Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 136

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

The Way of Knowledge

21 nirasir yatacittatma
sariram kevalam karma
hurvano na 'pnoti kilbisam
(21) Having no desires, with his heart and self under control, giving up all possessions, performing action by the body alone, he commits no wrong
sariram karma is work required for the maintenance of the body according to S. and Madhusudana. It is work done by the body alone according to Vedanta Degika.
Virtue or vice does not belong to the outer deed. When a man is rid of his passions and self-will, he becomes a mirror reflecting the will of the Divine. The humam soul becomes the pure channel of Divine power.

22. yadrechdlabhasamtusto
dvandvatito vimatsarah
samah siddhav asiddhau ca
krtva 'pi na nibadhyate
(22) He who is satisfied with whatever comes by chance, who has passed beyond the dualities (of pleasure and pain), who is free from jealousy, who remains the same in success and failure, even when he acts, he is not bound.
Action by itself does not bind. If it does, then we are committed to a gross dualism between God and the world and the world becomes a cosmic blunder. The cosmos is a manifestation of the Supreme and what binds is not the act but the selfish attitude to action, born of ignorance which makes us imagine that we are so many separate individuals with our special preferences and aversions.

The teacher now proceeds to point out how the actor, the act and the action are all different manifestations of the one Supreme and action offered as a sacrifice to the Supreme does not bind.


References and Context