Bhagavadgeetā repeatedly highlights the role of self-effort and discipline in attaining fulfillment in life (verses 6.5, 3.34, 2.64).
Right from birth, we are slave to our attraction and repulsion (rāgadveṣa) towards worldly objects and situations. The senses are tied to the external objects and objective situations. The mind is driven by the attraction and repulsion of the senses, and also by its own desires relating to our position and status in the external world. The intelligence analyzes and decides, driven by the desires of the mind. So, the whole personality becomes slave to the outer world.
Bhagavadgeetā says that the way to freedom is to reverse this order of control (verses 3.42 & 43). Tie the intelligence to your true identity – the one universal Soul. Awareness of this identity will free the intelligence from the constrictions of partial vision tainted by ‘me & mine’. Led by the free intelligence, the mind will be able to overcome its clinging to constricted selfish vision produced by preference and prejudice. Employed by such a free mind, the senses will do whatever is ultimately auspicious for oneself as well as the society.
Although we may not have a clear understanding of the Soul, its voice is there in everybody as the “inner voice”, because it is our real identity. Being under the spell of external attraction and repulsion, we don’t heed this voice.