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Friday, May 17, 2013

Philosophy of the ‘Gita’ / The Karma Yoga


“Bhishmaparva” in the Mahabharata.
Philosophy of the ‘Gita’ / The Karma Yoga
Renunciation of Action / Prasad Budhdhi.
            The ‘Ramayana’ and the ‘Mahabharata’ are the basis of Indian culture. These epics are the gems of Sanskrit literature and a goldmine of Indian literature. The ‘Mahabharata’ is the world’s longest poems and indeed is longest literary work. It is considered as the fifth Ved.. It consists of one lakh couplets. It deals with the struggle on the Kurushetra battlefield between the two rival families, the Kauravas and the Pandavas. The struggle took place not later than the tenth century B.C. The original text of this epic was composed Maharshi Ved Vyasa in 500 A. D. it is a gigantic text full of descriptions, fables, codes of conduct., religion and culture. It is divided into eighteen books called “Parvas”.

            In the sixth Parva called ‘Bhishma Parva’, ‘Samjaya describes everything that happen on the battle filed to the blind king. Dhritarashtra. At this place the writer introduces the eighteen chapters of the ‘Bhagavada Gita’. Here Krishna, the Charioteer of Arjuna, teaches him that he must not hesitate to fight, although his enemies are his own relative. This long and beautiful discourage breaks the narrative of the battle. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan calls it “the most beautiful, perhaps the only true philosophical song existing in any known tongue.” It conveys lessons of philosophy, religion and ethics. It is the most influential work in Indian thought. The Gita shows the easiest way of salvation, ‘Bhakti’ or devotion to God.

            Here the teacher, Lord Krishna is a semi-God. He addresses Arjuna, the representative man. Arjuna comes to the battlefield. When he finds his brothers as his enemies, he feels a dire psychological conflict and expresses his unwillingness to fight. His conscience is troubled and his heart is torn with anguish. He says, “If to slay is sin, it is a worse sin to slay near and dear ones. He is a struggling individual who feels the burden and the mystery of the world. He can not realize the unreality of his own desires and passions. He can not realize the status of is enemies also. Thus Arjuna feels a void in his heart on account of the unreality of things. He does not know what is right for him to do .he feels an intense inwards agony. Some critics calls this state of his mind, “dark night of the soul, an essential step in the upward path.” Really the path of progress is through suffering Arjuna is son the way to illumination and self-realization. He is about to feel that the Kauravas are the enemies who prevent the progress of his should .

            At this time, Krishna stands for the voice of God. He warns him against the dejection of spirit. The opening chapter of the Gita shows a great insight into the art of man, its conflict of motives, the forces of selfishness and Evils. Here the dramatic element disappears. The echoes of the battlefield dies away. We have only the interview between God and Man. The chariot of war becomes the lonely cell of meditation and the corner of the battlefield become a suitable place for thought on the Supreme.

            The teacher, Lord Krishna is the favourite God of India. He is at once human and divine. He is the God of beauty and love. He tells Arjuna that an individual attains the State of God when he becomes free, from passion and fear and is purified by the fire of wisdom. Krishna of the Gita stands for the infinite in the finite, the God within the human body.

            The message of the Gita is universal in scope. It is the philosophical of the basis popular Hinduism. He says to Arjuna that “He is a Yogi who can control his impulses and anger. He never thinks of success or failure. It he thinks of success, there arises ‘raga’ or ‘like’ and when he think of the failure, there arises ‘dvesa’ or ‘dislike’. If he wants to stay away from such thoughts of success or failure, he should understand the relationship between and action and its result” The result will be according to the laws produced by the Almighty God, not man. So there is no such thing as success of failure, there is merely and action and tis result. Man should accept the result as it comes. This called ‘Yoga’

            Through the Gita, Krishna goes on says, “What is important is not the renunciation of action. Karmsanyasa_ but rather the detachment from the fruition of action. Though self-knowledge man discovers the faith that he is not the doer. He is ‘akarata’ or not-doer. This is the way of a ‘Karmasannyasi’. A man with donotmabudhii can not give up action. A man should be free from likes and dislikes, joy and sorrow, regrets and elations. Krishna called it ‘Sadhana’

            Renunciation of action is a natural result of ‘Karma Yoga’. When the notion of likes and dislikes disappear from the human mind man reaches maturity of mind. Then it is content with itself. It does not depend outer things and beings for its happiness. Such maturity leads to ‘Sannyasa’. Without ‘Karma yoga’ it is difficult to achieve ‘Sannyasa’ and ‘Sannyasa’ of action indicate ‘self-knowledge’.

            Thus the message of the Gita is that every result comes from the Lord, For a devotee, the entire life is based on this fact. He should say, “I have choice only in performing the action but the result is according to the desire of the Lord. The Lord is impartial and so only the right result comes to me. It is nothing but His Prasada’.