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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 Verse 8

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 3 श्लोक 8

नियतं कुरु कर्म त्वं कर्म ज्यायो ह्यकर्मणः।
शरीरयात्रापि च ते न प्रसिद्ध्येदकर्मणः।।3.8।।

हिंदी अनुवाद - स्वामी रामसुख दास जी ( भगवद् गीता 3.8)

।।3.8।।तू शास्त्रविधिसे नियत किये हुए कर्तव्यकर्म कर क्योंकि कर्म न करनेकी अपेक्षा कर्म करना श्रेष्ठ है तथा कर्म न करनेसे तेरा शरीरनिर्वाह भी सिद्ध नहीं होगा।

हिंदी अनुवाद - स्वामी तेजोमयानंद

।।3.8।। तुम (अपने) नियत (कर्तव्य) कर्म करो क्योंकि अकर्म से श्रेष्ठ कर्म है। तुम्हारे अकर्म होने से (तुम्हारा) शरीर निर्वाह भी नहीं सिद्ध होगा।।

हिंदी टीका - स्वामी रामसुख दास जी

 3.8।। व्याख्या   नियतं कुरु कर्म त्वम् शास्त्रोंमें विहित तथा नियत दो प्रकारके कर्मोंको करनेकी आज्ञा दी गयी है। विहित कर्मका तात्पर्य है सामान्यरूपसे शास्त्रोंमें बताया हुआ आज्ञारूप कर्म जैसे व्रत उपवास उपासना आदि। इन विहित कर्मोंको सम्पूर्णरूपसे करना एक व्यक्तिके लिये कठिन है। परन्तु निषिद्ध कर्मोंका त्याग करना सुगम है। विहित कर्मको न कर सकनेमें उतना दोष नहीं है जितना निषिद्ध कर्मका त्याग करनेमें लाभ है जैसे झूठ न बोलना चोरी न करना हिंसा न करना इत्यादि। निषिद्ध कर्मोंका त्याग होनेसे विहित कर्म स्वतः होने लगते हैं। नियतकर्मका तात्पर्य है वर्ण आश्रम स्वभाव एवं परिस्थितिके अनुसार प्राप्त कर्तव्यकर्म जैसे भोजन करना व्यापार करना मकान बनवाना मार्ग भूले हुए व्यक्तिको मार्ग दिखाना आदि।कर्मयोगकी दृष्टिसे जो वर्णधर्मानुकूल शास्त्रविहित कर्तव्यकर्म प्राप्त हो जाय वह चाहे घोर हो या सौम्य नियतकर्म ही है। यहाँ नियतं कुरु कर्म पदोंसे भगवान् अर्जुनसे यह कहते हैं कि क्षत्रिय होनेके नाते अपने वर्णधर्मके अनुसार परिस्थितिसे प्राप्त युद्ध करना तेरा स्वाभाविक कर्म है (गीता 18। 43)। क्षत्रियके लिये युद्धरूप हिंसात्मक कर्म घोर दीखते हुए भी वस्तुतः घोर नहीं है प्रत्युत उसके लिये वह नियतकर्म ही है। दूसरे अध्यायमें भगवान्ने कहा है कि स्वधर्म की दृष्टिसे भी युद्ध करना तेरे लिये नियतकर्म है स्वधर्ममपि चावेक्ष्य न विकम्पितुमर्हसि (2। 31)। वास्तवमें तो स्वधर्म और नियतकर्म दोनों एक ही हैं। यद्यपि दुर्योधन आदिके लिये भी युद्ध वर्णधर्मके अनुसार प्राप्त कर्म है तथापि वह अन्याययुक्त होनेके कारण नियतकर्मसे अलग है क्योंकि वे युद्ध करके अन्यायपूर्वक राज्य छीनना चाहते हैं। अतः उनके लिये यह युद्ध नियत तथा धर्मयुक्त कर्म नहीं है।कर्म ज्यायो ह्यकर्मणः इसी अध्यायके पहले श्लोकमें (अर्जुनके प्रश्नमें) आये हुए ज्यायसी पदका उत्तर भगवान् यहाँ ज्यायः पदसे ही दे रहे हैं। वहाँ अर्जुनका प्रश्न है कि यदि आपको कर्मकी अपेक्षा ज्ञान श्रेष्ठ मान्य है तो मुझे घोर कर्ममें क्यों लगाते हैं इसके उत्तरमें यहाँ भगवान् कहते हैं कि कर्म न करनेकी अपेक्षा कर्म करना ही मुझे श्रेष्ठ मान्य है। इस प्रकार अर्जुनका विचार युद्धरूप घोर कर्मसे निवृत्त होनेका है और भगवान्का विचार अर्जुनको युद्धरूप नियतकर्ममें प्रवृत्त करानेका है। इसीलिये आगे अठारहवें अध्यायमें भगवान् कहते हैं कि दोषयुक्त होनेपर भी सहज (नियत) कर्मका त्याग नहीं करना चाहिये सहजं कर्म कौन्तेय सदोषमपि न त्यजेत् (18। 