Analysis Of The Bhagavad Gita

1259 Words 6 Pages
The Bhagavad-Gita is a rather small section in the overall massive text of the Mahabharata. However, the size of this passage had no effect on its ability to influence. The likes of Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Annie Besant, and Mohandas K. Gandhi were all inspired or influenced by this text. The Bhagavad-Gita wouldn’t be the inspiring text is it today if it hadn’t been influenced by many other religious texts that came before it. The Bhagavad-Gita takes ideas from other religious texts and reinterprets them to fit with its own agenda.
One of the texts that the Bhagavad-Gita uses is the Upanishads. A section of the Upanishads contains an extended analogy that likens the various portions of a being to the makeup of a chariot. This
…show more content…
This is quite a lengthy allusion to the chariot passage in the Upanishads, a more direct reference to the same passage states “If his mind submits to the play/ of the senses,/ they drive away insight,/ as wind drives a ship on water” (BhG 2.67). While the analogy has shifted from chariots to ships the meaning remains the same.
The Upanishads are also heavy with references to fire. The creation story in the Upanishads alludes to the idea that life is entirely made of food and eater, soma and fire respectively, so it makes sense to see fire as a reoccurring theme. The Bhagavad-Gita borrows some of these fire themes from the Upanishads and reinvents them to fit the purpose of its own story. In the third teaching of the Bhagavad-Gita verse fourteen includes a reference to the five fires, a passage in the Upanishads. This verse reads “creatures depend on food,/ food comes from rain,/ rain depends on sacrifice,/ and sacrifice comes from action” (BhG 3.14). The passage in the Upanishads that this verse gets its ideas from is found in chapter five
…show more content…
In the second teaching of the Bhagavad-Gita verses forty-nine through fifty-three are taken almost exactly from the Yoga Sutra. The final line of verse fifty and into verse fifty-one correspond perfectly with verses fourteen and fifteen from the Yoga Sutra. The fourteenth verse of the Yoga Sutra say that one must consistently try to improve in their own practice in order to grow and the final line of verse fifty in the Bhagavad-Gita states “discipline is skill in actions” (BhG 2.50). Discipline in the case of the Bhagavad-Gita means yoga or practice, so this final line is trying to get across the idea that to achieve this discipline one must put in effort, the same sentiment expressed in the Yoga Sutra. Verse fifty-one goes on to state that wise men should perform actions in an altruistic manner and by doing so they will be able to break the bonds of rebirth. Verse fifteen of the Yoga sutra says that “the detachment of one who does not crave for material or spiritual objects is a sign of control” (YS 1.15). While the Bhagavad-Gita doesn’t copy the wording exactly the ideas are very much the same, to improve one must relinquish material objects. The fifty second verse in short states that once you reach understanding you will realize you no longer need sacred lore, sacred lore can be interpreted as the Veda, this sentiment is echoed in the Yoga Sutra where it states: “This discrimination has a different scope than

Related Documents