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Research The Primary Message Of The Bhagavad Gita (Research Paper Sample)




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Morality is variously defined by different schools of thoughts, cultures, and traditions. One outstanding definition of the term is ‘good behaviour’ or behaving within the convention. Morality means the differentiation of people’s actions and decisions. It measures how people behave in secret and the kind of choices they make in private. Acceptable behaviour is defined by how people carry about their duties and the type of impression they leave behind. In the Indian epic Mahabharatha, Arjuna faces the dilemma of having to fight as the faithful warrior in the war of righteousness between the Kauravas and Pandavas. Lord Krishna counsels him into fulfilling his warrior duties and establishing Dharma. The Bhagavad Gita or the song of the Lord is set in the form of a conversation between Prince Arjuna and Lord Krishna. The Bhagavad Gita centres all attention on the virtue of morality and human behaviour. The following essay examines morality in Gita.
Arjuna faces the moral issue of fighting his own kin who are on the side of the Kaurava army. Lord Krishna is Arjuna’s charioteer and endeavours to reason with him. In reasoning with him, he hopes to change his mind about taking part in the war. Fear of defeat is one of the reasons that keep people from fighting. Because Arjuna is a great warrior, it is highly unlikely that he will be defeated in war. The idea of killing someone else or taking away their lives is another reason why anyone would like to keep away from fighting. According to the culture and tradition, a warrior must fight and protect the rest of the community from harm and danger. Besides being a warrior, Arjuna is from a family of warriors, and therefore he has a legacy to protect his people. Arjuna then comes up with an explanation that he cannot fight because when he looks ahead of him, he can see his Acharya Drona and his grandfather, Bhishma. His culture does not allow him to kill his teacher or his grandfather.[Eswaran, Eknath. The Bhagavad Gita . (New Delhi : Nilgiri Press, 2007), 71.] [Eswaran, Eknath. The Bhagavad Gita . (New Delhi : Nilgiri Press, 2007), 73.]
Arjuna asks Krishna if he could do that himself. Arjuna reminds Krishna of his offering as Gurudakshina to Guru Sandeepani. At the end of Krishna’s study period, he asks his Guru sage Sandeepani what he would like to get as fee from him. The sage tells Krishna to go to his wife and ask her what she wants. Sage creates the impression that by allowing the wishes of his wife it would be just like good service to him. The wife requests for the resurrection of her child who died many years ago. Krishna endeavours to bring back the child. He treats the needs of sage’s wife as supreme over all the other requirements in the world. But now Krishna was asking Arjuna to destroy his Acharya.[Eswaran, Eknath. The Bhagavad Gita . (New Delhi : Nilgiri Press, 2007), 74.]
The entire discourse of Gita begins with the crisis Arjuna faces. The problems he goes through are not personal. There comes a time when every seeker passes through a conflict of duties referring to the universal nature of the problem. Arjuna is a fighter representing any man in the society who experiences the moral crisis and wishes to solve it. The account creates the impression that any man can go through the same ordeal. The distress that Arjuna feels is a dramatisation of the kind of predicament that the human race encounters all the time. Krishna points out man’s disappointment with the glamour of the world. Henotheism is the total submission to one God over all the other gods. Arjuna practices henotheism to god Krishna and vows to remain loyal only to him. The function of henotheism and its historical origin are not elaborated regarding socio-political context or issue. Bhagavad Gita can take the form of a henotheistic solution to a moral crisis.[Eswaran, Eknath. The Bhagavad Gita . (New Delhi : Nilgiri Press, 2007), 74.]
The crisis Arjuna faces is an explanation of the alienation of man together with his atomised thinking. When man’s predicament is separated from the social situation, it becomes evident from several pronouncements of the Gita. Arjuna is confronted with the forces on the battlefield of life. From the announcement of various moral thinkers when people are unhappy with their situations in life, it makes them move towards the direction of moral and social regeneration. People interested in improving other people’s status must first begin by making them aware of their situation to help them understand the need for change. People who feel satisfied with their life situations must not be expected to carry out moral striving of any nature. Being happy with one’s circumstances makes people reluctant to see the need for change and hence unable to make any meaningful changes in their lives.[Eswaran, Eknath. The Bhagavad Gita . (New Delhi : Nilgiri Press, 2007), 74.]
Krishna uses all of his power to try to explain to Arjuna that he has arrived at his position using power beyond human imagination. He hopes to appeal to Arjuna and make him see the need to fight in the holy war. The powers have given him a duty that he must fulfil and is determined to make things work out. Krishna sings to Arjuna and tells him that human life has a beginning and an end. He tells him the soul lives on after death and is reborn; therefore, death is nothing to fear. Many people live a lie in thinking that their lives belong to them when indeed it does not. Krishna does not give Arjuna time to respond. Krishna assures Arjuna that he will lead him in the right direction and will ensure that he meets his victory. Krishna is interested in seeing the success of Arjuna and is keen on restoring him to his glory. All of Krishna’s efforts do not yet convince Arjuna, and he keeps on searching for a way to settle his troubled mind. Arjuna says he does not see the need to kill his kin in battle.[Eswaran, Eknath. The Bhagavad Gita . (New Delhi : Nilgiri Press, 2007), 74.]
The deity and his follower engage in an animated dialogue for a while. Arjuna begins to be swayed. However, he is an avid listener who would not stop asking questions to gain clarification. Arjuna describes the words of Lord Krishna as nectar-like and attractive even though he says they do not entirely move him. In a chorus, Krishna responds with a long list revealing his power. From the chorus, the reader gets a revelation of the true nature of Lord Krishna, his powers and his intentions for humanity and life on earth. Krishna says he is the beginning, the middle and the end of all things besides being the essence of all life on earth. He is the letter ‘A’ among the alphabets signifying the beginning of all things. He says nothing can exist without him.[Eswaran, Eknath. The Bhagavad Gita . (New Delhi : Nilgiri Press, 2007), 75.]
The questions that arise in the conversation be...
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