Summary Of Bhavadgita Essay, Research Paper
In the book, Bhagavad-Gita, Arjuna, a warrior prince is faced with a moral dilemma. On one side of the coin, his duty to his fellow men is at stake, and on the reverse side, the killing of innocent men like himself morally horrifies him to his senses. In response to Arjuna’s wavering decision, Krishna’s tells him to fight. His reasoning lies behind the principle of defending what is innocent and deemed good from what is evil. “You grieve for those beyond grief, and you speak words of insight; but learned men do not grieve for the dead or the living.” He also states that greed has always been in society. From these seeds of desire, the creation of turmoil and conflict initiates its growth. Thus, it is Arjuna’s duty to fight against this greed. “No one exists for even an instant without performing action; however unwilling, every being is forced to act by the qualities of nature.” (41) From this, Krishna makes his main point about the morally right way to execute this moral dilemma. “Be intent on action, not on the fruits of action; avoid attraction to the fruits and attachment to inaction! Perform actions, firm in discipline, relinquishing attachment; be impartial to failure and success- this equanimity is called discipline.” (pg. 36)
In the first statement, Krishna says, “Be intent on action, not on the fruits of action.” (36) From this passage, Krishna teaches Arjuna that he must be firm on his execution of his duty. He must not falter. However, he states that Arjuna must also remember that his duty is not the duty of others, is not a way to advance oneself on the power richter scale, and is not to gain respect of his fellow kinsman. His kinsman are the ones “driven by desire, striving after heaven and contriving to win powers and delights with the obsession of powers and delights.” (35-6) Arjuna, on the other hand, is forced to fight for the main principle of relinquishing those who desire more power and status and threaten to trespass against those who are content with life. Thus, Arjuna must not allow himself to get caught up in his victory or the act of defending these principles, but with a humble spirit, preserve the innocent in this situation. Just as Krishna observed, “Knowledge is obscured by the wise man’s eternal enemy, which takes form as desire, an insatiable fire.” (46)
The next part of the message is “Avoid attraction to the fruits and attachment to inaction!” (36) From this phrase, Krishna warns Arjuna the problems of inaction. “Renunciation and discipline in action both effect good beyond measure but of the two, discipline in action surpasses renunciation of action. The man of eternal renunciation is one who neither hates nor desires beyond dualities, he is easily freed from bondage.” (57) Thus, Krishna equates renunciation or the “washing the hands of a situation” as an easy cowardice way of escape. For with avoidance, men sit and do nothing to help the situation. Their indifference is defended by the supposed noble stance of not desiring to conflict their morals. Thus, in their selfishness, they deny those higher morals and principles to which they must defend. In light of this aspect, Krishna tells Arjuna to fight, fight for his duty of preserving those who are innocent of greed and ambition.
In the final section of his main point, Krishna preaches about the only morally right way in executing the needed actions. This moral way is executed only through the practice of discipline or in other words, self-control. “Perform actions, firm in discipline, relinquishing attachment; be impartial to failure and success- this equanimity is called discipline.” The self-control in this message ultimately tells men to act for the higher principles and duties. However, in the midst of action, men must never gloat triumphs and victories nor fear the disgrace of a defeat. It is rise to fight for those higher principles and duties that should be only deemed most important.
In response to Krishna’s teachings, I come to an almost complete agreement. Detachment is a required must to take action. This objectivity of certain situations such as the dilemma of war helps us to decide which path to take. Looking on both sides of the spectrum allows the person to judge which moral side is stronger in the controversy. However, in other situation, detachments may not be so clear-cut. The act of saying the words that we must detach is harder than the act of doing. Each person is flavored by his opinion and sometimes that includes his mindset. “When he controls his senses with his mind and engages in the discipline of action with his faculties of action, detachment sets him apart.” (42) Plus, in not all circumstances are detachment deemed valuable. Thus, Arjuna cannot say “those who find fault and fail to follow my thought, know that they are lost fools, deluded by every bit of knowledge.” (45)
“but when a man finds delight within himself and feels inner joy and pure contentment in himself, there is nothing more to be done.” (43) “When he gives up desires in his mind, is content with the self within himself, then he is said to be a man whose insight is sure, Arjuna.”
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