The Bhagavad Gita

Steve Josepheson
RST
Feb. 26, 1999

The story of the book begins with Arjuna misunderstanding why it is correct for him to take action in battle. As Prince Arjuna stands in his chariot on the battlefield he recognize his enemies as, his cousins, teachers and friends. Arjuna, who was born a warrior, overcomes with pity and looses interest in battling with the enemy. He looks to Lord Krishna, and questions him how he could battle with men who deserves his own worship. Krishna replies "You grieve those beyond grief, and speak words of insight; but learned men do not grieve for the dead or the living" (Miller p31). Krishna explains to Arjuna that it is his sacred duty to fight, for the warriors who fulfills their duty leads them to the gates of heaven. If Arjuna gives up now, he will be full of shame, and a man who has given up his duty, is worse then dying, for he will become vulnerable to evil (Miller p34). Krishna main objective through out the story is, as long as you follow the paths of discipline, knowledge, action and devotion, Arjuna has nothing to loose in battle, for his soul will become eternal. Arjuna can\'t be killed nor can he kill, because the soul can not die nor can it be reborn, for his salvation will be responsible for his actions.
Krisna tells Arjuna to take refuge in his understanding for he is disciplined warrior. But Arjuna is bewildered by the paths to salvation, Krisna tells Arjuna to take action in battle, if Arjuna understands his enemy why does he need to take action against him? Krishna explains to him that everyone must take action through life, even to abstain from action one must take action. Krishna tells Arjuna that he cannot succeed just from renunciate acts will disappear through salvation. Krisna tells him that actions are based on belief, which leads to spiritual knowledge, true knowledge define the actions as sacrifice to the supreme being, and knowledge defines this relationship between the soul and of the god.
The next path to salvation is that of discipline; one who does what is to be done without any concern for no material outcome. A disciplined man is one who is detached from objects and actions and is undisturbed, one who can remain in seclusion. Tranquillity is the means for one who is mature in discipline (Miller p. 64) A discipline man knows who he is, his body, his mind and is responsible for his actions, and is able to stay in control. A disciplined man is able to perform actions for the supreme being and is capable of acknowledging their fruits, which is a knowledgeable man, which attains peace and spiritual vision Krishna concludes about the path of discipline.
One path Krishna feels is most important, is that of devotion towards him. Krishna explains to Arjuna that the only path to him is that of devotion, all the other paths lead to the path of devotion. All the other paths are devotional services, they are the supreme objects of worship to the gods. One who shows devotion throughout their life and at the time of death will reach the heavens beyond the earth. Through the other paths one gains devotional qualities, which leads to what Krishna believes is most important, devotion which is pure love for the supreme god.
I tend to clearly understand and agree with Krishna that the most important path is that of devotion. But feel that knowledge would be first or the most important path. One must know himself internally and externally before he can know and understand the supreme being. Once man understands himself he will be capable to recognize and understand the supreme god. Therefore, the ultimate purpose of knowledge is to detach himself from the material world and to understand the supreme being. Once he identifies himself, he will recognize the supreme being, which will lead him to surrender himself and to engage in his devotional services.
Next path then would be devotion, faith in the supreme being.
Krishna is the last judge of salvation, he can witness all actions and one\'s self-discipline towards devotion. One\'s actions might be aimed at Krishna, which includes living a life of self disciplined