Rather than being the reward for one's earthly obedience to God, and therefore a destination in and of itself then, as it is within Islam, Christianity and Judaism; arrival at nirvana and therefore the ceasing of further reincarnations comes from finally reconciling non-attachment in one's present life with personal responsibility in one's present life - as Krishna advises Arjuna to do now, on the eve of this war.
Holden further points out that during Krishna's conversation with Arjuna, Krishna, with his words from Bhagavad-Gita 2.12 "Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be" (qtd. In Holden)
Krisna [sic] is telling us that death is not an end - life itself continues, and always will, as it always has. The implication here is that reality is not what it appears to be…… [Read More]
Bhagavad Gita and the Tale of Genji
ithin the Bhagavad Gita, there is the persistent of three major themes: knowledge (jnana), action (karma), and love (bhakti).hen it comes to knowledge, one of the major lessons that Krishna is able to demonstrate is the damage via the misplacement of grief, since the eternal soul, unlike the body, cannot be killed. Thus, some of the major lessons regarding knowledge refer to the importance of discriminative wisdom, achieved through a steadfast mind, which is comparable to a lamp unflickering in a place without wind. The attainment of this stability is achieved through practice, such as via yoga, which can help the mind come to a state of repose (Prasad).
Action is still another major theme of this text: action is important with the endeavor or not getting too invested with the results of the action. The fruits of action often cannot be controlled:…… [Read More]
There they see just how far removed from reality they previously were. In the cave, they knew only shadows of what were only copies of ordinary objects; in the light of the sun they are able to see the objects themselves and finally the sun itself, which gives being to all else. (79)
hile Plato's forms may be difficult to conceptualize, these remains the perfect embodiment of what these objects represent, and for humankind, the attainment of light out of the dark represents the freeing of the soul and imagination. For example, Rice notes that "Plato treats the form of the good, then, as a final and highest reality upon which all other things are dependent. It is a sort of cause of all causes; without knowledge of goodness our knowledge of other things is uncertain" (Rice 80).
hat Can Be Learned from These Analogies?
At first blush, the sun…… [Read More]
The goddess' relationship with Odysseus and Telemachus is similar, though she takes more of a parental role with Telemachus, who lacks the maturity of his father. With Penelope, Athena only interacts to the extent that it helps her objectives regarding Odysseus.
5) the Odyssey is more about Telemachus because Odysseus is fully-formed but Telemachus comes of age. Much of Odysseus' tale is more for entertainment while Telemachus' tale is richer in morals and insight.
6) Krishna inspires Arjuna by pointing out that the prince's misunderstandings, such as the nature of life and death, and that for him to stay out of battle would upset the balance of the universe. He realizes that Arjuna must see the truth for himself in order to fight.
7) the Bhagavad Gita stresses that the individual must understand the universe and fulfill his or her role in it - that individualism should not run counter…… [Read More]
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,…… [Read More]
Dante, Machiavelli, Bhagavad-Gita
The ethics of the epic quest, as expressed in Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey," to take just two examples of nationalist and epic heroic sagas, are ultimately justifications of cultural dominance of a particular ruling group and set of values. Although these heroic epics may highlight occasional great moments of individual morality, they ultimately provide support, justification, and legitimating narratives for the dominant, aristocratic form of government of the day. For instance, Achilles is a great warrior because he is a decedent of the Gods. Odysseus is chosen as the legitimate focus of his own dramatic poem because Athena favors his kingship of Ithaca. Although the narrative structures of Homer's epics may 'test' these men, the narrative epic structure also validates the values of military prowess and social rewards that lie at the heart of establishing a great and epic kingdom, ruled by the few. The…… [Read More]
Srimadbhagabath Gita, the most sacred book of the Hindus, belonging to the Vedic-Brahminic tradition, can be read and interpreted in thousand and one ways. It has folds of meanings, like all great intellectual work which only time and research can reveal. Gita is a part of the great Indian epic, The Mahabharata, where a wearied general (Arjuna) resented to fight against his own kith and kin and gave up his arms after what he thought to be a worthless battle (the battle of Kurukshetra). At this point, Lord Krishna, the Supreme being according to Hindu beliefs, gave advise on the philosophy of life and the mysteries of the universe that govern human existence to his intimate disciple Arjuna. The Gita's seven hundred concise verses provide a guide to the science of self-realization, which was already present in the Vedic tradition of India. Like all epics, Mahabharata, belonged…… [Read More]
Most of us think of the "self," the individual person, as fully self-contained and autonomous. How does the author of the Gita delineate "the self"? That is, when this author says "I" or "you," what does he apparently mean?
