BG 18.17

यस्य नाहंकृतो भावो बुद्धिर्यस्य न लिप्यते।हत्वापि स इमाँल्लोकान्न हन्ति न निबध्यते।।18.17।।

yasya nāhankṛito bhāvo buddhir yasya na lipyate hatvā ‘pi sa imāl lokān na hanti na nibadhyate

yasya—whose; na ahankṛitaḥ—free from the ego of being the doer; bhāvaḥ—nature; buddhiḥ—intellect; yasya—whose; na lipyate—unattached; hatvā—slay; api—even; saḥ—they; imān—this; lokān—living beings; na—neither; hanti—kill; na—nor; nibadhyate—get bound


He who is free from the egoistic notion, whose intelligence is not tainted by good or evil, though he slays these people, he does not slay, nor is he bound by the action.


18.17 यस्य whose? न not? अहंकृतः egoistic? भावः the notion? बुद्धिः intelligence? यस्य of whom? न not? लिप्यते is tainted? हत्वा having slain? अपि even? सः he? इमान् these? लोकान् people? न not? हन्ति slays? न not? निबध्यते is bound.Commentary I will explain to thee? O Arjuna? the characterisitics of the man who has transcended activity? and who has gone beyond the bonds of Karma.When selfishnes and

egoism are destroyed? when desire and personal gain are renounced? actions cannot bind a man. He knows that the Self is not destroyed when the body perishes. He has no idea of agency. The act of killing itself? in his case? becomes one necessary for the peace and harmony of the world. His killing without desire is like the killing of a murderer by the executioner and the judge on behalf of the community

for the preservation of peace and harmony in the world.He who has a trained intellect? pure understanding and developed reason? who has a knowledge of the scriptures? who has devoted himself to the study of the scriptures? who is eipped with the knowledge of logic? who is well trained by the instructions of his preceptor? is absolutely free from the egoistic notion that I am the agent or the doer.

He knows perfectly well that Nature or Guna or ones own nature does everything. He thus thinks I am the silent witness of all activities. I am not the doer. These five (the body? the actor? etc.) which are superimposed on the pure? actionless Self through ignorance are the causes of all actions. I do not do anything. The senses move amongst the senseobjects. The alities (Gunas) move in their counterparts

in the senses which are also the products of the Gunas. I know the essence of the divisions of the alities and their functions. I am in essence without limbs. How can action or work be ascribed to me I am without hands? without legs? without feet? without breath and without mind. I am ever pure? spotless and immovable and immutable. He will never repent thus I have done a wrong action. I ought to

have done like this. I have done an evil action. I will go to hell. He is always wise. He can,never do a wrong action. His will has become one with the cosmic will. His will has become blended with the will of the Lord. Whatever he does is done by the Lord only. He has no will of his own. He sees rightly. Though he kills? he does not commit the act of killing. He is not bound by the fruit of a vicious

action as an effect of that act. He is beyond good and evil? beyond the pairs of opposites? as he has knowledge of the Self.An objector says The statement that though he kills these people? he does not kill? is selfcontradictory.We say This objection is really not tenable. From the worldly point of view the Lord says though he kills? because man identifies the Self with the body? etc.? and thinks

I am the killer. From the transcendental point of view explained above? the Lord says? He kills not? he is not bound.Another objector says The Self acts in conjunction with the body? etc.? -- He who looks upon his Self Which is isolated? as the agent৷৷. (XVIII.16)We say This objection also cannot stand. As the omnipresent ether is not affected by reason of its subtlety? even so the Self? seated everywhere

in the body? is not affected. This immortal? immutable? changeless? formless? attributeless Self? though seated in the body? does not act and is not affected? just as the crystal is not affected by the red colour of the flower that comes into contact with it? just as the sun is not affected by the diseases of the eye. A thing that changes only can join with others and become the agent. The Self is

always isolated? independent and free. This Self is immutable (II.25). The alities move amidst the alities (III.28). Though seated in the body? He does not act (XIII.31). Actions are wrought by the alities (III.27). You will find in the Brihadaranyaka were. By reasoning also we may establish the same conclusion thusThe Self is indivisible? allpervading? infinite? limbless? without parts? independent?

ever free and immutable. Therefore the actions of the body can never be ascribed to the agency of the Self.Verily the actions of one cannot go to another who has not done them. Just as blue colour cannot belong to the sky? silver to the motherofpearl? water to mirage? so also what is ascribed to the Self by ignorance cannot really belong to It. The changes that occur in the body pertain to the body

but not to the pure actionless Self which is always the spectator or the silent witness. Therefore? it is right to say that the wise man who is free from egoism and all impurities of the mind? neither kills nor is he bound though he kills.In chapter II.19? the Lord stated the proposition -- He slayeth not? nor is he slain. In chapter II.20? He said The Self is unborn? eternal? ancient the Self is

not slain when the body is killed. The Lord has touched here and there that the Self is not affected by works? that there is no necessity for the wise man of doing actions. He concludes that the sage kills not? nor is he bound? and sums up the teaching of the Gita. The teaching of the Gita has been concluded in this verse. The Sannyasins who are free from egoism are not affected by Karma. The threefold

fruits of action? viz.? evil? good and mixed (see verse 12 above) do not accrue to them. Those worldlyminded persons who work with egoism and expectation of fruits are tainted by the works. They are forced to experience the fruits of their actions and to take birth again and again. (Cf.II.19V.7)