HOME
        TheInfoList






Srimad Bhagavad Gita
Krishna tells Gita to Arjuna.jpg

Dharma is a prominent paradigm of the Mahabharata, and it is referenced in the Gita as well. The term dharma<

According to M. R. Sampatkumaran, a Bhagavad Gita scholar, the Gita message is that mere knowledge of the scriptures cannot lead to final release, but "devotion, meditation, and worship are essential."[192] The Gita likely spawned a "powerful devotionalism" movement, states Fowler, because the text and this path was simpler, available to everyone.[193]

Jnana yoga is the path of knowledge, wisdom, and direct realization of the Brahman.[194][195] In the Bhagavad Gita, it is also referred to as buddhi yoga and its goal is self-realization.[196] The text states that this is the path that intellectuals tend to prefer.[197] The chapter 4 of the Bhagavad Gita is dedicated to the general exposition of jnana yoga.[198][199]

The Gita praises the path, calling the jnana yogin to be exceedingly dear to Krishna, but adds that the path is steep and difficult.[200]

Synthesis of yogas, Raja yoga

Sivananda's commentary regards the eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita as having a progressive order, by which Krishna leads "Arjuna up the ladder of Yoga from one rung to another."[201] The influential commentator Madhusudana Sarasvati divided the Gita's eighteen chapters into three sections of six chapters each. Swami Gambhirananda characterises Madhusudana Sarasvati's system as a successive approach in which Karma yoga leads to Bhakti yoga, which in turn leads to Jnana yoga:The Gita praises the path, calling the jnana yogin to be exceedingly dear to Krishna, but adds that the path is steep and difficult.[200]

Sivananda's commentary regards the eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita as having a progressive order, by which Krishna leads "Arjuna up the ladder of Yoga from one rung to another."[201] The influential commentator Madhusudana Sarasvati divided the Gita's eighteen chapters into three sections of six chapters each. Swami Gambhirananda characterises Madhusudana Sarasvati's system as a successive approach in which Karma yoga leads to Bhakti yoga, which in turn leads to Jnana yoga:[202]

  • Chapters 1–6 = Karma yoga, the means to the final goal
  • Chapters 7–12 = Bhakti yoga or devotion
  • Chapters 13–18 = Jnana yoga or knowledge, the goal itself

Some scholars treat the "yoga of meditation" to be a distinct fourth path taught in the Gita, referring to it as Raja yoga.Some scholars treat the "yoga of meditation" to be a distinct fourth path taught in the Gita, referring to it as Raja yoga.[203][83][84] Others consider it as a progressive stage or a combination of Karma yoga and Bhakti yoga.[204] Some, such as Adi Shankara, have considered its discussion in the 13th chapter of the Gita and elsewhere to be an integral part of the Jnana yoga.[205][206]

Asceticism, renunciation and ritualismdharma, without craving for or concerns about personal rewards, viewing this as an "inner sacrifice to the personal God for a higher good".[207][208]

According to Edwin Bryant, the Indologist with publications on Krishna-related Hindu traditions, the Gita rejects "actionless behavior" found in some Indic monastic traditions. It also "relegates the sacrificial system of the early Vedic literature to a path that goes nowhere because it is based on desires", states Bryant.[209]

[209]

Dharma is a prominent paradigm of the Mahabharata, and it is referenced in the Gita as well. The term dharma has a number of meanings.[210] Fundamentally, it means "what is right".[210] Contexually, it also means the essence of "duty, law, class, social norms, ritual and cosmos itself" in the text, in the sense "the way things should be in all these different dimensions", states Fowler.[210] According to Zaehner, the term dharma means "duty" in Gita's context, in verse 2.7 refers to the "right [and wrong]", and in 14.27 to "eternal law of righteousness".[211]

