The obligations due to an elder are not the ordinary "obedience" which has always existed in our Russian monasteries.
The obligation involves confession to the elder by all who have submitted themselves to him, and to the indissoluble bond between him and them.
It must be noted that Alyosha was bound by no obligation and could go where he pleased and be absent for whole days.
When he was engaged in his official duties, he always became extraordinarily grave, as though realizing his position and the sanctity of the obligations laid upon him.
Nikolay Parfenovitch suddenly got up, and informed Mitya firmly that it was his duty and obligation to conduct a minute and thorough search "of your clothes and everything else…."
But only for a minute, and though it reminded him of something that must not be put off for a moment, some duty, some terrible obligation, even that reminder made no impression on him, did not reach his heart and instantly faded out of his mind and was forgotten.
He will be horror-stricken; he will be crushed by remorse and the vast obligation laid upon him henceforth.
In the sphere of actual life, which has, indeed, its own rights, but also lays upon us great duties and obligations, in that sphere, if we want to be humane—Christian, in fact—we must, or ought to, act only upon convictions justified by reason and experience, which have been passed through the crucible of analysis; in a word, we must act rationally, and not as though in dream and delirium, that we may not do harm, that we may not ill-treat and ruin a man.
There are no more uses of "obligation" in the book.