The Decalogue (Exodus 19-20) refers to the list of the Ten Commandments as given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai after the Israelites escaped slavery in Egypt. They are an important list of ethical principles that form the basis for Christianity, and they are the most important rules to follow in the Christian religion (Rooker 7). The Bhagavad Gita, on the other hand, is a scripture in Hindu that consists of 700-verses in Sanskrit that forms part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The scripture provides a dialogue between charioteer Lord Krishna and Pandava prince Arjuna. This paper will provide information about the similarities that exist between the two important readings in the Christianity and Hindu religions.
The first similarity between the two is that the rules presented in both of them offer a general guide of how people should conduct themselves in society. The Decalogue provides a set of rules that define a moral community and actions that are viewed positively in the eyes of God. The Bhagavad Gita, on the other hand, provides important information about the role of a leader in society and the importance of ethical principles. The scripture offers an overview of the importance of life and how an individual can fulfill their destiny by understanding their inner self (Davis 19).
Both the Decalogue and the Bhagavad Gita share the similarity of identifying a higher being as being important in understanding the purpose of life among human beings. The Decalogue insists that human beings must follow the teachings of God in order for them to have any hope of eternal life. Similarly, the Bhagavad Gita provides information of the power of Lord Krishna and the importance of following the values that He teaches in order for an individual to understand their true purpose.
The Decalogue and the Bhagavad Gita are also similar in the presentation of information, with both sources making use of a ‘god’ to provide the ethical principles of life. The Decalogue directly references God and provides an emphasis of the importance of following His rules and teachings in order to have external life (Rooker 5). According to the Bhagavad Gita, in order for an individual to understand the purpose of life, they must have reverence in the Creator and cease finding importance in material wealth. Both sources offer an insight into a higher power and the importance of following their teachings for the sake of a better understanding of life and the possibility of eternal life.
Gaining an understanding about another culture’s rules is important because it helps to bring the human society together and provides a better understanding of the purpose of life. Understanding other cultures allows groups of people to interact with one another and share their experiences and understandings of life. Similarly, other cultures might provide information about the current cultures, specifically about the origins of some principles and the value systems of other individuals (Davis 14). This is extremely important in understanding the purpose of life though the beliefs of other people as well as bringing human communities together by linking the similarities in their cultures.
These rules are represented negatively in contemporary American popular culture because human society values material possessions more than anything else. The representations reveal that the current ideals are not being followed because even the people who are supposed to set an example, such as pastors and bishops, find themselves valuing material possessions just as anybody else in society.
Davis, Richard H. The Bhagavad Gita: A Biography. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014. Print
Rooker, Mark. The Ten Commandments: Ethics for the Twenty-First Century. Nashville, Tennessee: B&H Publishing Group, 2010. Print