Z515 Spring 2015

Let me tell you a story of an epic- The Bhagavad Gita

For those of you who don’t know, The Bhagavad Gita (simply referred to as The Gita) is a 700- verse ancient Hindu scripture that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. This epic masterpiece is one of the oldest and the longest verse ever written (written in 400 B.C. and is roughly 10 times the length of The Iliad and the Odyssey combined!) and took over three centuries to complete.

The Gita is a discussion between a mighty warrior Arjuna and Lord Krishna on the battlefield during the epic battle of good versus evil. The Gita is a scripture that includes deep rooted concepts of Hinduism, teaches strong morals and ideals by which a Hindu must live. These morals are an intricate balance of worship, responsibilities, courage, self-awareness, and strength.

While it is expected that every Hindu live by guidelines presented in the Gita,  it was difficult if not impossible for an average Indian to read and interpret this Sanskrit scripture. To make this task easier, the Gita was represented in the form of a comic book. This comic creation goes back to the points made in the McCloud, 1994 reading about how comics can convey complex messages and represent deep intricate ideas making them easy to understand. The champion of The Gita is Lord Krishna who is the narrator of the scripture. As McCloud noted, while reading a comic, often the central character of the comic becomes an extension of your own being. This is precisely the purpose of The Gita, to see the various outlined concepts through the eyes and mind of the divine.

It is amazing how such a complex scripture is conveyed through a comic making it easily accessible and interpretable to all audience irrespective of their age, maturity, and language. This truly shows the power of representation through comics.

This entry was written by aphegde and published on February 1, 2015 at 8:31 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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