Bhagavad Gita: Difference between revisions

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(Reverted 1 edit by Shubham banna balodia (talk): Not a reliable source and the claim is directly contradicted by all the academic sources in the article (TW))
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Scholars consider Vyasa to be a mythical or symbolic author, in part because Vyasa is also the traditional compiler of the [[Vedas]] and the [[Puranas]], texts dated to be from different millennia.<ref name="McLeod2014p168">{{cite book|author=Alexus McLeod|title=Understanding Asian Philosophy|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=X1PwAwAAQBAJ |year=2014|publisher=A&C Black|isbn=978-1-78093-631-4|pages=168–169}}</ref><ref>{{cite book|author=George M.Williams|title=Handbook of Hindu Mythology|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=N7LOZfwCDpEC&pg=PA304 |year=2008|publisher=Oxford University Press|isbn=978-0-19-533261-2|page=304}}, Quote: "Veda Vyasa was said to have edited the four Vedas and authored the Puranas and the Mahabharata. Accomplishing all that would require a human who lived several thousand years, so scholars do place the story of his achievements as those of one man in the area of mythology."</ref>{{sfn|Davis|2014|p=37, Quote: "Textual historians generally prefer terms that undercut any implications of Vyasa's actual authorship. They refer to Vyasa as a mythical or symbolic author of the Mahabharata."}} The word ''Vyasa'' literally means "arranger, compiler", and is a surname in India. According to Kashi Nath Upadhyaya, a ''Gita'' scholar, it is possible that a number of different individuals with the same name compiled different texts.{{sfn|Upadhyaya|1998|page=25 with footnote 1}}
 
[[Swami Vivekananda]], the 19th-century Hindu monk and Vedantist, stated that the ''Bhagavad Gita'' may be old but it was mostly unknown in the Indian history till early 8th-century when [[Adi Shankara]] (Shankaracharya) made it famous by writing his much-followed commentary on it.<ref name=vivekanandabg/><ref>{{cite book|author=Alexus McLeod|title= Understanding Asian Philosophy|url= https://books.google.com/books?id=X1PwAwAAQBAJ |year=2014|publisher=A&C Black|isbn=978-1-78093-631-4|pages= 169–170}}</ref> Some infer, states Vivekananda, that "Shankaracharya was the author of ''Gita'', and that it was he who foisted it into the body of the ''Mahabharata''."<ref name=vivekanandabg>{{cite book|author=Swami Vivekananda| title=The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 4|publisher=Advaita Ashram|edition=12th| year=1958 |pages=102–104[https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.99642/page/n114 102]–104 | url= https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.99642/page/n113 }}</ref> This attribution to Adi Shankara is unlikely in part because Shankara himself refers to the earlier commentaries on the ''Bhagavad Gita'', and because other Hindu texts and traditions that compete with the ideas of Shankara refer to much older literature referencing the ''Bhagavad Gita'', though much of this ancient secondary literature has not survived into the modern era.<ref name=vivekanandabg/>
 
According to [[J. A. B. van Buitenen]], an Indologist known for his translations and scholarship on ''Mahabharata'', the ''Gita'' is so contextually and philosophically well knit with the ''Mahabharata'' that it was not an independent text that "somehow wandered into the epic".<ref name=buitenen2013p5>{{harvnb|J.A.B. van Buitenen|2013|pp=5–6}}</ref> The Gita, states van Buitenen, was conceived and developed by the ''Mahabharata'' authors to "bring to a climax and solution the dharmic dilemma of a war".<ref name=buitenen2013p5/>{{refn|group=note|The debate about the relationship between the ''Gita'' and the ''Mahabharata'' is historic, in part the basis for chronologically placing the ''Gita'' and its authorship. The Indologist Franklin Edgerton was among the early scholars and a translator of the ''Gita'' who believed that the ''Gita'' was a later composition that was inserted into the epic, at a much later date, by a creative poet of great intellectual power intimately aware of emotional and spiritual aspects of human existence.<ref name=edgerton1952/> Edgerton's primary argument was that it makes no sense that two massive armies facing each other on a battlefield will wait for two individuals to have a lengthy dialogue. Further, he states that the ''Mahabharata'' has numerous such interpolations and inserting the ''Gita'' would not be unusual.<ref name=edgerton1952>{{cite book|author=Franklin Edgerton| title=The Bhagavad Gita, Part 2| publisher= Harvard University Press|year=1952|pages=3–4}}</ref> In contrast, the Indologist James Fitzgerald states, in a manner similar to van Buitenen, that the Bhagavad Gita is the centerpiece and essential to the ideological continuity in the ''Mahabharata'', and the entire epic builds up to the fundamental dharma questions in the ''Gita''. This text, states Fitzgerald, must have been integral to the earliest version of the epic.<ref>{{cite journal|author=James L. Fitzgerald| title=The Great Epic of India as Religious Rhetoric: A Fresh Look at the "Mahābhārata"| journal=Journal of the American Academy of Religion| volume= 51| number= 4| year= 1983| pages= 615–619, context: 611–630}}</ref>}}
 
