Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita
This modern day translation of the Bhagavad Gita, written by Barbara Stoller Miller, focused briefly on Krishna’s Counsel in Time of War. It was a fairly short yet in depth description of Hindu beliefs and the conflicts that humans encounter when deciding which path to follow. The translation is in poetic form, and is divided between eighteen teachings, or chapters if you will. Each teaching focuses on one discipline of the mind, revealed through the Hindi god Krishna, to the man seeking knowledge at the time of his life’s most crucial stage, Arjuna.
This translation was very interested to read, especially for me, who never really have gotten the chance to read any literature that relates to myself. This book doesn’t necessarily relate to me, but it comes close in a way. My father is Indian, and my mother is Pakistani. That is about the only thing that comes close ethnic-wise to this epic. I am Muslim, so me being a monotheist logically doesn’t fully satisfy Hinduism requirements. Yet I understand the beliefs, and other than the polytheism aspect of the religion, along with some other beliefs, I agree and at times try to follow a number of the teachings that improve the human soul. For instance, on page 46, in the Third Teaching, Arjuna asks, “Krishna, what makes a person commit evil against his own will, as if compelled by force?” and Krishna answers, “It is desire and anger, arising from nature’s quality of passion; know it here as the enemy, voracious and very evil!” I generally agree with this idea, that passion really creates desire, which most of the time creates anger. A lot of people have obsession with things or people, and it is derived from their passion, which turns to desire, which becomes anger, especially when they don’t get what they really want. There are things in my life that I try to keep a distance from me. When at first I know it’s not good for me, and I find myself beginning to like it more, as if I’m developing a passion for it, I stray myself away from it. Most of the time, if it works, it helps me from a lot of possible danger in the future.
Yet even that belief, there can be a contradiction on my part, as there are a lot of in the book.