A major section of Gita teaching deals with the dual role of an individual that makes him responsible to his duties to the world around him as well as to those he owes himself. Krishna explains that the path of action or karma when followed in the right spirit can lead one directly to salvation and that for a majority, it is more suitable than jnana, bhakti or yoga.
In a discourse, Sri Jamadagni drew attention to how Krishna brings out the subtle and delicate issues that are likely to arise in fulfilling one’s social and individual commitments.
Each one with the immortal self within the perishable body has to follow his swadharma, an internal subtle law governing him and the universe. Our action has to be the result of our nature. Often, one is caught in the grip of prevalent ideas at a particular point of time and the forces of tradition as well.
Arjuna typifies this confused state when he wishes to abandon the battle to seek solace in retreat from the world. He does not want to fight his own kith and kin, and is obviously being overruled by conscience and inner instinct. Krishna exhorts each one to understand that an individual is a part of the entire universe and is responsible for its upkeep; at the same time, he cannot ignore his own spiritual destiny, to get liberated through sadana. Each one has to figure out what is action, or inaction and wrong action and should never give up one’s duties on any ground. Arjuna as a Kshatriya warrior is bound by his karma to fight for the upkeep of dharma.
Doing one’s duty as an ordained commitment and offering the act and its fruits to the Lord is the essence of karma yoga and it leads one to the same end that a yogi or a sanyasi or a bhakta achieves.