The  Bhagavad Gita | Chapter 3

The Bhagavad Gita | Chapter 3

The Gist

  • We're all born with a specific role to play and responsibilities to perform.
  • Fulfill your actions without getting attached to them.
  • Don't let desire cloud your judgement.

Arjuna: So let me get this straight: the mind is considered superior to action... but I still have to fight this war??

Lord Krishna: It's not that one is more important than the other. It's that you cannot have one without the other. Everyone is obviously engaged in some type of work or action -- or at least, should be -- at any given moment. The key is to practice karm yog -- "the yog of action" -- where you diligently fulfill your responsibilities externally, but mentally, you must remain detached. Of course, there are hypocrites who claim to "renounce" things and yet continue dwelling on them internally.

Arjuna: So, I should still fight the war because it's the Vedic duty assigned to me, but mentally detach myself to the act of killing?

Lord Krishna: Well, yes -- but that kind of makes you sound like a sociopath. What I'm saying is that you and everyone else in this war are a part of God's creation and you each have a role and responsibilities to fulfill. Lord Brahma didn't create humankind in isolation. Each of you was born with duties. Treat these duties as yajñas (sacrifices), and you'll get all that you wish for.

Arjuna: So there's a catch. I can't simply enjoy wins in life without making some sacrifices.

Lord Krishna: You can... but that would make you a thief because you're simply taking without giving anything in return. You see, everything is connected. Everyone has to play their part in this cycle. Even if you consider it as an obligation to God. Otherwise you're living in sin.

the cycle of sacrifice: Perform yajña  (ie: Do the work you were born to do) Vedas prescribe yajña (sacrifices) God will be happy God will bless you with material gains ...For example, rainfall ...Which helps crops grow Food sustains life on earth

Arjuna: What about the "enlightened souls"? Do they get a free pass from doing work?

Lord Krishna: While they're not obligated to fulfill their bodily responsibilities, they cannot abandon their social duties.

Arjuna: How come?

Lord Krishna: Because what message would that send to people who look up to them for inspiration? By setting good examples, they're reminding others to not abandon their prescribed duties prematurely.

Arjuna: You're right. We have a tendency to follow people we admire (#influencers).

Lord Krishna: It's far better to do the role you were born to do -- even if done with flaws -- than it is play someone else's role with perfection.

Arjuna: Why do people commit sin, even unintentionally, as if by some force?

Lord Krishna: One word: lust. Just how a fire becomes clouded by smoke, desire tends to cloud one's judgement. The senses, mind, and intellect are all breeding grounds for desire. So, keep them in check.