Usually the word "I" denotes me, myself, the person who is making the statement and "you" is another entity with whom I am having a direct discourse. However, the Gita makes no distinction between the individual self and another human being. A perfect example of this is in Arjun's dilemma. In this passage, Arjun witnesses armed forces all going off into battle to protect him. But, of course, the soldiers are not only going to battle to protect Arjun, but all people who are like him. hen the narrator states: "I do not wish to kill teachers, uncles, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law, and other relatives who are…… [Read More]
In the beginning of "The hagavad-Gita," two groups of opponents prepare for battle. On one side, the one hundred sons of Dhritarashtra stand and on the other side, and the Pandava brothers stand. These soldiers are in the middle of a family feud over the right to govern the land of Kurukshetra.
A soldier named Arjuna, who is the leader of the Pandava armies, prepares to battle as Lord Krishna heads toward the opposition. Just before the battle, Arjuna asks Lord Krishna for advice.
Arjuna is ridden with hesitation and guilt as he faces his family and knows he will have to kill many loved ones to win the battle. Arjuna has set down his weapon and is ready to sacrifice his life. Arjuna approaches Krishna to tell him about his emotions regarding the battle. "Krishna, I seek no victory, or kingship or pleasures" (Miller, 25).…… [Read More]
Pilgrimages in India
A Quest for Finding Oneself in India: Introduction
Humans are born with an incredible amount of mental capacity to learn and grow, yet we are not born with a pre-determined set of rules guiding our thoughts. Religious practice around the world is thus the result of a collaboration of ideas between humans within a society in order to bring a framework of understanding into everyday life. Yet even with justifications of existence provided by religion, some individuals choose to pursue unanswered questions, in order to find a deeper meaning to life, and existence. Pilgrimage is such a quest, and is the pursuit of knowledge, as well as a journey of the mind and body, in search of answers to the unknowable questions of the universe. Pilgrimage also serves to prove one's own devotion to his or her faith, and can be qualified as a measure of…… [Read More]
By verse 10, the Bhagavad-Gita is clear that "a transcendentalist should always try to concentrate his mind on the supreme self." Again, here we see reference to the self, defined in verse 7 as one who has achieved complete control of the mind.
This concept is mentioned again in this verse (Bhagavad-Gita, 27).
Finally, in verse 15, we see the Sankhya belief on the eventual result of this control. The passage describes the ultimate goal of Sankhya philosophy. It is clearly not the attainment of materialism, but rather, the cessation of all materialistic existence. The unconscious self, along with desire and want and emotion, is discarded in favor of complete consciousness and understanding (Bhagavad-Gita, 27). In other words, in Sankhya, the system is designed to attain freedom, rather than a mystical "Heaven" or kingdom which is merely a brief refuge from suffering.
It is clear that Sankhya has a similar…… [Read More]
The poems Catullus wrote to the woman Lesbia are among his best known. How would you characterize their affair?
Catallus describes a conflicted and stormy affair with the women of Lesbia. Sexual tension is evident in his poems, which have a strong erotic content. Therefore, his affairs were passionate and physical.
If the gender roles were reversed and the woman were the narrator, do you think this series of poems would read differently? Explain.
The poems would read differently not because their content would have changed but because they would subvert social norms. As a male, Catallus is allowed, almost expected to write such explicit details about his physical affairs including references to love and hatred. Females would have been more subtle because of the widespread social persecution they might suffer if they admitted to promiscuity or tumultuous romantic interludes especially with married people.
Catullus ends up calling his lady…… [Read More]
Chinese First Emperor as with the Egyptian pharaohs, the tomb was a microcosm of the world that they knew in life, and filled with the objects that they would use in the afterlife. In early times, servants, soldiers, concubines and entertainers were even put to death so they could serve the monarch in the next world, although later these were mostly represented by statues and replicas. For the First Emperor of China, the tom was an elaborate "analogue of life," reportedly constructed by 700,000 men over many years -- far more than the number of workers used by the Egyptian pharaohs to build their tombs and pyramids (awson, 2007, p. 123). He even had a terracotta army with cavalry, archers, chariots and thousands of troops buried in pits to defend him from his enemies in the next world, along with stone armor to protect against evil spirits. Pit 1 had…… [Read More]
hat Am I? My Atman is so subtle that I am unable to perceive it. I know, therefore, that I am not in danger of experiencing the undifferentiated creative energy mentioned in verse 11 of the Katha Upanishad. That, however, does not answer the question posed. hat am I? A Hindu might see me as a seeker on one of many possible paths to salvation.
