Deconstructing duty

Sri Krishna explains to Arjuna that it is better to perform one’s own duty rather than perform the duty of another even if the latter is performed well.

This is because it is better to perform our duty in conformity with our inner nature, disposition and character as it has been bequeathed to us by Nature: “By performing the act determined by nature, one does not gather stain.”

How does one attain Brahman and merge in Absolute Knowledge? It is by eschewing duality, abandoning sense objects and moving away from attraction and repulsion. Such an enlightened one gains equanimity of mind.


“Having abandoned ego, pride, passion and anger, not receiving sense inputs, free of ‘mine’, the pacified one is fit to become Brahman/ Having become Brahman with pleasant and clear self, one neither grieves nor desires; alike toward all beings he gains the highest devotion to Me/Through devotion He recognises Me, how expansive and who I am in reality/

Then knowing Me in reality, he enters Me immediately/ Even performing all the actions at all times depending entirely on Me, through My grace he attains the eternal, imperishable state/ Renouncing all acts to Me with the mind intent on Me, resorting to the yoga of wisdom, always hold your mind in Me.”

The Lord instructs Arjuna to follow the path of renunciation in action through which the seeker attains perfection in actionlessness.

The Lord assures His devotee that with His grace, Arjuna will be able to overcome all the challenges that beset him.

On the other hand, if he is led by his ego and not heed the Lord’s counsel, it will spell ruin for him.

Arjuna is told that by using his ego if he decides not to fight, Sri Krishna tells him that his inborn Kshatriya nature will compel him to take arms and join the battle.

The Lord informs Arjuna that the Supreme Self exists in the heart of every living being and all beings are prompted to move about in this universe through the power of His maya or involution.

The best way forward lies in seeking refuge in Him and through His Grace achieve the highest station.

In a beautiful passage, the Lord once again exhorts Arjuna: “Again hear My final words, the most secret of all: you are firmly my favourite; therefore I shall say what is beneficial to you/Let your mind be in Me; My devotee, sacrificing to Me, offer salutations to Me, you will come only to Me truly;

I avow you are My beloved/Abandoning all virtue, come and take refuge in Me alone; I shall liberate you from all evil; grieve not/” Depend upon the Lord as your sole support and refuge.

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