Awake in the World

“Do your duty until it becomes your joy.”

How often do we have to make choices between doing the right thing and doing the easier thing?  My favorite story about doing the right thing which is called dharma in Sanskrit, comes from the Bhagavad Gita and is applicable to anyone. It takes place on a battle field. Arjuna, a brave young man has been trained as a warrior. But on this day of one of the greatest battles the world has ever seen, his spirits plunge. He rides down the center of the battle field in a chariot driven by Lord Krishna. On the opposing side he witnesses people who have been near and dear to him. They too are poised for war. As he looks into their faces he loses heart. “I can’t do it,” he tells Krishna. “I can’t fight and risk killing them.”

He slumps in the chariot, dispirited. But Krishna reproaches him: “You have been trained, oh warrior. To fight in battle for a good cause is your highest duty. Whether you fight or not, these men you see are fated to die in battle today. You have the choice of going down in history as a great warrior or a coward. The wise man would do his duty.”

Arjuna decides to fight and becomes a legend. This is one of the great teaching about dharma – and how to perform it even in difficult circumstances. This battle, according to Jack Hawley, author of The Bhagavad Gita: A Walk Through for Westerners, is symbolic. It’s about an inner battle, a struggle to slay our inner foes. These may include hatred, anger, greed, lust, envy and jealousy. These enemies get in the way of living a content, happy and spiritually fulfilled life.

How will your duty become joy today?

Bio: Debra Moffitt is the award winning author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life and “Garden of Bliss”. A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices, writing and creativity in the U.S. and Europe. More at and on Facebook at:

Previous Posts
Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus