The idea of duty is different for different people, different countries, different cultures, and different religions. Hence the term ‘duty’ is impossible to clearly define. We have always been trained by society to consider certain acts as duty; some as good and others as bad. Duty and responsibility are totally different.
For example, it is our duty to help elderly people, to follow principles of truth, non-violence, non-stealing and such tenets. We are brought up with these concepts of morality, but have we experienced the beauty of implementing them?
When you actually take responsibility, Indra enters your hand; it becomes vajrāyudha. Yama enters your lungs; it means ‘not-stopping’. Lakṣhmi enters your heart; it means ‘continuously sharing’.
Then there are certain principles that get handed down depending on the religion we follow. For example, a starving person who finds a piece of meat has no problem eating it if he is a non-vegetarian. On the other hand, a vegetarian would feel it is his duty not to touch meat even if it means losing his life. These are all socially defined duties. Never judge the customs of other people by your standards. There is no common standard for the Universe. Continue reading →
An ignorant man says to himself, ‘I shall do this action and thereby enjoy its result.’ A wise man should not unsettle this belief. Instead, he himself should set an example by performing his responsibilities diligently from the space of leadership, but without attachment. If the wise man condemns the actions performed with attachment, the ignorant person may simply decide to neglect his responsibilities.
It is like this. Can you explain to a child that his toys are not precious? No! The child will never be able to understand that. It has to grow and automatically its attachment to toys will drop when maturity happens. Similarly, the ignorant person can first do the action only with attachment. But upon seeing the wise person being unaffected by his own actions and being always blissful, naturally, the ignorant one will get curious to know the secret behind happiness. The example of the wise man will automatically pull him towards work with detachment. Continue reading →
Kṛṣṇa talks about the practical aspects of why a leader needs to act in a responsible manner. With responsibility, you experience the space of leadership consciousness, Īśvaratva.
Responsibility is thinking, feeling, acting, responding and cognizing from the truth that you are the Source of everything!
There is a difference between the state of a leader and the status of a leader. Most of us want to attain the status of a leader but not the state. When you achieve the status of the leader, it is ego-fulfilling and you feel great. Some politicians are good examples for this. They exert the power of their position on others without even feeling responsible. They were a little more dominating and convincing than the people whom they were trying to dominate, that’s all. It is not that they were more intelligent or more capable. Continue reading →
Even though it is written here in the past tense, I feel Kṛṣṇa should always be addressed in the present tense. He is still relevant, present to each of us today. We cannot say, ‘Kṛṣṇa was’ but ‘Kṛṣṇa is’, not ‘Kṛṣṇa said’ but ‘Kṛṣṇa says.’
Once again, having lamented about what he is being forced to do, and not wishing to do what he is expected to do, Arjuna, like a petulant child sits down saying, ‘Govinda, I am not going to fight, na yotsya iti govindam (2.9).’ It is as if Arjuna is waiting to be persuaded. He is seeking an explanation. Kṛṣṇa says to him gently and smilingly, ‘While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief – aśocyān anvāśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor for the dead – gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ (2.11).’
The words that you use to enrich yourself, will only come out to enrich others.
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