Category: Principles

Principles from the Bhagavad Gita

While trying to establish certain principles, and to discuss some of this with folks I care about, I came across 4 Lessons from Gita (Thrive Global) and Equality By James Roland Pennock. It is a joy to get into the deliberation of logic and critical thinking that the Gita brings out. 

Here are some principles that lead to critical thoughts that spur the mind. 

 

 

Your mind can be your greatest enemy. 

बन्धुरात्मात्मनस्तस्य येनात्मैवात्मना जित: |
अनात्मनस्तु शत्रुत्वे वर्ते तात्मैव शत्रुवत् || 6||

bandhur atmatmanas tasya yenatmaivatmana jitah
anatmanas tu satrutve vartetatmaiva satru-vat  [shankha-yoga, 6.6]

For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be the greatest enemy.

 

 

Better be imperfect in your own duty than perfecting others duties. Live your own destiny imperfectly than an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.

श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुण: परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् |
स्वभावनियतं कर्म कुर्वन्नाप्नोति किल्बिषम् || 47||

śhreyān swa-dharmo viguṇaḥ para-dharmāt sv-anuṣhṭhitāt
svabhāva-niyata karma kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣham  [moksha-sanyas, 18.47]

It is better to do one’s own duty, even though imperfectly, than to do another’s, even though perfectly.

 

 

Do your duty, don’t be concerned about results.

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन |
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि || 47 ||

karmaṇy-evādhikāras te mā phaleṣhu kadāchana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr mā te saṅgo ’stvakarmaṇi [shankha-yoga, 2.47]

You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction.

 

 

Perfection is when you do what you enjoy.

स्वे स्वे कर्मण्यभिरत: संसिद्धिं लभते नर: |
स्वकर्मनिरत: सिद्धिं यथा विन्दति तच्छृणु || 45||

sve sve karmaṇy abhirataḥ sansiddhiṁ labhate naraḥ
sva-karma-nirataḥ siddhiṁ yathā vindati tach chhṛiṇu [moksha-sanyas-yoga, 18.45]

By fulfilling their duties, born of their innate qualities, human beings can attain perfection. Now hear from me how one can become perfect by discharging one’s prescribed duties.

 

 

No satisfaction for people who are always skeptical.

अज्ञश्चाश्रद्दधानश्च संशयात्मा विनश्यति |
नायं लोकोऽस्ति न परो न सुखं संशयात्मन: || 40||

ajñaśh chāśhraddadhānaśh cha sanśhayātmā vinaśhyati
nāyaṁ loko ’sti na paro na sukhaṁ sanśhayātmanah [jñāna-karm-sanyas-yoga, 4.40]

By fulfilling their duties, born of their innate qualities, human beings can attain perfection. Now hear from me how one can become perfect by discharging one’s prescribed duties.