Only when our sins and merits equal zero can we attain moksha. The Lord wants us to attain moksha, but He lays down certain conditions. If it is easy to attain moksha, no one will adhere to Sastraic rules. To preserve the Sastras, He has to lay down certain rules for us to follow. As for the Lord Himself, He always adheres to the rules. It is customary to think that while as Lord Rama He adhered to rules, as Krishna He flouted the rules. As an example is cited Krishna's tendency to lie. But all His lies were uttered when He was a child, and a child's lies are sweet. But it is wrong to imagine that Krishna lied even after He became an adult, said V.S. Karunakarachariar. Krishna always kept His word, and even told Draupadi that He never goes against His words.
On the battlefield, Arjuna was confused, about what he should do. But the confusion was a good beginning, for what begins in confusion often ends in clarity. The Lord's advice to Arjuna on the battlefield is for all of us too, if we know how to benefit from the advice.
We wrongly assume that we can perform some atonement (prayaschitta) for our sins. But atonement will take us nowhere. It is a never-ending process. Surrender to the Lord is the only way out for us. But how does one worship the Lord? He is not taken in by our display of wealth or material possessions. We must worship Him with love. Only love will reveal Him to us.
But we are a confused lot, even more confused than Arjuna on the battlefield. We confuse the body with the atma. When we say, “I,” we think we are talking of the perishable body. But while the body perishes, our atma never does. And it is our atma that should be our focus, not our body. We need to get this confusion out of the way first. This, obviously, is not easy. But if we realise this crucial distinction between the atma and the body, the first major hurdle in our quest for moksha may be said to have been crossed. So to begin with, we must be aware of the distinction between the soul and the body. We must perform all our duties, seeking no excuse for non-performance of our duties, and we must worship the Lord with love.