Operation Achieve Heaven: The Bhagavad-Gita and the "Embodied Self" College

In Hindu culture, it is believed that one is reborn into multiple and varied lives. While reading The Bhagavad-Gita, however, it can become confusing to decipher whether one endurs a never-ending life cycle or if this cycle can be stopped, and what the sense of this rebirth is. One can argue that the embodied self is significant because it possesses a specific duty which, if completed, brings balance in society and allows the self to reach heaven, thus ending its rebirth cycle. Evidence from the text reveals exactly what the ‘embodied self’ is and explains how The Bhagavad-Gita stresses its importance in fulfilling its role and its reason for doing so.

Lord Krishna speaks of the embodied self as if it were an inner soul that is present within each body. This soul is described as, “enduring, indestructible, and immeasurable” (2.18). The embodied self resides in a new, unimportant body each life cycle it lives, making it sustainable. The embodied self is explained to be unimportant as it, “is not born, it does not die; having been, it will never not be; unborn, enduring, constant, and primordial, it is not killed when the body is killed” (2.20). The physical body does not alter the self’s intended duty or actions; it is...

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