What is the ethical dilemma Arjuna faces in the Bhagavad-Gita, and what arguments does Krishna give him for resolving this dilemma?

| November 12, 2015

What is the ethical dilemma Arjuna faces in the Bhagavad-Gita, and what arguments does Krishna give him for resolving this dilemma?
Directions:
Write an essay on any ONE of the following questions. Essays must be submitted via Blackboard, in Word (doc or docx) format. Please double space. Include a title page with the following information: title, your name, student number and the course code. If you wish to choose a topic other than the ones listed below, you are welcome to do so, but I ask that you consult with me first.

N.b. Penalty for late essays is 2% per day. No essays will be accepted more than 7 days after the due date. Students are advised to consult the University of Ottawa’s plagiarism policy at: www.uottawa.ca/plagiarism.pdf
1. What is the ethical dilemma Arjuna faces in the Bhagavad-Gita, and what arguments does Krishna give him for resolving this dilemma? On balance, do you think Krishna makes a strong case?

2. A central theme in the Bhagavad-Gita is the ideal of unattached or desireless action. What is such action supposed to be? Is the ideal coherent and/or attainable?

3. The Bhagavad-Gita outlines three kinds of discipline or yoga. Give an account of these, and explain their goal(s).

4. Give an account of the three gunas, “qualities” or “modes,” said to characterize the operation of “nature” in the Bhagavad-Gita.

Essay, 1000-1500 words
Required texts:
1) A Source Book in Indian Philosophy (paperback), ed. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan & Charles A. Moore (Princeton University Press, 1967).
2) Sue Hamilton, Indian Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2001).
3) Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught (Buddha Educational Foundation, 2004).

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