Dear Doctor

With my analysis and contemplations based on three mammoth works of literature, the Qur’an, the Bhagavad-Gita, and the Analects of Confucius, I intend to illustrate a common thread woven through each of these works as a roll of yarn forms a quilt. In each of these, I will try to focus on the common ideals and the way they’re presented, what they mean, and their purpose, along with what I believe to be the reasons for their enduring popularity all over the world.
My first choice was the Bhagavad-Gita for analysis because of its majesty and applicability to every day life. From it, I’ve gained a lot of understanding on the nature of sadness, the transience of life and death, and the teachings on Yoga. The Gita, an ancient Indian tome whose literal name translates as ‘the song of god,’ is believed to have been written As a work of great beauty and wisdom, the Gita has had a lasting impact on Indian culture and culture all over the world. It is rightly noted to be one of the finest works of literature the human species has ever contributed, and for this, it is read daily by thousands of people around the world, as millions practice its teachings. The setting is a familiar one for every man, every human being born and dead: confusion amidst a time of war, a state that possibly depicts the inner torments and conflicts we all have. In a sense, we’re all Arjuna, looking for shelter and meaning and purpose in a time of what seems to be a pointless spiritual war that rages inside us everyday. Krishna before Arjuna, every man that ever lived, as a beacon of light in a time of darkness, like a lighthouse to guard lost ships to shore. The epic scope of the work had a profound impact on my life.
We are all those ships, adrift at sea alone, looking for a light to guide us through the dark. Muhammad, in the Qu’ran, the work on which one of my contemplations is based, appeared before humanity as Jesus did, appears before the world to light the road to where we’re all trying to go in one way or another. I wanted to learn more about religion after reading the Bible, which led me to the Gita, which led me to the Upanishads, then to the Dhammapada, then finally to the Qu’ran.
What intrigued me about the Qu’ran was the way in which it began. Muhammad, who often withdrew to the cave of Hira near Mecca, had the first revelations of the Qu’ran revealed to him by the angel Gabriel in the year 610. Many believed that the angel came to him and demanded him to recite what would be the first verses of what would become the Qu’ran. Along with this, the mystery of the seizures that often plagued in his revelations, which he believed to be the Final Testament of the Bible, made me interested in the teachings that sprung one way or another from this man.
The final choice I’ve chosen for contemplation is a cornerstone in Chinese philosophy: the Analects of Confucius. Due to its enduring popularity and worldwide recognition, I was drawn into finding out what was so monumental about the words of the old Master. The book was written during the Warring States Period somewhere between 479 and 221 BCE. In his discourses, Confucius presents us the same thing that other religious leaders and some philosophers have done: a path to righteousness, to focus on the higher nature of man, and a path to being a good person through wisdom and understanding and humility, a trait glorified in Hinduism and in Christianity, both religions that have much in common with the work of the ancient Chinese master.
These words seem to present to me a common thread of religious leaders and godheads, avatars and enlightened ones, enough to make me think that they could all be the same essence in the same body, like the same fragrance, or smoke trapped in a bottle, uncapped occasionally that a culture or group of people might be able to understand it and see it, only to pass out of sight when it’s purpose is achieved. My purpose is just to elucidate some of the emphasized points and some of the themes that can be found in the literature I chose to read. I hope you enjoy the beauty of the words to be found in each, learn a little, and enjoy the message as much as I did.

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