Few verses in the Bhagavad Gita deal with dharma, according to the Indologist Paul Hacker, but the theme of dharma is important in it.[212] In Chapter 1, responding to Arjuna's despondency, [212] In Chapter 1, responding to Arjuna's despondency, Krishna asks him to follow his sva-dharma,[213] "the dharma that belongs to a particular man (Arjuna) as a member of a particular varna, (i.e., the kshatriya – the warrior varna)".[214] According to Paul Hacker, the term dharma has additional meanings in the context of Arjuna. It is more broadly, the "duty" and a "metaphysically congealed act" for Arjuna.[215] According to the Indologist Jacqueline Hirst, the dharma theme is "of significance only at the beginning and end of the Gita" and this may have been a way to perhaps link the Gita to the context of the Mahabharata.[216]

According to Malinar, "Arjuna's crisis and some of the arguments put forward to call him to action are connected to the debates on war and peace in the Udyoga Parva."[217] The Udyoga Parva presents many views about the nature of a warrior, his duty and what calls for heroic action. While Duryodhana presents it as a matter of status, social norms, and fate, Vidura states that the heroic warrior never submits, knows no fear and has the duty to protect people.[218] The Bhishma Parva sets the stage of two ideologies in conflict and two massive armies gathered for what each considers as a righteous and necessary war. In this context, the Gita advises Arjuna to do his holy duty (sva-dharma) as a warrior, fight and kill.[219][220][221]

According to the Indologist Barbara Miller, the text frames heroism not in terms of physical abilities, but instead in terms of effort and inner commitment to fulfill a warrior's dharma in the battlefield.[222] War is depicted as a horror, the impending slaughter a cause of self-doubts, yet at stake is the spiritual struggle against evil.[222] The Gita message emphasizes that the personal moral confusion and struggle must be addressed, the warrior needs to rise beyond "personal and social values" and understand what is at stake and "why he must fight", states Miller. The text explores the "paradoxical interconnectedness of disciplined action and freedom".[222]

The first reference to dharma in the Bhagavad Gita occurs in its first verse, where Dhritarashtra refers to the Kurukshetra, the location of the battlefield, as the Field of Dharma, "The Field of Righteousness or Truth".[210] According to Fowler, dharma in this verse may refer to the sanatana dharma, "what Hindus understand as their religion, for it is a term that encompasses wide aspects of religious and traditional thought and is more readily used for religion".[210] Therefore, 'Field of action' implies the field of righteousness, where truth will eventually triumph, states Fowler.[210] According to Jacqueline Hirst, the "field of dharma" phrase in the Gita epitomizes that the struggle concerns dharma itself. This dharma has "resonances at many different levels".[223]

"The Field of Dharma" is also called the "Field of action" by Sri Aurobindo, a freedom fighter and philosopher.[210] "The Field of Dharma" is also called the "Field of action" by Sri Aurobindo, a freedom fighter and philosopher.[210] Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, a professor of Philosophy at the Oxford University and the second president of India, saw "The Field of Dharma" as the world (Bhavsagar), which is a "battleground for moral struggle".[224]

Unlike any other religious scripture, the Bhagavad Gita broadcasts its message in the centre of the battlefield.[225] Several modern Indian writers have interpreted the battlefield setting as an allegory of "the war within".[226] Eknath Easwaran writes that the Gita's subject is "the war within, the struggle for self-mastery that every human being must wage if he or she is to emerge from life victorious".[227]

Swami Nikhilananda, takes Arjuna as an allegory of Ātman, Krishna as an allegory of Brahman, Arjuna's chariot as the body, and Dhritarashtra as the ignorance filled mind.Swami Nikhilananda, takes Arjuna as an allegory of Ātman, Krishna as an allegory of Brahman, Arjuna's chariot as the body, and Dhritarashtra as the ignorance filled mind.[note 16] Nikhilananda's allegorical interpretation is shared by Huston Smith.[54] Swami Vivekananda interprets the first discourse in the Gita as well as the "Kurushetra war" allegorically.[228] Vivekananda states, "when we sum up its esoteric significance, it means the war which is constantly going on within man between the tendencies of good and evil".[229]

