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Journal Topic. Reflections on a goal I have set for myself (what I’ll have to do to get there—try to get as specific as you can) ~or~ What makes goal-setting difficult or unnecessary for me at this time. Arjuna’s path to his goal. EQ: How does the reader determine the key points of a text?.

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Journal topic l.jpg
Journal Topic

Reflections on a goal I have set for myself (what I’ll have to do to get there—try to get as specific as you can)

~or~

What makes goal-setting difficult or unnecessary for me at this time



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EQ: How does the reader determine the key points of a text?


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3 Questions

What does it say? (literal level)

Goal: Paraphrase text

What does it mean? (deeper meaning)

Goal: Support ideas with the text

What does it matter? (Theme)

Goal: Application of text (demonstrate understanding of the text in context of our lives and those of others)


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What it says… What it means…

Stanzas 31-37

~~~~~~~~~~

Stanzas 39-43

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Stanzas 55-58

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Stanzas 62-65

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Stanzas 68-72

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Stanzas 31-37

~~~~~~~~~~

Stanzas 39-43

~~~~~~~~~~

Stanzas 55-58

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Stanzas 62-65

~~~~~~~~~~

Stanzas 68-72

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Things to consider for “What it means”:

How do ideas expressed connect to our ongoing discussion of Hinduism (dharma, karma, caste, reincarnation)?

What is Krishna saying is important for a person of understanding to realize?

Based on what Krishna is telling him, what difficulties does Arjuna seem to be experiencing? What is he asked to understand in order to overcome these problems?

You should be ready to cite examples from the reading in your answers


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Things to consider for “Why it matters”:

What do people become “attached to” today? How can these attachments affect a person and their personal pursuit of “oneness”?

Why is it so difficult for people to achieve “oneness” with their goals (if you like, think about people of your own “caste”)


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Review of Stanzas 1-27

What does it say? (your paraphrase)

What does it mean? (your interpretation)*

What does it matter? (How does it connect to our discussion/our lives?)*

* To be collected


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Finish the text and…

Record your answers to the 3 questions for the remaining stanzas


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But what do you do with literature?

Use context clues

Look for the familiar

Make inferences

What is our context?

What might be familiar?

What are you going to look at in order to make inferences?


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Stanzas 1-8

Read each stanza and:

Write a paraphrase

After you have finished with stanza 8:

Write a brief summary of this section of the story


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Stanzas 1-8

1 - Arjuna is sad/filled with pity as Krishna appears to talk with him

2 - Krishna asks why he is acting like a coward

3 – Don’t give in (to weakness) Fight agains this urge!

4 – Arjuna is worried about fighting those he should respect


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Stanzas 1-8

5 – Shouldn’t I choose personal loss (lower caste) over victory (dishonor)?

6 – Won’t it be worse to win (and suffer dishonor) than to lose with honor?

7 – I have pity (guilt) in my heart which is keeping me from my duty – help me to know what I should do

8 – All I can think about is how I will feel (guilt/sorrow/regret) if I go against my elders to win greatness in this life


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Stanzas 9-27

Repeat paraphrase/summarize steps for this section

(30 minutes)


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Stanzas 1-8

Sanjaya – narrator provides situation

Krishna – asks question of Arjuna:

Why this cowardice in time of crisis?

What is the real question as it relates to the dharma of a soldier?

Arjuna – responds:

How can I fight? (against elders)

Has personal conflict (“the flaw of pity”)

Torn between sacred duty and family honor


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The nature of the story – an Ethical Dialogue

  • How to fight against

    those who ought to

    be respected

  • What should be the

    desired outcome in

    such a conflict

  • How should one deal

    with the feelings of

    pity one experiences

    as a result


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Reincarnation’s role in Spiritual Discipline

  • Krishna’s response (to the flaw of pity):

    “You grieve for those beyond grief”

    Key Questions:

  • What makes understanding reincarnation so important for Arjuna to understand? (see 12-20)

  • According to Krishna, when is someone fit for immortality? (see 15)


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Reincarnation’s role in Spiritual Discipline

  • Krishna discusses the implications of dharma

    “Look to your own duty; do not tremble

    before it; nothing is better for a warrior

    than a battle of sacred duty.”

    Key Questions:

    What consequences will Arjuna face if he does not follow his dharma?

    How does spiritual discipline help in this area?


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Reincarnation’s role in Spiritual Discipline

  • Krishna speaks of discernment

    “Arjuna, action is far inferior to the discipline of understanding.”

    Key Questions:

    What characterizes an undiscerning person (41-44)?

    What characterizes true discernment (46-53)?


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Reincarnation’s role in Spiritual Discipline

  • Krishna speaks of discernment (cont.)

    Key Questions:

    How does the one with discernment overcome the sensuous/material world 55-58)

    How do the senses fight against true discernment (59-63)?

    What results from yielding to the senses (62-63)?


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Reincarnation’s role in Spiritual Discipline

  • Krishna speaks about the victory gained by the discerning person

    “But a man of inner strength whose senses

    experience objects without attraction and

    hatred, in self-control, finds serenity.”

    Key Questions:

    According to Krishna, how is discernment and peace achieved (64-68)?


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