The Teachings of Bhagavad-Gita
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The Teachings of Bhagavad-Gita
The Bhagavad-Gita teaches many things, and amongst these, morality and moral law are developed for the Hindu religion. What Krishna, the primary Hindu god, declares in this somewhat epic poem to be the "basis of good in this world" (stanza 3, pg. 620 of text) is for people to take action. Action, as he goes on to state, is within the very nature of our beings to do. Krishna even states that "without action you even fail to sustain your own body" (stanza 8, pg. 620 of text). Thus, Krishna feels that action is very important and key. To take this concept as a relation to ethics, Krishna tells Arjuna, the warrior he is talking to in this poem, that "Action imprisons the world unless it is done as sacrifice; freed from attachment, Arjuna, perform action as sacrifice!" (stanza 9, pg. 620 of text). Thus, Krishna is prescribing that, in order for an action to be considered good, the good that he already declared to be the basis of all good in the world, one must detach himself from the action being performed and perform the action sacrificially. The detachment aspect is incredibly important to Krishna, for he proclaims that in "performing action with detachment, one achieves supreme good" (stanza 19, pg 620 of text). By doing this, Krishna believes that the world is preserved, for other people will follow the warrior's actions and imitate them in their own lives. A leader, such as a warrior or king, "sets the standard for the world to follow" (stanza 21, pg. 621 of text), as Krishna says and thus must take whatever action is necessary for the world to not be destroyed, to set examples of goodness and right in his own actions. By separating himself from these actions, thus becoming detached, he can achieve this. Another main reason that Krishna feels detachment is necessary is this: "You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty." (Bhagavad-Gita 2.47). Thus, so long as one does not profit from his own actions, the action itself is good. And, this is Krishna's prescription for leading a life of morality and duty is the moral law to follow in order to achieve this.
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Gita Bhagavad Teachings Hindu Religion Own Actions Stanza Moral Law Detachment Other People Main Reason
According to the Bhagavad-Gita and what Krishna declares to be moral law, moral code does, indeed transcend personal interests. Krishna declares, as has already been extensively mentioned, that in order to live a life of morality, one must detach himself from his actions and live according to his own duty. "Krishna urges Arjuna to do his duty because it is the work of a warrior a just war is something he should delight in being a part of." (http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=48085) It is Krishna's will that to live morally, one should act out of duty, very much as Immanuel Kant declares in his own philosophies. Thus, one must set aside his own goals, interests, and desires and act out of the duty of his own position in the world (ie, leading a nation if you are a king, fighting wars if you are a warrior, taking care of your home if you are a wife, etc.). So, moral law is universal, according to the Bhagavad-Gita, and this moral law is the law of duty.
My own views are not in accordance with the views described in the Bhagavad-Gita. I do believe that people ought to act out of duty, as Krishna declares to be essential to achieving supreme goodness and living morally. However, I feel that this duty is not determined by the position that you hold in the world but the duty that we have to one another as fellow human beings. My opinion is that morality is absolute, and this morality is to be giving to one another, to help others as much as we can, and to be as sympathetic, selfless, caring, kind, and loving as we can towards others. My own views are more utilitarian and in concurrence with John Stuart Mill. He believes that a moral action is one that benefits and brings about the most happiness for the greatest number of people. This is the heart of utilitarianism and humanitarianism as well, and it is the core of my own beliefs. Performing that which can help the most people and better the lives of the largest population is what I believe to be the duty of people, and this duty is the "absolute" and universal moral code which I abide by. If one's self can also benefit from the action as well, I do not believe that to be wrong. I, however, do believe as Krishna implies that acting out of selfishness is wrong and that one must be selfless in order to be considered moral. But, it does not directly result that the person being moral cannot benefit. After all, if happiness is key to morality, as I believe, how can one achieve this without being happy himself? So, what is essential to living a moral life, in my own personal code, is to act out of duty to fellow man, with the intentions of making the greatest number of people happy, and this can include self.
Essay about Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita
945 Words4 Pages
Over the course of time in literature, movies, and in reality humans have come across heroes. A hero is not so easily defined though. Is it someone who saves others in dire need? Or maybe it’s someone who defeats the bad guy and gets the girl. It could be an awesome parent or friend or another relative who’s a good role model for someone. A credible definition of a hero can be seen if an observation is placed towards western culture. Heroes are depicted as bigger than life figures that defy the odds and always come on top, with happy endings most often. Their personalities can be bold, arrogant, and almost always carry an undeniable sense of justice. Although it can be out of context based on differences in religion and culture, these…show more content…
Gita details its main protagonist, Arjuna, as he leads his troops into battle. Arjuna is a Sandava prince, who frequently wages war against the enemies of his people. Context clues suggest that this story sees a hero possibly as one who is willing to wage war, or whatever they are called to do, with the reward coming in the form of individually moving closer to nirvana, or enlightenment. A true hero carries out his duties for the sake of those in harm’s way, reward or not. Arjuna does not fit that mold because he carried out his duty on Krishna’s whim. He is a prince who wages war constantly, but not necessarily for heroic purposes, but was simply doing what Krishna had persuaded him to do, with more or less no moral reasoning behind it, other than Krishna’s words. “If you fail to wage this war of sacred duty, you will only abandon your duty and fame only to gain evil(36).” In doing so Arjuna resembles a soldier falling in line to a higher authority, simply a small pawn in a much grander scheme. Based on the actions of Arjuna before the battle and his ongoing conversation with the god Krishna, Arjuna cannot be considered a hero.
In the early stages of the epic, the reader sees Arjuna filled with confusion and grief over his present battle. He must wage war against fathers, grandfathers, uncles, teachers, and friends. He is filled with grief because he does not understand why he must wage war against his kinsmen. “Dejected, filled with