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Mahatma Gandhi: The Influence Of The Bhagavad Gita And Krishna On His Ideology

The Bhagvad Gita or the Sacred Song is a Hindu Poem , which embodies deep philosophy , spirituality and divinity . It is primarily a war time counsel from Lord Krishna to his warrior disciple Arjun . Mahatma Gandhi has often acknowledged its profound effect on his life .It is strange but interesting that Gandhi ‘s first introduction to the Gita was in England through two English brothers . The brothers read the Gita regularly and asked Gandhi to join them in this activity . Gandhi was sufficiently impressed and in accordance with the advice of these brothers , read the English translation of this poem by Sir Edwin Arnold and was captivated for life by the message of the Gita . He was especially fond of the last 19 verses of the second chapter . It was his opinion that the concept of dharma was summarized in these verses .Later on Gandhi used to read the original Sanskrit version of the Bhagvad Gita every day . During his imprisonment , he made a detailed study of this epic poem and on his friends insistence translated the Gita into Gujarati . According to him the Mahabharata war was an allegory of the battle which goes on in every individual . The Poet Saint Veda Vyas , who penned these verses , imparted the principles of real dharma through this poem . In the words of Gandhi this dharma was synonymous with selfless action . It was Gandhi ‘s opinion that victory in the Mahabharata war did not bring peace , although it brought material benefit . Lord Krishna is the personification of wisdom in the opinion of Gandhi .The Bhagvad Gita advocates the path of Karma or selfless action and its message is the renunciation of the fruit of action . Disappointment is unknown to a true votary of the Gita who is always joyous and peaceful .The following words give an insight into the importance that Gandhi attributed to the Gita :I find that solace in the Bhagvad Gita which I miss even in the Sermon on the Mount . When disappointment stares me in the face and when I am all alone and I do not see even one ray of light , I go back to the Bhagvad Gita . I find a verse here and a verse there and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies – and my life has been full of external tragedies – and if they have left no visible or indelible scar on me I owe it all to the teaching of Bhagvad Gita (Kamat , Jyotsna , 1st June 2004 . The so called modern age has been witness to the advent of many a savant , but perhaps Mahatma Gandhi is one of the most influential if not the most influential of these . He as a strong initiator of social and political activism considered the following to be most harmful to humanity , namely : “Wealth without work , Pleasure with out conscience , Science without humanity , Knowledge without character ,Politics with out principle , Commerce without morality and Worship without sacrifice (Quotes from Mohandas K . Gandhi ,n .d…

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