And further, that meditating on him is, somehow, an impediment to knowing him. If meditation impedes knowledge, then a profounder paradox is raised for the Bhagavad-Gita as a whole. It becomes impossible to understand the story of Krishna and Arjuna simply by virtue of the fact that one is reading it. The work prohibits a knowledge of the work. It is contemplation that allows for an understanding of Krishna. This chicken-and-egg problem runs through the Bhagavad-Gita, and begs the question: What is the value of contemplation?
Krishna makes clear that Arjuna must not retreat from battle.
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A full definition of discipline encompasses both renunciation or equanimity and action. The seeming contradiction between renunciation and action is easily reconciled:. Knowledge is the state one arrives at once one has gained knowledge. To struggle with such questions means that Arjuna cannot have attained perfect peace, as he is struggling.
The answer, then, is a categorical no. Arjuna cannot attain perfect peace while he is struggling with such notions as perfect peace. It may seem as if this is the point with which this paper began. This is most clearly the central issue that the author of The Bhagavad-Gita wishes to address.
It is the question that Arjuna faces most directly and distinctly. Arjuna is stuck in between two armies, in the midst of a spiritual crisis. Krishna slowly reveals to him the nature of god and truth and duty for the express purpose of motivating Arjuna to fight-for the right reasons. Peace would seem to be opposed to battle. Of course, Krishna dispels with this false dichotomy in Teaching after Teaching, perhaps most eloquently in the Fourth Teaching:. Sitting there, against his dharma, defaulting on his most important duty, and listening quietly in awe to the god from whom everything proceeds and through which everything is disposed-this is the epitome of inaction, meditation, contemplation.
Another perspective in which the battle scene can be from the context of the relationship between Lord Krishna and Arjuna. Arjuna invokes Krishna to help him decide where is the good in the present situation he finds himself in. However, even with the advice of Lord Krishna, Arjuna still sees his actions as unjustifiable. Therefore, Arjuna should silence the desires in his mind posed by the physical self and concentrate on acting for the good of his society.
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Lord Krishna further expands on the idea that it is essential and good to perform his warrior duties by stating that no one truly dies. Through samsara, the notion that one is born and reborn in and endless cycle justifies that Arjuna should act without despair. Death is certain for anyone born, and birth is certain for the dead….
The self embodied in the body of every being is indestructible; you have no cause to grieve for all these creatures, Arjuna! The idea that the soul transcends the limitations of the body through death and rebirth gives Arjuna a convincing perspective by which he can weigh his options. Embodied in the concept of the soul is Atman which, according to Lord Krishna, will never die. The destiny of the soul is to be born and reborn, therefore, Arjuna should not concentrate on the physical act of killing; through the transcendence of the soul, his kinsmen will never cease to exist.
If one focuses on Atman, or the self, then he or she will realize that the spiritual self will transcend the physical limitations of the body. If Arjuna thinks that the soul transcends the limitations of the body through samsara, then he will be able to fulfill his duty by killing his relatives.
The Bhagavad Gita, Krishna, and Arjuna Essay - Words
The Bhagavad-Gita has proven to be an important and essential piece of Hindu literature for many reasons. Great leaders and revolutionaries such as Mahatma Ghandi have used its concepts and ideals to bring about a positive change. Furthermore, the importance of reading a piece of literature such as this has a two-fold purpose. On the one hand, it is a great introduction for non-Hindus to get a glimpse of the many concepts contained within the rubric of the Hinduism as a religion. In addition, it provides a great story that expands on the contrasting notions of dharma and moksha in order discover a happy medium in which the two can properly coexist.
The heart and soul of the Gita resides in the concern over action versus nonaction. The final conclusion found within the text is that one should do their own dharma. Accessed October 18, Leave your email and we will send you an example after 24 hours 23 : 59 : If you contact us after hours, we'll get back to you in 24 hours or less.
Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? It is our false personality as distinguished from Krishna — the higher self — which is oppressed by the immediate resistance offered by all the lower part of our nature, and by those persons with whom we are most closely connected, as soon as we begin to draw them away from all old habits, and to present a new style of thinking for their consideration. For Arjuna, sinking down upon the seat of that chariot which is his body, fell back upon his own nature and found therein the elements of search and courage, as well as those previous ones of gloom which arise first, being nearer the natural man.