Believers in Hinduism are not condemned from birth with only one possible path to salvation. They do not have to feel guilt for their humanity, nor suffer admonishment for their shortcomings. Hindus seek truth. I am a student and therefore a seeker of knowledge. I am on a path. My life is full of riches. A Hindu would perceive that my former incarnation was, at least, reasonable. I did not come back as harijan. For this, I am grateful. Only grateful, of course, that…… [Read More]
Vairagya refers to a state of mind characterized by the discrimination of the temporary, fleeting nature of the worldly pleasures from the state of permanent joy. Vairagya is nothing but non-attachment to the objective world. As sage Patanjali indicates in his Yoga sutra, "Non-attachment is self mastery; it is freedom from desire for what is seen or heard" (Swami Prabhavananda, 10). A vairagi or a spiritual aspirant who practices Vairagya constantly discriminates his thoughts. Every sensory impulse or desire that crosses his mind is weighed on the scale of discrimination and thus impure thought waves are eliminated before they take a stronghold. (Swami Sivananda) Vairagya dawns from the truth that lasting pleasure is not to be found in the sensory realm. Vairagya is the gateway to divine wisdom. It helps the mind get fixated in the supreme self. Thus, the aspirant by means of exercising Vairagya and doing contemplation…… [Read More]
Finally, Gandhi believed that Indian independence had to precede any agreements between the competing groups in the country: Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs. In contrast, Jinnah believed in the idea of two Indias, a Muslim India and a Hindu India. Furthermore, Jinnah believed that the Indian National Congress, composed of educated Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs, was the pathway to a free India, because through it they could extract more and more constitutional freedoms from Britain. Jinnah did not believe in direct confrontation, even the nonviolent confrontation espoused by Gandhi.
9. Vivekananda and Gandhi had a different definition of karma yoga than that found in the Bhagavad-Gita. In the Bhagavad-Gita, karma yoga is concerned with duty (dharma) regardless of earthly reward and dharma is linked to class or caste. The concept is that one may reach salvation by working for the pleasure of a supreme being.
In order to understand Gandhi's notion…… [Read More]
), and the five gross elements which are said to proceed from the five subtle elements (ether or space from sound, air from touch, fire from sight, water from taste, earth from smell). (68) Nature is further divided into three essential gunas, sattva, rajas, and tamas or 'the quality of being, energy, and darkness'. These elements enumerated by the Samkhya will be considered fundamental in the later literature.
8. How does one attain the highest goal of Samadhi in Samkhya-Yoga?
The Samadhi or the state of absolute 'concentration' of the soul into the soul, or of the self in its own self, can be achieved by the Yogin under the direction of a competent Guru, as a state of pure isolation from everything in the world, and even from God himself. The complete detachment can lead to an isolation of the "I" or the individual consciousness in everything, and a…… [Read More]
" The differences in these two lines seem to be only a matter of syntax but in actuality, it also differs in the meaning. The King James Bible version makes it seem like the Lord is making the individual do something, as if by force or obligation, while the Puritan version states that the Lord causes the individual to do something, as if out of their own will. This alone relays the message that faith itself is driving the action, not a perceived obligation.
