Rahul Bhalerao in his article ‘What is wrong with Bhagavad Gita?’ mentions, “while one can make a hundred attempts at justifying that Caste as per the Gita is based on Karma alone and it is only meant for the good of society, but it would be a grave mistake to ignore the practical nature of Caste, which is based solely on birth for thousands of years, along with fixity of professions, disallowing of … To become a high ranked official, one has to be educated enough. So the claim is made that although Krishna says that the division of the society into four Varnas was made by him, he puts an emphasis on ‘guna-karma’, qualities and actions of individuals, past deeds. In the context of the Bhagavad-Gita it is bad karma not to respect the laws of God and the universe. There are few more verses in Mahabharata regarding Caste that the proponents use as a justification. The events that led to this war are described in the Mahabharata, a 200 thousand verses long epic by sage Vyasa. Apparently, it is only a recommendation from All India Council or Technical Education, and as such Anna University has not decided on the matter. We will give you a brief introduction to the Gita. (18.37,38) This analysis can be used in many situations to decide. Also, it is not just Bhagavad Gita, which is part of suggested reading for the Anna University course. “Why not? According to Hindu scriptures, originally the whole world was of one Varna but it is the distinction in duties that has divided society into four Varnas. Because if Lord Krishna had convinced Duryodhana to stop evil doings of Kauravas, then the Mahabharata war which took many lives including those of Kauravas … “The criticism against Bhagavad Gita comes from an insecure place. It is amazing, and surprising to see all the changes so clearly pointed out. 00:23:47 - In this episode, we will discuss:What is Bhagavad Gita? If anything, Bhagavad Gita does not even mention the word ‘Hindu’, and it refers to only ‘Sanatana Dharma’, which when loosely translated means: Eternal Religion. Verse 31 It is a religion readjusted to convince people who are under the influence of another philosophy. It is not very difficult to understand how Mahabharata and Gita became important tools used in this counter-revolution. “India is a secular country, but its culture and traditions are undeniably Hindu and you can legitimately fall back on it. Plato’s The Republic, Francis Bacon’s Power as Knowledge, among others have also been included. Bhagavad Gita is less a Hindu religious book but more an eloquent document on dealing with existential crisis in life. But the real topic that should be debated is why should Bhagavad Gita not be part of the curriculum for those choosing to study philosophy. The wisdom of the Gita isn’t only for the devout seeking to guarantee a place for themselves in heaven (which is actually what a … From managing emotions to solving problems, here are ten life lessons and timeless principles your child can learn from the Bhagavad Gita. Building Stupas that contain relics of Buddha is a common practice in Buddhism. Please read Part II of this article here. So, the between versus done. This is wrong, Bhagwat Geeta is not the ultimate book on what we prefer to call Hinduism. Apart from the objections on caste, the very common objection raised against Gita is the more popular one about Violence. The Lord is simply asking not to have materialistic goals in the mind but only spiritual goals such as moksha and the wish to be in the company of Krishna. This equality and revolution was not just theoretical in nature, one can find multiple instances within Buddhist literature where Buddha himself had intentionally appointed kings and Brahmans at ranks lower than or equal to some of their own servants, the lower castes, within the Sangha. Because if Lord Krishna had told Bhagavad Gita to Duryodhana instead of Arjuna, then the Mahabharata war in Kurukshetra could be avoided.. Answer to this question is actually very shocking! The reactions were typical and expected lines. Life lessons from the Bhagavad Gita for students are many. – Bhagavad Gita 5.29 This realisation of God being our best friend, and the inner peace that results from that understanding, comes through grace, and after considerable practice of Bhakti Yoga. The Bhagavad Gita on Gift Giving Krishna : “A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return. It's already there on YouTube. Rahul Bhalerao is an MBA from IIM Kozhikode, currently working as a Consultant with MindTree Ltd., and is associated with the FOSS Movement. It is a conversation between Arjuna and Krishna at the battlefield of Kurukshetra. “ekavarṇama idama pūrvaṃ viśvama āsida yudhiśthira |, karmakriyāviśesena caturvarṇyama pratiśthitama||”, “So, Even the distinction between castes is artificial – and karma determines what profession you’ll belong.”