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Bhagavadgeeta Verse 2.47

कर्मणि एव अधिकारः तॆ मा फलॆषु कदाचन ।
मा कर्मफलहॆतुः भूः मा तॆ संगः अस्तु अकर्मणि ॥

ಕರ್ಮಣಿ ಏವ ಅಧಿಕಾರಃ ತೇ ಮಾ ಫಲೇಷು ಕದಾಚನ |
ಮಾ ಕರ್ಮಫಲಹೇತುಃ ಭೂಃ ಮಾ ತೇ ಸಂಗಃ ಅಸ್ತು ಅಕರ್ಮಣಿ ||

karmaNi Eva adhikAraH tE mA phalEShu kadAchana |
mA karmaphalahEtuH bhUH mA tE saMgaH astu akarmaNi || 2.47 ||

Only in respect of action there is eligibility in you; never in respect of its fruits; so do not make fruit as a motive for your action; nor let there be any attachment to inaction (do not omit your duties) on your part

karmaNi Eva adhikAraH = Arjuna, for you and others eligibility is there only to do Karmas.

phalEShu kadAchana mA = But never for the fruits or results.

karmaphalahEtuH mA bhUH = Therefore do not do actions or duties only having results or fruits in your mind.

Then it may appear that doing karma is redundant or useless. It is not so, because

tE akarmaNi saMgaH mA astu = For you and others let there not be any attachment in doing karmas.

In other words, one gets aparoksha Jnana and then Moksha when ones does nishkama karma.


1. Why this verse?

In verses 2:42-44 criticism is made on those who do their karmas by having the result only in their minds. But in Vedas, ‘the desire’ for the fruits is also indicated or included along with injunctions.

‘The aspirant for heaven shall perform a sacrifice.’

So to rebut this, the present verse is begun.

The performance of act alone comes under the purview of the injunction and never the fruits.

2. tE = This word not only stands for Arjuna, but for all. Since Arjuna who is a jnani himself is advised to give up desires, it is applicable even more for non-jnanis like us.

3. The real purport of fruits mentioned in Vedas.

There is no conflict between what Shri Krishna says in this verse and Vedas. This has to be properly understood.

vedoktameva kurvāṇah niḥsańgorpitamīśvare |
naiṣkarmyaḿ labhate siddhiḿ rocanārthā phala-śrutiḥ || (Bhagavatam 11:3:46)

wihch says that fruits are mentioned in Vedas to create zest or create interest in the performer of sacrifice.

phala-śrutiriyaḿ nṝṇāḿ na śreyo rocanaḿ param |
śreyo-vivakṣayā proktaḿ yathā bhaiṣajya-rocanam || (11:21:23)

The real intention of the Sruti, (like ‘Let him who desires a heaven perform a sacrifuce’) is simply that one (already with a desire for heaven) shall perform the sacrifice and not that one shall imbibe a desire for heaven and then offer a sacrifice.

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