Reliance and pressure upon our own inner nature, in moments of darkness, are sure to be answered by the voice of Krishna, the inner guide. The first consequences of the despondency are to make us feel that the battle we have invited ought not to be carried on, and we then are almost overwhelmed with the desire to give it up. Some do give it up, to begin it again, in a succeeding life, while others like Arjuna listen to the voice of Krishna, and bravely fight it out to the end. Salutation to the god of battles, to the charioteer, to him who disposeth the forces aright, who leadeth us on to victory, with whom alone success is certain: that he may guide us to where the never-dying light shineth: Om!
The first chapter is ended. In one aspect, the Bhagavad-Gita is a personal book. It is for each man; and it is in that way we have so far considered it. Some have called it obscure, and others a book which deals solely with the great principles of nature; with only great questions of cosmogony; with difficult and bewildering questions relating to the first cause; and still others think it is contradictory and vague. But this first scene in the great colloquy is plain.
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It has the din of arms, the movement of battalions and the disposition of forces with their generals. No one need feel any hesitation now, for we are face to face with ourselves. The weak man, or he who does not care for truth no matter where it leads, had better shut the book now. Unless he can go on reading the poem with the fixed intention of applying it to himself, it will do him no good whatever. He may say, however, that he will read it for what it may seem to contain, but if he reads to the end of time and does not fairly regard this first lecture, his knowledge gained further on will be no knowledge.
It is indeed the book of the great mystery; but that problem was never solved for anyone; it must be settled and solved by each one for himself. No doubt it was for this reason that Vyasa, to whom the poem is attributed, placed this conflict, in which the principal characters are Arjuna and Krishna, at the outset. It would have been easier to have made them sit down for a philosophical discourse beforehand in which reasons pro and con regarding any battle would be discussed, and then, after all that was done, to show us Arjuna, encouraged and equipped, entering upon the war sure of victory because he had spent much time in dispelling his doubts.
But instead of doing this he pictures the impetuous Arjuna precipitating the battle before he had considered whom it was he had to fight. It does not appear in the Bhagavad-Gita that Krishna had induced Arjuna, as was the case, to make the war for the purpose of regaining his kingdom.
While stirring him up to it Krishna had wisely refrained from telling that which Arjuna finds out on the first day, that he had to oppose all these friends, kinsmen and preceptors. It was a wise reticence. If we completely apprehended the enormous power of our passions and various tendencies, most of us would throw up the fight in advance; for nothing would persuade us that any power within could withstand such overwhelming odds.
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For us then the incitement to fight is found, not so much in any conversation that we hold now with Krishna, but in the impulses which are carried across, again and again, from incarnation to incarnation. We take up the gage over and over, life after life, in experience after experience, never completely defeated if we always look to Krishna — our higher self. And in the tale of Arjuna we find this also. For in a succeeding book, called Anugita, is an account of the hero walking with Krishna through the Palace of Maya.
The battle over, for the time, Arjuna tells his friend that he has really forgotten much that he had told him in the Bhagavad-Gita and asks for a succinct repetition. This is given to him by the great warrior. The palace of maya is this body of illusion, built up around us by desire. In our last birth we had all the advice given in this poem, and walking today through the palace, which sometimes seems so lovely, we now and then have reminiscences from the past.
Sometimes we stoutly take up the fight; but surely, if we have listened to the guide aright, we will compel ourselves at last to carry it out until finished. In coming to the conclusion of this first chapter, we reach the first abyss. It is not the great abyss, albeit it may seem to us, in our experience, to be the greatest. We are now vis-a-vis our own despair, and doubt its companion.
Many a student of theosophy has in our own sight reached this point — all true students do. Like a little child who first ventures from the parent's side, we are affrighted at what seems new to us, and dropping our weapons attempt to get away; but, in the pursuit of theosophy it is not possible to go back.
There is in nature a law that operates in every department whether moral or physical, and which may now be called that of undulation and then that of inhibition; while at other times it reappears as vibration, and still again as attraction and repulsion, but all these changes are only apparent because at bottom it is the same. Among vegetables it causes the sap to flow up the tree in one way and will not permit it to return in the same direction.
In our own blood circulation we find the blood propelled from the heart, and that nature has provided little valves which will not permit it to return to the heart by the way it came, but by the way provided. Medical and anatomical science are not quite sure what it is that causes the blood to pass these valves; whether it is pressure from behind communicated by the heart, or the pressure by atmosphere from without which gently squeezes, as it were, the blood upon its way.