[Advaita-l] Gita and westerners comments

Ryan Armstrong ryanarm at gmail.com
Tue Nov 29 02:06:24 CST 2016

Namaste Dinesh-ji

When a demonic force enters creation in the form of, say, Hitler, it is
nonsensical to use this argument of non-harm to remain idle whilst the
demonic force is free to implement destruction.
The Gita is not a work on morality, but rather of advaita.
Making the claim "The Gita’s morality on this point is somewhat
disappointing. It does indeed include “harmlessness” or “nonviolence” in
several of its lists of virtues. But it never singled it out for special
emphasis." illustrates that the understanding of advaita is lacking.
Is it not presumptive to tell the Supreme Incarnation of the Absolute what
He should have as His most important moral attribute?

Surely becoming free from ignorance is a higher goal than following a list
of rules on morality?
When one sees "All creatures in himself, His Self in all creatures" the
correct course of action is known in any moment.

Yours in Truth

On 28 November 2016 at 05:55, Dinesh Patel MD via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Hello
> I received this comment from some about a westerner who spent time in
> India and well known and his comments
> Please read his comments carefully
> Can this group get excited to make comments on his
> Deeper meaning  of Gita ??
> Thanks
> Dinesh
> Franklin Edgerton - (July 24, 1885 – December 7, 1963) was an American
> linguistic scholar. He was Salisbury Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative
> Philology at Yale University (1926) and at Benares Hindu University
> (1953–4). Between 1913 and 1926, he was the Professor of Sanskrit at the
> University of Pennsylvania. published as volume 38-39 of the Harvard
> Oriental Series in 1944.
> One positive feature of the Bhagavad-Gita’s morality deserves special
> mention. The metaphysical doctrine that the one universal Soul is in all
> creatures furnishes an admirable basis for a lofty type of morality. Since
> one's own Self or Soul is really identical with Self or Soul of all other
> creatures, therefore one who injures others injures himself. “For beholding
> the same Lord residing in all beings, a man does not harm himself (his own
> self and others) by himself; so he goes to the final goal. Thus one of the
> most striking and emphatic of the ethical doctrines of the Gita is
> substantially that of the Golden Rule. Man must treat all creatures alike,
> from the highest to the lowest, namely like himself. The perfected man
> “delights in the welfare of all beings.” This principle is usually regarded
> at as perhaps the highest formulation of practical ethics that any religion
> has attained. It is interesting to see how naturally and simply it follows
> from one of the most fundamental tenets of the Gita's philosophy.
> A genuine application of this moral principle would seem almost inevitably
> to include avoidance of any violent injury to living beings.
> The Gita’s morality on this point is somewhat disappointing. It does
> indeed include “harmlessness” or “nonviolence” in several of its lists of
> virtues. But it never singled it out for special emphasis. The Gita is
> hampered by the fact that it is supposed to justify Arjuna's preparation in
> war. The dramatic situation is alluded to repeatedly, and the author seems
> to have it in the back of his head a large part of the time. And we must
> not forget, either, that
> Selected comments about the meaning of the Bhagavad Gita
> “non-injury” is clearly implied in the Gita’s teachings on the subject of
> unselfishness and doing good to others. That is, to carry out these
> teachings in any real sense would necessarily involve doing no harm to
> living creatures. But to lay a frank and full emphasis upon this principle,
> to follow it out explicitly to its logical conclusion, would need to run so
> glaringly counter to the professed aim of the piece, that it is not strange
> that the author avoids doing so. Even his catholicity (broad-mindedness or
> liberality) seems to have shrunk from such an inconsistency as that. We can
> hardly help feeling, however, that he lost a golden opportunity thereby.
> Practical morality – well morality has only minor importance in the Gita's
> scheme of salvation immorality is usually regarded as a fatal obstacle to
> it. Desire is the most fundamental cause of vice. The most prominent
> specific ethical principle in the Gita that is of doing good to others,
> treating others as oneself. Yet the injunction to do no harm to any living
> creature, though it is a logical inference from the principal and though it
> is very prominent in most Hindu ethical systems, is barely mentioned in the
> Gita and receives no emphasis.
> Sent from my iPhone from my iPhone
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Ryan Armstrong
+27 82 852 7787
ryanarm at gmail.com

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