Bhagavad Gita – Summary chapter 2, part 3

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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Continuation from last week – text taken from “Gems of Srimad Bhagavadgita” by Dr. Nath (arrangement by Dasha)


Sloka 47


You have the right to work only
but never to its fruits.
Let not the fruits of action be your motive.
Nor let your attachment be to inaction.


(If you want to read again the original comment on this sloka alone: it was in weeks 50 and 51 in 2006 plus week 1 in 2007.)

This sloka is to be considered as a command.

Also in this sloka, “Karma” has to be read as “Duty” and Adhikara as “Right”.

Each one of us has a selected space and a specific role in the society. We are selected by the Lord to the position we hold in the society. We have to fulfil the rules and regulations pertaining to our role. It involves both social duties and spiritual duties and the results will come automatically.

“Work” is defined as an effort directed towards a goal. It can also mean: study; employment; toil; manual labour; occupation.

Working towards a goal needs effort. The greater the benefits required from actions, the greater has to be the sacrifice of personal pleasures and the effort to put in.

No one can escape work. Even to survive we conduct voluntary or involuntary actions every second of our life.

Our breathing is involuntary but by controlling it we can maintain better mental and physical health.

The day we learn the art of controlling our involuntary actions and involuntarily conduct all other voluntary duties (surrendering fruits of action) we would have learnt the essence of the sacred text.

Having been born as humans…

… we have adhikara (right) to work and using the capacity of discrimination, we must discharge all duties;

… we must know how to discharge our duties following the path of righteousness;

… while conducting the work, we must concentrate on the work;

… we have a duty to maintain our body, duty towards our family and towards the community of which we are part

… we should not conduct actions only for selfish gains and pleasures;

… we have no right to the fruits of action.

When it says “no right to the fruit of action” it means that there should be reasonable share to all the sections of the community / all parts of the universe from the results from ons’s actions. When one says “offer the result to God”, it really means to the God within and God all around. Satvic / pure outlook in life will help us to work as servants of God and be His medium to discharge our duties.

Escaping from work is contrary to the sastras. The lord ends with an apt warning: “nor let your attachment be to inaction.”

If everyone stops working the world cannot survive. We all have to fulfil our roles as members of the society at large. Each one of us should put in our efforts towards the welfare of the world and then only there is room for peace and prosperity in that society. Let us not be lazy and escape the work.

***   will be continued   ***

Copyright for the texts on Bhagavad Gita by Dr. P.V. Nath, UK.
Questions concerning the text please direct to Dr. Nath at ““.

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Posted via email from International Gita Foundation Trust