If I Deviate From My Duties, Will It Have a Disastrous Effect?


Lord Krishna says that one should be unaffected by distress or happiness and perform ones duties equipoised. Does that mean that both of these states are not the creation of the performer of the duties? What if he for instance acts from a body-oriented perspective, thus inviting miseries? Is the performance of duties a requisite for attaining that kind of equilibrium and peace? If so, how can I better perform my duties? What if I deviate from my duties ? Does it have disastrous consequences?

—Ashutosh, India


Dear Ashutosh,

One by one, here are the answers to your questions:

  • Both the states of happiness and distress have been created by the performer of the duty, meaning by you and me. We have created our own thought patterns, emotional patterns and behavior patterns, in the past. But whatever we have done, we can undo now. That is our job. Krishna gives us the direction: being “equipoised”: even-minded and cheerful at all times. It’s yogic training.
  • Whenever we act from a “body-oriented perspective,” meaning from the ego and from delusion, we simply receive the natural karmic consequence of our actions. That “body-oriented perspective” state, the ego, can also do very good things. Whatever we do, whatever its quality, we will receive its karmic result.
  • We need to perform our duties anyway. Krishna tells us that we should not shun our duties. They are a part of our schooling to learn to remain in “equilibrium and peace.”
  • You can better perform your duties if you meditate first, getting into your inner harmony and peace. Then, trying to maintain that inner state, try to perform well everything you have to do. Better still, try being a channel for God’s light as you act. Feel Him working through you. That too is taught in the Bhagavad Gita.
  • If you deviate from your duties, from your dharma, it will not have disastrous effects. We all do it. The result is, usually, a deep inner sense of dissatisfaction, if we don’t do what we are supposed to do in life. But no disaster occurs (it does so only if we do really disastrous terrible things)! It simply means that life, sooner or later, will take you again to a situation where you can follow your dharma, where you can perform your personal duty.

I hope this answers your questions. God loves you whatever you do, no matter how many mistakes you make. God’s love is like a sun, shining always, on all, mistaken or not.

In divine friendship,