[Advaita-l] SWADHARMA

sriram srirudra at md3.vsnl.net.in
Fri Feb 3 05:10:22 CST 2006

Dear Members
In the Bhagavadgita Sri Krishna tells Sri Arjuna that he should not waver in performing his duty as a kshatriya.QuoteChap2stanza31-Swadharmamapi cha avekshya na vikampithum arhasi -Sri Krishna here reminds Sri Arjuna that he is a kshatriya and therefore he is ought to perform his duty as per his kshatriya dharma.Here Swamy Chidbhavananda explains that one`s swadharma is that duty which is best suited to one`s attainments and temperament.Again in Chap 18 stanza47 -Shreyan swadharmo viguna:- SriKrishna says even if one`s own dharma is ill performed it is better than the dharma of another well performed as he who does his duty ordained by his own nature incurs no sin/demerit.In Chap3 stanza35 -Shreyan swadhramo viguna:paradharmath swanushtithath- The Lord emphasises that even if death is the result better perform one`s own swadharma.
If one analyses carefully what could have been meant by swadhrma by Gitacharya one can come to the following conclusion:
1.Swadharma should never be abandoned.
2.Swadharma is perceived internally by the person as his own and also outwardly by the society with which he transacts.
3.Swadharma is fixed according to Varnasrama Dharma.
4.Swadharma is therefore fixed to one`s birth.
5.One`s temperament and attainments are mostly got from parentage and therefore nothing wrong in fixing birth as primary factor in fixation of swadhrma.Even according to modern medicine genes play a vital role in growth of all living organisms.
6.Station in life being temporary comes in the middle and goes away after a period so  it will not define one`s swadharma.It is like officiating and the duties are fixed and mandatory followed by promotions and punishments for good performane or bad performance.Whereas Swadharma not performed well will not come to ridicule.
Finally if there are cross marriages and offsprings are born the offspring will be portraying the overpowering qualities of either the mother or the father and this can indicate the offspring`s swadharma.Sri Karna`s birth and parentage is an example.Sri Dhrona fought in the battle like a kshatriya but even if he has not fought no ridicule would have come to him.Here he was officiating as a general.
These are my own thoughts and if these are not acceptable no problem. 

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