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The Bhagavad Gita: The Role of Religion in Relation to the Hindu Culture Research Paper


The Bhagavad Gita is the most influential and discussed religious text related to the Hindu culture and religion. The Bhagavad Gita is the part of the most important religious epic text Mahabharata which is traditionally followed by the representatives of the Hindu culture.

From this point, it is important to focus on the Bhagavad Gita and its role for the Hindu culture in the context of the role of religion in the Hindu society because the scripture contains the most important religious concepts and ethical principles which should be followed in the Hindu tradition.

Different religious concepts and ethical issues are discussed in the scripture depending on conversations between the prince Arjuna who avoids violence and killing as the methods of impact and Krishna as God who provides wisdom and necessary guidance for the Hindu people.

In spite of the fact that the Bhagavad Gita was written many centuries ago, its role for the Hindu religion and its impact on the accentuation of the role of religion in the society and Hindu culture are significant because the scripture provides the main religious principles which became the fundamentals of the people’s everyday life and actions.

The epic situations and significant conversations between Arjuna and Krishna are discussed in the context of the battles for territories and struggles for the local superiority, but the main idea of the Bhagavad Gita is to represent the religious aspects important for the Hindu people as well as to discuss the controversial ethical and philosophical questions (“The Bhagavad Gita” 11-20).

The representatives of the Hindu culture and religion can discuss the Bhagavad Gita as the main source of the ethical and religious norms and beliefs which should be followed to achieve the religious enlightenment while becoming closer to God or even while making the union with the divine forces.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna states that a person can achieve the union with God and to avoid the karmic debt while completing the main ethical and religious principles which are the focus on self-renunciation, selfless action in relation to people and God, and meditation as the way to become closer to Krishna in order to learn the divine wisdom (“The Bhagavad Gita” 18-22).

From this perspective, the role of religion and ethical principles are closely connected in the Bhagavad Gita, and this text becomes the source of the primary religious and ethical knowledge for the Hindu people.

The discussion of the role of religion in the Hindu culture is observed while presenting Krishna’s ideas on the cycle of birth and death which a human should experience in order to receive the opportunity to avoid the karmic debt and to act according to the divine ideals. Thus, following the descriptions and discussions presented in the scripture, it is possible to state that the Bhagavad Gita is important for persons to win while making this or that moral choice.

It is stated in the Bhagavad Gita that selfless actions can lead persons to the enlightenment that is why this scripture is important for the Hindu religion and culture regarding the focus on the selfless devotion to moral ideals and to God (Minor 344). In this case, the text is helpful for many people in their searches of the truth in relation to the religion and ethics during the centuries.

That is why, it is important to refer to the dual role of the Bhagavad Gita for the Hindu religion and the role of religion in relation to the Hindu culture from the perspective of the scripture’s role for developing the human ethics.

Thus, it is possible to discuss the religious ideals of selfless actions and devotion to divine forces from the point of their ethical value regarding the concepts of virtue and duty.

Gupta states that the Bhagavad Gita “instructs an individual person to do his duty as a social being, and to do so by cultivating certain excellences so that his duties become part of his nature, an expression of his abiding character” (Gupta 395).

As a result, the scripture provides a range of instructions and directions for people to act religiously and morally. It is emphasized in the scripture that a person can rely on God’s love while preventing the expression of anger, ignorance, and ego instead of demonstrating selfless behaviours (Timpe 349). Thus, the role of the Bhagavad Gita in relation to the Hindu religion and culture should be emphasized with references to the text as the religious guide.

To discuss the role of religion in the Hindu culture, it is important to pay attention to the fact that all the aspects of the persons’ life are regulated according to the definite religious principles and associated ethical norms. That is why, the Bhagavad Gita should be analyzed as the source of the most stable visions and ideas which are followed by the Hindu people during many centuries.

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the first texts in which the importance of religion is discussed with references to the people’s everyday life, thus, the role of religion and faith is accentuated with the help of demonstrating the connection with the real-life situations and possible moral choices.

Krishna helps Arjuna to act morally while describing the basic religious principles valued according to the Hindu tradition. Krishna focuses on the importance of improving the person’s karma with the help of selfless actions and meditation (“The Bhagavad Gita” 15-20).

These religious rituals are actively practiced by the representatives of the Hindu culture and tradition because they are the part of their everyday life and vision of the person’s progress. From this point, the religious fundamentals described in the Bhagavad Gita are extremely important for the Hindu people, and this fact emphasizes the role of religion within the Hindu society.

Thus, the Bhagavad Gita is one of the main sources of the religious and ethical knowledge in the Hindu culture that is why this scripture is often discussed by researchers in the context of the text’s role for stating the principles of the Hindu religion and the main ethical norms and ideals connected with the religious visions and in the context of the role of religion in the society because the representatives of the Hindu culture regulate their everyday life with references to the religious norms.

As a result, the ideas of the selfless action, devotion to the divine forces, meditation, virtuous actions to avoid the karmic debt, and importance of duties are not only described and explained in the Bhagavad Gita along with a lot of other religious issues but also followed in the Hindu culture during many centuries.

Works Cited

Gupta, Bina. “Bhagavad Gita” as Duty and Virtue Ethics”. Journal of Religious Ethics 34.3 (2006): 373-395. Print.

Minor, Robert. “The “Gītā’s” Way as the Only Way”. Philosophy East and West 30.3 (1980): 339-354. Print.

The Bhagavad Gita. USA: Oxford University Press, 2004. Print.

Timpe, Eugene. “Hesse’s Siddhartha and the Bhagavad Gita”. Comparative Literature 22.4 (1970): 346-357. Print.

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IvyPanda. "The Bhagavad Gita: The Role of Religion in Relation to the Hindu Culture." February 1, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-bhagavad-gita-the-role-of-religion-in-relation-to-the-hindu-culture/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "The Bhagavad Gita: The Role of Religion in Relation to the Hindu Culture." February 1, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-bhagavad-gita-the-role-of-religion-in-relation-to-the-hindu-culture/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Bhagavad Gita: The Role of Religion in Relation to the Hindu Culture'. 1 February.

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