Friday, September 10, 2010

Eye Imagery in Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" and the "Bhagavad-Gita"

I find the common element of eye imagery in these two texts is particularly interesting. In the Bhagavad-Gita, Arjuna is able to comprehend the divine through the gift of a third celestial eye. Plato plays on essentially the same idea in his allegory when he compares the understanding of divine knowledge to gazing upon the sun for the very first time. Can anybody else find other interesting similarities between these two texts?

19 comments:

Olivia Celata said...

The Bhagavad-Gita consists of a conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, where Krishna is advising Arjuna about life and following his dharma. This is similar to Plato's Allegory of the Cave, where there is a constant dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon. Socrates is teaching him moral lessons about duty, honor, ideal characteristics of a ruler, and one's responsibility to society. These ideas can also be found in Krishna's teachings.

Blaine said...

Upon reading both stories, I too observed the imporant role of vision. I believe both writings use eye imagery as a symbol for enlightenment. Both writings suggest that upon englightenment, one will see the world differently. The Bhagavad-Gita explains that after one is one with thier dharma, they will see the world in an entirly differnt state than they have previously experienced it, thus the third eye. Plato, in Allegory of the Cave, also suggested that, after some form of enlightenment, the way you percieve the world will change.

Joseph said...
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Joseph said...
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efabio said...

I agree with Blaine regarding the role that sight played in "Allegory of the Cave" and the "Bhagavad-Gita". It clearly represents knowledge or enlightenment, which is the ultimate goal of both works. Plato likens enlightenment to the first view of the sun, obviously a blinding sight. But he also suggests that one's eyes can become accustomed to the light if given the time.

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