48)। कारण कि इसके त्यागसे दोष लगता है एवं कर्मोंके साथ अपना सम्बन्ध भी बना रहता है। अतः कर्मका त्याग करनेकी अपेक्षा नियतकर्म करना ही श्रेष्ठ है। फिर आसक्तिरहित होकर कर्म करना तो और भी श्रेष्ठ माना गया है क्योंकि इससे कर्मोंके साथ सर्वथा सम्बन्धविच्छेद हो जाता है। अतः भगवान् इस श्लोकके पूर्वार्धमें अर्जुनको अनासक्तभावसे नियतकर्म करनेकी आज्ञा देते हैं और उत्तरार्धमें कहते हैं कि कर्म किये बिना तेरा जीवननिर्वाह भी नहीं होगा।कर्मयोगमें कर्म ज्यायो ह्यकर्मणः यह भगवान्का प्रधान सिद्धान्त है। इसीको भगवान्ने मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि (गीता 2। 47) पदोंसे स्पष्ट किया है कि अर्जुन तेरी कर्म न करनेमें आसक्ति न हो। कारण यह है कि कर्तव्यकर्मोंसे जी चुरानेवाला मनुष्य प्रमाद आलस्य और निद्रामें अपना अमूल्य समय नष्ट कर देगा अथवा शास्त्रनिषिद्ध कर्म करेगा जिससे उसका पतन होगा।स्वरूपसे कर्मोंका त्याग करनेकी अपेक्षा कर्म करते हुए ही कर्मोंसे सम्बन्धविच्छेद करना श्रेष्ठ है। कारण कि कामना वासना फलासक्ति पक्षपात आदि ही कर्मोंसे सम्बध जोड़ देते हैं चाहे मनुष्य कर्म करे अथवा न करे। कामना आदिके त्यागका उद्देश्य रखकर कर्मयोगका आचरण करनेसे कामना आदिका त्याग बड़ी सुगमतासे हो जाता है।शरीरयात्रापि च ते न प्रसिद्ध्येदकर्मणः अर्जुनके मनमें ऐसा भाव उत्पन्न हो गया था कि अगर कर्म ही न करें तो कर्मोंसे स्वतः सम्बन्धविच्छेद हो जायगा। इसलिये भगवान् नाना प्रकारकी युक्तियोंद्वारा उनको कर्म करनेके लिये प्रेरित करते हैं। उन्हीं युक्तियोंमेंसे एक इस युक्तिका वर्णन करते हुए भगवान् कहते हैं कि अर्जुन तुम्हें कर्म तो करने ही पड़ेंगे। अन्यकी तो बात ही क्या है कर्म किये बिना तेरा शरीरनिर्वाह (खानापीना आदि) भी असम्भव हो जायगा।जैसे ज्ञानयोगमें विवेकके द्वारा संसारसे सम्बन्धविच्छेद होता है ऐसे ही कर्मयोगमें कर्तव्यकर्मका ठीकठीक अनुष्ठान करनेसे संसारसे सम्बन्धविच्छेद हो जाता है। अतः ज्ञानयोगकी अपेक्षा कर्मयोगको किसी भी प्रकारसे कम नहीं मानना चाहिये। कर्मयोगी शरीरको संसारका ही मानकर उसको संसारकी ही सेवामें लगा देता है अर्थात् शरीरमें उसका कोई अपनापन नहीं रहता। वह स्थूल सूक्ष्म और कारणशरीरकी एकता क्रमशः स्थूल सूक्ष्म और कारणसंसारसे करता है जबकि ज्ञानयोगी अपनी एकता ब्रह्मसे करता है। इस प्रकार कर्मयोगी जडतत्त्वकी एकता करता है और ज्ञानयोगी चेतनतत्त्वकी एकता करता है। साधनसम्बन्धी मार्मिक बातअर्जुनकी कर्मोंसे अरुचि है अर्थात् उनके मनमें कर्म न करनेका आग्रह है। केवल अर्जुनकी ही बात नहीं है प्रत्युत पारमार्थिक मार्गके अन्य साधक भी प्रायः इस विषयमें ऐसी ही बड़ी भूल करते हैं। यद्यपि उनकी इच्छा साधन करनेकी रहती है और साधन करते भी हैं तथापि वे अपनी मनचाही परिस्थिति अनुकूलता और सुखबुद्धि भी साथमें रखते हैं जो उसके साधनमें महान् बाधक होती है।