--> Skip to main content

A Man Who Shuns His Duty Comes To Ruin – Hinduism Teaching

In Hinduism, the concept of duty, or dharma, is central to its teachings and philosophy. Dharma encompasses the ethical and moral duties that an individual must follow according to their position in life, which can include their role in the family, society, and the larger cosmic order. The idea that a person who shuns their duty comes to ruin is deeply embedded in Hindu scriptures and teachings.

Key Concepts and Scriptures

Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most important texts in Hinduism that elaborates on the concept of dharma. In the Gita, Lord Krishna advises Prince Arjuna about his duty as a warrior. Arjuna is hesitant to go into battle against his own kin, but Krishna explains that it is his dharma as a Kshatriya (warrior class) to fight for righteousness.

Bhagavad Gita 2.47: "Your right is to perform your duty only, but never to its fruits. Let not the fruits of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction."

Bhagavad Gita 3.8: "You should perform your prescribed duty, for doing so is better than not working. One cannot even maintain one’s physical body without work."

These verses emphasize the importance of performing one's duty without attachment to the results. Shunning one's duty is seen as an abandonment of one's responsibilities, which can lead to personal and societal disorder.


The epic Ramayana tells the story of Lord Rama, who is considered the epitome of dharma. Throughout the epic, Rama consistently follows his dharma, even when faced with personal loss and hardship. His commitment to his duty as a son, husband, and king is a model for adherents to follow.

Mahabharata: The Mahabharata, which includes the Bhagavad Gita, is another epic that highlights the importance of dharma. Characters who abandon their dharma face dire consequences. For instance, the decline of the Kauravas is attributed to their adharma (unrighteous actions) and neglect of moral duty.

Consequences of Shunning Dharma

Spiritual Consequences: Neglecting one's dharma can lead to spiritual downfall. In Hinduism, living according to dharma is essential for spiritual progress and achieving moksha (liberation from the cycle of birth and death).

Social Disorder: When individuals neglect their duties, it can lead to chaos and disorder in society. Each person's duty contributes to the harmony and balance of the social structure.

Personal Ruin: On a personal level, abandoning one’s duty can result in guilt, shame, and a sense of unfulfillment. It can also lead to material and emotional difficulties.

Practical Implications

In practical terms, the teaching that a person who shuns their duty comes to ruin encourages individuals to understand and fulfill their responsibilities diligently. Whether it's in the context of family, work, or society, adhering to one's dharma is seen as a path to personal integrity, societal harmony, and spiritual growth.

The concept of duty in Hinduism underscores the belief that every individual has a role to play in the cosmic order. By performing one’s dharma, a person contributes to the greater good and aligns themselves with the natural order of the universe. Conversely, shunning one’s duty leads to personal and societal imbalance, ultimately resulting in ruin. This teaching serves as a moral and ethical guideline for adherents to follow throughout their lives.