Bhagavad Gita - Chapter V:
Action In Krishna Consciousness

Text 8-9
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • naiva kincit karomiti
  • yukto manyeta tattva-vit
  • pasyan srnvan sprsan
  • jighrann asnan gacchan
  • svapan svasan.
  • pralapan visrjan
  • grhnann unmisan
  • nimisann api
  • indriyanindriyarthesu
  • vartanta iti dharayan.
English Translation:
A person in the divine consciousness, although engaged in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving about, sleeping and breathing, always knows within himself that he actually does nothing at all. Because while speaking, evacuating, receiving, or opening or closing his eyes, he always knows that only the material senses are engaged with their objects and that he is aloof from them.

A person in Krishna consciousness is pure in his existence, and consequently he has nothing to do with any work which depends upon five immediate and remote causes: the doer, the work, the situation, the endeavor and fortune. This is because he is engaged in the loving transcendental service of Krishna. Although he appears to be acting with his body and senses, he is always conscious of his actual position, which is spiritual engagement. In material consciousness, the senses are engaged in sense gratification, but in Krishna consciousness the senses are engaged in the satisfaction of Krishna's senses.

Therefore, the Krishna conscious person is always free, even though he appears to be engaged in affairs of the senses. Activities such as seeing and hearing are actions of the senses meant for receiving knowledge, whereas moving, speaking, evacuating, etc., are actions of the senses meant for work. A Krishna conscious person is never affected by the actions of the senses. He cannot perform any act except in the service of the Lord because he knows that he is the eternal servitor of the Lord.

Text 10

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • brahmany adhaya karmani
  • sangam tyaktva karoti
  • yah lipyate na sa papena
  • padma-patram ivambhasa.
English Translation:
One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water.

Purport: Here brahmani means in Krishna consciousness. The material world is a sum total manifestation of the three modes of material nature, technically called the pradhana. The Vedic hymns and, in the Bhagavad-Gita, indicate that everything in the material world is a manifestation of Brahman; and although the effects are differently manifested, they are non-different from the cause. In the Isopanisad it is said that everything is related to the Supreme Brahman, or Krishna, and thus everything belongs to Him only.

One who knows perfectly well that everything belongs to Krishna, that He is the proprietor of everything and that, therefore, everything is engaged in the service of the Lord, naturally has nothing to do with the results of his activities, whether virtuous or sinful. Even one's material body, being a gift of the Lord for carrying out a particular type of action, can be engaged in Krishna conscious- ness. It is then beyond contamination by sinful reactions, exactly as the lotus leaf, though remaining in the water, is not wet. The Lord also says in the Gita:

"Resign all works unto Me [Krishna]." The conclusion is that a person without Krishna consciousness acts according to the concept of the material body and senses, but a person in Krishna consciousness acts according to the knowledge that the body is the property of Krishna and should therefore be engaged in the service of Krishna.

Text 11

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • kayena manasa buddhya
  • kevalair indriyair api
  • yoginah karma kurvanti
  • sangam tyaktvatma-suddhaye.
English Translation:
The yogis, abandoning attachment, act with body, mind, intelligence and even with the senses, only for the purpose of purification.

When one acts in Krishna consciousness for the satisfaction of the senses of Krishna, any action, whether of the body, mind, intelligence or even the senses, is purified of material contamination. There are no material reactions resulting from the activities of a Krishna conscious person. Therefore purified activities, which are generally called sad-acara, can be easily performed by acting in Krishna consciousness. Sri Rupa Gosvami in his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu describes this as follows:

"A person acting in Krishna consciousness (or, in other words, in the service of Krishna) with his body, mind, intelligence and words is a liberated person even within the material world, although he may be engaged in many so-called material activities."

