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Each is great in his own place!

Samkhya philosophy – 3 forces (in the physical world attributed to Equilibrium, Activity & Inertness)

  • Sattva (Balance between Rajas and Tamas)
  • Rajas (activity in itself expressed as attraction or repulsion)
  • Tamas (darkness of inactivity)

Karma yoga helps us deal with these 3 factors, giving us in-depth understanding to help us make the best use of them.

Morality is relative to the place and time. What is considered immoral in a certain country may be moral in another. So is the idea of duty, it varies between different nations. The ignorant think there is only one way to the truth and everything else is wrong whereas the wise admit duty and morality may vary in different circumstances and our mental constitutions

For example, we are taught to “Resist not evil” – non-resistance is the highest moral ideal but we cannot put this to practice in a literal sense, the world may go crazy over this. Our utmost duty is not the hate ourselves but to have faith. To advance at anything one should have faith in self then he will have faith in others and thereby in God.

Two extremes tend to be alike, extreme positive and extreme negative are similar. The same goes the case with light, when the vibrations of light are too low we cannot see and the same case when the light is low.

Imagine a situation where someone witnesses an act of bullying but is too timid or afraid to stand up against it. This person doesn’t resist the wrongdoing due to their weakness (fear or lack of courage). However, failing to resist the bullying is still morally wrong (committing a sin).  The wrongdoing is continued without resistance.

In contrast, consider a scenario where someone witnesses an argument between two people and decides to intervene by shouting and escalating the situation. The second part of the sentence implies that this active resistance, in the form of unnecessary confrontation, is also morally wrong (committing a sin) because it makes the situation worse rather than better.

“Resist not evil.”  We may not resist evil, but at the same time, we may feel very miserable. A man may say very harsh things to me, and I may not outwardly hate him for it, may not answer him back, and may restrain myself from apparently getting angry, but anger and hatred may be in my mind, and I may feel very badly towards that man. That is not non-resistance; I should be without any feeling of hatred or anger, without any thought of resistance; my mind must then be as calm as if nothing had happened. And only when I have got to that state, have I attained to non-resistance, and not before. Forbearance of all misery, without even a thought of resisting or driving it out, without even any painful feeling in the mind, or any remorse — this is Titiksha. Suppose I do not resist, and some great evil comes thereby; if I have Titiksha, I should no feel any remorse for not having resisted. When the mind has attained to that state, it has become established in Titiksha.

The central idea of Karma Yoga is non-resistance. Resist all evils, mental and physical and when one reaches this state then he reaches calmness. Don’t show off, be true to yourself. According to Vivekananda – There may be less than 0.1% of the world’s population who will have reached this state. One should strive to take his own ideal and work towards achieving it. Well, it is easier to say this than in practicality but in ideal circumstances practicing non-resistance and staying true to oneself should help us slowly navigate towards this proposition.

The life of a Hindu begins as a student(brahmacharya), householder (grihastha), forest dweller (vanaprastha) & Sanyasa (renunciate). Each one is equally important and has no precedence over each other. In the later times, the 4 stages have been reduced to householder & sannyasa.

It is the most difficult thing in the world to work and not care for the result. One should remember that his life is for the service of God and the poor. This is the greatest duty. One should treat their parents like God as they have got him into this worldly realm. Even so, is the duty towards his spouse, no man should scold his wife and should treat her in the similar respect which is expected to be given to his parents.

When it comes to children, the first 4 years should be spent rearing them lovingly. Educate them until 16, at the age of 24 they should be employed and treated equally as a friend.

Then the duty towards his siblings and cousins, then the duty of someone asking for help. It is too to avoid excessive attachment to food, clothes and body.

One should not talk about himself, his fame and riches in public. The focus should be to acquire knowledge first and then wealth later. Going after wealth is okay as long as it is intended for distribution. He must strive to keep in good terms by not engaging in activities like gambling or telling lies and causing trouble to others. One should strive to speak gently and truthfully at all times, should refrain from getting into gossip and talking about other’s businesses. If a householder ends his life in battle or while on his pursuit of the work he is engaged in he comes to the same goal as the Yogi by meditation. Each duty has its own place and cannot be compared.

The chapter summarizes the fact that each duty has its own place and is great from its own perspective. Our life revolves around the ones around us and the sacrifices we make for them and we should be ready at any moment to do it. If one wants to renounce the world do it regardless of any condition like beauty, money and/or power. The duty of one is not a duty of the other.