जो साधक तत्त्वप्राप्तिमें सुगमता ढूँढ़ता है और उसे शीघ्र प्राप्त करना चाहता है वह वास्तवमें सुखका रागी है न कि साधनका प्रेमी। जो सुगमतासे तत्त्वप्राप्ति चाहता है उसे कठिनता सहनी पड़ती है और जो शीघ्रतासे तत्त्वप्राप्ति चाहता है उसे विलम्ब सहना पड़ता है। कारण कि सुगमता और शीघ्रताकी इच्छा करनेसे साधककी दृष्टि साधनपर न रहकर फलपर चली जाती है जिससे साधनमें उकताहट प्रतीत होती है और साध्यकी प्राप्तिमें विलम्ब भी होता है। जिसका यह दृढ़ निश्चय या उद्देश्य है कि चाहे जैसे भी हो मुझे तत्त्वकी प्राप्ति होनी ही चाहिये उसकी दृष्टि सुगमता और शीघ्रतापर नहीं जाती। तत्परताके साथ कार्यमें लगा हुआ मनस्वी व्यक्ति जब अपने उद्देश्यकी पूर्तिके लिये कमर कसकर लग जाता है तब वह सुख और दुःखकी ओर नहीं देखता मनस्वी कार्यार्थी न गणयति दुःखं न च सुखम् (भर्तृहरिनीतिशतक)। साधककी तो बात ही क्या है एक साधारण लोभी मनुष्य ही दुःखकी ओर नहीं देखता। प्रायः देखा जाता है कि पसीना आ रहा है भूखप्यास लगी है अथवा शौच जानेकी आवश्यकता जान पड़ती है फिर भी यदि मालकी विशेष बिक्री हो रही है तथा पैसे आ रहे हैं तो वह लोभी व्यापारी सब कष्ट सह लेता है। ठीक लोभी व्यक्तिकी तरह साधककी साध्यमें निष्ठा होनी चाहिये। उसे साध्यकी प्राप्तिके बिना चैनसे न रहा जाय जीवन भारस्वरूप प्रतीत होने लगे खानापीना आराम आदि कुछ भी अच्छा न लगे और हृदयमें साधनका आदर और तत्परता रहे साध्यको प्राप्ति करनेकी उत्कण्ठा होनेपर देरी तो असह्य होती है पर वह जल्दी प्राप्त हो जाय यह इच्छा नहीं होती। उत्कण्ठा दूसरी बात है एवं शीघ्र मिलनेकी इच्छा दूसरी बात। आसक्तिपूर्वक साधन करनेवाला साधक साधनमें सुखभोग करता है और उसमें विलम्ब या बाधा लगनेसे उसे क्रोध आता है एवं वह साधनमें दोषदृष्टि करता है। परन्तु आदर और प्रेमपूर्वक साधन करनेवाला साधक साधनमें विलम्ब या बाधा लगनेपर आर्तभावसे रोने लगता है और उसकी उत्कण्ठा और तेजीसे बढ़ती है। यही शीघ्रता और उत्कण्ठामें अन्तर है। शीघ्रतामें साधकका सुखसुविधाका भाव रहता है कि तत्त्वप्राप्ति शीघ्र हो जाय तो पीछे आराम करेंगे इस प्रकार फलकी ओर दृष्टि रहनेसे साधनका आदर कम हो जाता है। परन्तु उत्कण्ठामें साधक अपनेसाधनमें ही आराम मानता है कि साधनके सिवाय और करना ही क्या है इससे बढ़िया और काम ही क्या है जिसे करें अतः यही काम (साधन) करना है चाहे सुगमतासे हो या कठिनतासे शीघ्रतासे हो या देरीसे। इसलिये उसकी पूरी शक्ति साधनमें लग जाती है जिससे उसको शीघ्रतासे तत्त्वप्राप्ति हो जाती है। परन्तु शीघ्रतासे सिद्धि चाहनेवाला साधक साध्यकी प्राप्तिमें देरी होनेपर निराश भी हो सकता है। अतः साधकको साध्यसे भी अधिक आदर साधनको देना चाहिये जैसा कि माता पार्वतीने कहा है जन्म कोटि लगि रगर हमारी। बरउँ संभु न त रहउँ कुआरी।।तजउँ न नारद कर उपदेसू। आपु कहहिं सत बार महेसू।। (मानस 1। 81। 5)माता पार्वतीके भावोंमें शीघ्रता नहीं है। इनमें तो साधनको साध्यसे भी अधिक आदर दिया गया है।प्रस्तुत श्लोकमें भगवान् अर्जुनको निमित्त बनाकर साधकोंको सावधान करते हैं कि उन्हें अपनी अनुकूलता तथा सुखबुद्धि (जो कि साधनमें मूल बाधा है) का त्याग करके कर्तव्यकर्मोंको करनेमें बड़ी तत्परतासे लग जाना चाहिये। सम्बन्ध   पीछेके श्लोकमें भगवान्ने कर्म किये बिना शरीरनिर्वाह भी नहीं होनेकी बात कही। इससे सिद्ध होता है कि कर्म करना बहुत आवश्यक है। परन्तु कर्म करनेसे तो मनुष्य बँधता है कर्मणा बध्यते जन्तुः तो फिर मनुष्यको बन्धनसे छूटनेके लिये क्या करना चाहिये इसको भगवान् आगेके श्लोकमें बताते हैं।

