[Advaita-l] Gita and westerners comments
sjayana at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 27 22:21:52 CST 2016
Here's a full explanation of the Morality of War in the Gita, which is a part of the Mahabharata:
From: Dinesh Patel MD via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2016 7:55 PM
Subject: [Advaita-l] Gita and westerners comments
I received this comment from some about a westerner who spent time in India and well known and his comments
Please read his comments carefully
Can this group get excited to make comments on his
Deeper meaning of Gita ??
Franklin Edgerton - (July 24, 1885 – December 7, 1963) was an American linguistic scholar. He was Salisbury Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology at Yale University (1926) and at Benares Hindu University (1953–4). Between 1913 and 1926, he was the Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Pennsylvania. published as volume 38-39 of the Harvard Oriental Series in 1944.
One positive feature of the Bhagavad-Gita’s morality deserves special mention. The metaphysical doctrine that the one universal Soul is in all creatures furnishes an admirable basis for a lofty type of morality. Since one's own Self or Soul is really identical with Self or Soul of all other creatures, therefore one who injures others injures himself. “For beholding the same Lord residing in all beings, a man does not harm himself (his own self and others) by himself; so he goes to the final goal. Thus one of the most striking and emphatic of the ethical doctrines of the Gita is substantially that of the Golden Rule. Man must treat all creatures alike, from the highest to the lowest, namely like himself. The perfected man “delights in the welfare of all beings.” This principle is usually regarded at as perhaps the highest formulation of practical ethics that any religion has attained. It is interesting to see how naturally and simply it follows from one of the most fundamental tenets of the Gita's philosophy.
A genuine application of this moral principle would seem almost inevitably to include avoidance of any violent injury to living beings.
The Gita’s morality on this point is somewhat disappointing. It does indeed include “harmlessness” or “nonviolence” in several of its lists of virtues. But it never singled it out for special emphasis. The Gita is hampered by the fact that it is supposed to justify Arjuna's preparation in war. The dramatic situation is alluded to repeatedly, and the author seems to have it in the back of his head a large part of the time. And we must not forget, either, that
Selected comments about the meaning of the Bhagavad Gita
“non-injury” is clearly implied in the Gita’s teachings on the subject of unselfishness and doing good to others. That is, to carry out these teachings in any real sense would necessarily involve doing no harm to living creatures. But to lay a frank and full emphasis upon this principle, to follow it out explicitly to its logical conclusion, would need to run so glaringly counter to the professed aim of the piece, that it is not strange that the author avoids doing so. Even his catholicity (broad-mindedness or liberality) seems to have shrunk from such an inconsistency as that. We can hardly help feeling, however, that he lost a golden opportunity thereby.
Practical morality – well morality has only minor importance in the Gita's scheme of salvation immorality is usually regarded as a fatal obstacle to it. Desire is the most fundamental cause of vice. The most prominent specific ethical principle in the Gita that is of doing good to others, treating others as oneself. Yet the injunction to do no harm to any living creature, though it is a logical inference from the principal and though it is very prominent in most Hindu ethical systems, is barely mentioned in the Gita and receives no emphasis.
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