PART 2: PARADOXICAL ETHICS OF THE BHAGAVAD GITA
Last month, I was invited to give a pair of talks about the Bhagavad Gita at ISKCON of DC in Potomac, Maryland. This video is a combination of the audio recording of my second talk and the Powerpoint slides I used as visual references for it.
A longer explanatory note than last time: The most conspicuous challenge to understanding the ethics of the Gita is the fact that Krishna urges Arjuna to wage war against his family members in spite of Arjuna’s reluctance to do so. We would like to think that Krishna, as the ‘Supreme Ethicist’, would support Arjuna’s antipathy towards warfare but Krishna does precisely the opposite. The ‘ethics of God’ and the delicate subject of whether or not there is such a thing as ethical violence is one worthy of a comprehensive examination far beyond the 45-minutes the forum in which I was speaking allows. Since the talk was so short it should come as no surprise that, as time was expiring, I made a comment that was not accompanied by sufficient context in order to ensure a proper understanding of my intention. I will take this opportunity to provide the missing context: [Read more…]