The Bhagavad-Gita - An exploration of the content in the light of (modern) western-societies values

 
Throwdare
 
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Throwdare
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14 October 2016 13:00
 

What is the Bhagavad-Gita all about?

What is it or isn’t?

How can its teachings benefit modern western societies or not?

Or how and by whom was the content miss-understood and miss-used to justify crimes by those who used its teachings to justify war?

I would like to have an open conversation with those who know (have read) the book and are interested in discussing its content. I don’t have a fixed take on it.

Anybody?

 
 
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16 October 2016 10:20
 

Since this is my first “official” thread as a member here, and nobody seems to be interested in posting something, I do it myself.

Here are two podcasts with the us-american navy seal Jocko Willink, having a dialog with Joe Rogan and with Sam Harris.

Both are interesting in the light of the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita, I think. But they are long conversations, so be aware that you have to at least be warned that it takes some time to get the drift. But as members of the “too much spare-time” club, one might not think it’s a waste of time to listen to it and then discuss the content in the light of the Bhagavad-Gita or some other scripture one is up to to investigate it under.

Joe Rogan Experience #729 - Jocko Willink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnKcquMobHQ

Waking Up with Sam Harris #26 —The Logic of Violence: A Conversation with Jocko Willink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yP7zPSQ86I

Furthermore…to encourage an inter-confessional dialog, here a statement from the bible I think is worth considering regarding the topic touched in both podcasts:

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12, New living translation)

http://biblehub.com/ephesians/6-12.htm

[ Edited: 16 October 2016 10:23 by Throwdare]
 
 
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18 October 2016 09:46
 

No further commenting on this very short, under two minutes long, movie is needed to understand and see “who is who and what is what”.....and how war can be justified by anything that can be miss-understood by ..... you name it, as a reason to destroy what isn’t considered as of being of value.

Project paper-clip….

Oppenheimer Quotes out of Hinduism’s Bhagavad Gita after the first Nuclear explosion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuRvBoLu4t0

 
 
sojourner
 
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18 October 2016 20:23
 

Intersting to me that you chose a piece centering around a battlefield since you are, in other posts, staunchly anti-war.


I’m not very familiar with the Bhagavad Gita, btw, but my interpretation of this would be that conflict, samsara, a “dog eat dog” world and so on, may reside in perception, not external circumstances. I like that the etymology of the word ‘nurse’ (as in, a caregiver, someone who nurtures someone in times of need,) basically derives from nursing mothers, from a root word meaning to feed (literally) or nourish. And these acts - caring for a person or a child - do involve a great deal of sacrifice and personal discomfort and ultimately the pain of loss on one end or the other. On the other hand, the root words for ‘predator’ and ‘prey’ involve war, plundering, taking by force, and so on. The dynamics involved are not so different, only the attitude. If you follow the advice to “Give to anyone who asks of you” (in whatever manner they ‘ask’,) can you ever really be at war or in conflict? Does a mother or a nurse feel the pain of ‘war’ when they sacrifice to give to others, or are even unpleasant tasks suffused with the pleasantness of tenderness and love?

 
 
LadyJane
 
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19 October 2016 08:12
 

The anti-war stance requires the acknowledgement of war.  The more we understand the more solid our position.

 
 
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19 October 2016 10:44
 
LadyJane - 19 October 2016 08:12 AM

The anti-war stance requires the acknowledgement of war.  The more we understand the more solid our position.


From a common sense, daily life point of view, yes. But in this particular thread I’m referring to the claims (or my interpretation of the claims) of a specific religion. And no, they’re not small scale claims - eastern religions, to my mind, make claims that are just about as extraordinary as western religions, despite their reputation as being more philosophies than religions. But to say that all humans have the capacity to transcend all suffering - and not via changing external circumstances, via internal transformation - includes war. That’s not to say said religions don’t often include qualifiers about reducing suffering for beings who are not fully enlightened or whatever one want to call it, but the call in said religions is generally not to go out and end war, it’s to go out and change oneself. Again, those are extraordinary claims and I’m not saying one necessarily has to believe them any more than they believe Jesus transcended into heaven, but just saying I’m describing a religious POV in this particular thread.

