The Contrast Between “The Art of War” and “Bhagavad”
Teacher The similarity and difference of Bhagavad and Art of War The Bhagavad-Gita and Sun-Tzu’s Art of War have similarities and differences. To be able to point their similarities and differences, it would be necessary to explain what these books are about. The Bhagavad-Gita is one of the texts where Hinduism is based upon. It is the scripture of the Hindus and can be likened to the Christian’s Holy Bible. Sun Tzu’s Art of War on the other is a military treatise. It is like an ancient Chinese manual on how to wage war with another state or person using effective planning, strategy, use of terrain, fiery attack and espionage.
There are several similarities between the Bhagavad-Gita and the Art of War. The similarity between Bhagavad-Gita and Art of War was when Lord Krishna explained his duties as a warrior when he hesitated to wage war for fear that his family might die. The proper way to wage war according to Lord Krishna is to elevate the consciousness to the highness of Krishna which is the foundation of Karma that god Shiva represents. This is similar to Sun Tzu’s dissertation in the Art of War on how to become a good general to win a war. That a good general must have a good calculation, planning and strategy to be able to win a war. Both books are also applicable to personal lives. The Bhavad Gita can make one a better person by seeking to improve karma. In the Art of War, it is a manual on to effectively manage conflicts. Also, both books shared their aversion to war. Prince Arjuna fear that his family might be killed in a war while Sun Tzu himself fear the war itself and strove to avoid it by winning it without engaging in conflict. Both books also talked about destruction. In Bhagavad-Gita, Shiva intends to destroy the universe and then later recreate as part of the process of reincarnation and karma central to Hindu belief system. In Art War, Sun Tzu spoke of destruction through the effective maneuvering of the army and fiery attack. They differ however on their objective because in Bhagavad-Gita, the destruction was only a means to improve one’s karma until one has achieved enlightenment and vijnana. In Art of War, destruction of the enemy is the ultimate end to be victorious.
The most stark difference between the two books is the nature of the text. Bhavad is a religious text while Art of War disowns religion and is a purely military text. Also in Bhavad Gita, Prince Arjuna is compelled to fight his enemy Kuruskshetra War to restore his karma while in the Art of War, Sun Tzu preached avoiding actual fighting in winning wars and in fact, this is his ultimate test in effective generalship. In Bhavad Gita also, death and destruction is only temporary and a means to achieve enlightenment and vijnana. In the Art of War, the objective is to destroy the enemy during a war and seeks to end life and/or the enemy to ensure victory. It does not seek perpetuity or any improvement of karma after death.