Bharatas longest epic narrative of kurukshetra war

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Bharatas) longest epic narrative of Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pandava princesStory of the great struggle among the descendants of a king named Bharata, main story is about a war between two families (the Kaurava and the Pandava clans)Ethical problem of warFocus on tension btwn. fulfilling one’s caste duty vs. renunciation 100,000 verses considered longest poem in world The Bhagavad Gita (Song of the Lord)Extract from the Mahabharata—most beloved of all Hindu scripturesSet in the context of a great battleKrishna avatar of the god VishnuArjuna, young warrior/ hero of the Pandavas(Vishnu disguised as Arjuna’s charioteer )Arjuna symbolizes the human soul in quest of liberation Ethical problem of wartension btwn. fulfilling one’s caste duty and renunciation Gita’s solution is to both affirm acting according to one’s duty but also to affirm detachment Laws of Manu Law Codes Affirms that one should do one’s duty to maintain orderly, stable society (older male renunciants) Validates main social-religious classes of the Vedic Period
Bhagavad Gita (Synopsis)On the Field of Battle between Pandavas and the KauravasArjuna (the model courageous, accomplished warrior) As battle is about to begin he loses heart, puts down his sword (is it right to battle against one’s own family)Conversation ensues btwn. Arjuna and Krishna (avatar, incarnation of Vishnu) disguised as Arjuna’s charioteerKrishna appeals to Arjuna to fulfill his duty as a member of the warrior caste but w/ a distinction that is a new idea in HinduismHe should not be tied to the outcome (the idea of selfless action w/ no attachment to the result—give up the idea of any kind of reward)Also introduced is new idea of the path of personal devotion to one god (bhagavatadevotionalism) (devotees are called bhaktas) Emotional attachment to personal god like Vishnu (Shiva or Krishna)Bhaktas claim that such devotion is a way to salvation superior to sacrifice or meditationIdea introduced in the Gita is very influential for the direction that Hinduism takes
Bhagavad Gita cont. Krishna describes three ways (marga) to liberate self from moksha Each way is also a discipline (yoga) 1.Way of action (karma yoga)Unselfish duty, no punishment, no rewardGoals lead to the accumulation of karma, leading to further cycles of rebirthThus, act without attachment to the consequences2.Way of knowledge (jnana yoga)Transforming wisdom destroys past karmaTrue knowledge is insight into the universeAsking questions and meditating on the answers is the way to achieve liberation3.Way of devotion (bhakti yoga)Emphasized throughout the GitaForgiveness of sins through devotion to a personal god (in this case, Krishna)
The Devotional Period (600 C.E.–Present)1. Rise of Devotional Movements2. Tantrism3. Hindu Schools of Theology4. Rise of Hindu reform movements.
1. Rise of BhaktiMovement Devotion to a personal god is one of the paths outlined in the GitaBhakti

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