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A good ruler - Essay Example

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The Bhagavad Gita, which is part of the classic Indian epic the Mahabaratha, records the dialogue between Arjuna, the Pandava warrior prince and Lord Krishna who is also his chariot driver. When faced with the prospect of fighting his own cousins in the field of battle, Arjuna…
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Download file to see previous pages Krishna derives his code of conduct from the ancient Hindu tradition of Varna Dharma, which was an extension of the caste-system followed in India. According to this system, members of each of the four castes have their own social roles to perform1. Striving to fulfill these roles without questioning them is considered a virtue. Arjuna, having born into the Kshatriya caste (the warriors and rulers) is expected to fight the righteous battle, even if his opponents are his own cousins and eventually one of them might be killed. The people across the battlefield, waiting to confront Arjuna2 with swords, arrows and spears are people like Bhishma and Dhronacharya3, the former being his uncle and the latter his teacher. Not only were they elderly and respectable individuals but were also related by blood. The other contenders were the hundred odd sons of King Dhritirashtra, Arjuna’s father’s own brother4. Indeed, the dilemma and confusion that set in Arjuna’s mind were understandable.
It is at this juncture that Lord Krishna consoles Arjuna by extolling to him the virtues of performing one’s designated duties. The duty (dharma) for a warrior prince is to defend his side from enemies. If Arjuna did not carry out this noble calling of his caste, then he will neither achieve peace in this lifetime for his own warring cousins will bring about his death, nor will he attain peace in the afterlife due to the digression of not having performed his duty. As per the code of conduct prescribed by Varna Dharma, a Kshatriya (warrior) should not hesitate to kill his own brother if the latter is wrong. Arjuna, the warrior prince is impelled to decimate those forces that are devious and corrupt. In the war of Kurushetra, the devious and corrupt forces have assumed the form of his Kaurava cousin brothers and hence Arjuna should not express such sentimental notions which are unbecoming of his caste. When Arjuna doubts the very necessity of this war, Krishna ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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