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The Essence Of The Bhagavad Gita Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1482 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Bhagavad Gita, also simply known as The Gita, is a philosophical poem that focuses on a conversation between the Pandava prince Arjuna and the Beloved Lord Krishna. Conflicted with the turmoil of war; Arjuna seeks Lord Krishna for counsel. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna endows Arjuna with wisdom, devotion, and self-realization. They talk about a variety of theological and philosophical issues. According to the Gita, the only way to end the samsaric cycle is to dissolve your life from as much karma as possible using dharma. Therefore, I believe that the essence of the Bhagavad Gita is the contrast between karma and dharma.

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Arjuna views the incoming battle against the Kauravas as pointless. He cannot comprehend why he has to sacrifice the lives of his family for the control of Hastinapira. He does not want the kingdom. Arjuna devoutly believes that murder is evil, killing and potentially sending his family into a needless bloodshed is a dire sin. So, he lays down his arms and conveys to Krishna that he is against engaging in a useless war. Krishna then starts explaining to Arjuna why he must fight and that it is his dharmic duty to restore his karma.

Krishna first tells Arjuna to stay headstrong and to keep pushing forward to eliminate his adversary. When Arjuna questions how a useless slaughter is justified, Krishna says that in war no one actually dies. The human body is just flesh and bones. The exact moment somebody dies, they obtain another body. The mortality of such a superficial body should not be a reason why

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one what he must not do what he must do. Arjuna’s mission is to defeat evil and to regain the power of good for the kingdom.

Krishna states that as the kingdoms, real master, Arjuna needs to come to terms with the fact that reality lies in the eternal. Mortals are not affected by the temporary changes that come with the basic things like senses and death. Krishna expresses to Arjuna that, as a warrior, he must follow his dharma, the divine duty. In dharma nothing is stronger than the war against evil. If he avoids the incoming battle, then Arjuna will have sinned. He would have violated his dharma and his honor.

Although, Arjuna sees the killing of others to be a vital sin, Krishna’s views it as a divine retribution. Death is simply one of the mean of getting into heaven. The people, who have died, have already enjoyed the victory of living on earth. As such, there will be no anguish in the killing of others in order to complete Arjuna’s dharma. Krishna also commends the use yoga, or the skill in action. While attempting to find the path heading towards resoluteness, Krishna urges Arjuna to not focus on the fruits of his labor, but to focus on how he planted those fruits. It is not the destination; it is how you get there.

Krishna then decides to tell Arjuna what the secret of life is. The secret of life happens to be the path of yoga, because it frees one from malevolency and pain. On a more important note, it frees one from world possessions. Krishna says that he sends mortals and humans back to Earth over and over again in the form of prakriti, or material form. They are born again to life, until they are able to find their dharma and dissolve karmic cycle until it is extinguished. Krishna has created the laws of nature on Earth, the material world to essentially reset the collective karma.

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Krishna starts explaining to Arjuna in order to become a wise man, you must be indifferent to things that can be seen as good or bad. It is recommended that rather than to abandon attachments to the fruits of labor, before allowing them to grow into something evil. Krishna tells Arjuna that when man is unaffected by the misperception of ideas, and is unified merely in the harmony of action without thoughts of consequences, then that man can attain perfect yoga. Arjuna asks how a man who has achieved perfect yoga acts like. For example, how may such a man sit, move, and how can you recognize him. Krishna says that man who has achieved perfect yoga is not disturbed by undesirable emotions such as greed, fear, and anger. They are in an unsurprisingly constant meditative state. A man who has obtained perfect yoga does not respond to good fortune or bad fortune. They no longer have attachments to the material world. They no longer live with their senses, but in the self. Once Arjuna learns how to achieve perfect yoga, nothing will cloud his mind from his dharmic duty.

Meditation frees one from all afflictions. However, Arjuna cannot comprehend how the human mind can ever truly be under control. Krishna says that through regular practice and detachment, one can find peace. Although the practice of meditation does require tremendous self-control, if one is able to continue the practice, they will gradually find their goal. Much wisdom will be obtained. Meditation, above all things, including selfless action, is the key to finding peace.

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Krishna first teaches Arjuna the samsaric circle of birth and death. Krishna states that when someone dies the soul does not disappear. It just restarts the cycle of birth and death. He tells Arjuna that purpose of this cycle life and death cycle is to give the opportunity for a person to work off their karma, which is accumulated over many lifetimes. If a person completes action

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unselfishly, in God’s name, then they begin to work off all the accumulated karma. This in turn ultimately leads enlightenment. Once enlightened, the samsaric cycle ends. However, if one keeps repeating selfish acts, then they keep accumulating more and more debt. This pushes that person further into karmic debt, making it harder to reach enlightenment.

Krishna says that to reach enlightenment there are certain steps to take. He then presents some of the main concepts for attaining it renunciation, selfless service, and meditation. Those three are concepts are vital elements for achieving yoga. Krishna says that the truly divine human does not reject all materialistic possessions or simply give up action. A truly divine human finds peace in completing action in the highest service to God, by completing their dharma. Meditation is one of the ways to free ones self from worldly possessions. One of the purest forms of meditation comes can only come when a person is able to free themselves from selfish action. However, they must also focus on the divinity in their actions. Basically, Krishna is stating that when someone realizes divine union with him in meditation, they are able to free themselves from the samsaric cycle. However, rather than just giving people the instant gratification of easily finding a union with God, Krishna states that he casts these trials, obstacles, and tribulations upon humanity. They must earn the right to end the samsaric cycle through meditation. If over the course of many lifetimes, they do not begin to change their karma, they will continually fall deeper and deeper into demonic tendencies, further away from the deliverance of yogic wisdom. If one truly finds union with God, they will be found even at the moment of death.

Throughout all of Krishna’s explanations Arjuna is still skeptical on whether or not killing is a sin. Arjuna requires and demands evidence of Krishna’s divine powers. As proof that

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regaining his kingdom is his dharma and the only way to restore his karma. Krishna then appears to him in his most powerful and incredibly divine form. This form has the power of one thousand suns. Seeing Krishna in his divine state, Arjuna suddenly realizes what enlightenment can bring him in union. Arjuna’s mind is blown. He now completely puts all his faith into the path of yoga. Arjuna then goes on to ask Krishna how one is able obtain love from God. Krishna divulges that love originates from a person’s altruistic devoutness. A person must let go of their body’s lust and enticements and hatreds to find true freedom.

Krishna tells Arjuna outright that if he does not participate and fight in the battle to regain his kingdom, his resolve is useless. Arjuna’s own nature will somehow compel him to fight because it is his dharma, it is his duty. The delusions of avoiding his karma can only last so long. Those who do not battle the Lord’s will and succumb to simple delusions, will be free. Bhagavad Gita ends with Krishna telling Arjuna he must choose the path of good or evil, as it his duty to fight the Kauravas for his kingdom. He is correcting the balance of good and evil, fulfilling his dharma, and offering the deepest form of selfless service. Arjuna finally understands, and proceeds into battle, the song of the Gita comes to an end.

Word Count: 1530


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