Violence and Gita

One of the misconceptions about Gita is that; “Gita advocates violence”.

If we read all the 18 chapters carefully; then it would be clear that Gita considers; any activity in personal and social life conducive to forgetting of one’s immortal ‘true self’; is adharma, self-destruction and hence violence. The word “Pranashyati” is used in 6th chapter, 9th chapter and also 18th chapter; to clearly imply this meaning.

In practical life also; forgetting one’s larger self that includes father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, teacher, friend and society; is associated with overtly mean, individualistic, ungrateful, mindless, cruel, brutal, barbaric, maniacal and indiscriminate activities including self destruction and killing i.e. violence! 

Hence theoretically as well as practically; any intellectual, emotional, instinctual and physical actions conducive to ‘forgetting true self’; is adharma and violence.

Gita asks us to remember and focus on our immortal ‘true self’ so that our behavior remains oriented to self realization. This is called swadharma. Gita teaches us to participate in; ‘Dharmya Yuddha’ and conquer the inner and outer forces opposing this! It is Dharmya - not Dharma (2.31 and 2.33). It means one, which culminates in Dharma. Dharma means individual and universal blossoming; and Yuddha is struggle. 

Thus; Shrimad Bhagavad Gita (the proper way to refer Gita); actually teaches, inspires, empowers and enables us; to triumphantly and victoriously conquer the pettiness, cowardice indolence, fanaticism and violence; inside as well as outside. 


More by :  Dr. Shriniwas Kashalikar

Top | Hinduism

Views: 3465      Comments: 1

Comment Gita, or Shrimad Bhagavadgita for that matter, has a tag attached to it. The tag is that it is holy and sacred. People tend to interpret with these tags in mind. Any other dispassionate interpretation is treated as sacrilege. It is true that in the first chapter itself Lord Krishna advices Arjuna to KILL. You may call it Dharma. My personal opinion is that Arjuna was justified and in fact right in developing cold feet.

10-Mar-2013 09:04 AM

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