. “It is a fact that many Hindus take Gita to be their ‘holy book’, but quite unlike in other religions, Hinduism does not have one prescribed text. This pretty much makes it obvious that Gita had been written in the post-Buddhism era when violence was not seen as a moral act and needed enormous justification for it. Since the war was not merely between two rulers over an issue of an empire, and since it was a war between evil and good, and a war for regaining the rights of noble men, Pandavas, it was not only inevitable but also a very spiritual one. Many academics feel reading religious and spiritual texts as part of the curriculum is not a problem as long as the course does not endorse, favour, or promote or disfavour or show hostility towards any other religion. Performing action at the wrong time, in the wrong place, in the wrong way. If eastern philosophical study has no place for the Gita, then that course is useless,” said a professor at Anna University, who wished to remain anonymous. Suppose some teachers use wrong reasoning to deny or decry life’s spiritual dimension, then their advice is wrong-headed. But this finding mention and that too a fearful mention of invasion of a new faith in Mahabharata certainly suggests that by the time these portions were written, Buddhism had already taken a place in Indian society and there was enormous fear among Brahmans about not being able to maintain their social status and religious powers which they had gained by means of dogmatic rituals like fire worshiping and sacrifices and establishing the social order of Caste: all of which were endangered by the revolution brought in by Buddhism and Jainism. Where all the religions end, spirituality begins. Lord Krishna, in the Mahabharata (including the Bhagavad Gita), first advises that if someone cheats or unjustly treats or wrongs then first one should try to tolerate and try to rectify others wrong actions by making them understand the inappropriate nature of their actions and their subsequent results. Bhagavad Gita does not strictly fall in the realm of good and bad. We will discuss if w… The Bhagavad-Gita is known as one of the most fundamental texts that form the basis of Hinduism, which has become one of the world's great religions. It is written in Sanskrit. Even if it required murdering the last Mouryan King in the hands of Pushyamitra Shunga or burning Buddhist monks alive or rephrasing the scriptures and traditions of Brahmanic religion in such a way that they would be more acceptable to the people of that time. Why should we live in denial of the Hindu lineage of this land?”. This system is present everywhere in the world. America is a secular country too. If someone thinks he can not eat beef or that he is a vegetarian just because he is Hindu, then that person needs to revisit Vedas and Hindu mythology to find out how many mentions of the holy meals contain references to cow and horse meat. Bhagavad Gita consists 18 Chapters and it has 700 verses. Hence Gita certainly does not justify violence! What's more, while violence and war is a common aspect in most of the Hindu mythology including Vedas, Gita is the only text that attempts to justify it to such a great extent. Gita is not a religious text, but a spiritual advice. Let’s come out of the mythological world and take a relook at Gita from a historical and more practical view. “The criticism against Bhagavad Gita comes from an insecure place. But they do so … Commentary: Having described the position of those who worship the Supreme Lord, Shree Krishna now explains the situation of those who worship the lower gods for … Though the Bhagavad Gita, as a smrti, has no independent authority from the Upanishads (sruti), the Gita is in many respects unalike to the Upanishads in format and content. Putting bad energy into the world brings back bad energy … It is the sine qua non for understanding philosophy without the trappings of religion,” she added. Bhagavad Gita was told by Lord Krishna to Arjuna as an advise of what’s right and wrong when Arjuna was hesitant to go to war against his own cousins, the Kauravas. Thus ends commentaries of chapter 18, verse 31 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita. Indians, Hindus to be precise feel that it is their highest scripture as it was delivered by an incarnation of God in a battlefield. What you take away from each of the 700 verses is entirely up to you. Develop the right perspective, Stay calm, Be fearless How is it that Hinduism, which can hardly be considered as one faith, a homage to hundreds of contradicting spiritual theories, a collection of traditions and rituals that are so exclusively different for each community, caste and region, with a bunch of religious texts including Vedas, Shastras, Puranas, Smritis, each one declaring themselves undisputable, unquestionable and still exhibiting contradictions both within and among themselves, has revered Bhagvad Gita which is only one section of the epic Mahabharata which had a singular purpose of justifying war, to be the one book that is the essence of the entire religion? The course talks of understanding and western and eastern traditions. What is prohibited they engage in and what is ordained they abstain from. Great Acharyas like Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Madhwacharya, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and great reformers and saints like Swami Vivekananda, Paramahamsa Yogananda, Srila Prabhupada have praised the divine Bhagavad Gita. India, the vaccine pharmacy of the world, will export corona vaccine to several countries, Ayodhya: Gujarati diamond merchant donates Rs 11 crore for Ram Mandir temple construction, A real hero offscreen! 