Following is an excerpt from an Audio Class on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 – Verse 17-26.
In this section Krishna talks about, how one has to act if he is pure or does not have any duties to perform, just to set an example for those who doesn’t want to do otherwise. Even if you are self-realized, you still have to perform your duties, not out of attachment or to purify but to set an example. There is no duty to be performed but still one has to do these duties. This is what Krishna says and the reason why Krishna wants us to perform our duty is because one has to set an example and inspire others, for self-purification and this should be because one is attached to Krishna.
So whatever a great man does, a common man follows. Therefore it’s a responsibility for a great man to perform duties properly. If you are emotionally attached to Krishna, then you will perform your duties very nicely and others will be inspired by you. But if you’re artificially detached and if you only doing your duty without performing ‘Karma Yoga’ then you will become ‘attached’ to material desires. So Krishna is telling you to become “Acharya” to set a proper example for others.
Here Krishna says that you should not make people stop doing their work but to let them work in the spirit of devotion. Now a very important point of leadership principle which will actually help you tremendously in your life, not just in your spiritual life, but in your jobs and at home and this is the principle of being centered on Krishna. We all are centered on somebody and something and we may know it or we may not know it. Being Centered means there is something which is moving us in our life, there is something which is propelling us to do something in life again some of us are aware of it and some of us are not aware of it, therefore is one center which motivates us to do what we are doing in life.
If somebody is into stock exchange and working in stock market all his day and night, thinking about stock prices and stock market every time of his life then that person is centered around Stock exchange but when the stock market crashes the person becomes depressed.
So when we are centered on something and that thing is doing good then we are happy. But when it doesn’t go well, we are unhappy. The point is that anything material that we are centered on has to be separated from us. Either we should separate us from it or it should be separated from us as it all becomes miserable because our center is wrong.
So one has to ask oneself “what is my center?” Basically our priority determines what is our center and how do we react in provocative situations, will reveal our Center. So in third chapter Krishna is telling Arjuna to center on attachment to Krishna because everything in this material world changes but your Principles never change. We have to realign ourselves from temporary centers which will break in a certain period of time to the center which will never change and that is our Principles.
The conclusion is we all have a center and if we center around Krishna, if we raise our soul closer to Krishna then in our provocative situation like when we get insulted, humiliated, when our money is taken away from us or our loved one dies, when things go against us in life we still be peaceful.