Another distinction between the two translations can be found with the lines "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: / and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever" (King James Bible) and "Goodness and mercy surely shall / all my days follow me. / and in the Lord's house I shall / dwell so long as days…… [Read More]
On the surface, Hinduism and Christianity could not be much more different. Ancient Hinduism offers a colorful pantheon of playful deities, some of which assume animal characteristics such as Hanuman and Ganesh. Stemming from its Jewish roots, Christianity presents a much different view of the origin and structure of the universe. Christian cosmology is more tightly ordered than that of Hinduism. Strictly monotheistic, Judaism imparted a mistrust of pagan polytheism to Christianity. Christian deity is unitary but also triune, in the worship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Herein lies the strongest connection between worship in ancient India and worship in early Christianity. Hinduism, like Christianity, has a triune God concept. The Hindu God Brahma is the Supreme God, but God has three manifestations as Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Each of these gods has its own expression and role in the Hindu cosmology. hereas Brahma is…… [Read More]
Maharshtrian cuisine comprises of hot, aromatic meat and fish curries and subtle flavoring of vegetarian cuisine. Peanuts and cashew nuts are widely used in vegetables and the main cooking medium is peanut oil. Another feature is the use of a deep purple berry with a sweet and sour taste, otherwise called kokum, in sol kadhi, an appetizer-digestive, which is served chilled. Non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes are served with boiled rice or rotis made from rice flour. Dessert is commonly comprises rotis (a type of bread) stuffed with a sweet mixture of jaggery and gram flour.
Goan cuisine boasts of delicacies like tangy pork 'vindaloo', spicy 'sorpotel' and the popular fish curry with rice. Most of their meals are accompanied with local wine or local liqueur, 'Feni'. Meals are simple but most are also chili hot, spicy and pungent. The basic components include rice, fish and coconut and delicacies made from…… [Read More]
" (4) it is unclear how to understand "things are because we see them." Traditionally perception is conceived as a passive process: we open our eyes and receive input from the world. Kant suggests that perhaps it is not so passive: we "organize" the world into temporal and spatial dimensions, attribute cause and effect, etc. But what Wilde suggests here is even more radical. The "things are because" suggests a causal relationship, such that what we see exists as an effect of seeing. It would be as if looking "paints" the world. But this is completely absurd. Onto what would seeing "paint" the world? and, even weirder, notice that it wouldn't be that seeing paints the world so that we could then look at what was painted. Rather, it would be that seeing is painting, so that we always see and paint simultaneously, always just "creating" whatever we see, under…… [Read More]
If there was a weakness, it was the repetitiveness of the many different hymns and chants. Many of them seemed to repeat themselves throughout the book, such as the many different chants and hymns to heaven and dawn, and to the various gods. I understand that some conveyed different messages, but it seemed to bog the book down, and just add weight. Cutting some of these redundant messages would have made it an even more appealing text.
These texts are effective too because they explain the religion in relatively simple language, so even foreign readers can get the feeling and spirit of the religion, and take away a more intimate understanding of Hindu belief systems. It is meant as a guidebook for Hindus, but it opens up new ideas about religious thought in other readers, and shows, although we are different, many world religions are remarkably similar, as well.
In…… [Read More]
The research showed that Hinduism is a religion that has been practiced in South Asia for more than 4,000 years, and despite having experienced some fundamental changes during these millennia, the religion has been adopted by people from all over the world. hile the majority of Hindus are still in India where four out of five people are Hindus, the research also showed that the billions of people who subscribe to Hinduism do not assign this term to their faiths, and may not even have ever heard the term "Hindu" in their lives. The worldview held by these billions of faithful is therefore naturally varied, but largely relates to a perpetual universe in which unrequited desire is the source of human misery, and the cycle of life will continue until these desires are understood and extinguished. Finally, the research also showed that Hinduism is characterized by the shared concepts…… [Read More]
As one performs their dharma, they earn karma, which is the cause and effect aspect of Hinduism. Karma explains good actions bring good results, and by obeying this principle and dharma, one can experience rebirth into a "better" life that puts one in a stronger position to achieve moksha. The ultimate goal for any Hindu soul is to achieve moksha, which is the liberation from samsara, the cycle of life and death (Chidester: 85). The critical aspect of Hinduism is realizing when the body dies, the Self (Atman) does not die. The Self is carried from life to life, through reincarnation, and the secret to death is to realize the Supreme Self hidden in the heart through meditation and grace (Kramer: 30). Realizing Self in Hindu customs is required to achieve moksha, and be liberated from the endless round of birth, death, and rebirth of samsara. Only when the Self…… [Read More]
In the "Bhagavad Gita, a greatly revered philosophical poem depicting the dialogue between God as Krishna and a devotee, it says: 'All creatures great and small- I am equal to all; I hate none, nor have I any favorites.' This rules out the claim of anyone to be the privileged or 'chosen' agent of God, and thus makes exclusivism impossible in Hinduism (Mugilan)."
