Arjuna on the Destruction of Family

I have joined a reading group at the Christian university at which I work on Indian literature as part of the university's programs in India. We are meeting today and I am finally getting around to reading The Bhagavad-Gita (as translated by Barbara Stoler Miller). For those unfamiliar with the work, it begins with a war between family members competing for a kingdom. Arjuna is torn by his duty to the kingdom and his duty to his family and asked Krishna to advise him. Some wise words from that work (even if based on a false religion) which have application to our time and place:

How can we ignore the wisdom
of turning from this evil
when we see the sin
of family destruction, Krishna?

When the family is ruined,
the timeless laws of family duty
perish; and when duty is lost,
chaos overwhelms the family.

In overwhelming chaos, Krishna,
women of the family are corrupted;
and when women are corrupted,
disorder is born in society.

. . .

The sins of men who violate
the family create disorder in society
that undermines the constant laws
of caste and family duty.

Krishna, we have heard
that a place in hell
is reserved for men
who undermine family duties.

Kyrie eleison.

1 comment:

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

Truth, even in an enemy, is to be praised.