[Advaita-l] GITA - summary of the discussions so far

Amuthan aparyap at gmail.com
Fri Aug 25 08:17:25 CDT 2006

namo nArAyaNAya!

after a long break, i'd like to resume the gItA discussions. i
apologise for the intervening delay. in this mail, i'll give a quick
summary of the discussions so far for the purpose of continuity. the
relevant posts can be found in the archives for a detailed discussion
of the topics mentioned here.

arjuna, seeing his relatives on the kaurava side ready for battle,
developed a false compassion towards them. because of the intense
grief and confusion regarding his duty which followed because of this,
he surrendered to bhagavAn vAsudeva requesting His help.

shrI kRShNa, knowing that this grief can be overcome only by
AtmavidyA, started teaching it to arjuna in the midst of the
battlefield. Having quickly taught the essential fact that the self is
imperishable (2.11-13), He taught the unreality of the experienced
world (14-16) and then the nature of the self as being devoid of the
six-fold modifications which is characteristic of any experienced
object, the non-agentship of the self etc. (16-25). (it is worth
reiterating here that this knowledge pertaining to the real nature of
the self is what is meant by the word 'sA~Nkhya').

then, shrI kRShNa went on to show that arjuna's grief was unnecessary
even by other considerations. this He did by teaching a false but
easily understandable doctrine (26-27), by teaching him the necessary
dharma for fighting the battle (31-33) and by reminding him of the
infamy that would follow if he succumbed to his grief and refused to
fight. (34-37). thus, after showing arjuna that there was no place for
grief at all, He urged him to fight without being attached to his
actions (38-39).

having taught the nature of the self, kRShNa started His upadesha on
karma yoga. though the knowledge of the self alone is sufficient for
the destroying grief and it's causes, kRShNa started His upadesha on
karma yoga since arjuna was not a adhikAri for j~nAna mArga. it is
worthwile to recollect here that the purpose of gItA is to teach the
two-fold vaidika dharma - pravRtti and nivRtti - for the complete
cessation of suffering along with it's cause, ignorance. while mokSha
is attainable only through nivRtti dharma, pravRtti mArga helps one to
acquire the necessary qualifications to renounce everything for a
one-pointed quest of the self, i.e, for entering the nivRtti mArga.

kRShNa then taught the greatness of karma yoga (39-40) and the
necessity of a firm conviction regarding yoga or sA~Nkhya (41) for one
who wishes to end the cycle of saMsAra. the discussions stopped here.
kRShNa refutes the mImAMsaka's views next. this will be taken in the
subsequent post.

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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