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, in his commentary on the Gita,[230] interprets the battle as "an allegory in which the battlefield is the soul and Arjuna, man's higher impulses struggling against evil".[231]

In Aurobindo's view, Krishna was a historical figure, but his significance in the Gita is as a "symbol of the divine dealings with humanity",[232] while Arjuna typifies a "struggling human soul".[233] However, Aurobindo rejected the interpretation that the Gita, and the Mahabharata by extension, is only "an allegory of the inner life", and it has nothing to do with our outward human life and actions.[233][note 17]

Other scholars such as Steven Rosen, Laurie L. Patton and Stephen Mitchell have seen in the Gita a religious defense of the warrior class's (Kshatriya Varna) duty (svadharma), which is to conduct combat and war with courage and do not see this as only an allegorical teaching, but also a real defense of just war.[234][235]

Indian independence leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai and Bal Gangadhar Tilak saw the Gita as a text which defended war when necessary and used it to promote the cause of armed rebellion against the British. Lajpat Rai wrote an article on the "M

Indian independence leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai and Bal Gangadhar Tilak saw the Gita as a text which defended war when necessary and used it to promote the cause of armed rebellion against the British. Lajpat Rai wrote an article on the "Message of the Bhagavad Gita". He saw the main message as the bravery and courage of Arjuna to fight as a warrior.[236] Bal Gangadhar Tilak saw the Gita as defending killing when necessary for the betterment of society, such as, for example, the killing of Afzal Khan.[236]

Liberation or moksha in Vedanta philosophy is not something that can be acquired. Ātman (Soul) and Self-knowledge, along with the loss of egotistic ignorance, the goal of moksha, is something that is always present as the essence of the self, and must be realized by each person by one's own effort. While the Upanishads largely uphold such a monistic viewpoint of liberation, the Bhagavad Gita also accommodates the dualistic and theistic aspects of moksha. The Gita, while including impersonal Nirguna Brahman as the goal, mainly revolves around the relationship between the Self and a personal God or Saguna Brahman. A synthesis of knowledge, devotion, and desireless action is offered by Krishna as a spectrum of choices to Arjuna; the same combination is suggested to the reader as a way to moksha.[237] Christopher Chapple – a Comparative Theology scholar focusing on Indian religions, in Winthrop Sargeant translation of the Gita, states, "In the model presented by the Bhagavad Gītā, every aspect of life is in fact a way of salvation."[238]

Pancaratra Agama

According to Dennis Hudson, there is an overlap between Vedic and Tantric rituals with the teachings found in the Bhagavad Gita.According to Dennis Hudson, there is an overlap between Vedic and Tantric rituals with the teachings found in the Bhagavad Gita.[239] He places the Pancaratra Agama in the last three or four centuries of 1st-millennium BCE, and proposes that both the tantric and vedic, the Agama and the Gita share the same Vasudeva-Krishna roots.[240] Some of the ideas in the Bhagavad Gita connect it to the Shatapatha Brahmana of Yajurveda. The Shatapatha Brahmana, for example, mentions the absolute Purusha who dwells in every human being. A story in this vedic text, states Hudson, highlights the meaning of the name Vasudeva as the 'shining one (deva) who dwells (vasu) in all things and in whom all things dwell', and the meaning of Vishnu to be the 'pervading actor'. In Bhagavad Gita, similarly, 'Krishna identified himself both with Vasudeva, Vishnu and their meanings'.[241][note 18] The ideas at the center of Vedic rituals in Shatapatha Brahmana and the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita revolve around this absolute Person, the primordial genderless absolute, which is same as the goal of Pancaratra Agama and Tantra.[243]

