Remember our discussion on verse 35 from the Gita? One of those often misunderstood shlokas. Why should I do my own duty badly when I can do someone else’s well?
Surely you remember. They key is to understand one’s duty well.
The word in Sanskrit, is swadharma. This too comes a summation of dharma and swabhava. Dharma we know, duty, which for human beings is to attain moksha. Swabhava is our internal innate quality. Whatever we naturally gravitate towards.
Here’s a nice story that drives home the point. A watchman sees his building owner leaving for the airport. He immediately warns the owner not to take the flight that day. Why? Because in his afternoon siesta, the watchman saw a dream that the flight would meet with an accident. The building owner heeds his watchman’s prophetic advice and stays home. A few hours later, indeed the flight meets with a fatal accident. The watchman is elated, thinking that he will now be showered with gifts from the owner. The owner comes up to him, thanks him profusely, but also does not give the watchman any money. Instead, he tells the watchman, that he needs to do his duty more alertly, instead of sleeping in the afternoon on his watch!
This story is just for fun, not for nitpicking, but it underscores the importance of sticking to our swadharma in the long run.