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RELG 252 (48)
Lecture

PHILOSOPHY: The Bhagavad Gita

3 Pages
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Department
Religious Studies
Course Code
RELG 252
Professor
Davesh Soneji

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Description
To discuss: The Bhagavad Gita Commentarial Traditions in the Vedanta Schools All major Vedantic thinkers traditionally had to compose commentaries on three major texts: - The Upanisads - The Brahma Sutras - The Bhagavad Gita There are therefore thousands and thousands of commentaries of this Bhagavad Gita. It is embedded in the Mahabharata, one of the major Sanskrit epics (poem). The dates for its various chapters range from 200 BCE to 500 CE. In its present form, is eighteen chapters long. Narrative context: Mahabharata: A war between two related clans is about to take place in the city of Kuruksetra. The warrior Arjuna is faces with the dilemma of fighting against his own cousins, teachers and elders. His charioteer Krishna, who is really God, reveals to him the teachings that become the Bhagavad Gita. (They talk together on the battlefield, this conversation is the Bhagavad Gita. It is a work on ethics. There is the importance of dharma (oneʼs own dharma, called svadharma): our dharma changes every second. They are our duties. Dharma (sacrifices etc) and renunciation (renunciation) are compatible. You can follow your duties. Action should be performed with complete detachment from the anticipated results (niskama karmayoga). If you are a warrior like Arjuna, your dharma is to fight the war, and you donʼt obsess about the end result of winning the war. God is transcendent and immanent. Very important. The self (atman) is immortal, but is subject to rebirth until liberated. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In the Bhagavad Gita, liberation can be attained through three modes: - Karma yoga: performing actions without attachment to the fruits of actions - Jnana yoga: path of knowledge. Liberation through contemplation, meditation, and the final realization that atman and brahman are one. - Bhakti yoga: devotion to God. All beings can attain liberation through God's grace. ▯ Itihasa, Purana, and Forms of the Divine Itihasa: "Epics" The english translation of the Sanskrit word itihasa lies somewhere between "myth" and "history”. The term itihasa generally refers to two major epic narratives, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Though the root narratives were codified in Sanskrit as part of the Brahmanic canon of Smrti literature, t
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