Gita on Fighting Terrorism-Rajiv Malhotra

{xtypo_dropcap}I{/xtypo_dropcap}n the Bhagavad Gita, God appears in human form as Krishna, to guide Arjuna in the fight / don’t fight dilemma that Arjuna faces. What might this 18 chapter holiest of the Hindu scriptures teach us in the dilemma we now face concerning global terrorism? Krishna’s advice fits neither of the two extremes that are presently dominating the media debate: at one end are the majority of Americans who promote revenge against the terrorists as a notion of justice — an eye for an eye. At the other end is a minority of anti-war activists who want no violence, and instead advocate that the US should take the blame for having caused hatred against itself. The Gita’s message rejects both these. Its short-term message for this situation pertains to the ethics of war, and its long-term message calls for systemic changes required by both Islam and the West in order to harmonize humanity.

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An outline of Hindu dharma

Hindu dharma is a diverse system. However, there are some basic concepts accepted by the vast majority of (astika) Hindus. These are:

1. Scripture (Sruti and Smriti)

The primary texts of Sanathana Dharma includes four Vedas, Sixteen Brahmanas, four Aranyakas, One Hundred and Eight Upanishads, Six Vedangas, five Upavedas, eighteen Mahapuranas, eighteen Upapuranas, six Darsanas, eighteen Smritis and two Ithihasas.The major scriptures are the Vedas (specially the Upanishads also called Sruti), the Bhagavad Gita (Smriti). Two popular scriptures are Ramayana and Mahabharata. Different Hindu sects may have additional scriptures.

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