The Mahabharatha, which is one of the two "Itihasa" texts among Hindu Scriptures,is a work by Sri Vyasa.

It also contains the "Bhagawat Gita"(BG), the discourse given by Lord Krishna to Arjuna during the onset of the battle of Kurukshetra.

Bhagawat Gita is quite popular among the users on this site and many answers cite its verses.Even the users,who say that "the Puranas are work of men",do not hesitate quoting from the BG,despite the fact ,that all major Puranas and the BG are works of the same Sri Vyasa.

The following is one such famous verse which says: 1)

śreyān sva-dharmo viguṇaḥ para-dharmāt sv-anuṣṭhitāt sva-dharme nidhanaḿ śreyaḥ para-dharmo bhayāvahaḥ


It is far better to discharge one’s prescribed duties, even though faultily, than another’s duties perfectly. Destruction in the course of performing one’s own duty is better than engaging in another’s duties, for to follow another’s path is dangerous.


And the core message or one of Gita's essence is the doctrine of "Nishkama Karma".That is doing karma without having attachments to the fruits(Karmaphala).

This kind of karma is considered the best among all kinds and is said to grant liberation(moksha).

Question-Are there verses in other major Hindu texts(like Srutis,Puranas,Smritis etc) similar in purport with the verses& messages given above?

  • May be related Is Bhagavad Gita text Shruti or Smriti?.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Nov 6, 2016 at 7:44
  • How can bHagwat Gita be Sruti????
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 6, 2016 at 7:49
  • Hindu Shatras clearly differentiates between Sruti(vEdas,),Vedangas(like Kalpa etc) Smritis ,Puranas and Itihasas .Among all these Vedas (sruti) are of the highest authority.all the remaining are having secondary importances only.But they are all important none the less.
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 6, 2016 at 7:55
  • @TheDestroyer More related to my this post is a@Tezz's post that talks about similar verses from the Devi mahatyam & the BG.
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 6, 2016 at 11:23
  • 1
    Reason for the downvote???
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 8:55

3 Answers 3


Bhagavata Purana talks about following one's own Dharma in SB 3.28.2.

sva-dharmācaraṇaṁ śaktyā

vidharmāc ca nivartanam

daivāl labdhena santoṣa


One should execute his prescribed duties to the best of his ability and avoid performing duties not allotted to him. One should be satisfied with as much gain as he achieves by the grace of the Lord, and one should worship the lotus feet of a spiritual master.

Also, Nishkama Karma is described in SB 11.3.46.

vedoktam eva kurvāṇo

niḥsaṅgo ’rpitam īśvare

naiṣkarmyaṁ labhate siddhiṁ

rocanārthā phala-śrutiḥ

By executing without attachment the regulated activities prescribed in the Vedas, offering the results of such work to the Supreme Lord, one attains the perfection of freedom from the bondage of material work. The material fruitive results offered in the revealed scriptures are not the actual goal of Vedic knowledge, but are meant for stimulating the interest of the performer.

Devi Bhagavata Purana, Ninth Book, Chapter XXIX talks about both, following Sva-Dharma and Nishkama Karma.

ये विप्रा अन्यदेवेज्याः स्वधर्मनिरताः सति । ते यांति सर्पलोकं च पुनरायांति भारते । 36 ॥

हरिभक्ताश्च निष्कामाः स्वधर्मनिरता द्विजाः । ते यांति च हरेलॉक क्रमाद्रतिबलादही । 37 ॥

स्वधर्मरहिता विप्रा देवान्यसेवनाः सदा । भ्रष्टाचाराश्व कामाश्च ते यांति नरकं ध्रुवम्। 38 ॥

स्वधर्मनिरता एव वर्णाश्चत्वार एव च । भवंत्येव शुभस्यैव कर्मणः फलभोगिनः ॥ 39 ॥

स्वकर्मरहिता ये च नरकं यांति ते ध्रुवम्। भारते न भवंत्येव कर्मणाः फलभोगिनः ॥ 4o ॥

Those Brâhmanas that worship the other Devas and attached to their own Dharmas go to those regions of theirs respectively and again come to Bhârata. Attached to their own Dharmas, the Niskâmî Bhaktas of Hari go by their Bhakti step by step to the region of S’rî Hari. Those that are not attached to their own Dharmas and do not worship the Devas and always bent on doing things as they like without any regard to their Âchâras go certainly to hells. No doubt in this. The Brâhmanas and the other three Varnas, attached to their own Dharmas all enjoy the fruits of their good works. But those who do not do their Svadharma, go verily down into hells. They do not came to Bhârata for their rebirth, they enjoy their fruits of Karmas in hells!

