Duty/Action

Thirukural describes the way to perform one’s duty in life. Performing the right actions and shunning wrong actions brings freedom from sins and leads to liberation. This is revealed in Bhagavad Gita. True to this statement, Thirukural has several chapters on Duty/Action to guide men on the path of rightful action. In addition, duty as an individual (householder, father, mother, son etc) and duty as a citizen of the community or country is neatly portrayed in Thirukural.

The following are discussed in this section -

• Not forgetting the Duty

• Mode of action

• Purity in action

• Firmness/Resoluteness in action

• Not being lazy (Avoiding laziness)

Not forgetting the Duty

Doing one’s own duty is nothing but serving the God. Forgetting one’s own duty is worse than anger. And it spoils the name and fame of the doer. The wise people says forgetful men can never achieve their targeted glory and fame. Fortune can never come to the doors of forgetful men. People who are doing their duty in time, protect themselves from the evils. Alertness and carefulness in doing duty is in comparable. If a duty is performed with concentration, it is easy to accomplish the task. When our work of excellence is not recognized and appreciated by the learned men it is useless. People with over whelming joy forget their duty and ultimately destroy themselves. Hence one should tune their mind according to target and act as per plan which will help to reach that target.

Mode of action

If a decision is taken after analyzing the pros and cons, execution should not be delayed. The delay should be done only in certain actions which need to be delayed. We have to complete the tasks, whenever possible or make a plan to complete the action in right time and place. The work that is not completed can be compared to fire which is not extinguished completely that may cause destruction. One should plan properly and find out the resources, ways, time, place etc. before proceeding to an action. And it is necessary to assess the mode of completion, obstacles, profit and loss, before entering to an action. The best ways to accomplish a task are: to learn techniques from the experienced people and using the previous experience which is gained by doing similar action. Just like a trained elephant is used to get another elephant and so on. It is preferred to make friendship with enemies and seek peace from them for survival rather than fighting.

Purity in action

Good actions of man fulfils his desires in right manner, just like the friendship with good men brings happiness. The acts which will not help to bring glory and fame should be dispensed undoubtedly. One who want to earn fame and glory in future should work accordingly. Avoid misdeeds which may affect in future even during the hour of need. One should not do unhappy things which he may repent later, if one does such mistakes out of ignorance he should not repeat that mistake again.

The bad deeds are not accepted by the great people. The men who do the forbidden acts of learned men, may temporarily gain but finally they will lose. Earning wealth in illegal ways is not acceptable under any circumstances. Poverty is a better than such wealth. The wealth earned by putting others in difficulties, will not lost long. Wealth earned in wrong ways can be compared to water stored in unbaked clay pot. If wealth is earned through pure and right actions, it will stay for long and gives happiness.

Firmness/Resoluteness in action

The ability of doing work with determination can be called as firmness of action. Firm minded people with their strength can clear the obstacles in their way to achieve their targets. The result or yield of any work is disclosed only on the completion of that work but not in the midst or in the half way. Because of this view the strong minded people do not look back till completion of their task. They always practice what they preach. Men of action will achieve their targets, without obstructions. Physical appearance of a person is not important but firmness of mind is very important to accomplish set out targets.

Attentiveness, timely action, boldness and firmness in action are important to become a strong person. The world will give respect to such strong minded people.

Not being lazy

Laziness of a person makes his entire family drowned into darkness. Hence the inactiveness need to be given up for the prestige of the family. A lazy person due to his idleness not only ruins himself but also destroys his family’s future, increases his sins and family’s problems before his death. Exorbitant delay, losing remembrance, lack of concentration, continuous sleep, laziness are the basic reasons for greediness and hurdles in the personal development. The lazy people sometimes may derive the comforts in their life but they are not permanent and progressive. Those who love inactiveness, lacking noble efforts face unhappy situations in their life. A man who hails from a noble family, resorts to laziness leaving his nobility behind will become a slave to his enemy. Avoiding laziness makes a man to regain his own and his family’s name, fame and prestige. A king (administrator/leader) who is not lazy will get all the gains of the world by the Grace of God. It means that the God will also help a person who is not lazy.

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