Bhagavad Gita Teachings – Chapter 5: Do Your Duty

Bhagavad Gita Teachings – Chapter 5: Do Your Duty

Doing your Duty is Superior to Renouncing Actions

Both doing the action (Karma Yoga) and renouncing it (Sanyas) lead to God. But doing action selflessly as your duty (Karma Yoga) is superior to Sanyas, which is renouncing all actions (Verse 2)

Those who do not detest or crave, and are equanimous in the face of dualities, they are already renounced and do not incur any karmic reactions (Verse 3)

Dualities are opposites such as good and bad, honor and dishonor etc.

Karmic reactions are good and bad reactions to your actions, manifesting in your present or your future

Both the path of knowledge and path of action lead to self-realization (Verse 4)

God Exists Within All of Us

Those who have purified their intellect (with knowledge) and conquered their mind and senses, see God in every being (Verse 7)

Those whose mind, intellect and faith is filled with God and seek God as their ultimate goal, their sins are wiped away by the light of knowledge (Verse 17)

Those who see a cow, an elephant, a dog, a dog-eater and a learned sage in the same way, are truly wise (Verse 18)

Be Equanimous, Seek Balance

Those who are equanimous, conquer birth and death in this very life. They are faultless like God, and situated in the Absolute Truth (Verse 19)

Absolute Truth is God

They are not excited about obtaining the agreeable nor disturbed on getting the disagreable. They are of steady intellect, have an unshakable understanding of God, and are situated in the Absolute Truth (Verse 20)

Those who are free from anger and desire, and have subdued their mind, they are self-realized (Verse 26)

Dedicate Your Actions to God

Those who dedicate their actions to God and perform their duty without attachment, they are as untouched by sin as a lotus flower unstained by water surrounding it (Verse 10)

Those who offer their actions to God, achieve eternal peace. While those who are driven by desire, get bound (to this earth) by their attachment to results of their actions (Verse 12)

Get bound to this earth means taking birth again and again on this earth

Those who have realized that I am the recipient of Yagna and austerities, supreme lord of all worlds, and a benefactor of all, they are at peace ( Verse 29)

Happiness Lies Within You

Those who are unattached to external joy, find happiness in themselves. They become one with God and experience unlimited happiness (Verse 21)

Happiness that comes from self-gratification is a source of misery because it is temporary. The wise are therefore not captivated by it (Verse 22)

They are happy who before departing from their body are able to overcome anger and desire. They are Yogis (Verse 23)

Those who find contentment and enjoyment within themselves, and shine from their inner light, such yogis attain moksha (Verse 24)

Moksha is liberation from the cycle of birth and death

The renouncer of actions (Sanyasis) who have conquered desire and wrath, controlled their mind, and are self-realized, attain moksha (VERSE 26)

Work for Welfare of Others

With their body, mind, intellect and senses, yogis perform actions without attachment, for the sole purpose of self purification (Verse 11)

The wise who, with their sins cleansed, their doubts dispelled and their mind disciplined, are working for benefit of others, attain moksha (Verse 25)

We Create Our Own Destiny

The sense of doership or actions of people or fruits of those actions are not created by God. They are a result of one’s own inborn qualities (Verse 14)

God does not accept anyone’s good or evil deeds. Living beings are ignorant if they believe so (Verse 15)

Once this ignorance is annihilated by knowledge, the Supreme God shines through their inner being like a brilliant Sun (Verse 16)

Meditate to Control your Senses

Blocking out sense objects, focussing on space between the eyebrows, equalizing the coming and going of breadth in the nostrils, the wise control their senses, mind and intellect and become free from fear, anger and desire (Verse 27 and 28)

Total Verses in this Chapter: 29

Words of Import:

I, me, Absolute Truth, Supreme Being, God, Divine Realization, Universal Consciousness, Brahman, Divine, Shri Krishna – are all used interchangeably.


has a symbolic as well as a literal meaning. Literally it means a ritual where offerings are made to fire, hymns are chanted and deities are invoked for fulfillment of personal or community desires; or to thank God or to seek God’s blessings. Symbolically, Yagna signifies that we have to do our part (offering/action) in other to obtain something (blessing or fulfillment), with the latter not being guaranteed.


refers to our duty as it does to the intent behind our actions. According to Hinduism, every living being has their own personal dharma which may or may not be the same as of others. This dharma is based on one’s situation or circumstance in life.


is action as well as the result of the action. Its meaning depends on its context.


The word “Yog” is derived from a Sanskrit word “Yuj” which means to join. In Hindu scriptures, yoga means joining or uniting the soul within the individual with that of the universal soul (God). The common usage of yoga as physical exercise is just a subset of the practice of Yoga, which includes disciplines of meditation and mode of conduct among others. It is believed that practice of all these disciplines make a person ready for unification with the Supreme Being.


is liberation from the cycle of birth and death.


“Bhagavad Gita As It Is” by Swami Prabhupada

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