Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 3 verse 8: Do your natural duty! Act, for action is indeed superior to inaction. Even the maintenance of your body would not be possible without action.
'Do your natural duty!' This is the kernel of Krishna's teaching on karma yoga. Know this and ‘All the Vedas are of no more use than is a small well in a place flooded with water on all sides’ (2.46).
Along the householder's path (3.03) selflessly serving other's desires is the raison d’etre for performing natural duty; evolution is the reward. Serving those we honor and love comes naturally, effortlessly and without obstacles (2.40). It's what we do. Self purifying, our right and comfortable actions enhance harmony between quiet inner awareness and outer activity (2.47). Intellect becomes established in Self (2.57). The Self comes to life: content deep within, desires and actions take care of themselves on the surface level of the mind. This is the practice of karma yoga lovingly bundled up in the householder's 'natural duty': actions out of love and devotion fulfill one's dharma (2.40) and serve the cosmic purpose of evolution to the highest levels of spiritual and material wellbeing for all. Natural duty is the path of action by which the householder reaches 'the highest good' (3.02).
‘Act, for action is indeed superior to inaction.’ Choose the vertical plane. ‘Do your natural duty:’ act to serve the desires of those you honor and love. Innocently renounce your own desires, break the cycle of impression-desire-action at the level of desire and free yourself from bondage to action (2.45). Liberated, achieve skill in action and readily reach material and spiritual goals (2.50). Or rather, choose 'inaction' on the horizontal plane; choose lethargy, idleness, dullness, and the confusion inaction engenders.
‘Even the maintenance of your body would not be possible without action.’ Although self-evident, this sentiment underscores the notion that taking action is necessary to survive. Like it or not we have to act to be. We might as well put inevitable-action to it’s highest purpose. 'Do your natural duty.' Serve the desires of those you honor and love and so, step along your path of dharma and evolve.
copyright commentary Keith R Parker 2021