  • 1
    @Rickross Thanks. Added original verses from Devi Bhagavatam now. Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 9:00
  • 1
    Devi bhagavatam is saying that lord Vishnu lord Shiva as karma while they have Karma how can they remove me from Karma • Devi bhagavatam : 4 book : 2 chapter : 8-9 slokas • Devi bhagavatam : 6 book : 10 chapter : 15-18 slokas Commented Sep 26, 2020 at 12:07

When Uddhava asked Shree Krishna about characteristics of men who are bounded ,free and who are devotees.Lord krishna given uddhava similar answers as given to arjuna in Bhagvat Gita. We can find that conversation in Shreemad Bhagvat Purana.

इन्द्रियैरिनिन्द्रियार्थेषु गुणैरपि गुणेषु च । गृह्यमाणेष्व हं कुर्यान्न विद्वान यस्त्वविक्रिय:।।9।।

Meaning - Indriyas are like diseases of "Gunas" and material desires are also same. So with Nirvikar or Nishkama , a learned men should understood that ,material desires is interaction between various Indriyas.

Shrimad Bhagvat Skanda / Adahya 11 , shloka 9

यादनीशो धरायितुं मनो ब्रह्मणि निश्र्चलम । मयि सर्वाणि कर्माणि निरपेक्ष: समाचर।।22।।

Meaning- If you are unable to concentrate your mind on me , then do all your work as "Nirapeksha (निरपेक्ष) for me.

Shrimad Bhagvat Skanda / Adahya 11 , shloka 22

निवृतं कर्म सेवेत प्रवृत्तं मत्परस्यजेत । जिज्ञासायाम संप्रवृत्तो नाद्रियेत कर्मचोदनाम।।4।।

Meaning- A man who is devotee of Ishwara , should follow his daily duties.Never to do "Sakam Karma" ( or work with expectations) . When he will try to aquire "Atmagyan" (आत्मज्ञान or knowladge of self), then even he shouldn't care much about daily duties also.This verse tells us about "Pravrutta and Nivrutta karma"

Shrimad Bhagvat Skanda 11 / Adahya 10 , shloka 4

  • @Rickross - Will add the similar shlokas from other texts in time for now have given the answer based on "Shreemad Bhagvat Purana" Commented Nov 6, 2016 at 14:04
  • Ok upvoted but do add replicas of the first verse in my question as well.
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 4:43
  • @Rickross - Thanks , i will also try and to add verses from that :) Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 6:24

I am answering my own question based on the Manu Smriti ,the first of its kind among Hindu texts. Note that while the Mahabhratha depicts the events of the Dwapara Yuga, the Manu Smriti existed since Krita, the first among Yugas.

The following verse,is saying exactly the same thing as verse 1 given in the question:

10.97.Varam swadharmo Viguno Na Paarakya Swanustitha|Paradharmena Jeevan hi Saddyah Patati Jaatitaha- It is better (to discharge) one’s own (appointed) duty incompletely than to perform completely that of another; for he who lives according to the law of another (caste) is instantly excluded from his own. enter image description here

The context above is of how the various duties are to be performed by the four varnas in times of distress(i.e when they are not being able to perform their respective prescribed duties properly).

And,the concept of "Nishkama Karma" is described in the next verses.The Manu Smriti talks about two kinds of karmas viz:Pravritta & 2)Nivritta(which is Nishkama Karma in BG).

12.88. The acts prescribed by the Veda are of two kinds, such as procure an increase of happiness and cause a continuation (of mundane existence, pravritta), and such as ensure supreme bliss and cause a cessation (of mundane existence, nivritta).

12.89. Acts which secure (the fulfilment of) wishes in this world or in the next are called pravritta (such as cause a continuation of mundane existence); but acts performed without any desire (for a reward), preceded by (the acquisition) of (true) knowledge, are declared to be nivritta (such as cause the cessation of mundane existence).

enter image description here

So,exactly the same message as given by Lord Krishna to Arjuna on the battlefield.

Expecting more answers from other users based on other texts like the Puranas etc.


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