Tag Archives: bhagavad-gita

The Bhagavad-Gita

I started reading The Bhagavad-Gita, a cheap copy I picked up at Borders, because I am about to begin preparing a new class for the fall. I’m teaching a class on the works of Bharati Mukerjee and I thought it might help to have a bit more cultural background knowledge. It may actually be fruitless for my purposes, but I have been interested in reading it for awhile.I’ve never been a huge fan of epic poems in general, but they do give one a better understanding of culture. I finished watching the movie Gandhi last night. I’d seen it in 9th or 10th grade, and I didn’t remember it at all. I watched it with some doubt, not sure of its accuracy, and so I looked up a lot of aspects of Gandhi’s life as I watched, and it’s pretty accurate.I was also amazed by how persevering Gandhi’s wife Kasturba Gandhi was. It’s sad that she does not get more recognition, as she was also an effective (wifely) leader with Gandhi.I seem to remember being taught at one point or other that Henry David Thoreau came up with this idea of civil disobedience, and then when I was reading the intro to the Gita, I read that Thoreau brought a copy of the Gita to Walden Pond. Gandhi’s autobiography is going on my reading list — what an inspiring human being. I often get into this early summer/post-teaching funk — but it doesn’t take long to get out of it when I see how challenging so many people have it. And I realize — Damn! I’m lucky. I’m going to Yoga class and eating well.As I prepare for this class on Mukherjee, I have a feeling I am going to be looking up a lot of references (and sadly missing a few), but I am very excited by the prospect of it. So even if my reading of the Gita isn’t particularly helpful (Because I suppose this is like reading The Odyssey before reading the body of work by a white westerner), it is at least getting me ready to undertake the work I am about to do.

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