 
 
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20 October 2016 06:54
 

If I would be inclined to do so, I could destroy the basic premise of the Bhagavad-Gita in just one single sentence. But I prefer not to, for now…

I can defend it’s content with tooth and nails, if neccessary, given a certain context. But right now, this isn’t this kind of context.

I could write a phd-paper in philosophie-class on the Bhagavad-Gita, if that would be something of some value and would be neccessary for me to do so, but that’s not the case right now.

I could re-write it so it can not be miss-understood any longer, at least I could try that. But I think right now it isn’t my “duty”.

I could hitch-slap everybodys take on the Bhagavad-Gita, if that would be of benefit for what I prefer to live in and under, regarding the kind of society I prefer to be a part of.

I guess I mouth-heroed enough for now, right here, right now.

 
 
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20 October 2016 20:42
 
Throwdare - 20 October 2016 06:54 AM

If I would be inclined to do so, I could destroy the basic premise of the Bhagavad-Gita in just one single sentence. But I prefer not to, for now…

I can defend it’s content with tooth and nails, if neccessary, given a certain context. But right now, this isn’t this kind of context.

I could write a phd-paper in philosophie-class on the Bhagavad-Gita, if that would be something of some value and would be neccessary for me to do so, but that’s not the case right now.

I could re-write it so it can not be miss-understood any longer, at least I could try that. But I think right now it isn’t my “duty”.

I could hitch-slap everybodys take on the Bhagavad-Gita, if that would be of benefit for what I prefer to live in and under, regarding the kind of society I prefer to be a part of.

I guess I mouth-heroed enough for now, right here, right now.


Oh my. Why haven’t you ascended out of the material world yet then? Is it possible that, like the rest of us, you are simply another perspective saying, it the words of Semi Precious Weapons, “We’re alive alive?”  wink

 
 
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22 October 2016 10:05
 

Who do you refer to when you say “we’re”, NL?

What does “alive alive” mean when you say it?

Just wondering.

 
 
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23 October 2016 09:18
 
Throwdare - 22 October 2016 10:05 AM

Who do you refer to when you say “we’re”, NL?


Anyone alive.

 

What does “alive alive” mean when you say it?

Just wondering.


Present in an experiencing, finite form in time space.

 

 

 
 
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02 November 2016 03:51
 

Its a spiritual resistance manual, without the drugs.

 
 
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14 May 2017 00:39
 

Essence(s) of the Bhagavad Gita:

“You don’t need validation or approval from anyone but yourself. Even if the entire world goes against, disagrees with or attempts to crush you, stand up for what you believe in, and stand up alone if you have to! It’s better to die while living your own truth than to live in the truth of another”

Integrity is the key to freedom. It’s only your own truth that can ‘set you free.’ It’s perfectly fine if your truth doesn’t match that of others. It doesn’t make either of you wrong, as long as you’re both being true to yourselves, that’s all that matters.”

When we work selflessly for the sake of the world, we will bring peace from the moment we start, for we will be at peace in ourselves. In this way, little by little more and more peace develops, and when there is peace we are happy; then we have everything.

Greed is the cause of envy. Envy disturbs our judgement. Without envy we look at success and failure evenly. We may worry about it, but we maintain a balanced attitude, and act wisely. Do not act out of greed, just do the right thing. Results will take care of themselves.

 
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24 May 2017 22:53
 
NL. - 20 October 2016 08:42 PM
Throwdare - 20 October 2016 06:54 AM

If I would be inclined to do so, I could destroy the basic premise of the Bhagavad-Gita in just one single sentence. But I prefer not to, for now…

I can defend it’s content with tooth and nails, if neccessary, given a certain context. But right now, this isn’t this kind of context.

I could write a phd-paper in philosophie-class on the Bhagavad-Gita, if that would be something of some value and would be neccessary for me to do so, but that’s not the case right now.

I could re-write it so it can not be miss-understood any longer, at least I could try that. But I think right now it isn’t my “duty”.

I could hitch-slap everybodys take on the Bhagavad-Gita, if that would be of benefit for what I prefer to live in and under, regarding the kind of society I prefer to be a part of.

