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RLG205 - Lecture 5

Course Code
Ajay Rao

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February 6, 2008
Renunciation Continued
The Gita
- Gita embedded into text Mahabharta
- Mahabharta 75 000 verses, the longest poem in the world
- Different tradition (opposite) than the Rg Veda
oNo longer the same degree of rigidity and constraints to the text
- Interpolation, cretion : The text continues to grow
o(In contrast to Veda, which is strict)
- Main body composed circa 200 BC
- The Raymynas probably created much later
- The Mahabharta considered to be a text of ithihasa (“this is how it happened”, a
legendary account, like history (not history)
oNarration of events (ithihasa)
- Composition of the text itself: northwestern India (versus the Raymana which is
- The Mahabharta talks about jaya (the first version, 7000 verses, means victory)
- Waves of composition
- Basic Story:
- A dynastic struggles of war (between Pandanas [Semi-divine] and Dhrasthra)
- Late Vedic world still slightly maintained: Dharma, Gods, Sacrifice
- How is Renunciation domesticated? Renunciation is apart of something else,
something bigger.
- Gita: emerged historically
- Basic Issue: Arajunak doesn’t want to fight, Krsna makes arugments trying to
convince him of the reason he should fight (talks about Yoga, Bhakti)
oAraj. Arguments 1.35:
Issue of action and renunciation
The problem was that we was fighting against their own teachers
and relatives
I’d rather not do anything than do something (idea of renunciation)
Inter-caste Relationship and murders of of sons to carry on
ancestors are his argument as to why he should lack
oKrsna’s Arguments 2.22:
You’re not killing the soul, just the body
3.35: everyone person is born with ONE identity (Araj. is a
warrior- its his social responsibility [dharma])
- For Gandhi, Gita was allegory
- 2.47: actions vs. fruits of action
-Karma (action) vs. Phala (results of action)
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