Myths around Law of Karma, and the difference between duty and Dharma || O.P. Jindal University (2021)

August 16, 2022 | Acharya Prashant

Questioner (Q): How to distinguish between kartavya and Dharma? Can you give a quick distinction between the two?

Acharya Prashant (AP): You see, when you do not really know what to do, when you are not in direct touch with Krishna, Brahman, Ātman, Satya, then you need to be given duties and responsibilities. So, kartavya is only for those who do not know Dharma. Once you have the desire, the intention to be in direct contact with the Truth, then kartavya is actually an obstruction.

Seven or eight years back, I was conducting this course on the Bhagavad Gita, and there is one video from there and it is titled Kartavya saja hai nasamjhi ki (duty is the punishment for lack of understanding). Because you are not wise enough, you do not understand things, therefore you are given duties and responsibilities. And it is good that you be given duties and responsibilities because you anyway do not understand. So, to help you, some code of responsibility is handed over to you and you are told to live by it, abide by it.

But then comes a point, as had come in the life of Arjuna, when you choose to be in direct contact with Krishna,


Acharya Prashant is an emerging champion of socio-spiritual awakening in the world today. An alumnus of IIT-Delhi and IIM-Ahmedabad, and a former Civil Services officer, Acharya Prashant is an acclaimed Speaker, Vedanta Teacher and author of over 50 books. Apart from that he wears various hats: a veganism promoter, an environmental activist, a science activist, a campaigner against superstition, and a champion of essential human freedom. Know More