Translations

Charles Wilkins in 1785.[244] The Wilkins translation had an introduction to the Gita by Warren Hastings. Soon the work was translated into other European languages such as French (1787), German, and Russian. In 1849, the Weleyan Mission Press, Bangalore published The Bhagavat-Geeta, Or, Dialogues of Krishna and Arjoon in Eighteen Lectures, with Sanskrit, Canarese and English in parallel columns, edited by Rev. John Garrett, and the efforts being supported by Sir. Mark Cubbon.[245]

In 1981, Larson stated that "a complete listing of Gita translations and a related secondary bibliography would be nearly endless".[246]:514 According to Larson, there is "a massive translational tradition in English, pioneered by the British, solidly grounded philologically by the French and Germans, provided with its indigenous roots by a rich heritage of modern Indian comment and reflection, extended into various disciplinary areas by Americans, and having generated in our time a broadly based cross-cultural awareness of the importance of the Bhagavad Gita both as an expression of a specifically Indian spirituality and as one of the great religious "classics" of all time."[246]:518

According to Sargeant, the Gita is "said to have been translated at least 200 times, in both poetic and prose forms".[247] Richard Davis cites a count by Callewaert & Hemraj in 1982 of 1,891 translations of the Bhagavad Gita in 75 languages, including 273 in English.[248] These translations vary,[249] and are in part an interpretative reconstruction of the original Sanskrit text that differ in their "friendliness to the reader",[250] and in the amount of "violence to the original Gita text" that the translation does.[251][note 19]

The translations and interpretations of the Gita have been so diverse that these have been used to support apparently contradictory political and philosophical values. For example, state Galvin Flood and Charles Martin, these interpretations have been used to support "pacifism to aggressive nationalism" in politics, from "monism to theism" in philosophy.[256] According to William Johnson, the synthesis of ideas in the Gita is such that it can bear almost any shade of interpretation.[257] A translation "can never fully reproduce an original and no translation is transparent", states Richard Davis, but in the case of Gita the linguistic and cultu

In 1981, Larson stated that "a complete listing of Gita translations and a related secondary bibliography would be nearly endless".[246]:514 According to Larson, there is "a massive translational tradition in English, pioneered by the British, solidly grounded philologically by the French and Germans, provided with its indigenous roots by a rich heritage of modern Indian comment and reflection, extended into various disciplinary areas by Americans, and having generated in our time a broadly based cross-cultural awareness of the importance of the Bhagavad Gita both as an expression of a specifically Indian spirituality and as one of the great religious "classics" of all time."[246]:518

According to Sargeant, the Gita is "said to have been translated at least 200 times, in both poetic and prose forms".[247] Richard Davis cites a count by Callewaert & Hemraj in 1982 of 1,891 translations of the Bhagavad Gita in 75 languages, including 273 in English.[248] These translations vary,[249] and are in part an interpretative reconstruction of the original Sanskrit text that differ in their "friendliness to the reader",[250] and in the amount of "violence to the original Gita text" that the translation does.[251][note 19]

The translations and interpretations of the Gita have been so diverse that these have been used to support apparently contradictory political and philosophical values. For example, state Galvin Flood and Charles Martin, these interpretations have been used to support "pacifism to aggressive nationalism" in politics, from "monism to theism" in philosophy.[256] According to William Johnson, the synthesis of ideas in the Gita is such that it can bear almost any shade of interpretation.[257] A translation "can never fully reproduce an original and no translation is transparent", states Richard Davis, but in the case of Gita the linguistic and cultural distance for many translators is large and steep which adds to the challenge and affects the translation.[258] For some native translators, their personal beliefs, motivations, and subjectivity affect their understanding, their choice of words and interpretation.[259][260][261] Some translations by Indians, with or without Western co-translators, have "orientalist", "apologetic", "Neo-Vedantin" or "guru phenomenon" bias.[246]:525–530

According to the exegesis scholar Robert Minor, the Gita is "probably the most translated of any Asian text", but many modern versions heavily reflect the views of the organization or person who does the translating and distribution. In Minor's view, the Harvard scholar Franklin Edgerton's English translation and Richard Garbe's German translation are closer to the text than many others.[262] According to Larson, the Edgerton translation is remarkably faithful, but it is "harsh, stilted, and syntactically awkward" with an "orientalist" bias and lacks "appreciation of the text's contemporary religious significance".[246]:524

