Bhagavad Gita: Difference between revisions

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''Dharma'' is a prominent paradigm of the ''Mahabharata'', and it is referenced in the ''Gita'' as well. The term ''dharma'' has a number of meanings.{{sfn|Fowler|2012|p=2}} Fundamentally, it means "what is right".{{sfn|Fowler|2012|p=2}} Contexually, it also means the essence of "duty, law, class, social norms, ritual and cosmos itself" in the text, in the sense "the way things should be in all these different dimensions", states Fowler.{{sfn|Fowler|2012|p=2}} According to Zaehner, the term ''dharma'' means "duty" in Gita's context, in verse 2.7 refers to the "right [and wrong]", and in 14.27 to "eternal law of righteousness".{{sfn|Zaehner|1969|pp=123, 382}}
=== Modern era commentaries ===
* Among notable modern commentators of the ''Bhagavad Gita'' are [[Bal Gangadhar Tilak]], [[Vinoba Bhave]], [[Mahatma Gandhi]] (who called its philosophy Anasakti Yoga), [[Sri Aurobindo]], [[Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan]], and Chinmayananda. Chinmayananda took a syncretistic approach to interpret the text of the Gita.<ref>For Aurobindo, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, and Chinmayananda as notable commentators see: {{harvnb|Sargeant|2009|page=xix}}</ref><ref>For Aurobindo as notable commentators, see: {{harvnb|Gambhirananda|1997|page=xix}}</ref>
* Tilak wrote his commentary ''Shrimadh Bhagavad Gita Rahasya'' while in jail during the period 1910–1911 serving a six-year sentence imposed by the British colonial government in India for sedition.<ref>Stevenson, Robert W., "Tilak and the Bhagavadgita's Doctrine of Karmayoga", in: {{harvnb|Minor|1986|page=44}}</ref> While noting that the ''Gita'' teaches possible paths to liberation, his commentary places most emphasis on Karma yoga.<ref>Stevenson, Robert W., "Tilak and the Bhagavadgita's Doctrine of Karmayoga", in: {{harvnb|Minor|1986|page=49}}</ref>
=== Praise and popularity ===
{{Main|Influence of Bhagavad Gita}}
The ''Bhagavad Gita'' has been highly praised, not only by prominent Indians including [[Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi]] and [[Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan]],<ref>''Modern Indian Interpreters of the Bhagavad Gita'', by Robert Neil Minor, 1986, p. 161</ref> but also by [[Aldous Huxley]], [[Henry David Thoreau]], [[J. Robert Oppenheimer]],{{sfn|Hijiya|2000}} [[Ralph Waldo Emerson]], [[Carl Jung]], [[Herman Hesse]],<ref name="bansi">{{harvnb|Pandit|2005|page=27}}</ref><ref>{{harvnb|Hume|1959|page=29}}</ref> and [[Bülent Ecevit]].<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=The Telegraph – Calcutta : Opinion|}}</ref>
Mahatma Gandhi credited his commitment for ''ahimsa'' to the ''Gita''. For Gandhi, the ''Gita'' is teaching that people should fight for justice and righteous values, that they should never meekly suffer injustice to avoid a war. According to the Indologist Ananya Vajpeyi, the ''Gita'' does not elaborate on the means or stages of war, nor on ''ahimsa'', except for stating that "''ahimsa'' is virtuous and characterizes an awakened, steadfast, ethical man" in verses such as 13.7–10 and 16.1–5.<ref name="Vajpeyi2012p66">{{cite book|author=Ananya Vajpeyi|title=Righteous Republic: The Political Foundations of Modern India |url= |year=2012|publisher=Harvard University Press |isbn=978-0-674-06728-8|pages=66–67}}</ref> For Gandhi, states Vajpeyi, ''ahimsa'' is the "relationship between self and other" while he and his fellow Indians battled against the colonial rule. Gandhian ahimsa is in fact "the essence of the entire ''Gita''", according to Vajpeyi.<ref name="Vajpeyi2012p66"/> The teachings of the ''Gita'' on ''ahimsa'' are ambiguous, states Arvind Sharma, and this is best exemplified by the fact that Nathuram Godse stated the ''Gita'' as his inspiration to do his ''dharma'' after he [[Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi|assassinated Mahatma Gandhi]].{{sfn|Sharma|1986|pp=xiv–xv}} [[Thomas Merton]], the Trappist monk and author of books on Zen Buddhism, concurs with Gandhi and states that the ''Gita'' is not teaching violence nor propounding a "make war" ideology. Instead, it is teaching peace and discussing one's duty to examine what is right and then act with pure intentions, when one's faces difficult and repugnant choices.{{sfn|Miller|1986|pp=149–150}}
=== Largest copy ===
== See also ==
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* [[Ashtavakra Gita]]
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