<i>Nishkama Karma</i> and the Masses

Nagappa K. Gowda

in The Bhagavadgita in the Nationalist Discourse

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780198072065
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080748 | DOI:
Nishkama Karma and the Masses

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This chapter examines Swami Vivekananda's reading and interpretation of the Bhagavadgita. It suggests that Vivekananda considered karma yoga as the central teaching of the Bhagavadgita. It highlights that Vivekananda accused priests of misreading the text, defending privileged interests, and denying the people access to the Bhagavadgita which had led to the cultural degeneration of India. Vivekananda believed that nishkama karma or non-attachment is the core teaching of the Gita. It was inclusive in nature and could take the masses into its fold. From this philosophy he evolved two concepts, naranarayana and daridranarayana, which occupy a central place in his mission to revive the youth of India.

Keywords: Swami Vivekananda; Bhagavadgita; karma yoga; priesthood; cultural degeneration; nishkama karma; naranarayana; daridranarayana

Chapter.  15506 words. 

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