Chapter

Nation in Spiritual Quest

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198072065.003.0004
Nation in Spiritual Quest

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This chapter explores Sri Aurobindo's spiritual reading and understanding of the Bhagavadgita. Aurobindo felt that the Bhagavadgita could easily lend itself for the justification of violence in the national struggle for freedom. Unlike other interpreters of the Gita, Aurobindo felt that nationalism was not a mere political programme but a religion, an avatar that had come from God. Aurobindo argued that its text expounded a single universal truth while borrowing from certain philosophical systems. He considered all the contemporary interpretations of the Gita that immediately preceded him as Karmayogic interpretations and appeared to want to reproduce the Orientalist image of India as primarily a spiritual realm.

Keywords: Sri Aurobindo; Bhagavadgita; spiritual text; Absolute Truth; violence; national struggle; avatar; Karmayoga; Orientalist image

Chapter.  19196 words. 

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