Chapter 3 - Karma Yoga


Path of Selfless Service



The third chapter of the Bhagavad Gita is Karma Yoga or the Path of Selfless Service. Here Lord Krishna emphasizes the importance of karma in life. He reveals that it is important for every human being to engage in some sort of activity in this material world. Further, he describes the kinds of actions that lead to bondage and the kinds that lead to liberation. Those persons who continue to perform their respective duties externally for the pleasure of the Supreme, without attachment to its rewards get liberation at the end.


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Verse 1


Arjun said: O Janardan, if you consider knowledge superior to action, then why do you ask me to wage this terrible war?

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Verse 2


My intellect is bewildered by your ambiguous advice. Please tell me decisively the one path by which I may attain the highest good.

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Verse 3


The Blessed Lord said: O sinless one, the two paths leading to enlightenment were previously explained by me: the path of knowledge, for those inclined toward contemplation, and the path of work for those inclined toward action.

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Verse 4


One cannot achieve freedom from karmic reactions by merely abstaining from work, nor can one attain perfection of knowledge by mere physical renunciation.

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Verse 5


There is no one who can remain without action even for a moment. Indeed, all beings are compelled to act by their qualities born of material nature (the three guṇas).

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Verse 6


Those who restrain the external organs of action, while continuing to dwell on sense objects in the mind, certainly delude themselves and are to be called hypocrites.

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