Karma-Yoga : Ch-4. Part-5.


What is Duty?


The Bhagavad-Gita frequently alludes to duties dependent upon birth and position in life.

Birth and position in life and in society largely determine the mental and moral attitude of individuals towards the various activities of life.

It is therefore our duty to do that work which will exalt and ennoble us in accordance with the ideals and activities of the society in which we are born.

But it must be particularly remembered that the same ideals and activities do not prevail in all societies and countries; our ignorance of this is the main cause of much of the hatred of one nation towards another.

An American thinks that whatever an American does in accordance with the custom of his country is the best thing to do, and that whoever does not follow his custom must be a very wicked man.

A Hindu thinks that his customs are the only right ones and are the best in the world, and that whosoever does not obey them must be the most wicked man living.

This is quite a natural mistake which all of us are apt to make.

But it is very harmful; it is the cause of half the uncharitableness found in the world.

Swami Vivekananda

To be continued  ...


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