Swadharma and Swakarma

The Gita starts with the fundamental position that svabham, or a man's individual nature, svakarma, or the task appointed by his nature, and swadharma, or the law of his being, or his own characteristic Truth or Duty, are inalienable and sacred for him. The individual nature of a man is, therefore, the basis of his personality; the only centre of dynamic power which he possesses. By this emphasis Sri Krishna places human personality on a firm foundation. It is a thing of absolute and intrinsic value, which must at all times command man's loyalty. This loyalty is therefore a Dharma; not a means to an end, but an end in itself. It is neither derivative nor feasible.

Human personality as an end in itself was recognised by the ancient Greeks and by Christ. To some extent it underlies the doctrine of modem democracy with its emphasis on political liberty and that rule of law which, in democratic countries, provides a basis for modem jurisprudence. But the Gita makes it the pivot of life. From my individual nature springs my characteristic activities; only in pursuing these activities can I find my Truth; Such Truth alone will bring me to Him; and it is only then that the individual personality becomes universal, not before.

The Gita throughout continues the emphasis on individual natures. It classifies them. It probes into the conditions on which their distinctiveness rests. It also provides a scheme of training and of social synthesis by which every nature can rise higher. By this means is the pathway of Yoga opened to everybody.