Bhagwad Gita Sloka 3.8 (Parisamvad)

Bhagwad Gita Transcribed from Parisamvad at The Yoga Institute.

Chapter 3, Sloka 8



You perform (your) bounden duty; for, action is superior to inaction. Even the maintenance of the body would not be possible for you by inaction.

Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra:

“The Gita, we should remember, is for action. The chief of the army, Arjuna, did not want to carry on his work. All the eighteen chapters look at the idea of action from various angles. Carrying on action is your duty. You can’t sit idle doing nothing. These are facts of life. However difficult the situations, people, law and morality, still we have to function in the society. Many of us are functioning even though there is lot of corruption on the top. We don’t withdraw, we don’t sit idle. In fact, sitting idle is not the answer. In our limited way we should carry on our action. Nowadays there is lot of corruption, that doesn’t mean we close our shops and sit at home. We have to function in this situation.

There is a very funny story about a person who goes to see a top officer in Delhi. He waits for his turn after having given his name. The turn doesn’t come; later on he finds that the officer has gone. He is shocked; he had come all the way from Mumbai. He telephones the top man. The top man asks him, why did you not come? The man replied that he was sitting outside his office and he had sent his name slip, but he was not called. The top man said, ‘You fool, did you put some money with the slip?’ The man replied, ‘No’, the top man said, “Then you are a fool, had you put some money, you would have met me.’ This is the story of Delhi. All around, everywhere it is the same thing. So carry on your action in whatever way it has to be done.

We are all functioning today, knowing about all these things and unfortunately we all try to do something or the other to get through. It will require tremendous strength to carry on our work without corruption. Not that it is not possible. It requires strength. The Founder of the Institute believed in all this. The telephone of the Institute went out of order and the telephone exchange man was called. The man said, I will repair it, but it will cost Rs. 250/-. The Founder said that he won’t pay. The phone was out of order for almost one year. Then came the turn of the President of India to visit and all his security started coming. They wanted to make a call but he phone was not working. They asked for the reason. Founder said “The man wanted Rs. 250/- and I didn’t want to give it.” That was a bold statement and the phone was quickly repaired. We have to have some strength to carry on the work and not show reasons or excuses. So carry on the work in spite of all kinds of difficulties.

One of our students did the teacher training course. He decided to close his money lending business because there was a lot of corruption. Then he searched for a good job. Every job he joined had corruption. Ultimately he took up the job of purchasing government stationary from the post office and selling it door to door. He is still surviving, no corruption. The problem arises when our intentions are not good. If we can so organize our life where we can reduce the ‘wants’, things would be better. But we are increasing our wants, we have no control on our desires, so we have to do all kinds of things and we can’t stop that.

Such an individual who is able to control his wants is difficult to find. We are living in such a way and encouraging the near and dear ones to live as they like, as per the requirements of the society. This is the problem. We have not been able to establish some norms – how I wish to live, what I consider wrong and those who are with me should also observe certain principles – if this was done at the start, it can get established. The children can learn, the partner can learn. But if we have not done this and we have not distinguished ourselves with different kinds of ideas, ideals then holding on to them will be difficult . Unfortunately we have not done that. So we flow with the rest. We should see those who have been able to carry out their own ideals. There are some. So this is the question. Have we some ideals and are willing to carry out them out? The fact is that we have no ideals and we don’t care. We want to make money and live. That is the real fact and we don’t want to accept it. We want to say we are very good people, very pious, but that’s a mistake.”

1) Everybody is supposed to do his own allotted duty. In every situation we have to find out what is my role and I should be doing it.
2) Action is always better that inaction – under the influence of sorrow, tragedy we don’t act.
3) If you take to inaction, you will not be able to take care of your body, forget about everything else. It is only through body that we can do other actions. All these three things are linked to each other. Very often we are in a Tamasic state – watching TV, gossiping, go for drive in car, etc. All these things harm us.


About Parisamvad

On every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, The Yoga Institute, Santacruz holds Parisamvad sessions – Free interactive sessions that are open to all. These session begin at 7:20 am and end around 7:45 am.

The Tuesday Parisamvad is dedicated to explanation of the the Bhagwad Gita by our esteemed Gurus, Dr. Jayadeva and Smt. Hansaji.

All are welcome to attend.Click Here to learn more about The Yoga Institute, Santacruz, Mumbai.

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