Bhagavad Gita: Difference between revisions

→‎Varna system: Added a verse from Bhagavad Gita
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(→‎Varna system: Added a verse from Bhagavad Gita)
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The ''Gita'' has been cited and criticized as a Hindu text that supports ''varna-dharma'' and the caste system.<ref>{{cite journal |last=Olcott |first=Mason |title=The Caste System of India |journal=American Sociological Review | publisher=Sage Publications | volume=9 |issue=6 |year=1944 |doi=10.2307/2085128 |pages=648–657|jstor=2085128 }}</ref><ref>{{cite book|author=Susan Bayly|title=Caste, Society and Politics in India from the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age| url= | year=2001| publisher=Cambridge University Press| isbn=978-0-521-79842-6| pages=13–14}}</ref>{{sfn|Maitra|2018|p=22}} [[B. R. Ambedkar]], born in a [[Dalit]] family and the principal architect of the Constitution of India, criticized the text for its stance on caste and for "defending certain dogmas of religion on philosophical grounds".{{sfn|Maitra|2018|p=22}} According to Jimmy Klausen, Ambedkar in his essay ''Krishna and his Gita'' stated that the ''Gita'' was a "tool" of Brahmanical Hinduism and for its latter-day saints such as Mahatma Gandhi and Lokmanya Tilak. To Ambedkar, states Klausen, it is a text of "mostly barbaric, religious particularisms" offering "a defence of the ''kshatriya'' duty to make war and kill, the assertion that ''varna'' derives from birth rather than worth or aptitude, and the injunction to perform ''karma''" neither perfunctorily nor egotistically.<ref>{{cite book|author=Jimmy Casas Klausen|editor=Elena Loizidou|title=Disobedience: Concept and Practice|url= |year=2013|publisher=Routledge|isbn=978-1-135-14383-1|pages=71–72}}</ref> Similar criticism of the ''Gita'' has been published by Damodar Dharmananda Kosambi, another Marxist historian.<ref name=Nadkarni2016p232>{{harvnb|M.V. Nadkarni|2016|pp=231–238}}</ref>
{{quote|The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste]|source=[[Bhagavad Gita]],Chapter 5, Verse 18<ref>{{Cite web|url=|website=|language=en|access-date=29 February 2020}}</ref>}}
Nadkarni and Zelliot present the opposite view, citing early Bhakti saints of the Krishna-tradition such as the 13th-century [[Dnyaneshwar]].{{sfn|Maitra|2018|pp=22–23}} According to Dnyaneshwar, the ''Gita'' starts off with the discussion of ''sva-dharma'' in Arjuna's context but ultimately shows that caste differences are not important. For Dnyaneshwar, people err when they see themselves distinct from each other and Krishna, and these distinctions vanish as soon as they accept, understand and enter with love unto Krishna.<ref>{{cite book|author1=Doranne Jacobson|author2=Eleanor Zelliot|author3=Susan Snow Wadley|title=From untouchable to Dalit: essays on the Ambedkar Movement |url= |year=1992|publisher=Manohar Publications|pages=21–22}}</ref>{{sfn|M.V. Nadkarni|2016|pp=232–233}}