I guess I mouth-heroed enough for now, right here, right now.

Hmmm. I see. And your point is ???

 
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24 May 2017 23:07
 
Throwdare - 16 October 2016 10:20 AM

Since this is my first “official” thread as a member here, and nobody seems to be interested in posting something, I do it myself.

Here are two podcasts with the us-american navy seal Jocko Willink, having a dialog with Joe Rogan and with Sam Harris.

Both are interesting in the light of the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita, I think. But they are long conversations, so be aware that you have to at least be warned that it takes some time to get the drift. But as members of the “too much spare-time” club, one might not think it’s a waste of time to listen to it and then discuss the content in the light of the Bhagavad-Gita or some other scripture one is up to to investigate it under.

Joe Rogan Experience #729 - Jocko Willink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnKcquMobHQ

Waking Up with Sam Harris #26 —The Logic of Violence: A Conversation with Jocko Willink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yP7zPSQ86I

Furthermore…to encourage an inter-confessional dialog, here a statement from the bible I think is worth considering regarding the topic touched in both podcasts:

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12, New living translation)

http://biblehub.com/ephesians/6-12.htm

I am sorry, these long videos have nothing whatever to do with the Bhagvadgita - not even a caicature of it.

The Bhagvadgita is about how to conquer your fears and do the right thing, regardless of consequences,
and do it with a level head, without pride, guilt, shame or any such emotion. That’s how you succeed. It
is not fundamentally about violence or killing at all. It applies to every struggle: even the struggle within
you between your civilized, moral self and your hedonistic, base, selfish instincts. The most important
lesson in the Gita is to do the right thing because it is the right thing,regardless of where it leads.

 
sojourner
 
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25 May 2017 13:25
 
swamig - 24 May 2017 11:07 PM

I am sorry, these long videos have nothing whatever to do with the Bhagvadgita - not even a caicature of it.

The Bhagvadgita is about how to conquer your fears and do the right thing, regardless of consequences,
and do it with a level head, without pride, guilt, shame or any such emotion. That’s how you succeed. It
is not fundamentally about violence or killing at all. It applies to every struggle: even the struggle within
you between your civilized, moral self and your hedonistic, base, selfish instincts. The most important
lesson in the Gita is to do the right thing because it is the right thing,regardless of where it leads.


I think you have to be a bit careful in proclaiming that you’re sure you know what a religious text is ‘really’ all about and other people are misinterpreting it. As the texts themselves do not generally contain instructions (“This is all a metaphor” or “This is to be taken literally” or “Hidden in the text there is an elaborate analogy for how to make the perfect miso soup and also something or other about the Illuminati”,) it’s a good idea to hold one’s interpretations lightly. Just my bossy boots two cents, ha ha!


I do think it’s interesting that ‘eastern traditions’, so far as I know, tend to incorporate battles and fighting to an exponentially greater degree than Abrahamic religions. You will find vague descriptions of wars in Abrahamic texts, but there are no Christian, Jewish, or Islamic martial arts that I’m aware of, whereas there are numerous traditions that relate to and are meant to complement or develop skills related to eastern spiritual philosophies. I’m not a sports person so this is not an area I know a lot about, but the explanations I’ve seen given for this range from the strictly pragmatic (monks lived in dangerous areas and had to defend themselves,) to the strictly spiritual (any ‘enemy’ is a symbolic one and such practices are meant entirely for mind training and the cultivation of good qualities). Heck, maybe they’re just a better way to get young guys involved in spiritual practice, as the practices that are going to appeal to someone like me (meditating quietly by a lovely pond surrounded by flowers, say - I’m a female in my 30s) probably don’t do it for the average rambunctious teenage guy from any culture.


I’m relatively agnostic on what such extended battle metaphors and practices are meant to convey - that’s one side of ‘eastern spiritual stuffz’ than has always been a vague hum in the background to me, as, again, it involves sports and coordination, ha ha! If the path to enlightenment lies that way, then I have a frigging long way to go.

[ Edited: 25 May 2017 13:31 by sojourner]