The Gita in other languages

The Gita has also been translated into European languages other than English. In 1808, passages from the Gita were part of the first direct translation of Sanskrit into German, appearing in a book through which Friedrich Schlegel became known as the founder of Indian philology in Germany.[263] The most significant French translation of the Gita, according to J. A. B. van Buitenen, was published by Emile Senart in 1922.[264] Swami Rambhadracharya released the first Braille version of the scripture, with the original Sanskrit text and a Hindi commentary, on 30 November 2007.[web 4]

The Gita Press has published the Gita in multiple Indian languages.[265] R. Raghava Iyengar translated the Gita into Tamil in sandam metre poetic form.[266] The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust associated with ISKCON has re-translated and published A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's 1972 English translation of the Gita in 56 non-Indian languages.[267][268][note 20] Vinoba Bhave has written the Geeta in Marathi language as Geetai i.e. Mother Geeta in the similar shloka form.

Paramahansa Yogananda's commentary on the Bhagavad Gita called God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita has been translated into Spanish, German, Thai and Hindi so far. The book is significant in that unlike other commentaries of the Bhagavad Gita, which focus on karma yoga, jnana yoga, and bhakti yoga in relation to the Gita, Yogananda's work stresses the training of one's mind, or raja yoga.[271]

Bhashya (commentaries)

Bhagavad Gita integrates various schools of thought, notably Vedanta, Samkhya and Yoga, and other theistic ideas. It remains a popular text for commentators belonging to various philosophical schools. However, its composite nature also leads to varying interpretations of the text and historic scholars have written bhashya (commentaries) on it.[272] According to Mysore Hiriyanna, the Gita is "one of the hardest books to interpret, which accounts for the numerous commentaries on it–each differing from the rest in one essential point or the other".[273]

According to Richard Davis, the Gita has attracted much scholarly interest in Indian history and some 227 commentaries have survived in the Sanskrit language alone.[274] It has also attracted commentaries in regional vernacular languages for centuries, such as the one by Dnyaneshwar in Marathi language (13th century).[275]

Classical commentaries

The Bhagavad Gita is referred to in the Brahma Sutras, and numerous scholars including Shankara, Bhaskara, Abhinavagupta of Shaivism tradition, Ramanuja and Madhvacharya wrote commentaries on it.[276][277] Many of these commentators state that the Gita is "meant to be a moksa-shastra (moksasatra), and not a dharmasastra, an arthasastra or a kamasastra", states Sharma.[278]

Śaṅkara (c. 800 CE)

The oldest and most influential surviving commentary was published by Adi Shankara (Śaṅkarācārya).[279][280] Shankara interprets the Gita in a monist, nondualistic tradition (Advaita Vedanta).[281] Shankara prefaces his comments by stating that the Gita is popular among the laity, that the text has been studied and commented upon by earlier scholars (these texts have not survived), but "I have found that to the laity it appears to teach diverse and quite contradictory doctrines". He calls the Gita as "an epitome of the essentials of the whole Vedic teaching".[282] To Shankara, the teaching of the Gita is to shift an individual's focus from the outer, impermanent, fleeting objects of desire and senses to the inner, permanent, eternal atman-Brahman-Vasudeva that is identical, in everything and in every being.[283]

Abhinavagupta (c. 1000 CE)

Abhinavagupta was a theologian and philosopher of the Kashmir Shaivism (Shiva) tradition.[280] He wrote a commentary on the Gita as Gitartha-Samgraha, which has survived into the

