Chapter 2 Verse 15 – Samkhya Yoga

Sloka

Atha chettwam imam dharmyam samgraamam na karishyasi;
Tatah swadharmam keertim cha hitwaa paapam avaapsyasi.

Translation

But, if thou will not fight in this righteous war, then,
having abandoned your duty and fame, thou shall incur sin.

Interpretation

Continuing from his remarks to Arjuna that the way to heaven for a Kshatriya is to fight a righteous war, in this verse he continues to talk about the righteous war. He says that if you will not fight this righteous war, then it will be viewed as a sin. That means fighting the war is his duty and fame and if he abandons the war it will be seen as a sinful act.

Extending the interpretation to Mankind’s life!

This verse of Lord Krishna talks about what is a sin? People have a different perceptions of sin. If you don’t go to temple when you were asked to go, it is seen as sin. If you perform an act that is socially unacceptable, it is a sin. If you do not follow the customs and traditions laid out by the society then it is a sin. The word sin is used in everything that is against the societal norm. Who defines the sin? If you marry someone who is outside your caste, you will be viewed as sinner and banished from the house. Is it sin? It is not. No God or scriptures have ever described about the kind of person you should marry. So sins are different from what they perceive them to be.

Then Why are so many definitions of sins given? Sin is used to protect an individual from committing something which is not acceptable to the majority. But that is a wrong perception. The word sin is used to scare us and prevent us from doing something that society does not want us to do. But that is not the sin. According to Bhagadvad Gita and Lord Krishna, failing to discharge the duties assigned to you, either by yourself or by the virtue of your dharma is the sin. This is the only sin, and all others are mere definitions created by individuals. Everyone needs to understand this truth.