The Gita is Categorical and Rhetorical (Gita Daily)

Published on Mar 24, 2014

Based on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18, Text 66

Many people say, “The Bhagavad-gita is all things to all people; it recommends different paths for different people.”
Does it?

Reading the Gita shows that it does indeed addressmany paths including the paths of irreligious materialism, religious materialism, detached action, intellectual reflection, introspective meditation and selfless devotion.

Careful reading of the Gita, however, shows that it doesn’t endorse all of these paths equally. This becomes most clear in the Gita’s climax (18.66) where its message becomes categorical and rhetorical:

1. Categorical because this verse unambiguously rejects all other paths for the sake of the path of selfless devotion.

2. Rhetorical because it proleptically removes apprehensions that devotees may face problems due to having rejected other paths by unequivocally proclaiming Krishna’s personal protection for them.

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