³Yoga: [Skt.,=union], general term for spiritual disciplines in Hinduism ,Buddhism , and throughout S Asia that are directed toward attaining higher consciousness and liberation from ignorance, suffering, and rebirth²
Like Book 1 of the Iliad, this chapter opens up the field of tension. After the narrator sets the scene, we¹re confronted with Arjuna, the mortal about to make war with his relatives, and the deity Krishna. Arjuna has a series of questions for Krishna about the appropriateness of fighting against these people: ³I do not wish to kill them.²
Krishna¹s response will seem quite strange to most of us. He justifies going to war, but with an argument we don¹t normally make. Key: what does he have to say about the ³senses,² and about mortality?
At section 35, Arjuna lists reasons why he should not go to battle. These are worth remembering.
Be sure you understand the emphasis on incarnation in this chapter. When does it take place? What does it mean?
Dharma: ³a. The principle or law that orders the universe. b. Individual conduct in conformity with this principle. c. The essential function or nature of a thing. 2. Hinduism Individual obligation with respect to caste, social custom, civil law, and sacred law.²
Brahman ³1. also Brah·ma (-m )Hinduism a. A religious formula or prayer and the holy or sacred power in it and in the officiating priest. b. The holy or sacred power that is the source and sustainer of the universe. c. The single absolute being pervading the universe and found within the individual; atman. 2. also Brahmin (-m n) A member of the highest of the four major castes of traditional Indian society, responsible for officiating at religious rites and studying and teaching the Vedas. 3. also Brah·ma (-m ) or Brah·min (-m n) One of a breed of domestic cattle developed in the southern United States from stock originating in India and having a hump between the shoulders and a pendulous dewlap. Well adapted to hot climates, it is used chiefly for crossbreeding.
On completion of this chapter you should be able to comment briefly on the relation between action and knowledge.
And here, you should be able to state Krishna¹s thinking on discipline.
At the end of this chapter the text says that the believer should never be bewildered (or, in different translations, ³deluded²). Why not?
Now we come
to the most secret or confidential form of knowledge. Can you describe it?