BhagavadGita fundamentally says that humans should do their "prescribed duties" with purified intellect, abandoning attachment to the fruits of their works, and dedicating them to God.

My question is what does "prescribed duties" mean? How do I differentiate between prescribed duties and unprescribed duties?

Some example situation: Suppose one of my good friend ask for help but due to the busy nature of my work, I am not able to help him. Am I not doing my prescribed duty.

There are lot of similar situation when I get confused.

Can somebody throw some light on the matter?


  • The goal of Dharma/Law/Religion is to develop Satva(out of 3 gunas) in every person in long term because God itself is Satva(truth) when it manifests. BG 16.1 – 16.3 O scion of Bharat, these are the saintly virtues of those endowed with a divine nature—fearlessness, purity of mind, steadfastness in spiritual knowledge, charity, control of the senses, performance of sacrifice, study of the sacred books, austerity, and straightforwardness; non-violence, truthfulness, absence of anger, renunciation, peacefulness, restraint from fault-finding, compassion toward all living beings,
    – user16530
    Oct 15, 2019 at 10:01
  • absence of covetousness, gentleness, modesty, and lack of fickleness; vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, bearing enmity toward none, and absence of vanity. Not helping a friend is ok, but lying for the reason for not helping, getting angry in the conversation is adharma, cheating others for monetary gains in some kind of work is again adharma.
    – user16530
    Oct 15, 2019 at 10:07
  • 2
    Simple. As a student, your duty is to finish education well not desire it. As a son, you should be good for ur parents. As a student, be respectful to your teacher . and be comitted to whatever tasks teacher gives finish it off in truthful way with sincerity and devotion. As a husband, love and take care of ur wife till last breath. As a father, give your child knowledge of life. As a devotee of God, live the life as an offering for him. Oct 15, 2019 at 18:23


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