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Examine the ways in which the Bhagavad-Gita supports the life of duty and action rather than of renunciation.

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Introduction

Examine the ways in which the Bhagavad-Gita supports the life of duty and action rather than of renunciation. `In the Bhagavad Gita, the ideals of household obligation and ascetic renunciation are brought together by saying that a person can work towards liberation while still fulfilling his worldly responsibilities'[1][1]. The Bhagavad Gita explains this through Arjuna's dilemma. Krishna his charioteer and wise friend teaches him on the importance of Duty and action as well as renunciation. Arjuna is trying to work out whether it is better to follow his dharma, his duty and action which is to fight in this war that his caste duty says he should fulfil (svadharma) or renounce and not fight because of `the ideal of non violence espoused by the renounced traditions'[2][2]. This is where Krishna teaches him and guides him on which has more priority but not only that, how to fulfil his dharma without affecting the ideal of non-violence. `It is clear from the context that the Gita emphasises the importance of social duties.'[3][3] Especially in chapter two when Krishna is teaching Arjuna on all the reasons to fight, to follow his cast duty and to almost do away with the renunciation of not fighting. ...read more.

Middle

It is evident that the emphasis on knowledge in the Bhagavad is not as strong as that of the Upanishads. But Lord Krishna does say that `The mind and intellect of a person become steady who is neither elated by desired results, nor perturbed by undesired results. Restless senses O Arjuna forcibly carry away the mind of even a wise person striving for perfection. One should fix one's mind on God with loving contemplation after bringing the sense under control. One's intellect becomes steady with one's senses are under complete control. A disciplined person, enjoying sense objects that are under control and free from attachment and aversion, attains tranquillity. An uncontrolled mind distracts the intellect as a storm sways a ship from its path. A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desire, that enter the mind, like rivers into an ocean which is ever filled but is not disturbed by the rives, can alone achieve peace, not the one who strives to satisfy such desires.' These statements and metaphors are in favour of the importance of renunciation, which is that; Self-realization is to know one's relationship with the Supreme Lord and His true transcendental nature. A self-realized person does not need rituals to reach God. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Bhagavad-Gita joins renunciation and action and duty to become Karma Yoga, which is to detach yourself from your actions. This detachment is the renunciation. This is why the Bhagavad Gita is somewhat known as a `synthesis' because it joins old philosophies together and creates new ones. As a matter of fact, the whole gospel of the Gita is nothing but the blending of knowledge and activity. We have wrong notions about both these; we assume that knowledge means no activity, while activity is divorced from knowledge. Sri Krishna tells us that neither notion is correct. It is very difficult to understand what knowledge and activity are. Action is the outward expression of Knowledge and knowledge is the inner reality of action. This may be said to be the central theme of the Gita. Action is rooted in knowledge. Then you gain the requisite inner trend to conduct yourself rightly in the outer world.' [6][6] Flood defines this synthesis by saying `Through non attachment to action, and knowledge of the Lord, a person will be liberated and be united with the Lord at death'[7][7]. _______________________ [8][1] Introduction to Hinduism Flood P14 [9][2] Introduction to Hinduism Flood P125 [10][3] Essentials of Indian Philosophy M. Hiriyanna P54 [11][4] Class sheets [12][5] [13]www.hinduonnet. ...read more.

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