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Many Threads of Hinduism: Selected Essays by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya

Many Threads of Hinduism: Selected Essays by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya

Author:Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya [Chattopadhyaya, Bankim Chandra]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Hinduism, Non-Fiction, Philosophy, Religion, Spirituality
ISBN: 9789351365488
Google: naBLDQAAQBAJ
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: 2015-10-15T23:00:00+00:00


Oh Partha, I need not exert to acquire or reject anything in this universe.3 Yet I work so that my followers can learn the value of work. If I do not teach people that disciplined work is imperative in running a society smoothly, I will be responsible for bringing about disorder.

(Canto III, Verses 22–24)

The word ‘sankara’ in Verse 24 has always been interpreted as ‘varnasankara’ by scholars.

When the Aryans came to ancient India, their leaders opposed begetting of children with other ‘inferior’ races of this country, to keep their community’s identity intact. For them, mixing of races was a horrible thing. So the word varnasankara obtained a strong derogatory connotation. The word came to acquire such force that even a part of the word – sankara – came to mean varnasankara or the mixing of races. It seems the ancient Indian elders genuinely believed that if mixing of races was checked, peace and order would automatically reign in society. Today, we cannot accept that point of view. In fact, science has proved that children of mixed races have stronger genetic traits than others. It does not make sense to us when the Gita gives priority to regulating the mixing of races over controlling other crises of the community. We do not understand why Sri Krishna, who is called God, is so concerned with the mixing of races when there are other dreadful ills in society such as famine, war, decline of population, epidemics, murder and theft.

Some confusion, it seems, arises from the word ‘sankara’. In Sanskrit, the word means ‘a mixture’ or ‘a combination’ and not necessarily a mixing of races. Haphazard mixing of elements can lead to disorder. And in that sense Krishna perhaps means that people have to work towards maintaining order and discipline in society by keeping each department of activity functioning properly.

Oh Bharata, ordinary people work in the hope of some personal gain while people who have acquired true knowledge work only for the upliftment of the masses. When these learned people are devoted to their work they inspire other people to do the same.

A person should not be proud of what he does. For, he is only a part of nature and so what he performs is, in fact, only a natural phenomenon.

Oh mighty-armed, people who have realized that their real self is much larger than what the experiences of their sense organs suggest do not hanker for any reward for their work.

(Canto III, Verses 25–28)

Surrender your ego to the Supreme Consciousness, which I am, and fight the war in an unemotional manner free from the excitements of victory or defeat, indifferent to bloodshed and death.

People who heed my instructions, and execute their duties with a humble indifference as to how they will be personally affected by the results of their actions, attain the Absolute.

People who ignore my instructions are unwise. They cannot escape the bondage of life and death.

You are engaged in an activity that is suitable for you. Living creatures should act according to their particular abilities.



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