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Perform prescribed duty without being attached to the result (Chapter 2 Text 47)

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  • prateek sanwal
    Hare Krishna Friends, Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized                                                     
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 23, 2012
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      Hare Krishna Friends,
      Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized


                                                                        TEXT 47


                                                          karmany evadhikaras te
                                                            ma phalesu kadacana
                                                        ma karma-phala-hetur bhur
                                                         ma te sango 'stv akarmani


      karmani--prescribed duties; eva--certainly; adhikarah--right; te--of you; ma--never; phalesu--in the fruits; kadacana--at any time; ma--never; karma-phala--in the result of the work; hetuh--cause; bhuh--become; ma--never; te--of you; sangah--attachment; astu--be there; akarmani--in not doing.


      You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.


      There are three considerations here: prescribed duties, capricious work, and inaction. Prescribed duties refer to activities performed
      while one is in the modes of material nature. Capricious work means actions without the sanction of authority, and inaction means not
      performing one's prescribed duties. The Lord advised that Arjuna not be inactive, but that he perform his prescribed duty without being
      attached to the result. One who is attached to the result of his work is also the cause of the action. Thus he is the enjoyer or sufferer of
      the result of such actions.

      As far as prescribed duties are concerned, they can be fitted into three subdivisions, namely routine work, emergency work and desired
      activities. Routine work, in terms of the scriptural injunctions, is done without desire for results. As one has to do it, obligatory work
      is action in the mode of goodness. Work with results becomes the cause of bondage; therefore such work is not auspicious. Everyone has his proprietary right in regard to prescribed duties, but should act without attachment to the result; such disinterested obligatory duties
      doubtlessly lead one to the path of liberation. Arjuna was therefore advised by the Lord to fight as a matter of duty without attachment to the result. His nonparticipation in the battle is another side of attachment. Such attachment never leads one to the path of salvation. Any attachment, positive or negative, is cause for bondage. Inaction is sinful. Therefore, fighting as a matter of duty was the only auspicious path of salvation for Arjuna.

      Source: Bhagavad Gita As It Is by HDG. A.C. BhaktiVedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.
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