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Barbara Huckabay
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Essay Assignment, Bhagavad Gita

Monday, November 11, 2013

Essay Questions for the Bhagavad Gita

After reading the Bhagavad Gita, write a short essay exploring one of the following questions. If you would like to propose your own question, see me.

  • In the West we often hear, “You only live once.” Krishna tells Arjuna the opposite. What effect might these two opposing philosophies have on the choices we make in our lives?
  • What advice does Krishna offer on how we should treat our emotions – our “desire”, our anger, our strong feelings generally. Should we deaden or kill them, or does Krishna offer another strategy? How does a truly wise person regard his or her emotions and desires?
  • Some westerners have made radical changes to their lives after  reading Hindu religious texts – even to the point of abandoning careers and relationships to pursue the path of devotion. Is that something you think Krishna would approve of in most instances? Why or why not?
  • How would you characterize Krishna’s path to enlightenment? Is enlightenment available to everyone, or only to a few? How hard or easy is it to escape the cycle of death and rebirth?
  • Through much of the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna is gentle, even though his advice might be difficult to follow. But when does he show a less gentle aspect? And how does Arjuna deal with this revelation? Why might it be important to see both sides of Krishna?

Due Friday, November 15
300-500 words