4 Gavin Flood and Charles Martin, The Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation (W.W. Norton and Company, 2012) 20 If we consider Gita to be of such a great importance in the Vedic/Hindu religion, philosophy and Indian culture, considering the spiritual awakening and revolution that started with Buddhism and Jainism, just like Vedas have been mentioned by Buddha, Gita too should have found some serious consideration in the literature present at that time. The Bhagavad Gita is written in 18 chapters consisting of 700 slokas. As things stand now, Bhagavad Gita has not become part of the curriculum in Anna University as the usual suspects on social media platforms believe. Right work is work done in terms of the prescribed directions in the scriptures, and wrong work is work done against the principles of the scriptural injunctions. Gita is a conversation between Arjuna and Krishna at the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Hence the violence is merely of a physical nature and spiritually there was no violence at all. For the first time, the protagonist in the story raises concerns over violence and the God himself justifies what he should do. Will change in names of caste-based localities change their realities? The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he [the soul] is even higher than the intelligence. The Bhagavad Gita As It Is the largest selling edition of Gita in the Western world and translated in over 76 languages. One doesn’t have to be a scholar to say that Bhagavad Gita, probably the oldest treatise in the world, is less a Hindu religious book but more an eloquent document on dealing with existential crisis in life. However, lust is such a formidable … It is appproachable from the sanctified realms of all religions … In Vana Parva of Mahabharata where there are discourses at length about how the social order of Varna will be distorted in Kali Yuga, how Sudras will rise to the middle order of society, how the dogmas and rituals of religion, especially sacrifices, will become extinct, and how Kalki, the tiger among Brahmans, will correct all this mayhem, there is also a fear expressed that in places of temples of God there will be Stupas (the tomb like structure common in Buddhist temples) containing relics. List Of 50 Bhagavad Gita Quotes On Karma, Life, And Death: #1 “The Gita is not a book of commandments but a book of choices.” #2 “When your mind has overcome the confusion of duality, you will attain the state of holy indifference to things you hear and things you have heard.” So, today's Bhagavad Gita is starting at the tenth minute, okay? BG 3.38: Just as a fire is covered by smoke, a mirror is masked by dust, and an embryo is concealed by the womb, … Commentary: Knowledge of what is right and what is wrong is called discrimination. Good actions will lead to higher Varna, bad actions will lead to lower Varna. BG 9.23: O son of Kunti, even those devotees who faithfully worship other gods also worship Me. Bhagavad Gita is one of the study materials. This historical context puts the intentions of Gita under dire suspicion. “If we don’t take pride in reading the Gita and shun it, the loss is entirely ours,” the professor added wryly. Historically, it is no secret that Mahabharata as it exists today was not the same epic since forever. Revisiting Keezhvenmani after 50 years: The embers still smolder. In terms of pure, spiritual knowledge the Bhagavad- Gita is incomparable. What is wrong in eating Onions and Garlic? Nevertheless, Krishna further assures Arjuna that by killing his loved ones he is merely destroying their bodies and not their souls, that souls are immortal and by killing them physically he is only helping them to reunite with the ultimate soul of the universe, so he should not feel any regret for it. Bhagavad Gita Changes — Complete List Changes — By Madhudvisa dasa on September 20, 2009 10:38 am . What is wrong with Bhagvad Gita? The meaning of Gita is “Song of God”. According to the Bhagavad Gita and the Ayurveda, India’s classic medical science, foods are grouped into three categories – sattvic, rajasic and tamasic – foods in the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance. When bible study was sought to be included in school syllabus (as an elective) in public schools in some States in the US, many argued in favour of it since “the Bible is a 2,000-year-old document” and has historical significance on how the nation was formed. The Bhagavad Gita goes in length to talk about the broad philosophical concepts such as Dharma, Karma, Bhakthi , Yoga ans so forth. The proponents of Hinduism do not criticize one book in favor of the other. But even a single desperate cry from a distressed heart can give you a great start – an inner warmth which can be distinctly perceived. Why should Bhagavad Gita not be part of the curriculum in Anna University, Tamil Nadu, for those choosing to study philosophy? One has to work hard for attaining supremacy in society. The arguments made in this respect are again based on what Gita itself claims. It is no secret that Sankaracharya had to fight against Buddhist scholars and Kings in all aspects to revive the religion of Vedas. The Gita is also said to be a part of the great epic, Mahabharata which is a compilation of 1,00,000 slokas. They do not even try to highlight the differences between these texts. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable.". 