A-AS Level (CIE) Hinduism: Specimen Questions with Answers 6 - 6 of 41

Question 6

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B. Gita says “Sarva dharman parityajya”. Does it mean that we have to restrain from our duties?

Explanation

  • No. But surely, we can clearly say that-this is one of the most confusing quote in B. Gita that makes contradictory to other quotes that urges everybody to do one’s own prescribed duty.

  • Here the term ‘Dharma’ has a very vast meaning. We all need to uplift our consciousness a little bit to the higher level.

  • In B. Gita, lord Krishna mentions the term Dharma in various places and frequently changes its meaning according to the situation. In some situations, Dharma is Righteousness and in other situations-Dharma is termed as prescribed duty. But here in this special quote, the meaning of Dharma is-‘dharayati iti Dharma’, which means-‘something that holds it as it is’. For example-its the burning nature that holds the fire as it is. Just like this example it is the spiritual practices that hold the spiritual aspirants as it is.

  • While preaching B. Gita, lord Krishna urges Arjuna to do his prescribed duty and to engage in daily activities just like a normal human being along with keeping the mind up to the almighty by doing spiritual activities. But in some scenarios, Arjuna was again and again getting confused on what to do and what not, after hearing all those preaching. Arjuna clearly states that dilemma in a quote starting with-“vyamishreneva vakyena. . “

  • By understanding Arjuna’s helplessness, lord Krishna says-“mam anusmara yudhya cha”-which means-just do your duty by remembering me.

  • While the conversation goes on, lord Krishna once said-just forget everything. At least perform your duty on behalf of me, as worship to me, as a dedication to me, but without thinking too much about the result. By doing your duty like this, surely you will attain that ultimate goal, that is-self-realization.

  • So at the end, while concluding B. Gita, to make Arjuna more and more clear lord Krishna purposefully mentioned that quote-“Sarva dharman parityajya” and it has nothing to do with the abstaining of one’s own prescribed duty.