The Gita has also been translated into European languages other than English. In 1808, passages from the Gita were part of the first direct translation of Sanskrit into German, appearing in a book through which Friedrich Schlegel became known as the founder of Indian philology in Germany.[263] The most significant French translation of the Gita, according to J. A. B. van Buitenen, was published by Emile Senart in 1922.[264] Swami Rambhadracharya released the first Braille version of the scripture, with the original Sanskrit text and a Hindi commentary, on 30 November 2007.[web 4]

The Gita Press has published the Gita in multiple Indian languages.[265] R. Raghava Iyengar translated the Gita into Tamil in sandam metre poetic form.<

The Gita Press has published the Gita in multiple Indian languages.[265] R. Raghava Iyengar translated the Gita into Tamil in sandam metre poetic form.[266] The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust associated with ISKCON has re-translated and published A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's 1972 English translation of the Gita in 56 non-Indian languages.[267][268][note 20] Vinoba Bhave has written the Geeta in Marathi language as Geetai i.e. Mother Geeta in the similar shloka form.

Paramahansa Yogananda's commentary on the Bhagavad Gita called God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita has been translated into Spanish, German, Thai and Hindi so far. The book is significant in that unlike other commentaries of the Bhagavad Gita, which focus on karma yoga, jnana yoga, and bhakti yoga in relation to the Gita, Yogananda's work stresses the training of one's mind, or raja yoga.[271]

Bhagavad Gita integrates various schools of thought, notably Vedanta, Samkhya and Yoga, and other theistic ideas. It remains a popular text for commentators belonging to various philosophical schools. However, its composite nature also leads to varying interpretations of the text and historic scholars have written bhashya (commentaries) on it.[272] According to Mysore Hiriyanna, the Gita is "one of the hardest books to interpret, which accounts for the numerous commentaries on it–each differing from the rest in one essential point or the other".[273]

According to Richard Davis, the Gita has attracted much scholarly interest in Indian history and some 227 commentaries have survived in the Sanskrit language alone.[274] It has also attracted commentaries in regional vernacular languages for cent

According to Richard Davis, the Gita has attracted much scholarly interest in Indian history and some 227 commentaries have survived in the Sanskrit language alone.[274] It has also attracted commentaries in regional vernacular languages for centuries, such as the one by Dnyaneshwar in Marathi language (13th century).[275]

The Bhagavad Gita is referred to in the Brahma Sutras, and numerous scholars including Shankara, Bhaskara, Abhinavagupta of Shaivism tradition, Ramanuja and Madhvacharya wrote commentaries on it.[276][277] Many of these commentators state that the Gita is "meant to be a moksa-shastra (moksasatra), and not a dharmasastra, an arthasastra or a kamasastra", states Sharma.[278]

Śaṅkara (c. 800 CE)

Abhinavagupta was a theologian and philosopher of the Kashmir Shaivism (Shiva) tradition.[280] He wrote a commentary on the Gita as Gitartha-Samgraha, which has survived into the modern era. The Gita text he commented on, is slightly different recension than the one of Adi Shankara. He interprets its teachings in the Shaiva Advaita (monism) tradition quite similar to Adi Shankara, but with the difference that he considers both soul and matter to be metaphysically real and eternal. Their respective interpretations of jnana yoga are also somewhat different, and Abhinavagupta uses Atman, Brahman, Shiva, and Krishna interchangeably. Abhinavagupta's commentary is notable for its citations of more ancient scholars, in a style similar to Adi Shankara. However, the texts he quotes have not survived into the modern era.[284]

Rāmānuja (c. 1100 CE)

<

Ramanuja was a Hindu theologian, philosopher, and an exponent of the Sri Vaishnavism (Vishnu) tradition in 11th and early 12th century. Like his Vedanta peers, Ramanuja wrote a bhashya (commentary) on the Gita.[285] Ramanuja's disagreed with Adi Shankara's interpretation of the Gita as a text on nondualism (Self and Brahman are identical), and instead interpreted it as a form of dualistic and qualified monism philosophy (Vishishtadvaita).[286][287]

Madhva (c. 1250 CE)

Normal Exit PeriodicService.php