3 Gavin Flood and Charles Martin, The Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation (W.W. Norton and Company, 2012) 18 “One disciplined by higher mind here casts off good and bad actions,” (Bhagavad Gita, 2:50). What were the social structures and currents that were present when somebody took the pains of writing Gita to teach the religion? Broadly there are three phases that it took to gain its most recent form, starting from the short story ‘Jaya’ about the fight between brothers, then an elaborate form of ‘Bharata’ and finally a huge epic about a holy war, ‘Mahabharata’. Now while the whole purpose of Gita was to convince Arjuna that there was nothing wrong with war and the killing of siblings, Gita supporters do not agree that it is justifying violence. During the battle when Arjuna was in a dilemma whether to fight his own relatives and was wondering as to what is right and what is wrong, he started asking questions to … A person attains his Varna based on his innate qualities and past deeds. With the rise of the Mouryan Empire and spread of Buddhism, it was not just the Vedic religion, traditions and myths that had started losing relevance, it was the whole social structure and the monopoly of Brahmans over religion and people that was losing relevance. Read Exclusive COVID-19 Coronavirus News updates, at MyNation. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable.". (Part II). At the same time, however, the idea of Hinduism as a religion is a bit of a misnomer. Taking cues from the discussions in media and social networks let me first make an attempt to justify the Gita as per its proponents’ views against the common criticism it faces. Lt. Sunita Dixit (Retd) reveals how IAF has transformed her, © Copyright 2021 Asianet News Media & Entertainment Private Limited | All Rights Reserved, Chennai, First Published Sep 25, 2019, 6:48 PM IST. Scholars believe that Gita dates back to around 200 BCE and 200 CE, which is much after the establishment of Buddhism and Jainism. This is a very interesting question. For the first time a complete computerized comparison of Srila Prabhuapda’s original 1972 Macmillan Bhagavad-gita As It Is and the current ISKCON “Revised and enlarged” edition is available. If someone thinks he can not eat beef or that he is a vegetarian just because he is Hindu, then that person needs to revisit Vedas and Hindu mythology to find out how many mentions of the holy meals contain references to cow and horse meat. The first question appears, when was Gita really written? Proponents further claim that nowhere does he mention ‘birth’ as a basis for determining Varna. The interesting part about the Gita is that it is essentially a dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna, right on the grounds of Kurukshetra . I ask back,” said K Ramakrishnan, another academician in Chennai. Should the proponents of public (government) schools celebrate Global Teacher Prize 2020 to Mr. Ranjitsinh Disale? Gita says, an action that gives benefit in the short-term but harms in the long-term is wrong. After listening to all such arguments from the proponents, let us see if these are merely self-satisfying justifications or do they hold any real ground. “If you have chosen to study philosophy, you have to but read the Gita. Also, the subjects are only part of the philosophy curriculum, which is an elective subject only. They don’t shy away from that fact. See from Bhagavad Gita one point one two chapter two verse three. What they really do is to interpret them in order to highlight how everything in them is highly spiritual, how they contain high moral values, how they are equivalent and coherent with the theories of modern science and how they alone propose solutions that are good for individuals and society at large. So how is it that the book that is entitled to one faith is also accepted as the core of cultural values of the entire nation? For the first time, Caste was made irrelevant for religion. An action which appears inconvenient in the short-term but gives benefit in the long-term is right. The Bhagavad Gita does not prescribe one particular path or solution for life. tasya kartāram api māḿ viddhy akartāram avyayam ||”, "According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. The course talks of understanding and western and eastern traditions. The Bhagavad Gita (/ ˌ b ʌ ɡ ə v ə d ˈ ɡ iː t ɑː,-t ə /; Sanskrit: भगवद् गीता, IAST: bhagavad-gītā /b ɦ ɐɡɐʋɐd ɡiːtäː/, lit. We however find references to Buddhist and Jain artifacts in not only Mahabharata but also in Manusmriti. Before we take a critical view of the Bhagvad Gita in this context, let us see what arguments the proponents have to offer in support of it. An unseemly, but not wholly surprising, controversy has broken out in Tamil Nadu after news broke out that Bhagavad Gita and Yoga have been included as part of the 3rd semester curriculum for students studying under the ambit of Anna University. The arguments made in this respect are again based on what Gita itself claims. It gives a philosophical justification against the most important teachings of Buddhism and Jainism, non-violence, at a time when for the first time in human history, the Emperor of a huge country had denounced violence under the influence of spiritual teachings.
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