Episode 33: The Bhagavad Gita on Fire & Smoke

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“It is better to perform one’s own duties imperfectly than to master the duties of another. By fulfilling the obligations he is born with, a person never comes to grief. No one should abandon duties because he sees defects in them. Every action, every activity, is surrounded by defects as a fire is surrounded by smoke.” ~ Krishna from The Bhagavad Gita

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The Bhagavad Gita on Fire & Smoke

It is better to perform one’s own duties imperfectly than to master the duties of another. By fulfilling the obligations he is born with, a person never comes to grief. No one should abandon duties because he sees defects in them. Every action, every activity, is surrounded by defects as a fire is surrounded by smoke.” ~ Krishna fromThe Bhagavad Gita

So, we’ve established the importance of following YOUR dharma and not someone else’s. Sweet. Now, what about if you’re not perfectly following your path?

Well, that’s a good time to check in with the Gita and remember: ”No one should abandon duties because he sees defects in them. Every action, every activity, is surrounded by defects as a fire is surrounded by smoke.”

And how about Abraham Maslow who studied the greatest people of his generation (from Einstein to Eleanor Roosevelt) as he identified the hallmarks of what he called “self-actualizing” individuals? He taught us: “There are no perfect human beings! Persons can be found who are good, very good indeed, in fact, great. There do in fact exist creators, seers, sages, saints, shakers, and movers...even if they are uncommon and do not come by the dozen. And yet these very same people can at times be boring, irritating, petulant, selfish, angry, or depressed. To avoid disillusionment with human nature, we must first give up our illusions about it.”

And Rumi who advises: “There is no worse sickness for the soul, o you who are proud, than this pretense of perfection.”

The moment we allow ourselves to be less than perfect, we open ourselves up to the opportunity to grow...

Here’s to many of those moments! :)

This is one of the 1,000+ Big Ideas we share in our 6-page PDF and 20-minute MP3 PhilosophersNotes on 100 of the greatest self-development books. Get 100 Notes for only 47 bucks!