Transpersonal Psychology of the Bhagavad Gita: Consciousness, Meditation, Work and Love
The narrative of the Gita is of significance as the figurative and metaphorical meanings of the physical war-field lead us to the mental war-field fuelled by conflicting emotions, unexpressed fears and the lack of a stable sense of identity. The mental conflict that humans face, since ancient times, between ‘what is right’ – dharma – (dharmakshetra) and ‘what is duty’ – kartavya – (kurukshetra) is poignantly presented in the opening lines of the Gita. The representation of Arjuna carries a global flag of mental crisis that is pan-cultural. Arjuna with his loud cries, shrouded fears and hypocritical desire for renunciation, presents a contemporary personality who is successful and efficient but with fragile and conflicting sense of identity and values.Ideas of consciousness, meditation, work and love in the Gita cannot be categorized exclusively as psychological, existential, or even pragmatic. With its penetrating style of dialogue and teaching the Gita gives a wholesome account for spiritual living. Such an account emphasizes the transpersonal nature of the Gita psychology. In Sri Aurobindo’s words, “The language of the Gita, the structure of thought, the combination and balancing of ideas belong neither to the temper of a sectarian teacher nor to the spirit of a rigorous analytical dialectics cutting off one angle of the truth to exclude all the others; but rather there is a wide, undulating, encircling movement of ideas which is the manifestation of a vast synthetic mind and a rich synthetic experience.
More in: Menon, S. 2008, Transpersonal Psychology of the Bhagavad Gita: Consciousness, Meditation, Work and Love,
In: Handbook of Indian Psychology, Cambridge University Press, Eds. K Ramakrishna Rao, Anand Paranjpe and Ajit Dalal, pp186-216
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