SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
karmaṇy evādhikāras te
mā phaleṣu kadācana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr
mā te saṅgo ’stv akarmaṇi
‘But to work, hast thou the right, not to the fruits thereof. Become not the cause of works’ fruit, nor have interest in desisting from work.’
To thee who is fixt in satva, to thee whose sole end is moksha, belongs but the mechanical part in the performance of nitya (daily), naimittika (casual), and kāmya (fruit-bearing) duties, to each of which is assigned some certain kind of recompense; but thou shalt 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 thou art the actor, but because thou art rested in satva, and aspire for moksha, thou mayst consider thyself as no actor or agent in the act.
The appeasing of hunger etc., are also desires satisfied, but thou may fancy thyself as not the cause of the appeasal etc.
Further on[2. Read verses 27 to 30, Lecture III.] 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 thy saying ‘I am not going to fight’ (Bh: Gi: II-9); – have no interest in that even. This is to say: ‘engage, thou oughtest to, in war and other acts.’[3. Consider thyself as the mere instrument or channel or agent of some other responsible source and act un-concerned about result.]
The same is further elucidated:
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