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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 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।।

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.