Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 242

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan


17. yasya sa 'hamkrto badvo
buddhir yasya na lipyate
hatva sa imaml lokan
na hanti na nibadhyate
(17) He who is free from self-sense, whose understanding is not sullied, though he slay these people, he slays not nor is he bound (by his actions).
The freed man does his work as the instrument of the Universal Spirit and for the maintenance of the cosmic order. He performs even terrific deeds without any selfish aim or desire but because it is the ordained duty. What matters is not the work but the spirit in which it is done. "Though he slays from the worldly standpoint, he does not slay in truth." S[1] This passage does not mean that we can commit crimes with impunity. He who lives in the large spiritual consciousness will not feel any need to do any wrong. Evil activities spring from ignorance and separatist consciousness and from consciousness of unity with the Supreme Self, only good can result.
Knowledge and Action

18. jnanam jileyciiir parijnata
trividha karmacodana
karanam karma karte
'ti trividhah karmasamgrahah
(18) Knowledge, the object of knowledge and the knowing subject, are the threefold incitement to action : the instrument, the action and the agent are the threefold composite of action.
See XIII, 20.

Karmacodanã refers to the mental planning and karmasarhgraha to the actual execution of the action and each has three aspects.
19. jnanam karma ca karta ca
tridhai 'va gunabhedatala
procyate gunasakhyane
yathavac chrnu tany api
(19) Knowledge, action and the agent are said, in the science of modes, to be of three kinds only, according to difference in the modes. Hear thou duly of these also.
The Samkhya system is referred to and it is authoritative in some matters though not in regard to the highest truth.

Three Kinds of Knowledge
20. sarvabhutesu yenai 'kam
bhavam avyayam iksate
avibhaktam vibhaktesu
taj jnanam viddhi sattvikam
(2o) The knowledge by which the one Imperishable Being is seen in all existences, undivided in the divided, know that that knowledge is of "goodness."

21. prthaktvena tu yaj jnanam
nand bhavan prthagvidhan
vetti sarvesu bhutesu
taj jnanam viddhi rajasam
(21) The knowledge which sees multiplicity of beings in the different creatures, by reason of their separateness, know that that knowledge is of the nature of "passion."

22. yat tu krtsnavad ekasmin
karye saktam ahetukam
atattvarthavad alpam ca
tat tamasam udahrtam
(22) But that which clings to one single effect as if it were the whole, without concern for the cause, without grasping the real, and narrow is declared to be of the nature of "dullness."

Three Kinds of Work
23. niyatam sangarahitam
aragadvesatah krtam
aphalaprepsuna karma
yat tat sattvikam ucyate
(23) An action which is obligatory, which is performed with-out attachment, without love or hate by one undesirous of fruit, that is said to be of "goodness "


References and Context

  1. laukikim desti asritya havapi...paramarthikim drastic asritya na hanti.