Book

The Bhagavadgita in the Nationalist Discourse

Nagappa Gowda

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780198072065
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080748 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198072065.001.0001
The Bhagavadgita in the Nationalist Discourse

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The Bhagavadgita has lent itself to several readings to defend or contest various views on life, morality, and metaphysics. It has played an important role in the formation of nationalist discourse in India. The book examines the ways in which the Gita became the central terrain of nationalist contestation, and the diverse ethico-moral mappings of the Indian nation. It also discusses issues such as the relation between the nation and the masses, renunciation and engagement with the world, the ideas of equality, freedom, and common good, in the context of a nationalist discourse. It argues that the commentaries on this timeless text opened up several possible understandings without necessarily eliminating one another. The different applications of the Bhagavadgita in the nationalist discourse can be seen in the works of B.R. Ambedkar, Swami Vivekananda, and Mahatma Gandhi.

Keywords: Bhagavadgita; nationalist discourse; India; B.R. Ambedkar; Swami Vivekananda; Mahatma Gandhi; nationalist movement; morality; metaphysics

Book.  312 pages.  Illustrated.

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Table of Contents

Introduction in The Bhagavadgita in the Nationalist Discourse

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Culturing the Nation in The Bhagavadgita in the Nationalist Discourse

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The Sthitaprajna as the Foundation of the Nation in The Bhagavadgita in the Nationalist Discourse

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<i>Nishkama Karma</i> and the Masses in The Bhagavadgita in the Nationalist Discourse

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Nation in Spiritual Quest in The Bhagavadgita in the Nationalist Discourse

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<i>Anasaktiyoga</i> and the Nationalist Imagination in The Bhagavadgita in the Nationalist Discourse

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<i>Svadharma</i> and the Nation in The Bhagavadgita in the Nationalist Discourse

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The Gita and Ambedkar in The Bhagavadgita in the Nationalist Discourse

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Conclusion in The Bhagavadgita in the Nationalist Discourse

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