SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
SlOkam – Original
karmaNi EvAdhikAras thE mA phalEshu kadhAchana |
mA karmaphalahEthur bhUr mA the sangO’sthvakarmaNi ||
word-by-word meaning (based on puththUr krishNamAchArya swAmy’s thamizh translation)
thE – for you who is a mumukshu
karmaNi Eva – only for the true nithya (daily) naimiththika (periodic) karmas
adhikAra: – you can desire;
phalEshu – the inferior results such as svargam etc (which are highlighted as the result of such karmas)
kadhAchith – sometimes
(adhikAra:) mA (bhUth) – not to be desired.
karmapala hEthu: – cause for the activity and the result
mAbhU: – you never be;
akarmaNi – being inactive in such karmas which lead to mOksham
thE – for you
sanga: – attachment
mAsthu – should not occur
Simple Translation (based on puththUr krishNamAchArya swAmy’s thamizh translation)
Being a mumukshu, you can desire only for the true nithya (daily) naimiththika (perioidic) karmas; the inferior results such as svargam etc (which are highlighted as the result of such karmas) are never to be desired by you; you can also not have attachment in being inactive in such karmas which lead to mOksham.
Rendering based on ALkoNdavilli gOvindhAchArya swAmy’s English translation of gIthA bhAshyam
‘But to work, have you the right, not to the fruits thereof. Become not the cause of works’ fruit, nor have interest in desisting from work.’
To you who are fixed in satva, to you whose sole end is moksha, belongs but the mechanical part in the performance of nitya (daily), naimittika (causal), and kāmya (fruit-bearing) duties, to each of which is assigned some certain kind of recompense; but you shall not think of reaping any fruit therefor.
Desire for fruit, and enjoying fruit (fruition in one word), has a binding effect; without that idea, however, works performed as Worship paid to Me, become means to secure moksha. Hence have no motive for action, nor wish to reap its fruit.
Though you are the actor, but because you are rested in satva, and aspire for moksha, you may consider yourself as no actor or agent in the act.
The appeasing of hunger etc., are also desires satisfied, but you may fancy yourself as not the cause of the appeasal etc.
Further on 1 it will be pointed out that both (the cause of gratification and agent of gratification) are due either to the qualities, or to be ascribed to Me, the Lord of all.
Reflecting thus, do work.
Inaction (a-karma) implied in your saying ‘I am not going to fight’ (Bh: Gi: II-9); – have no interest in that even. This is to say: ‘engage, as you ought to, in war and other acts.’2
The same is further elucidated:
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- Read verses 27 to 30, Lecture III. ↩
- Consider yourself as the mere instrument or channel or agent of some other responsible source and act un-concerned about result. ↩