नियतं सङ्गरहितमरागद्वेषत: कृतम् |
अफलप्रेप्सुना कर्म यतत्सात्त्विकमुच्यते || 23||
niyataṁ saṅga-rahitam arāga-dveṣhataḥ kṛitam
aphala-prepsunā karma yat tat sāttvikam uchyate
niyatam—in accordance with scriptures; saṅga-rahitam—free from attachment; arāga-dveṣhataḥ—free from attachment and aversion; kṛitam—done; aphala-prepsunā—without desire for rewards; karma—action; yat—which; tat—that; sāttvikam—in the mode of goodness; uchyate—is called
Ordained by the Sastras, that action, performed by one not desirous of the fruit, without attachment, free from love and hate, is called Sattvic karma.
Wherever the word ‘karma’ is used, the Lord invariably employs the attribute ‘niyatam’ or its equivalent, thereby emphasising the authority of the Sastras about all the activities of mankind. No one should consider his personal opinion as the measure of Truth. Every seeker should know what is ordained in the Sastras, examine it by personal experience, and then act rightly in all matters. Half-digested notions, fanciful theories, personal likes and dislikes, are nowadays taken as basic truths by individual members of society. Independent judgment has come down to the level of personal feelings of men who are subject to a hundred vile passions and prejudices. So, without deluding oneself by clinging to his own views, notions, and opinions, men should act according to the Sastras, as the Sastras embody the combined wisdom of sages who have gone beyond ‘raga’ and dvesha’, and whose only aim is to work for the welfare of humanity.
As no man can live without action, as action is life itself as we see, it is necessary to know the principles of action.
- Action should be as prescribed by the Sastras.
- It should be performed without attachment, without any feeling of doership.
- It should be performed without attraction or aversion
- It should be performed without desire for the fruit.
This is the four-way test of Sattvic action. It purifies the mind, washes away the evils of the heart, corrects all defects, confers knowledge, and leads to Moksha.
Formerly, the Lord has declared that action should be without the sense of doership ‘Sangarahitam‘ and also the actor should be free from the taint of egotism. There should not be the feeling “I am doing this or that, this is my work”. This is the secret of work. Such work does not blind. The message of the Gita is this secret of work. The call to action and the way how to perform the action, are the chief instructions of the Gita.
Aragadveshatah: No action can be pure if it is performed by the impulses of desire and hatred. The motive behind action vitiates it. All actions generally are the effects of the impulses of Raga and Dvesha. When there is no such longing for objects, action becomes pure and perfect.
Question: What is the nature of Sattvic Karma?
Answer: 1. It is ordained by the Sastras; 2. It is performed without attachment; 3. It is not motivated by passions and prejudices; 4. It is done without desire for fruit. Such is Sattvic Karma.
Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 18 🔻 (78 Verses)