He has no false ego, for he does not believe that he is this material body, or that he possesses the body. He knows that he is not this body and that this body does not belong to him. He himself belongs to Krishna, and the body too belongs to Krishna. When he applies everything produced of the body, mind, intelligence, words, life, wealth, etc.—whatever he may have within his possession—to Krishna's service, he is at once dovetailed with Krishna. He is one with Krishna and is devoid of the false ego that leads one to believe that he is the body, etc. This is the perfect stage of Krishna consciousness.

Text 12
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • yuktah karma-phalam
  • tyaktva santim apnoti
  • naisthikim ayuktah kama-karena
  • phale sakto nibadhyate.
English Translation:
The steadily devoted soul attains unadulterated peace because he offers the result of all activities to Me; whereas a person who is not in union with the Divine, who is greedy for the fruits of his labor, becomes entangled.

The difference between a person in Krishna consciousness and a person in bodily consciousness is that the former is attached to Krishna whereas the latter is attached to the results of his activities. The person who is attached to Krishna and works for Him only is certainly a liberated person, and he has no anxiety over the results of his work. In the Bhagavatam, the cause of anxiety over the result of an activity is explained as being one's functioning in the conception of duality, that is, without knowledge of the Absolute Truth. Krishna is the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead. In Krishna consciousness, there is no duality. All that exists is a product of Krishna's energy, and Krishna is all good. Therefore, activities in Krishna consciousness are on the absolute plane; they are transcendental and have no material effect. One is therefore filled with peace in Krishna consciousness. But one who is entangled in profit calculation for sense gratification cannot have that peace. This is the secret of Krishna consciousness—realization that there is no existence besides Krishna is the platform of peace and fearlessness.

Text 13
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • sarva-karmani manasa
  • sannyasyaste sukham vasi
  • nava-dvare pure dehi
  • naiva kurvan na karayan.
English Translation:
When the embodied living being controls his nature and mentally renounces all actions, he resides happily in the city of nine gates [the material body], neither working nor causing work to be done.


The embodied soul lives in the city of nine gates. The activities of the body, or the figurative city of body, are conducted automatically by its particular modes of nature. The soul, although subjecting him- self to the conditions of the body, can be beyond those conditions, if he so desires.

Owing only to forgetfulness of his superior nature, he identifies with the material body, and therefore suffers. By Krishna consciousness, he can revive his real position and thus come out of his embodiment. Therefore, when one takes to Krishna consciousness, one at once becomes completely aloof from bodily activities. In such a controlled life, in which his deliberations are changed, he lives happily within the city of nine gates. The nine gates are mentioned as follows:

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is living within the body of a living entity, is the controller of all living entities all over the universe. The body consists of nine gates [two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, the anus and the genitals]. The living entity in his conditioned stage identifies himself with the body, but when he identifies himself with the Lord within himself, he becomes just as free as the Lord, even while in the body."

Text 14
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • na kartrvam na karmani
  • lokasya srjati prabhuh
  • na karma-phala-samyogam
  • svabhavas tu pravartate.
English Translation:
The embodied spirit, master of the city of his body, does not create activities, nor does he induce people to act, nor does he create the fruits of action. All this is enacted by the modes of material nature.


The living entity, as will be explained in the Seventh Chapter, is one of the energies or natures of the Supreme Lord but is distinct from matter, which is another nature—called inferior—of the Lord. Somehow the superior nature, the living entity, has been in contact with material nature since time immemorial. The temporary body or material dwelling place which he obtains is the cause of varieties of activities and their resultant reactions. Living in such a conditional atmosphere, one suffers the results of the activities of the body by identifying himself (in ignorance) with the body. It is ignorance acquired from time immemorial that is the cause of bodily suffering and distress. As soon as the living entity becomes aloof from the activities of the body, he becomes free from the reactions as well. As long as he is in the city of body, he appears to be the master of it, but actually he is neither its proprietor nor controller of its actions and reactions. He is simply in the midst of the material ocean, struggling for existence. The waves of the ocean are tossing him, and he has no control over them. His best solution is to get out of the water by transcendental Krishna consciousness. That alone will save him from all turmoil.

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