BHAGAVAD GITA STUDY GUIDE


SOME QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

Where would you begin if asked to identify a central message or lesson within the Bhagavad Gita?  What are its most important themes?

Comment upon the Bhagavad Gita as an entry point into Hinduism.  To what extent did it help you to understand some of that religion's core precepts?

How would you describe the Krishna of the Bhagavad Gita?  What is most interesting about the different ways in which he is represented?  How would you compare and contrast Krishna to Jesus?

How is the Self explained by Krishna?  What is the relationship between the Body and the Self?

Describe the relationship between action and non-action as portrayed in the text.

What role is accorded to the senses and perception in the Bhagavad Gita?

What are the paths suggested by Krishna as ways to attain liberation, and to what extent are these ranked hierarchically?

To what extent is Arjuna torn in different directions by competing obligations and responsibilities?  Does Krishna effectively reconcile these tensions.  How do you respond to Krishna's admonition to Krishna that he must fight?

Assess the battlefield as both setting and metaphor.

What most surprised you about the Bhagavad Gita?  In what ways did the concepts and arguments presented seem most unfamiliar or unexpected?

In what ways has the Bhagavad Gita influenced other readers?  What commentaries have been offered on it by various historical figures?


SOME EXTRA SOURCES

"Bhagavad Gita," Invitation To World Literature (30 mins.)

  "The Bhagavad Gita," Heart And Soul, BBC World Service, July 18, 2011.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 1:  A YouTube audio version based on a 1972 translation.

Bhagavad Gita -- Wikipedia:  An entry from the on-line encyclopedia.

Bhagavad Gita:  A powerpoint lecture from Canada's Queen's University.

Bhagavad Gita -- A Study Course:  An extraordinarily detailed analysis with lesson plans by John Algeo for the Theosophical Society in America.

Bhagavad-Gita Study Guide:  An overview from Grade Saver.

Bhagavad Gita Study Guide And Plot Summary:  An introduction from BookRags.

Dharma And Duty:  A lesson plan from San Francisco's Asian Art Museum.

Historical Context Of The Bhagavad Gita And Its Relation To Indian Religious Doctrine:  A concise essay from Soumen De for Evansville's Exploring Ancient World Cultures web-site.

Bhagavad Gita Museum:  A small companion web-site for a Los Angeles museum.

Jordan Hultine, "Hindu Holy Book Coming To A Nightstand Near You," CNN Belief Blog, January 12, 2013.

Varun Soni, "The Bhagavad Gita Comes To Congress," Huffinton Post, December 6, 2012.

"Russia Court Dismisses Appeal On Hindu Book Ban," BBC News, March 21, 2012.

"Hindu Victory Could Ease Indian Anger With Russia," International Herald Tribune, March 21, 2012.

Glenn Kates, "'As It Is' Focus Of Bhagavad Gita Trial," New York Times, December 28, 2011.

"Bhagavad Gita Trial In Russia Closes Indian Parliament," Guardian, December 19, 2011.


 

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