Ex Libris Kirkland

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Translator Laurie L. Patton
First Written -500
Genre Philosophy
Origin India
Publisher Penguin Classics
My Copy library paperback
First Read August 16, 2022

The Bhagavad Gita

First discourse. Before a battle commences, Arjuna realizes the humanity of the warriors and people around and is struck with compassion and reluctance to actually fight and kill.

Second discourse. Krishna counsels that it’s ok to engage in war because the cycle of reincarnation means people don’t die, only bodies die. (Wild.) Arjuna's dharma is to fight the battle, and the proper thing is to enjoy it. Also people will think he’s a coward if he doesn’t (!)

Third: Krishna tells Arjuna that the kind of renunciation of desire and anger doesn’t mean we shouldn’t act in the world, just that we should do what needs to be done… without attachment? Or without goals? Not sure here.

Fourth: action and non-action (which itself is I think a translation for ‘karma’?) as part of yoga, the practice of what? It’s not the stretchy exercise, but seems more like… the i ching-y “Way”?

Fifth. Both renunciation and right action (that’s how I’m thinking of the term “yoga”) are to be praised, but perhaps better is to perform right actions without attachment to their results. These all seem really stoic to me. I guess the sense of 'do what's right even if you don't like the results' is a common idea, but this extends to 'do what's right without any regard to the results, good or bad.'

Noted on August 16, 2022

I've never read this, or really any other Hindu scripture. I'm sure this newer translation makes it as accessible as possible, but it's still hard to focus on a larger thread for all the small, repetitive bits. I'm trying to gloss each 'discourse' as I go.

Noted on August 16, 2022

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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