हिंदी टीका - स्वामी चिन्मयानंद जी

।।3.8।। अपने व्यावहारिक जीवन में नियत कर्म से हमको वे सब कर्तव्य कर्म समझने चाहिये जो परिवार कार्यालय समाज एवं राष्ट्र के व्यक्ति होने के नाते हमें करने पड़ते हैं। इस दृष्टि से अकर्म का अर्थ होगा अपने इन कर्तव्यों को कुशलता से न करना। निष्क्रियता से तो शरीर निर्वाह भी असम्भव होता है। इस प्रकार के अकर्म से राष्ट्र समाज और परिवार का नाश होता है साथ ही वह व्यक्ति स्वयं अपनी अकर्मण्यता का शिकार होकर शारीरिक अक्षमता और बौद्धिक ह्रास से कष्ट पाता है।यह धारणा गलत है कि कर्म बन्धन का कारण होते हैं इसलिये उनको नहीं करना चाहिये। क्यों

English Translation - Swami Gambirananda

3.8 You perform the obligatory duties, for action is superior to inaction. And, through inaction, even the maintenance of your body will not be possible.

English Translation - Swami Sivananda

3.8 Do thou perform (thy) bounden duty, for action is superior to inaction and even the maintenance of the body would not be possible for thee by inaction.

English Translation - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

3.8. You must perform your action which has been enjoined. For, action is superior to inaction; and even the maintenance of your body could not be properly accomplished through inaction.

