Duty combined with Righteousness is the cardinal teaching of Bagawat Gita!
The Divine Teacher!
The Divine Charioteer Krishna!
We have only two options. Either involve yourself in the world and undergo the agitations created by constant buffeting of the world OR remain in the calm center of yourself. We cannot avoid the beatings and retreading of waves, once we stand on the seashore. If you sit on higher ground in the beach, you can enjoy the waves rising and falling as well as the sea breeze! Our inner self is really calm and agitation less. But the body and mind get involved in worldly aspirations and hence they suffer the pain and grief caused by the attachments to the world. Instead, if the mind is introverted from outside world, one can practice detachment and enjoy the proximity of self. Of course this requires persistent practice, reposing our faith fully on the Divine Self!
Many readers may feel why I am always writing on philosophical subjects instead of worldly subjects? Their concern could be genuine. But, in the longer run, when they become old to strain their nerves further on mundane objectives, they will feel their loss, in not pursuing spiritual or philosophical subjects in early life. After a prolonged war was about to commence, Sri Krishna taught Arjuna, about the various aspects of human life including the correct way of performing our duties. Krishna told the warrior Arjuna, “I need not perform any task that is worldly, yet for the sake of educating the ignorant people and illumining their intellect, I undertook the onerous task of being a ‘charioteer’ to you in the war! Oh Arjuna, do not consider Me as a charioteer, I will see that all righteous people who practice Truth have me as ‘charioteer’ seated in their heart. If they listen to my advice and directions as I give it to you, they will benefit and attain liberation itself!
The quintessence of the teachings of Bagawat Gita is simple and straight forward. Perform the allotted duties without any desire for the outcome! Though Arjuna was eager to enter the war, his attachment to his ‘own people’ deluded him and he became depressed and let the Bow slip from his hand! Only at this point, Krishna was serious and asked him “You are from warrior class; your duty is to fight a just war? How you have changed your mind suddenly and talking about withdrawing from the battle field? Which provoked you to withdraw? Arjuna accepted that he is saddened at the prospect of aiming arrows at his great grandfather, the venerable Bheeshma! Also, I see my preceptor, cousins, uncles and friends in the opposing army! What for I should kill them? After vanquishing them, I cannot enjoy the kingdom which is the result of lot of bloodshed from kith and kin! It would be wiser for me to beg my food from others, instead of fighting this war!
Krishna saw that Arjuna is saddened due to delusion caused by the Ego! Arjuna was started talking in terms of ‘my and mine”. This false attachment to people is the cause of grief and pain in the mind. Arjuna! Bodies are born and die but the Self within the bodies are immortal. The self is not different from the Omni self which you term as god. God is the eternal witness of the drama called life. The people whom you consider as yours are slain by me already.
: Be thou My instrument and perform the act which is your duty as a warrior. In the war, none should consider any as their own. If you listen to my advice, surrender to me and be an instrument in my hand. No sin will ever befall on you, if you eliminate the feeling of ‘doer ship’. All of you have met atrocities at the hands of your wicked cousins. You all tolerated the blatant injustice met out to your beloved wife “Draupadi”. Even I advocated only peace to the Kauravas but they never listened to my sane advice. The war has become inevitable.( Remember the vows pronounced by Draupadi and Bheema during the disrobing of Draupadi by the wicked Kauravas. You all kept quiet since you have become slaves to the Kauravas. But Draupadi cried for my protection and I granted the continuous length of saris around her body. The wicked Duschachana, out of fatigue, fell down unable to disrobe her. There Bheema and Draupadi pronounced their vows. Draupadi refused to bind her hair, since it was touched by the wicked man. Unless he was killed and blood oozes out of his carcass, “I won’t do my hair” said Draupadi. If all these things have to fructify, the war must be fought bravely!). The words within the brackets are one of the causes for the war. Though it was not pronounced during the teachings, I added them to give emphasize to the facts which were essential for the war to be fought”
The main theme of Bagawat Gita is “righteousness and duty” which are coined as Dharma and Karma!