The Bhagavad Gita, Krishna, and Arjuna Essay

  • Length: 2 pages
  • Subject: India / Indian
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #34709368

Excerpt from Essay :

1. Arjuna’s crisis is established in Chapter 1 of the Bhagavad Gita. The crisis is a classic choice between fighting or fleeing, standing up to injustice versus passive inaction. Of course, had Arjuna refused to engage, the rest of the Gita would not have been written. Arjuna is a hero because he was willing to make personal sacrifices and to walk the delicate razor’s edge of the middle path. A balanced and truly yogic response is to fight judiciously and consciously.



2. Arjuna is a disciple of Lord Krishna. As he is confronted by the presenting crisis in Chapter 1, Arjuna consults with Krishna about how to proceed, and in Chapter 2, Krishna offers his advice. Krishna advises Arjuna to take action based on the spiritual principles of both dharma, duty, and also the immortality of Atma, the oversoul of each person. As long as one takes action consciously, selflessly, and in the best interests of others, the actions can be deemed good and justifiable, even if there is some harm or even death that results. In this vein, Krishna also teaches Arjuna about the law of karma (cause and effect) and that one’s actions are all one has control over. Yet actions do beget reactions. Inaction is a type of action.



3. In Chapter 3, Arjuna asks Krishna again why fighting would be an appropriate action. This is where Krishna explains in more detail about karma. Arjuna has been taught to be passive, and that fighting is wrong because it could lead to killing. Yet Krishna also teaches him that each person also has a sacred duty to fight for what is right. Being attached to the results is the problem, not fighting. In fact, not taking any action at all can be perceived of as sinful when one remains too attached to an identity that eschews war.



4. Krishna is Arjuna’s spiritual counselor, helping Arjuna to overcome his fear and resistance to change. In Chapter 4, Krishna’s lessons for Arjuna become more intellectual in nature. Krishna teaches Arjuna about the nature of true discipleship, as in the devotional relationship between supplicant and god or guru. Krishna also teaches Arjuna about the god’s own nature as avatar and manifestation of the supreme God. This is also where Krishna refers to the concept of ritual sacrifice, and how it ties in with Arjuna’s own journey, in which he must learn to make sacrifices in the interests of eliminating ignorance and promoting spiritual knowledge throughout the world.



5. Chapter 11 of the Gita focuses mainly on the concept of the universal form of a god. Krishna claims that all gods or avatars thereof must assume a universal form. The universal form is multifaceted and infinite, yet also perceivable and understandable. Krishna reveals his true nature, showing himself in a multitude of guises and forms. His power inspires Arjuna, who also perceives Krishna’s two-armed and original anthropomorphic form. Krishna affirms that Arjuna is a true devotee.

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