One of the most profound verses of Gita comes in the 18th chapter. That one shlok, quite easily overlooked (I did when I first read GIta), conveys the entire gist of the Karma theory and Dharma.
Gita has ~700 shlokas. After delivering a counselling session of about 684 shlokas, that was to guide humanity over coming 1000s of years, Krishna tells Arjun in the 685th shloka
इति ते ज्ञानमाख्यातं गुह्याद्गुह्यतरं मया
विमृश्यैतदशेषेण यथेच्छसि तथा कुरु।।18.63।।
“I have told you that you should need to know, now think about it, and do as you wish”
The significance of this came to me not long ago. Krishna seems to be saying – Arjun, all I can do is guide you but I cannot own your action, nor your destiny. Nobody will come to enjoy the fruits of your action, neither will any prophet or son of God come to suffer your sins. You got to do that, yourself. Not impulsively, get to know, what you need to know, think through, contemplate, but then find your path, find your destiny.
A Guru can only guide and light our path, the best of sportsmen/women can teach us a trick or two from their vast treasure of experience but walking on that path (or any other), going out and playing on the field, is our own prerogative. No one, not even who we choose to call God, can do it for us. And as we own our actions, we also own our decisions. There is no Dos and Don’ts list to blindly follow. Can’t be. Our Dharma is for us to realise and hence it is also for us to make that customized list of Dos and Don’ts for our ownselves and not to shove it down through others throats.
“Do as you wish” he says. What he is not saying is of even more significance – he is not saying “I am God hence you have to do as I say or you will rot in hell”. This coming (rather not coming) from who we call God, the bestest of Man (Purushottam) – Wow!
Do note: The above assumes basic level of understanding of universal values and purity of intentions. It is no way promoting a carefree, over indulgent living. The initial part of Gita is all about controlling of senses and moderation of sensual pleasure (indriya vijay). That said, if one is hell bent on indulgence, he/she is surely free to choose that path and be ready to face consequences, they will follow too. What one can choose are his/her action, what one can’t choose are consequences. “कर्मणये वाधिकारस्ते मां फलेषु कदाचन”
That is what Karmic theory is all about.
ॐ शान्तिः ||