English Commentary - Swami Sivananda

3.8 नियतम् bounden (prescribed or obligatory)? कुरु perform? कर्म action? त्वम् thou? कर्म action? ज्यायः superior? हि for? अकर्मणः than inaction? शरीरयात्रा maintenance of the body? अपि even? च and? ते thy? न not? प्रसिद्ध्येत् would be possible? अकर्मणः by inaction.Commentary Niyatam Karma is an obligatory duty which one is bound to perform. Thenonperformance of the bounden duties causes demerit. The performance of the obligatory duties is not a means for the attainment of a specific result. The performance does not cause any merit.Living itself involves several natural and unavoidable actions which have to be performed by all. It is ignorance to say? I can live doing nothing.

English Translation of Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya's

3.8 Tvam, you, O Arjuna; kuru, perform; niyatam, the obligatory; karma, duties, those daily obligatory duties (nitya-karmas) or which one is competent (according to the scriptures), and which are not heard of [although no result of daily obligatory duties is mentioned in the scriptures, still Sankaracarya holds that it is either heaven or purification of the heart, because something done must have its conseence.-Tr.] as productive of any result; hi, for, from the point of view of result; karma, action; is jyayah, superior; akarmanah, to inaction, to non-performance (of duties). Why? Ca, and; akarmanah, through inaction; api, even; te sarira-yatra, the maintenance of your body; na prasiddhyet, will not be possible. Therefore, the distinction between action and in action is abvious in this world. And as regards your ideea that action should not be udnertaken because it leads to bondage-that too is wrong. How?

English Translation of Commentary - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

3.8 Niyatam etc. you must perform action which has been enjoined i.e., prescribed in the scriptures. For, even the just subsistence of body depends on action. Because -

English Translation of Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary

3.8 Obligatory (Niyatam) means concomitant (Vyaptam); for action is concomitant with that which is conjoined with Prakrti or the body. The contact with Prakrti has arisen from beginingless subtle impressions (Vasanas). You must perform work, because the performance of action is easy and may not cause accidents by reason of its being obligatory. Action is superior to non-action, i.e., even to the devotee of Jnana. Because of the instruction at the beginning (of this context), No man experiences freedom from activity (3.4), devotion to Jnana alone is indicated by the word, Non-action (Akarma). Even in the case of one alified for devotion to Jnana, devotion to Karma indeed is better because Jnana-nistha is difficult to perform and liable to accidents, as it has not been practised previoulsy and as it does not come to one naturally. Subseently it will be described how, one with the knowledge of the true nature of the self can carry on actions along with that knowledge. Conseently, we should take the meaning here to be that, because knowledge of the self too is included in Karma Yoga, this kind of Yoga is superior. This statement on the superiority of activity (Karma Yoga) over Jnana Yoga is valid even when there is competency for one to adopt Jnana Yoga. For, if you abandon all activities to alify yourself for Jnana Yoga, then, for you, who is thus inactive while following Jnana Yoga, even the nourishment of the body, which is necessary even for Jnana-nistha, will not be achieved. The body has to be necessarily sustained until the means are executed to the full. Performing great sacrifices with the help of honestly earned wealth, the body should be sustained by consuming the remainders left after such sacrifices. This is made clear from scriptural texts like, When the food is pure, the Sattva (mind or inner organ) becomes pure; when the Sattva is pure, then the remembrance (meditation) will be steady (Cha. U., 7.26.2). Sri Krsna himself will declare: The sinful ones who cook food for their own sake eat sin (3.13). Conseently,even the sustenance of the body will not be possible in the case of one who practises Jnana-nistha, and does not act. In other ways also Karma Yoga is superior to Jnana Yoga even in respect of one who is alified for Jnana-nistha; for, obligatory and occasional rites like the great sacrifices must be carried out by one who follows Jnana Yoga too, as he has to sustain the body until he attains perfection. Besides, the understanding of the true nature of the self is incorporated in Karma Yoga, as it involves the contemplation of the self as being a non-agent. It is also in line with the nature of life (Prakrti). Karma Yoga, is for these reasons easier and it is free from danger of downfall. Therefore, you must perform Karma Yoga only. This is the purport of the verse. If it is contended that any action such as earning money implies I-ness, My-ness etc., and will therefore be disturbing to the senses, and that such a person devoted often to works will be in bondage through subtle impressions of his acts, Sri Krsna says:

Commentary - Chakravarthi Ji

Therefore you should engage in daily obligatory activities such as sandhya vandana (niyatam karma). This is better that renunciation of these actions (karma sannyasa). By renunciation of all actions you will not even be able to maintain your body.

