Chapter 3, V35 – “Your own duty done imperfectly is better than another man’s done well. It is better to die in one’s own duty; another man’s duty is perilous.”
When reading this verse I remind myself that the English word “duty” is not the equivalent of the Sanskrit “dharma”. However, “dharma” here does not equate to a religion, but better as in performing religiously my duty in life. That is with ardor and commitment accept and perform my duty. What I am unclear about is what “another” man is Lord Krishna referring to. If Arjuna were to follow the path of inaction, he would not be performing his duty or dharma. That duty, the duty of fighting the battle, even if performed imperfectly would be better than what “another” man’s done well. Dying in battle, Arjuna would still be performing his duty for himself, friend, family and foe. He will find immorality and be reunited with Lord Krishna. Yet, what other man’s duty would be perilous. Perhaps if Arjuna chose inaction and did not return to his dharma of protecting his family, friends and rightful kingdom in a righteous battle with his foes, while his foes performed their duties well, it would become perilous for his family, friend and kingdom. It would be the ruin of himself, family, friend and kingdom. Therefore Lord Krishna urges him to fight the battle and return to the path leading back to the Lord. Writing my thoughts out have led me to a better understanding of Krishna’s message. Stay steadfast in the face of challenges and perform my dharma. How sweet is the word of the Lord!