Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 109

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

Karma Yoga or the Method of Work

5. na hi kascit ksanam api
yatu tisthaty akarmakrt
karyate hy avasalt karma
sarvah prakrtijair gunaih
(5) For no one can remain even for a moment without doing work; every one is made to act helplessly by the impulses born of nature. So long as we lead embodied lives, we cannot escape from action. Without work life cannot be sustained.[1] Anandagiri points out that he who knows the self is not moved by the gunas, but he who has not controlled the body and the senses is driven to action by the gurlas.

By implication the view that the released soul ceases to work, as all work is a derogation from the supreme state, a return to ignorance, is rejected. While life remains, action is unavoidable. Thinking is an act; living is an act—and these acts cause many effects. To be free from desire, from the illusion of personal interest, is the true non-action and not the physical abstention from
activity. When it is said that works cease for a man who is liberated, all that is meant is that he has no further personal necessity for works. It does not mean that he flees from action and takes refuge in blissful inaction. He works as God works, without any binding necessity or compelling ignorance, and even in performing work, he is not involved. When his egoism is removed, action springs from the depths and is governed by the Supreme secretly seated in his heart. Free from desire and attachment, one with all beings, he acts out of the profoundest depths of his inner being, governed by his immortal, divine, highest self.


References and Context

  1. Cp. "The eye cannot choose but see, We cannot bid the ear be still, Our bodies feel where'er they be Against or with our will."Wordsworth