Bhagavad Gita Course
Seeking Guidance on Aligning Occupation with Guna Composition
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Hello everyone,


I'm currently enrolled in the Bhagavad Gita online course and have been reflecting deeply on its teachings, particularly regarding the concept of the three gunas (sattva, rajas, and tamas) and their influence on our nature and actions. I'm intrigued by how these teachings apply to our modern choices, especially in selecting a suitable occupation.


In Chapter 18, verses 41-44, the Gita outlines the duties of the different varnas (classes) based on the predominance of gunas. This got me thinking about the contemporary relevance of these teachings. In today's world, where the notion of 'free choice' in careers is prevalent, how do we reconcile this with the Gita's guidance on aligning our occupation with our inherent guna composition?


Additionally, I'm curious about how the Gita addresses the concept of vasanas (subtle impressions of past actions and experiences) and their depletion through following one's swadharma (own duty). How does this align with the idea of pursuing an occupation that might not traditionally align with our guna composition but feels personally fulfilling?


I would greatly appreciate any insights or interpretations from the course materials or your personal studies on how we can apply these teachings to find a fulfilling occupation in today's context, where there is often a mismatch between our inherent nature and our chosen profession.


Thank you for your guidance.


Hello everyone, I'm currently enrolled in the Bhagavad Gita online course and have been reflecting deeply on its teachings, particularly regarding the concept of the three gunas (sattva, rajas, and tamas) and their influence on our nature and actions. I'm intrigued by how these teachings apply to our modern choices, especially in selecting a suitable occupation. In Chapter 18, verses 41-44, the Gita outlines the duties of the different varnas (classes) based on the predominance of gunas. This got me thinking about the contemporary relevance of these teachings. In today's world, where the notion of 'free choice' in careers is prevalent, how do we reconcile this with the Gita's guidance on aligning our occupation with our inherent guna composition? Additionally, I'm curious about how the Gita addresses the concept of vasanas (subtle impressions of past actions and experiences) and their depletion through following one's swadharma (own duty). How does this align with the idea of pursuing an occupation that might not traditionally align with our guna composition but feels personally fulfilling? I would greatly appreciate any insights or interpretations from the course materials or your personal studies on how we can apply these teachings to find a fulfilling occupation in today's context, where there is often a mismatch between our inherent nature and our chosen profession. Thank you for your guidance.

I feel gunas play a great part picking a career.
I can just give you, my example. Originally, I was a chemist then worked in the bank industry even though I worked well was paid well but I never enjoyed it. Much later in life, I went to school and became a physical therapist and I truly enjoy the profession. Not only that, as a therapist, I tried working with kids, ortho, neuro etc etc and I loved working with elderly population. I'm close to 65 now and am still enjoying.
I don't get paid much. In fact, had many pay cuts, more work. Quite a few of my colleagues have left the profession but I am still doing it because I truly love it. I need the money, but I would be fine retiring anytime.
But I think being a therapist was my calling and I attribute it to my latent gunas .


I feel gunas play a great part picking a career. I can just give you, my example. Originally, I was a chemist then worked in the bank industry even though I worked well was paid well but I never enjoyed it. Much later in life, I went to school and became a physical therapist and I truly enjoy the profession. Not only that, as a therapist, I tried working with kids, ortho, neuro etc etc and I loved working with elderly population. I'm close to 65 now and am still enjoying. I don't get paid much. In fact, had many pay cuts, more work. Quite a few of my colleagues have left the profession but I am still doing it because I truly love it. I need the money, but I would be fine retiring anytime. But I think being a therapist was my calling and I attribute it to my latent gunas .

Hari Om!


Even Arjuna wanted to take up Sannyasa (renunciation), instead of taking up his duty of a soldier that is aligned to his Vasanas. He asks this to the Lord in Chapter 3 due to which Lord explains Karma Yoga.


In essence, if he had taken up Sannyasa, his Vasanas of having the urge to fight would not be exhausted. Besides, he would have gained Vasanas related to Sannyasa that he would not be able to pursue (refer verse 4)


So, if material prosperity is the goal, perhaps taking up something not aligned to Vasanas might work. If spiritual progress is the goal, then one must take up occupations aligned to one's swadharma.


In Chapter 3, around verse 35, Lord also says
Better is one's own duty than the duty of another well discharged. Better is death in one's own duty, for the duty of another is fraught with fear.


So, best to align to one's swadharma.


Hari Om! Even Arjuna wanted to take up Sannyasa (renunciation), instead of taking up his duty of a soldier that is aligned to his Vasanas. He asks this to the Lord in Chapter 3 due to which Lord explains Karma Yoga. In essence, if he had taken up Sannyasa, his Vasanas of having the urge to fight would not be exhausted. Besides, he would have gained Vasanas related to Sannyasa that he would not be able to pursue (refer verse 4) So, if material prosperity is the goal, perhaps taking up something not aligned to Vasanas might work. If spiritual progress is the goal, then one must take up occupations aligned to one's swadharma. In Chapter 3, around verse 35, Lord also says Better is one's own duty than the duty of another well discharged. Better is death in one's own duty, for the duty of another is fraught with fear. So, best to align to one's swadharma.
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