Karma Yoga: Why take any action at all?

Therefore, transcending all self-imagined barriers let us uninhibitedly flow into this universe without any constraints!

Bhagwad Gita 3:18 & 3:19
Bhagwad Gita 3:18 & 3:19



A self-realized man has no purpose to fulfill in the discharge of his prescribed duties, nor has he any reason not to perform such work. Nor has he any need to depend on any other living being.


Therefore, without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty; for by working without attachment, one attains the Supreme.


A self-realized man is no longer obliged to perform any prescribed duty, save and except activities in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not inactivity either, as will be explained in the following verses. A Kṛṣṇa conscious man does not take shelter of any person-man or demigod. Whatever he does in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is sufficient in the discharge of his obligation.

Translation via Bhagwad Gita 3:18 @ asitis.com

Chapter 3 – Karma-yoga / TEXT 18

naiva tasya krtenartho
nakrteneha kascana
na casya sarva-bhutesu
kascid artha-vyapasrayah
na—never; eva—certainly; tasya—his; kṛtena—by discharge of duty; arthaḥ—purpose; na—nor; akṛtena—without discharge of duty;iha—in this world; kaścana—whatever; na—never; ca—and; asya—of him; sarva-bhūteṣu —in all living beings; kaścit—any; artha—purpose;vyapa-āśrayaḥ—taking shelter of.


The Supreme is the Personality of Godhead for the devotees, and liberation for the impersonalist. A person, therefore, acting for Kṛṣṇa, or in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, under proper guidance and without attachment to the result of the work, is certainly making progress toward the supreme goal of life. Arjuna is told that he should fight in the Battle of Kurukṣetra for the interest of Kṛṣṇa because Kṛṣṇa wanted him to fight. To be a good man or a nonviolent man is a personal attachment, but to act on behalf of the Supreme is to act without attachment for the result. That is perfect action of the highest degree, recommended by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Vedic rituals, like prescribed sacrifices, are performed for purification of impious activities that were performed in the field of sense gratification. But action in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is transcendental to the reactions of good or evil work. A Kṛṣṇa conscious person has no attachment for the result but acts on behalf of Kṛṣṇa alone. He engages in all kinds of activities, but is completely nonattached.
tasmad asaktah satatam
karyam karma samacara
asakto hy acaran karma
param apnoti purusah
tasmāt—therefore; asaktaḥ—without attachment; satatam—constantly; kāryam—as duty; karma—work; samācara—perform;asaktaḥ—nonattachment; hi—certainly; ācaran—performing; karma—work; param—the Supreme; āpnoti—achieves; pūruṣaḥ—a man.
Photo: Bhaktivedanta


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