War and Peace
When interpreted literally, the Gita says Arjuna shouldn’t be upset because his killing is in accord with God’s will. If Arjuna detaches himself from his feelings bad karma will not arise from his violence.
Most Hindus would probably say Arjuna’s not angry on the battlefield. If anything, he’s initially reluctant, almost like a Hamlet who just can’t muster up the gumption to act.
Ultimately, Arjuna does his duty for God, fulfilling his dharma as a kshatriya, a member of the warrior caste. That is, he kills, making the Gita and the New Testament present two remarkably different pictures.
God (as Krishna) in the Gita exhorts Arjuna to engage in violence while God (as Jesus) in the New Testament says that merely thinking murderous thoughts is tantamount to being a murderer worthy of hellfire. In other words, Jesus says don’t even consider violence (1 John 3:15).
Because the New Testament doesn’t subscribe to the belief in reincarnation, Christians ideally should try their best to lead good lives, here and now—and not in ten, twenty or a hundred lifetimes down the road.
There’s a difference in both emphasis and direction between these two texts that’s hard to overlook. The Gita affords violence a sort of mythic grandeur, obscuring the harsh realities of blood, guts, pain and death with lofty prose and untenable metaphysical rationalizations, while the New Testament clearly directs believers away from violence.
For Jesus Christ — at least, the Jesus of the New Testament — violence among human beings is unacceptable.
Copyright © Michael Clark.
- Krishna, Buddha and Christ: The same or different? (Part 3) (epages.wordpress.com)
- Krishna, Buddha and Christ: The same or different? (Part 2) (epages.wordpress.com)
- Take Back Your Power: Yoga in The Gita. (elephantjournal.com)
- Christ, Buddha and the Saviors of Mankind (livasperiklis.com)
- Krishna, Buddha and Christ: The same or different? (epages.wordpress.com)
- Sacred banyan tree from Bhagavad Gita slowing dying (mnn.com)
- Are You Truly Reading the New Testament? Part 3 (theoldtestamentandthenewtestament.com)
- Literary Review: ‘Krishna in the Sky with Diamonds’ by Scott Teitsworth (psypressuk.com)