16.07-20: The Bhagavad-gita is open-minded, not empty-minded

by December 20, 2011

(A reflection on the brainlessness of labelling the Bhagavad-gita as “extremist”)

The Bhagavad-gita presents an open-minded worldview that integrates all people, no matter how diverse their values, goals and paths. According to their level of spiritual evolution, the Gita assigns them an appropriate position on a universal continuum that extends downwards to total spiritual ignorance and upwards to complete spiritual realization. The Gita also offers them versions of spirituality customized to their levels so as to inspire and facilitate them to rise higher on the spiritual continuum.

The Gita is broad-minded, but not empty-minded; it does not imagine vacuously that all levels on the spiritual continuum are the same. That’s why the Gita (16.7-20) disapproves unequivocally mindsets and lifestyles that violate one’s spiritual integrity and propel one downwards on the spiritual continuum.

Thus, the Gita reveals a vision of a broad-minded God comparable to a compassionate doctor who is so extending as to open his clinic to all patients, no matter how sick, and to offer them treatment tailormade to their inclinations, no matter how reluctant they may be. At the same time, the Gita’s doctor doesn’t equate a mortally sick person’s condition with that of a vibrantly healthy person. Such equalization would condemn the sick person to perpetual sickness in the name of open-mindedness and would be a vintage example of empty-minded brainlessness.

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