Resolving the dilemma of duty


I might be feeling being stuck in something that I do not want to do or wishing to be like somebody who seems to be better off. This would make me stand on the crossroads between what to be done and what to be evaded.

Just before Mahabharta started, Arjun also faced a similar perplexity and he got his way out through the insight provided by Bhagwad Gita. Some people remark that there would have been no war, if Arjuna had not been convinced by Lord Krishna. This opinion is unfounded because Arjuna’s disinterest in fighting was only a fit of his sentiment. He had come to battlefield with a firm resolve to fight but seeing his kinsmen as the target, he got bewildered. It was not his love for non violence that he started philosophizing against the concept of war but the grip of delusion that had swayed his mind. He owned an inherent tendency to fight but was now finding the life of a sanyasi preferable to that of a warrior. Had he actually gone to forest as a sanyasi, he would have certainly felt the impulse to hunt a deer there too because of his passionate nature. Gita provided him the solution by reinforcing the significance of ‘Swadharma’.

All of us have been assigned certain specific roles in our respective lives, called as ‘swadharma’ (swa + dharma). ‘Swa’ is self and the word dharma implies the line of duty.  So swadharma is one’s natural course of action, the way of life for which we have an innate inclination. The bend of mind may change with time as one matures intellectually or spiritually but that change must occur on its own, not through any deliberate endeavor. I cannot cast off my own work because it appears to be lowly and adopt others’ as they look to be doing something dignified. Swadharma is neither great nor small; it is just equal to our measure, fitting us the best. The decisive factor is the sustained joy felt while doing an activity and also a sense of fulfillment that follows within. Hence, only through self-reflection I can consciously recognize the disposition of my mind and take on to the correct road.

Ref- ‘Talks on Gita’, Ach. Vinoba Bhave


  1. Reblogged this on Mom's Thoughts: Just sharing Some of Our Dear Mom's Favourite Thoughts and commented:
    mom liked and loved reading eastern spirituality (especially Krishnarthi)…and was anti-religion and into spirituality
    RIP our dearest zany free-thinking mom
    “Whilst we can (and should) cherish and celebrate our ‘unique’ differences, let not our different beliefs divide us, but let the Spirit of our shared humanity be what defines and unites us as common inhabitants of our planet.”

    Liked by 2 people

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