Monday, February 13, 2006
Action, Choices and Karma
From Chapter 4, The Bhagawad Geeta.
The ancient seekers of liberation also performed their duties with
this understanding. Therefore, you should do your duty as the
ancients did. (4.15)
Even the wise are confused about what is action and what is
inaction. Therefore, I shall clearly explain what is action,
knowing that one shall be liberated from the evil (of birth and
The true nature of action is very difficult to understand.
Therefore, one should know the nature of attached action, the
nature of detached action, and also the nature of forbidden action.
Attached action is selfish work that produces Karmic bondage,
detached action is unselfish work or Seva that leads to nirvana,
and forbidden action is harmful to society. The one who sees
inaction in action, and action in inaction, is a wise person. Such
a person is a yogi and has accomplished everything. (See also 3.05,
3.27, 5.08 and 13.29) (4.18)
A person whose all works are free from selfish desires and motives,
and whose all Karma is burned up in the fire of Self-knowledge, is
called a sage by the wise. (4.19)
Having abandoned attachment to the fruits of work, ever content,
and dependent on no one (but God); though engaged in activity, one
does nothing at all (and incurs no Karmic reaction). (4.20)
Free from desires, mind and senses under control, renouncing all
proprietorship, doing mere bodily action, one does not incur sin
(or Karmic reaction). (4.21)
Content with whatever gain comes naturally by His will, unaffected
by dualities, free from envy, equanimous in success and failure;
though engaged in work such a person is not bound (by Karma).
Those who are devoid of attachment, whose mind is fixed in
knowledge, who does work as a Seva to the Lord, all Karma of such
liberated persons dissolves away. (4.23)