Right action for you depends on your conditioning

Acharya Prashant
7 min readOct 9, 2020

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

स्वधर्ममपि चावेक्ष्य न विकम्पितुमर्हसि ।।

धर्म्याद्धि युद्धाच्छ्रेयोऽन्यत्क्षत्रियस्य न विद्यते ।। 2.31 ।।

swa-dharmam api chāvekṣhya na vikampitum arhasi

dharmyāddhi yuddhāch chhreyo ’nyat kṣhatriyasya na vidyate

Even considering your own duty you should not waver (from the fight). Since there is nothing else better for a kshatriya than a righteous battle.

~Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Verse 31

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Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam! After explaining to Arjuna that he shouldn’t grieve for the embodied beings in verse 31 of the 2nd Chapter of Bhagavad Gita, Shri Krishna says, “Even considering your own duty, you shouldn’t waver. Since there is nothing else better for a Kshatriya than a righteous battle.”

Being born into a Kshatriya clan, fighting represents Arjuna’s conditioning and training, and what he has become good at. Is there any role of conditioning in discovering one’s duty or one’s swadharma? Is adhering to one’s swadharma the same as liberation?

Acharya Prashant: Liberation is Dharma. To move to the point where one stands liberated alone is Dharma. But when we define ‘dharma’ this way, then we are talking of only one point, the point to which you have to reach. We are calling that as the point of liberation. But nobody stands at a position called ‘no position’. We all stand somewhere, and wherever we stand, that point is actually a point of conditioning. Had we not been standing somewhere, there was no need to travel to be liberated.

You could consider the point of liberation as the origin (0,0), basic x-y coordinates. Thinking of graph paper, can you see that? So liberation is at (0,0) origin. You have to go back to the very origin, where everything comes from.

Acharya Prashant