Bhagavad Gita -Srila Prabhupada 231

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita As It Is -Shri Shrimad A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Karma-yoga—Action in krsna Consciousness
Chapter 5: Verse-2

sri-bhagavän uväca
sannyäsah karma-yogas ca
nihsreyasa-karäv ubhau
tayos tu karma-sannyäsät karma-yogo visisyate[1]


The Personality of Godhead replied: The renunciation of work and work in devotion are both good for liberation. But, of the two, work in devotional service is better than renunciation of work.


Fruitive activities (seeking sense gratification) are cause for material bondage. As long as one is engaged in activities aimed at improving the standard of bodily comfort, one is sure to transmigrate to different types of bodies, thereby continuing material bondage perpetually. Srimad-Bhägavatam 5.5.4–6) confirms this as follows:

nünam pramattah kurute vikarma
yad indriya-pritaya äprnoti
na sädhu manye yata ätmano ’yam
asann api klesa-da äsa dehah
paräbhavas tävad abodha-jäto
yävan na jijnäsata ätma-tattvam
yävat kriyäs tävad idam mano vai
karmätmakam yena sarira-bandhah
evam manahkarma-vasam prayunkte
avidyayätmany upadhiyamäne
pritir na yävan mayi väsudeve
na mucyate deha-yogena tävat

“People are mad after sense gratification, and they do not know that this present body, which is full of miseries, is a result of one’s fruitive activities in the past. Although this body is temporary, it is always giving one trouble in many ways. Therefore, to act for sense gratification is not good. One is considered to be a failure in life as long as he makes no inquiry about his real identity. As long as he does not know his real identity, he has to work for fruitive results for sense gratification, and as long as one is engrossed in the consciousness of sense gratification one has to transmigrate from one body to another. Although the mind may be engrossed in fruitive activities and influenced by ignorance, one must develop a love for devotional service to Väsudeva. Only then can one have the opportunity to get out of the bondage of material existence.”



  1. sri-bhagavän uväca=the Personality of Godhead said; sannyäsah=renunciation of work; karma-yogah=work in devotion; ca=also; nihsreyasa-karau=leading to the path of liberation; ubhau=both; tayoh=of the two; tu=but; karma-sannyäsät=in comparison to the renunciation of fruitive work; karma-yogah=work in devotion; visisyate=is better.

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