One of the largest differences between "Hinduism and other revealed religions is that Hinduism recognizes no prophet as intermediary with exclusive claim over truth. One is not required to acknowledge an intermediary as a prophet or as a chosen agent of God. In a revealed religion, one who denies the authority of this intermediary is called a non-believer, even if one believes in God (Mugilan)."
The Hindus can not conceive "any accommodation of a belief system that denies one's freedom of choice and conscience. Therefore, even…… [Read More]
Part Two of onald Nash's book Is Jesus the Only Savior? deals with the topic of religious inclusivism. Inclusivists "insist that all people must have a chance to be saved," regardless of their belief in Christ.[footnoteef:1] Not quite the opposite of exclusivism, inclusivism does allow for the potential ability of non-believers to be saved, but just emphasizes the unlikeliness of that actually occurring.[footnoteef:2] Kanno presents inclusivism as a view that tacitly approves religions other than one's own but " as a preparatory stage to one's own religion."[footnoteef:3] Hick's stance on inclusivism is that it is just a "soft form of exclusivism."[footnoteef:4] Because Nash is a hard exclusivist, the author finds certain problems with the inclusivism stance. [1: Nash, onald H, 1994. Is Jesus the Only Savior? p. 104.] [2: obinson, B.A, 2011. "How People View the Status of eligions Other than Their Own." etrieved: http://www.religioustolerance.org/rel_plur.htm] [3: Kanno, Hiroshi, n.d.…… [Read More]
oldest and most widely practiced religions in the world, Hinduism is an attractive and flexible tradition. ith its colorful pantheon of deities, Hinduism has evolved over millennia, and has survived vast transformations in Indian culture. The fundamental teachings of the religion are contained within its sacred texts, namely the Vedas and the Upanishads. Hindu deities like Krishna, Ganesha, and Shiva have become well-known around the world, and Hindu practices like yoga are also renowned.
The Vedas are considered to be divine teachings containing immutable knowledge. However, their scope is wide and diverse. A supreme being is espoused, one who is personal and impersonal, immanent and transcendent. The Supreme Being is viewed as creator of the universe of both seen and unseen realities. The existence of other realms of existence, including deities, is central to Hindu cosmology. Communion with the gods is made possible by spiritual practice, devotion, ritual, sacrifice, and…… [Read More]
English writing has taken a new evolutionary path in its development since Independence. India was observed post-colonially by English writers of Indian origin. While new ideas were being developed, emphasis was placed on religious, socio-economic, filial, and political problems as talking points; these issues captured the national movement sensation and attracted the attention of creative writers. Events like the partition and the resulting communal riots following it, coupled with the problems of caste discrimination, misogyny and the squalor in which the proletariat lived, were the major issues of the time. The clamour raised over these issues is massive, with many budding writers boosting the perception of literature as time passes. This paper seeks to evaluate and provide insight into the progress of English writing over a time period ranging from the post- independence period till the present time. Writing veterans who displayed the fifties' realism in their works are…… [Read More]
Their sexual desire is as strong as their male counterparts, revealing much about the way women were viewed in ancient society. Women were not shown as chaste, innocent, or virginal. Prostitutes and single women both play major roles in the Epic of Gilgamesh and in the Odyssey. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, a prostitute transforms Enkidu completely with her sexual prowess. The power of female sexuality is explored in Homer's Odyssey too. The war hero meets and lives with several women on his way home to Penelope. Odysseus seems uniquely able to seduce women and many fall deeply in love with him: especially Calypso and Circe. Calypso and Circe are independent, unmarried women with strong sex drives.
The titular hero of Gilgamesh seems more enraptured with his burly male friend than with the females he encounters. Gilgamesh is not motivated by the love of a woman, and unlike Odysseus is…… [Read More]
Geography on Political, Cultural, and Economic Development of Early Civilization in Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Indus Valley
The focus of this study is the effect of geography on the political, cultural, and economic development of early civilization in Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Indus Valley. The characteristic that Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley all have in common is that they were all river valleys. Therefore, the geography of these locations was very much alike and likewise their culture, political landscape, and economic development were all very much the same.
Statement of Thesis
The civilization of Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Indus Valley were highly affected by the geography of these regions, which resulted in rapid expansion, and growth of these civilizations and which affected the cultural, political, and economic environment of these areas of the world.
Mesopotamia & Egypt
What is known as the Urban revolution occurred in Mesopotamia and Egypt…… [Read More]