Last Updated 06 Jul 2020

Bhagavad Gita Critical Essay

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Think of the phrase “finding yourself”. What does that truly mean? What makes it possible for a man to be able to find out who he himself is? Must we all be peaceful? Ghandi said, “Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances. ” In the Bhagavad Gita, we learn the lesson of finding our inner selves (“twin”) first before answering questions of others. According to the God Krishna, our desires are what cause our evil deeds, and in order for us to be free, we must control our desires. This can only be done through practice.

Is peace what we all really want for ourselves in the end? First we must think of what peace is. It can be a state of harmony between people or groups or even a freedom from them, but it can also be known as freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession such as a state of tranquility or serenity. Is that what we want in life—to be able to not worry about the troubles in life and just be happy? Peace gives us a calm and relaxed state of mind that helps bring about that joy and happiness. Happiness is what we are all trying to achieve in life.

We fight for what will help us and our loved ones because it makes everyone happy. If you were to find yourself first, then no one would have to worry about to helping others or putting people down in order to help themselves because everyone would be taking care of themselves first. This state of comfort is an amazing state, but we as humans are driven by our desires and emotions, so can we truly have peace? One emotion can lead to another, and Lord Krishna says that it will all end in ruin because our desires are what cause the evil actions we do.

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Our “desire for pleasure and power” are what lure us to the evil actions (2. 43). So if our desires are what get us in trouble and make us sin, how do we stop them? The only way to stop these wrong-doings is to control our desires. “When a man gives up all desires that emerge from the mind, and rests contented the Self by the Self, he is called a man of firm wisdom” (2. 55). In other words, you have to drop your desires and not care about them in order to find yourself and be happy with how you are. Only when you get rid of all selfish thoughts will someone be able to renew themselves.

He describes it almost as if it’s a rebirth. You do not think of the consequences, you just do it. If you let go of the expectations put upon us by society, there is no disappointment for yourself. Lord Krishna describes “firm wisdom” as the ultimate level of peace. He thinks that this firm wisdom is what we as humans should try to strive for. We must abandon “[A]ll desires born of [our] own selfish will, [and] a man should learn to restrain his unruly senses with his mind” (6. 24). The unruly senses he speaks of are the desires.

He whose mind is untroubled by any misfortune, those craving for pleasures has disappeared, who is free from greed, fear, anger, who is unattached to all things who neither grieves nor rejoices if good or if bad things happen—that man is a man of firm wisdom” (2. 56-57). This further explains what “firm wisdom” is and makes you think of these traits as being almost God-like. Does God have this “firm wisdom” Krishna speaks of? Lord Krishna says that the mind is stronger than the senses that cause the desire, so we know that we can overcome these desires.

The only question to answer now is how we can accomplish that. As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect”, so this is the only way to control our desires. All of us think differently on the inside than the way we act on the outside. That is why we must learn to control our inner twin. Lord Krishna says, “…the mind is restless and hard to master; but by constant practice and detachment it can be mastered in the end” (6. 35). It is as if you have to make it a ritual and constantly do it. For example, giving up something for lent you have to control and practice your desire of not doing or eating what you gave up.

If you cheat, even just once, you break the cycle and make it harder for you not to do it again. Practice gives you a routine to follow, and once you do it for so long, it almost comes natural and then you have nothing more to worry about. At this point, you are at peace not only with yourself but also with the people around you. Lord Krishna says if you accomplish this overwhelming task of self-control, you can fully surrender yourself to him in devotion, and so become an “advanced soul. ” An advanced soul is he who has accomplished the steps of finding himself and has firm wisdom.

On the other hand the impious souls find other objects to worship. How do we determine who are the advanced or impious among us? Are we only “advanced” if we believe in a certain god? However, we are striving to be God-like throughout our lives. Is there a point in striving for it if we know it cannot be done? In the Bhagavad Gita, we learn that in truth, finding God within us helps us find ourselves so this all helps find and keep the peace within us, which is what we want in the first place.

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