[Advaita-l] The Goal of bhagavad-gItA
Dr. Sanjay Verma
sanjay1297 at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 10 20:06:06 CDT 2005
Namaste and Pranam,
--- Ravi Mayavaram <ravi at ambaa.org> wrote:
> Is gItA a text largely geared to instruct some
> one pursuing pravR^itti
> mArgA? That is, to impel one to act with the
> right understanding, as it
> happened with Sri arjuNa.
Here is my humble initial response to your
question (bare with the spelling, I still haven't
adapted to Itrans but will do so soon):
When asking if the gItA is a text instructing
(implication 'advocating' ? ) one pursuing
pravR^itti mArgA, it appears as if the questions
is distinguising between pravR^tti mArgA and
nivR^tti mArgA. However, that is not the choice
by which arjuNa is overwhelmed. arjuNa is
overwhelmed by the choice between action and
cowardice/attachment. In that context, Sri
Krishna exhorts him to engage in nishkAma karma.
Because arjuNa ia a warrier, he has no dhArmic
choice but to be on the pravR^itti mArgA *at
first* (until his karma is burned up).
However, in a broader context, keeping in mind
that the gItA is one of the three fundamental
sources of scriptural authority in Vedanta, it's
ultimate message can be none other than
Knowledge. Adi ShankarAcharya's commentary makes
it quite clear on numerous occasions that the
final message of the gItA is moksha through
Knowledge. My impression is that the prevailing
view by most commentators is: the Acharya states
unambiguously that in the final stages, the
sAdhaka must attain complete mental and physical
renunciation to realize that Knowledge.
The Ultimate goal (ie, message) of the gItA is
moksha through Knowledge, but the immediate
advice to arjuNa is nishkAma karma because of his
particular stage of spiritual development.
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