Rudra Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

One should perform the duties prescribed in the Vedic scriptures appropriate for ones stage in life. The daily duties like praying, meditating and worshipping are being referred to by Lord Krishna. Action is superior to inaction for by abstention from action none of these activities can be accomplished. What to say of those, if one fails to take actions even the maintenance of their physical body will not be possible.

Brahma Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

One should perform the actions that are appropriate to ones varna or status and ashram or stage in life. In Vedic culture there are four varnas: brahmin the priestly class, kshatriya the royalty and warrior class, vaishya the farmers and businesss classes and sudra the workers and servants of the previous three classes. In Vedic culture there are also four ashrams: bramacharya which is celibate student life, grihasta which is married family life, vanaprastha which is semi-retired householder life and sannyasa which is complete renunciation of worldy life for meditation on God. Due to changing times and the unseemly mixture of different varnas people no longer adhere exclusively to the natural duties of their ashram as prescribed by the Vedas. This was even happening over 5000 years ago at the end Dvarpara yuga. In the Mahabharata we see King Yudhisthira noting that it was becoming exceedingly difficult to determine the varna of people due to the mixture of different classes. Therefore it is only by conduct and attributes that one can judge what class one belongs to and not simply by what varna one was born into and this conduct is determined by actions. Unless and until the impulse arises for one to surrender themselves in full service and devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna then both varna and ashram apply in society. But after surrendering in devotion varnashram is no longer applicable or required.

Shri Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The word nityatam can refer to eternal, regular or even daily. An act is eternal if it is connected to the atma which is the eternal soul. Actions merely connected to prakriti or the material nature are a persistent inheritance from ones past activities in the unknown past. Thus to perform actions comes easily as a natural phenomena and not subject to the inherent dangers of possessing an impure mind or the lack of sense control associated the with jnana yoga, the cultivation of spiritual knowledge. Therefore Lord Krishna is urging Arjuna to perform karma yoga or actions without attachment as in his case it is superior to cultivating knowledge. A-karma is non-action which implies cultivating knowledge by the abstention of activities. But it is known that it is not possible to completely achieve the actionless state. Even for the followers of jnana yoga the path of karma yoga is superior because in jnana yoga one must follow a path one is naturally not accustomed, is difficult to practice, fraught with the risk of dominant senses and also which does not flow as an inherent tendency like the path of karma yoga where actions follow the natural locomotion of the body in the course of daily activities. Further it will be shown that even one who is liberated by atma- tattva realisation of the eternal soul; still may be involved in so many activities, performing actions without attachment or as a matter of duty. Thus even atma-tattva can be connected to material activities transforming them to spiritual activities. Hence karma yoga can be superior in this way. What can be inferred about the superiority of karma yoga over jnana yoga will be evident to one who is actually engaged in practising jnana yoga. But an alternative argument could be alright suppose one is determined to abstain from all actions, then how does one expect to maintain their bodily existence which depends on eating and sleeping and washing and exercising etc. and by which the body is very helpful and useful in practising jnana yoga. The maintenance of ones physical body is absolutely essential to complete the course charted in life until one achieves their goal. The way in which one maintains their body is by actions such as labour by rightful means to acquire funds for performing worship to God by offerings of food which are subsequently imbued with spiritual potency and by partaking of the remnants of such foods solely for bodily sustenance each day maintain their bodies. In the Chandogya Upanisad VII.XXVI.II we find: It is by the purity of food that ones mind becomes purified. When the mind is purified one attains access to the eternal soul dwelling within the heart. Thus if one desires to desist from all activities how will their mind become purified and how will their bodily needs be maintained? Thus it is obvious that one who practices jnana yoga in order to maintain their bodily existence must still continue performing the daily and occasional duties prescribed in the Vedas until they reach their goal. The same as if one practised karma yoga. Also in karma yoga the contemplation of atma-tattva is also included in the conceptions that I am not my body perfoming actions and I am not the actual doer of any actions. So for all these reasons karma yoga is preferably recommended to jnana yogis. So the conclusion is for Arjuna to desist and practice karma yoga. But if it is still postulated that actions such as the acquiring of funds involves the my-ness of this is my money and the I-ness of I have earned this by the strength of my mind and the power of my faculties and that these efforts must cause bondage Lord Krishna refutes this argument in the next verse.