==== The nature of Self ====
The ''Gita'', states Fowler, "thoroughly accepts" ''[[Atman (Hinduism)|atman]]'' as a foundational concept.{{sfn|Fowler|2012|p=xxxvi}} In the Upanishads, this is the Brahmanical idea that all beings have a "permanent real self", the true essence, the soul it refers to as ''Atman'' (Self).<ref>{{cite book|author=Juan Mascaró|title=The Bhagavad Gita|url=https://booksarchive.google.comorg/details/books?idbhagavadgita00masc|url-access=nlEIAQAAIAAJregistration|year=1962|publisher=Penguin|isbn=978-0-14-044121-5|pages=xiv–xviii}}</ref><ref>{{cite book|author=Paul Deussen|title=Sixty Upaniṣads of the Veda|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=8mSpQo9q-tIC|year=1980|publisher=Motilal Banarsidass|isbn=978-81-208-1468-4|pages=409–410}}</ref><ref>'''[a]''' [http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/atman Atman], Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press (2012), '''Quote''': "1. real self of the individual; 2. a person's soul";<br />'''[b]''' John Bowker (2000), The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0-19-280094-7}}, See entry for Atman;<br />'''[c]''' WJ Johnson (2009), A Dictionary of Hinduism, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0-19-861025-0}}, See entry for Atman (self).</ref>{{refn|group=note|This contrasts with a few competing schools of Indian religions which denied the concept of self, soul.<ref>John C. Plott et al. (2000), Global History of Philosophy: The Axial Age, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, {{ISBN|978-81-208-0158-5}}, p. 63, Quote: "The Buddhist schools reject any Ātman concept. As we have already observed, this is the basic and ineradicable distinction between Hinduism and Buddhism".</ref><ref>'''[a]''' [http://www.britannica.com/topic/anatta Anatta], Encyclopædia Britannica (2013), '''Quote:''' "Anatta in Buddhism, the doctrine that there is in humans no permanent, underlying soul. The concept of anatta, or anatman, is a departure from the Hindu belief in atman ("the self").";<br />'''[b]''' Steven Collins (1994), Religion and Practical Reason (Editors: Frank Reynolds, David Tracy), State Univ of New York Press, {{ISBN|978-0-7914-2217-5}}, p. 64; '''Quote:''' "Central to Buddhist soteriology is the doctrine of not-self (Pali: anattā, Sanskrit: anātman, the opposed doctrine of ātman is central to Brahmanical thought). Put very briefly, this is the [Buddhist] doctrine that human beings have no soul, no self, no unchanging essence.";<br />'''[c]''' Edward Roer (Translator), {{Google books|3uwDAAAAMAAJ|Shankara's Introduction|page=2}} to ''Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad'', pp. 2–4;<br />'''[d]''' KN Jayatilleke (2010), Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, {{ISBN|978-81-208-0619-1}}, pp. 246–249, from note 385 onwards;<br />'''[e]''' Bruno Nagel (2000), Roy Perrett (editor), Philosophy of Religion: Indian Philosophy, Routledge, {{ISBN|978-0-8153-3611-2}}, p. 33, '''Quote:''' "The dispute with Buddhists, who do not accept an imperishable Self, gives the Atman schools [Vedanta, Kashmir Shaivism] a chance to articulate the intellectual aspects of their way to meditative liberation".</ref>}} In the Upanishads that preceded the ''Gita'' such as the ''[[Brihadaranyaka Upanishad]]'', the salvific goal is to know and realize this Self, a knowledge that is devoid of the delusions of instinctive "I, mine, egoistic" typically connected with the body, material life processes that are impermanent and transient. The ''Gita'' accepts ''atman'' as the pure, unchanging, ultimate real essence, experiencer of one's being.{{sfn|Fowler|2012|pp=xxxv, xxxvii–xix}}
 
==== The nature of the world ====
{{Main|Jnana yoga}}
[[File:Raja Ravi Varma - Sankaracharya.jpg|right|thumb|text|''[[Adi Shankara]] with Disciples'', by [[Raja Ravi Varma]] (1904); Shankara published 700 verses of the ''Gita'' (800 CE), now the standard version.]]
Jnana yoga is the path of knowledge, wisdom, and direct realization of the ''Brahman''.{{sfn|Fowler|2012|pages=xl–xlii, 89–93}}<ref>{{cite book|author=P.T. Raju|title=Structural Depths of Indian Thought |url=https://booksarchive.google.comorg/books?id=wZ_iahRQomwCdetails/structuraldepths0000raju |url-access=registration|year=1985|publisher=State University of New York Press|isbn=978-0-88706-139-4|pages=7–8[https://archive.org/details/structuraldepths0000raju/page/7 7]–8}}</ref> In the ''Bhagavad Gita'', it is also referred to as ''buddhi yoga'' and its goal is self-realization.{{sfn|M.V. Nadkarni|2016|p=266}} The text states that this is the path that intellectuals tend to prefer.<ref>{{cite book|author=Eknath Easwaran|title=Essence of the Bhagavad Gita: A Contemporary Guide to Yoga, Meditation, and Indian Philosophy|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=xcvJAAAAQBAJ |year=2011 |publisher=Nilgiri Press|isbn=978-1-58638-068-7|pages=118, 281}}</ref> The chapter 4 of the ''Bhagavad Gita'' is dedicated to the general exposition of ''jnana yoga''.{{sfn|Fowler|2012|pages=72–90}}{{sfn|Sargeant|2009|pp=201–242}}
 
The ''Gita'' praises the path, calling the ''jnana yogin'' to be exceedingly dear to Krishna, but adds that the path is steep and difficult.{{sfn|Fowler|2012|pages=xli–xlii}}