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To Fight in a Righteous War: Varna and Moral Duty in India - Essay Example

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Mahatma Gandhi the greatest leader the world has ever seen also lays claim that his non-violent doctrine has its roots in the teachings of the Gita. This is true as Gandhi…
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To Fight in a Righteous War: Varna and Moral Duty in India
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To Fight in a Righteous War: Varna and Moral Duty in India

Download file to see previous pages... Krishna tells Arjuna that the war is a righteous one. The Gita is actually a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna when Arjuna is confused whether to fight or not to fight against his own people (cousin brothers).
Entering the battle field Arjuna tells Krishna; “…station my chariot between the two armies, far enough for me to see the eager warriors in position—for, whom am I to fight in this enterprise of war?” (Bhagavad-Gita 1.21-22). But when Arjuna finds himself staring into the faces of his Kinsmen he laments to Arjuna that when he see all his family ready for war his limbs flatter and his mouth dries up. He says that there is no good in fighting and killing his own family in a war. He does not wish victory of this kind.
He further says that “We have resolved to commit a great crime as we stand ready to kill family out of greed for kingship and pleasure! It were healthier for me if the [Kauravas], weapons in hand, were to kill me, unarmed and defenseless, on the battlefield!” (Bhagavad-Gita 1.30-34, 45) But Krishna pacifies Arjuna and at the end of the conversation prepares him for the war.
Krishna weaves through a range of complicated philosophical and religious themes; but from the point of view of the epic’s core description these themes are divergent to Krishna’s vital message: he tells Arjuna to set aside his moral sense, take up his bow, and fight and finally this is what Krishna persuaded Arjuna. Now it is rather puzzling that given the Gita’s martial thrust, and the fact that it bears as a preliminary to and vindication for an internal bloodbath, how can the Gita allow for the basis for Gandhi’s policy of non-violent opposition? To this Gandhi argues that the two armies in the Bhagavad-Gita represent the different aspects of an individual’s personality and the war of Arjuna with his own family is indeed a holy war, in which the more ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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