Kumara Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The word nityatam can refer to eternal, regular or even daily. An act is eternal if it is connected to the atma which is the eternal soul. Actions merely connected to prakriti or the material nature are a persistent inheritance from ones past activities in the unknown past. Thus to perform actions comes easily as a natural phenomena and not subject to the inherent dangers of possessing an impure mind or the lack of sense control associated the with jnana yoga, the cultivation of spiritual knowledge. Therefore Lord Krishna is urging Arjuna to perform karma yoga or actions without attachment as in his case it is superior to cultivating knowledge. A-karma is non-action which implies cultivating knowledge by the abstention of activities. But it is known that it is not possible to completely achieve the actionless state. Even for the followers of jnana yoga the path of karma yoga is superior because in jnana yoga one must follow a path one is naturally not accustomed, is difficult to practice, fraught with the risk of dominant senses and also which does not flow as an inherent tendency like the path of karma yoga where actions follow the natural locomotion of the body in the course of daily activities. Further it will be shown that even one who is liberated by atma- tattva realisation of the eternal soul; still may be involved in so many activities, performing actions without attachment or as a matter of duty. Thus even atma-tattva can be connected to material activities transforming them to spiritual activities. Hence karma yoga can be superior in this way. What can be inferred about the superiority of karma yoga over jnana yoga will be evident to one who is actually engaged in practising jnana yoga. But an alternative argument could be alright suppose one is determined to abstain from all actions, then how does one expect to maintain their bodily existence which depends on eating and sleeping and washing and exercising etc. and by which the body is very helpful and useful in practising jnana yoga. The maintenance of ones physical body is absolutely essential to complete the course charted in life until one achieves their goal. The way in which one maintains their body is by actions such as labour by rightful means to acquire funds for performing worship to God by offerings of food which are subsequently imbued with spiritual potency and by partaking of the remnants of such foods solely for bodily sustenance each day maintain their bodies. In the Chandogya Upanisad VII.XXVI.II we find: It is by the purity of food that ones mind becomes purified. When the mind is purified one attains access to the eternal soul dwelling within the heart. Thus if one desires to desist from all activities how will their mind become purified and how will their bodily needs be maintained? Thus it is obvious that one who practices jnana yoga in order to maintain their bodily existence must still continue performing the daily and occasional duties prescribed in the Vedas until they reach their goal. The same as if one practised karma yoga. Also in karma yoga the contemplation of atma-tattva is also included in the conceptions that I am not my body perfoming actions and I am not the actual doer of any actions. So for all these reasons karma yoga is preferably recommended to jnana yogis. So the conclusion is for Arjuna to desist and practice karma yoga. But if it is still postulated that actions such as the acquiring of funds involves the my-ness of this is my money and the I-ness of I have earned this by the strength of my mind and the power of my faculties and that these efforts must cause bondage Lord Krishna refutes this argument in the next verse.

Transliteration Bhagavad Gita 3.8

Niyatam kuru karma twam karma jyaayo hyakarmanah; Shareerayaatraapi cha te na prasiddhyed akarmanah.

Word Meanings Bhagavad Gita 3.8

niyatam—constantly; kuru—perform; karma—Vedic duties; tvam—you; karma—action; jyāyaḥ—superior; hi—certainly; akarmaṇaḥ—than inaction; śharīra—bodily; yātrā—maintenance; api—even; cha—and; te—your; na prasiddhyet—would not be possible; akarmaṇaḥ—inaction