Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 3, Introduction, part 4

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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***   continuation from last week   ***


The sastras tell us that what we are experiencing now, whether it be happiness or sorrow, is the result of
a) Our own actions of the past which includes actions from the previous births also
b) The results of corporate acts of the society of which we are also part of (through our actions or inactions).

In all cases we must not neglect our obligatory duties. There is no room for happiness or sorrow to rule over us and disturb the daily duties.


We must learn to discharge our obligatory duties, whatever stage of life we may be in; childhood, teenage, adulthood or old age, for welfare of:
Our own selves,
Our family,
Our society,
The life on this universe,
And finally for
The future generations to come.

We have basically two duties:

Duties to the Lord who resides within us. We must keep the body, mind and speech healthy and clean. Neglecting the body is like insulting the Lord within. Through these three instruments we must let the light of knowledge shine through. The “Light of Knowledge” should reflect the “Divinity” within.

It is better understood if we look at the example of a temple. The temple has the deity of choice installed in the inner sanctum sanctorum. The priests at the temple conduct the prescribed daily worship to the deity. The rest of the temple premises have to be kept clean and tidy to let the public come in and see the deity within and offer their worship. The temple where there are no prescribed worships of the deity or premises which is not kept clean does not attract the devotees.

To the society. The Lord within is not seen and so not realised as such by many. The same Lord is reflecting in the various people around and all other forms of life. We should learn to recognise this divinity and show respect to all. This should reflect in our actions as individuals/families towards the handicapped, the needy and the like. Later on in the Gita, we will learn that every form of life on this earth is the “Vibhuti” or “Glory” of the Lord. We should not only offer worship to the deity of choice as thanks for what little we have received so far but also worship through actions that contribute towards universal welfare. This is true reflection of the light of knowledge shining inside each one of us.


The actions can be voluntary/involuntary. Respiration and circulation have become involuntary actions and through these we keep the body healthy and alive. Sometime in the life of the foetus in mother’s womb, the light has been switched on for involuntary actions for the rest of our lives.

Similarly, we can make our actions involuntarily divine by keeping His teaching in our memory bank. This is known as “Nidhi dhyasa” one of the three requisites for dhyana/meditation.

**   will be continued   **

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