The Bhagavad-Gita: Krishna's Counsel in Time of War

Author note: Barbara Stoler Miller (Translator)
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The Bhagavad-Gita has been a vital textual content of Hindu tradition in India because the time of its composition within the first century A.D.

One of the nice classics of global literature, it has encouraged such different thinkers as Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, and T.S. Eliot; such a lot lately, it shaped the middle of Peter Brook's celebrated creation of the Mahabharata.

About the Translator
Until her demise in 1993, Barbara Stoler Miller was once Samuel R. Mil- financial institution Professor of Asian and heart japanese Cultures at Barnard collage, Columbia collage. a number one translator of Sanskrit liter- ature and good versed in Indian track and artwork, Dr. Miller edited and translated various works of poetry and drama.

Her translations in- clude Love tune of the darkish Lord, a verse translation and examine of the medieval Indian spiritual erotic poem Gitagovinda, and Yoga: self-discipline of Freedom, a translation of the Yoga Sutra attributed to Patanjali. Dr. Miller studied philosophy as an undergraduate at Barnard collage and held a doctorate in Sanskrit and Indic reviews from the collage of Pennsylvania. She taught at Barnard for twenty-five years.

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39 An ignorant man is lost, faithless, and filled with self-doubt; a soul that harbors doubt has no joy, not in this world or the next. qxd 4/1/04 7:29 AM Page 57 knowledge 57 Arjuna, actions do not bind a man in possession of himself, who renounces action through discipline and severs doubt with knowledge. 41 So sever the ignorant doubt in your heart with the sword of self-knowledge, Arjuna! Observe your discipline! Arise!

1 Lord Krishna Why this cowardice in time of crisis, Arjuna? The coward is ignoble, shameful, foreign to the ways of heaven. 2 Don’t yield to impotence! It is unnatural in you! Banish this petty weakness from your heart. Rise to the fight, Arjuna! 3 Arjuna Krishna, how can I fight against Bhishma and Drona with arrows when they deserve my worship? qxd 4/1/04 7:29 AM Page 32 32 the second teaching It is better in this world to beg for scraps of food than to eat meals smeared with the blood of elders I killed at the height of their power while their goals were still desires.

36 If you are killed, you win heaven; if you triumph, you enjoy the earth; therefore, Arjuna, stand up and resolve to fight the battle! 37 Impartial to joy and suffering, gain and loss, victory and defeat, arm yourself for the battle, lest you fall into evil. 38 Understanding is defined in terms of philosophy; now hear it in spiritual discipline. Armed with this understanding, Arjuna, you will escape the bondage of action. 39 No effort in this world is lost or wasted; a fragment of sacred duty saves you from great fear.

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