World Literature: Bhagavad Gita

INTRODUCTION

Throughout the years, religious groups have used mythologies and narrations to explain and enlighten the human experience. Examples include the Babylonians with their Marduk tales, the Romans with the well-known legend about Romulus and Remus, and the Jews who employed eschatology and relics associated with Jesus. The most noteworthy and interesting of all is the long-established application of myths in Hinduism, the Bhagavad Gita. Undoubtedly, the Bhagavad Gita, a famous epic poem remarkably used in India to explain the Hinduism paths to Salvation, is the most revered of the myths. It is universally a renowned jewel of the Hindu spiritual wisdom. The poem features numerous characters, but among the most important ones are Lord Krishna and Arjuna, a prince of the Pandava family. In this paper, we will examine the relationship between the two heroes, who are depicted as close friends with a special unbreakable bond. The poem presents many instances where Lord Krishna acts as a useful advisor to Arjuna. The paper will examine whether Lord Krishna is there to advise Arjuna because he is a genuine supporter of the Pandava family or because he has some hidden motives. It will borrow use evidence from a book entitled The Norton Anthology of World Literature.

THE ETERNAL DUTIES OF A HUMAN BEING

The discussion will be based on chapter three of the Bhagavad Gita, which is entitled The Eternal Duties of a Human Being. It establishes the fact that performance of the necessary duties is obligatory for everyone. Here, Lord Krishna expansively and emphatically explains that everyone has a responsibility to deliver his or her functions and duties respectively according to the rules and regulations defined by their societies (Puchner et al. 729). Besides, Lord Krishna explains why such obligations are vital by indicating the benefits gained and the potential harms that arise when the commitments are not performed in a right way. Moreover, he describes the actions that lead to bondageand those that lead to salvation.

DOES KRISHNA ADVISE ARJUN BECAUSE HE GENUINELY SUPPORTS THE PANDAVA FAMILY OR BECAUSE HE HAS HIDDEN MOTIVES?

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After reading and analyzing the Bhagavad Gita, we can say that Lord Krishna acts selflessly giving advice to Arjuna not because of selfish hidden agendas and motives but because of his loyalty and truthful support to the Pandava family. Bhagavad Gita presents various instances where Lord Krishna and Arjuna associate as great friends with a distinct relation as shown in various love, friendship, and hatred stories (Puchner et al. 732). Presumably, the Kurukshetra battle, one of the most important events in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, is a context that helps to show how the two are loyal to each other. Just before the start of the Kurukshetra battle, the two warring parties led to Arjuna and Duryodhana visit Lord Krishna to call for his support to the respective sides. Without a second thought, Lord Krishna promises Arjuna of the Pandava family his support through the massive and gigantic Yadava army. However, he declines to support Duryodhana presumably because his side was evil (Puchner et al. 734). After establishing this association with Arjuna, Lord Krishna acts as a charioteer for the Pandava family.

Further, the poem shows various examples where Lord Krishna acts as a friend rather than a betrayer with self-hidden interests. Bhagavad Gita shows that both Lord Krishna and Arjuna have mutual respect for each other and worship each other with great reverence. In various occasions, Lord Krishna acts as an advisor of Arjuna, especially in the battlefield. As a true follower of Hinduism, Lord Krishna genuinely supports Arjuna under the paths of Hinduism salvation namely Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga. Firstly, we look at the Karma Yoga. Lord Krishna acts divinely and selflessly to help Arjuna just like a true Hindu is supposed to do to his counterparts. Krishna is seen to do what is right not because he expects to be rewarded or receive selfish gains but bbecause he believes in the right (Puchner et al. 737). In Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna is afraid to murder his family as he is afraid of the consequences of such an action. Here, Krishna comes in to tell him that it is his obligation and duty to restore peace by all means. Krishna advises that peace must prevail even if one has to kill. He argues that having harmony is the greater good than having rebellious kinsmen. Secondly, Lord Krishna shows pure loyalty under the pillar of Jnana Yoga. Here, he sacrifices his individuality to show divinity and devotion to the path of knowledge. Using his wisdom, he helps Arjuna to understand why it is permissible to kill his rebellious kinsmen. According to him, killing would be just a way of shedding the offensive bodies in restoring the essential peace and order (Puchner et al. 739). He does not act out of selfish interests but according to the Hindu way that places him in the path of knowledge, Jnana.

Finally, Lord Krishna follows the path of Bhakti Yoga in advising Arjuna and the Pandava family. In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna prescribes to this path of salvation as the perfect and the safest way to accomplish the goal of liberation (Puchner et al. 740). Krishna shows Arjuna why it is important to perform his prescribed duties without attaching himself to the results. He considers this way as the best course of action.

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CONCLUSION

The paper has discussed whether Lord Krishna counsels Arjuna out of genuine support for the Pandava family or out of hidden motives. Based on the poem named Bhagavad Gita,the discussion holds that it was Lord Krishna’s loyalty and genuineness rather than hidden selfish motives that made him provide extend an overwhelming support to Arjuna and the Pandava family. Throughout the poem, Lord Krishna and Arjuna are great friends connected by mutual respect and a strong and unbreakable bond. Krishna’s sincere support is apparent when he supports the Pandava family in the Kurukshetra battle where he acts as the charioteer and advisor.

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