner self abiding in Me, him, I hold to be the most attuned to me in Yoga.

Radhakrishnan writes that the verse Those who make me the supreme goal of all their work and act without selfish attachment, who devote themselves to me completely and are free from ill will for any creature, enter into me. Jnana yoga is the path of wisdom, knowledge, and direct experience of Brahman as the ultimate reality. The path renounces both desires and actions, and is therefore depicted as being steep and very difficult in the Bhagavad Gita.

When a sensible man ceases to see different identities, which are due to different material bodies, he attains to the Brahman conception. Thus he sees that beings are expanded everywhere. One who knowingly sees this difference between the body and the owner of the body and can understand the process of liberation from this bondage, also attains to the supreme goal.

According to Dennis Hudson, there is an overlap between Vedic and Tantric rituals with the teachings found in the Bhagavad Gita. The Shatapatha Brahmana , for example, mentions the absolute Purusha who dwells in every human being. A story in this vedic text, states Hudson, highlights the meaning of the name Vasudeva as the 'shining one deva who dwells vasu in all things and in whom all things dwell', and the meaning of Vishnu to be the 'pervading actor'.

In Bhagavad Gita, similarly, 'Krishna identified himself both with Vasudeva, Vishnu and their meanings'. This edition had an introduction to the Gita by Warren Hastings. Soon the work was translated into other European languages such as German, French and Russian.

John Garrett, and the efforts being supported by Sir. Bhagavad Gita integrates various schools of thought, notably Vedanta, Samkhya and Yoga, and other theistic ideas. It remains a popular text for commentators belonging to various philosophical schools.

However, its composite nature also leads to varying interpretations of the text. In the words of Mysore Hiriyanna ,. The oldest and most influential medieval commentary was that of Adi Shankara — CE , [] also known as Shankaracharya Sanskrit: Ramanujacharya's commentary chiefly seeks to show that the discipline of devotion to God Bhakti yoga is the way of salvation.

Madhva , a commentator of the Dvaita Vedanta school, [] whose dates are given either as — CE [] or as — CE , [74] also known as Madhvacharya Sanskrit: It has been annotated on by many ancient pontiffs of Dvaita Vedanta school like Padmanabha Tirtha , Jayatirtha , and Raghavendra Tirtha. In the Shaiva tradition, [] the renowned philosopher Abhinavagupta 10—11th century CE has written a commentary on a slightly variant recension called Gitartha-Samgraha.

At a time when Indian nationalists were seeking an indigenous basis for social and political action, Bhagavad Gita provided them with a rationale for their activism and fight against injustice.

The Gujarati manuscript was translated into English by Mahadev Desai, who provided an additional introduction and commentary. It was published with a foreword by Gandhi in Although Vivekananda did not write any commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita , his works contained numerous references to the Gita , such as his lectures on the four yogas — Bhakti, Gyaana, Karma, and Raja.

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: Krishna begins his explanation by stating that all life on earth is indestructible. Because life has always been, reasons Krishna, then how can man kill or be killed when there is no end to the self?

Also, Krishna tells Arjuna that his emotions of sorrow and pity are fleeting, and that endurance is all that is necessary to outlast the temporary thoughts.

Krishna reinforces the idea of dharma, reminding Arjuna of the consequences faced when one does not fulfill the duty set before him. Even if talents lie in a different area, the duty one is assigned to is the responsibility of the individual. Failure of Arjuna to abide by his duty would have a profound effect on his worldly life as well.

Enemies would slander Arjuna and companions would lose faith and respect in the man they once held in such high favor. If Arjuna loses his life, then he gains heaven and if he wins then he gains the earth; thus there is no need for Arjuna to fear for his own fate. To complete his sacred duty, Arjuna must perform the necessary actions for the duty to be achieved. 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.

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.

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: These are his more worldly factors labeled as his lower nature.

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. 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 " 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. In his teaching on devotion, Krishna tells Arjuna to "renounce all actions to me" The Bhagavad-Gita, p.

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. Apparently, all creatures are naturally good or evil. 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.

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The Bhagavadgita also spelled as Bhagavad-Gita and Bhagavad Gita or simply Gita, is considered to be one of the most sacred and popular religious scriptures of Hinduism. Hindus consider the Bhagavad-Gita as a direct message of Vishnu in the avatar of Krishna, revealed to us in the form of a long.

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The Bhagavad Gita essaysThe Bhagavad Gita and Self Realization As a sacred text, The Bhagavd Gita teaches Hindus how to live in the world. The world in which we live is said to be a world of illusion. Out of ignorance and selfishness we bind ourselves to this world through our desires and our acti. Introduction Bhagavad Gita is the holy scripture in Hinduism and it is considered to be one of the most important work pieces in this religion.

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Bhagavad-Gita literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Bhagavad-Gita. Bhagavad Gita, also simply known as The Gita, is a philosophical poem that focuses on a conversation between the Pandava prince Arjuna and the Beloved Lord Krishna.