PhIL -220 The Bhagavad Gītā (cont.): Questioning the Self: From Ethical Dilemma to Crisis of Personal Identity

Learning Goal: I’m working on a philosophy writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

The Bhagavad Gītā (cont.): Questioning the Self: From Ethical
Dilemma to Crisis of Personal Identity

Complete Readings: The Bhagavad Gītā, Chapters 1-6, SIP, pp. 101-126;
“Bhagavadgītā,” OIP, pp. 116-130

Guiding Questions: Why does Arjuna suddenly lose his will to fight on the battlefield?
Do you think that this is the result of mere weakness of will, or does it stem from a
genuine moral dilemma? What influences can we see in the Bhagavad Gītā from Vedic
and Upaniṣadic ideals of ritual action and world-transcendence, respectively? Give two
passages from the Bhagavad Gītā text itself (i.e., from the translation portions of the SIP
reading, not from the Introduction to the Bhagavad Gītā in the SIP and also not from the
OIP reading) showing this for each. Do you think that Krishna (Kṛṣṇa) asks Arjuna to
fight a just war? Explain your reasoning.

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