Chapter

<i>Svadharma</i> and the Nation

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/9780198072065.003.0006
Svadharma and the Nation

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This chapter discusses Vinoba Bhave's explanation of the message of the Bhagavadgita. It argues that Bhave considered the central teaching of the Bhagavadgita as involving the pursuit of svadharma — one's own dharma in the social sense, and united action. It also contends that Bhave's concept of svadharma is applicable in the justification of traditional social practices. Bhave considered the Gita as an ordinary text with a message for the ordinary man. He equated svadharma with varnadharma and provided distinctive meanings to the attributes of karma, bhakti, and jnana. Bhave also attempted to retrieve and invigorate traditional practices and customs in India using the authority of the Gita.

Keywords: Vinoba Bhave; Bhagavadgita; svadharma; dharma; united action; social practices; varnadharma; karma; bhakti; jnana

Chapter.  7273 words. 

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