The Bhagavad-Geeta says that duty is paramount. These are determined by time, place and circumstances. For example, if a student is preparing for his final examination and his mother falls seriously ill, his duty lies in attending to her if there is no one available.
A very important facet of our lives, duty has three components – that towards one’s body, that related to one’s mind and that in connection with the soul. Unfortunately, one usually fails to fulfill any of them. Let us reflect. How many can claim that they are looking after their bodies in the best way possible? How many are not swayed by our taste buds, even though foods thus eaten are not desirable? How many can stop ourselves from overeating?
But this is nothing compared to the constant battering we give to our minds. How many can readily forget an injustice or a slight? We are conditioned to do everything that disturbs our minds. Lust, greed, anger, jealousy and pride are one’s usual emotions at the cost of love, forgiveness, mercy, compassion. No wonder peace of mind is a rare commodity nowadays.
The last component of duty is that to one’s soul. “What is soul?” many people wonder. “Isn’t it a figment of imagination of some religious people who have authored the scriptures? What do we need to do for such an imaginary thing?”
The result of such avoidance of duty towards what we really are makes us well and truly miserable. No wonder depression is no prevalent is today’s societies inspite of its the material progress. Isn’t that a shame?
To fulfill one’s duties, one must known that one cannot be whimsical about deciding them. Our bodies must be cared in the best way possible, according to their needs and not according to the preference of our senses. As far as the mind goes, all decisions must be weighed against whether or not it leads to maintenance of its sense of peace. If that is disturbed, one should rethink.
The soul requires only one duty, a link to god. That is what is expected of us if we are really intelligent. If we do that, rewards are enormous.