The Social Role of the Gita: How and Why

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Although the Bhagavad-gita has traditionally been regarded as a poem of primarily religious significance, Dr. Agarwal shows that with the proper interpretation its message may be ransformed into a set of practical ethical guidelines. This practical aspect of the Gitaês teaching, its insistence that involvement with the world is an ethically correct function of human behaviour, is the focus of this book. That involvement with the worldês is expressed by the term ‘Lokasamgraha’. The term covers a multitude of social and political forms of behaviour and attitudes of mind and is perhaps more central to the meaning the Gita should have for modern man than its traditional other-worldly interpretation.

Dr. Agarwal has examined the various ways in which India has reacted to the impact of many powerful foreign influences over the past two centuries. He has done so by studying the lives and the activities of select Hindu thinkers who through their writings and their ways of life showed their awareness of a need to preserve an Indian identity. All of them undertook to define these differences and thus established their views on what might be acceptable alternatives for India and the Indian genius vis-a-vis those principles and customs that run counter to the Indian tradition. But they were not unanimous in either their conclusions or the strategies they devised for attaining their common goal. The author has concentrated on the role the Bhagavad-gita has played in the lives and works of these thinkers.

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About the Author(s)

Dr. Satya P. Agarwal is a Social Scientist. His academic honours include five gold medals and numerous merit scholarships and research fellowships at various universities. The Governor of the State of Maryland conferred upon him “The Governor’s Citation”, in recognition of his pioneering books as also his contribution to social service. He is author of several books besides the present one which are widely acclaimed and appreciated by the discerning readers. Other honours conferred on him include: (i) Kunti Goyal International Award, (ii) Special Award of Manas Sangam and (iii) International Tulasi Award.

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Although the Bhagavad-gita has traditionally been regarded as a poem of primarily religious significance, Dr. Agarwal shows that with the proper interpretation its message may be ransformed into a set of practical ethical guidelines. This practical aspect of the Gitaês teaching, its insistence that involvement with the world is an ethically correct function of human behaviour, is the focus of this book. That involvement with the worldês is expressed by the term ‘Lokasamgraha’. The term covers a multitude of social and political forms of behaviour and attitudes of mind and is perhaps more central to the meaning the Gita should have for modern man than its traditional other-worldly interpretation.

Dr. Agarwal has examined the various ways in which India has reacted to the impact of many powerful foreign influences over the past two centuries. He has done so by studying the lives and the activities of select Hindu thinkers who through their writings and their ways of life showed their awareness of a need to preserve an Indian identity. All of them undertook to define these differences and thus established their views on what might be acceptable alternatives for India and the Indian genius vis-a-vis those principles and customs that run counter to the Indian tradition. But they were not unanimous in either their conclusions or the strategies they devised for attaining their common goal. The author has concentrated on the role the Bhagavad-gita has played in the lives and works of these thinkers.

Review(s)

About the Author(s)

Dr. Satya P. Agarwal is a Social Scientist. His academic honours include five gold medals and numerous merit scholarships and research fellowships at various universities. The Governor of the State of Maryland conferred upon him “The Governor’s Citation”, in recognition of his pioneering books as also his contribution to social service. He is author of several books besides the present one which are widely acclaimed and appreciated by the discerning readers. Other honours conferred on him include: (i) Kunti Goyal International Award, (ii) Special Award of Manas Sangam and (iii) International Tulasi Award.

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Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 10 × 11 × 12 cm
Book Author

Satya Prakash Agarwal

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