A little progress

In the ancient Sanskrit classic, Bhagavad Gita, as Krishna continues to instruct Arjuna on the battlefield, he specifies the benefit of performing duties without expectation of rewards:

nehābhikrama-nāśho ’sti pratyavāyo na vidyate
svalpam apyasya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt

This can be roughly translated to:

Working in this state of consciousness, there is no loss or adverse result, and even a little effort saves one from great danger.

– Bhagavad Gita 2.40

The last line appears to be interesting and significant: “svalpam apyasya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt” : even a little progress in this dharma can save one from the greatest danger.

There is similar advice from the ancient philosopher, Adi Shankara, who suggests that reading even a little bit of the Bhagavad Gita (along with doing other minimal things) is good:

bhagavad giitaa kijnchidadhiitaa
gangaa jalalava kanikaapiitaa
sakridapi yena muraari samarchaa
kriyate tasya yamena na charchaa

This can be roughly translated to:

If one reads but a little from the Bhagavad Gita
Drinks but a drop from the holy River Ganga
Worships but once Lord Murari (Krishna) he then
Will need no confrontation, with the lord of death, Yama

– Bhaja Govindam 20

These above ideas are captured by the ancient Indian idea of samskara, which means the impression left on the mind from life experiences. There is thus a traditional emphasis to impart samskaras in accordance with dharma on the mind from a young age. The idea being that even minimal exposure to wisdom goes a long way.