सक्ता: कर्मण्यविद्वांसो यथा कुर्वन्ति भारत |
कुर्याद्विद्वांस्तथासक्तश्चिकीर्षुर्लोकसंग्रहम् || 25||
saktāḥ karmaṇyavidvānso yathā kurvanti bhārata
kuryād vidvāns tathāsaktaśh chikīrṣhur loka-saṅgraham
saktāḥ—attached; karmaṇi—duties; avidvānsaḥ—the ignorant; yathā—as much as; kurvanti—act; bhārata—scion of Bharat (Arjun); kuryāt—should do; vidvān—the wise; tathā—thus; asaktaḥ—unattached; chikīrṣhuḥ—wishing; loka-saṅgraham—welfare of the world
O Arjuna! As the ignorant men work with attachment to action, so should the wise act without attachment, for the welfare of the world.
The wise and the ignorant both perform work. But there is a clear difference in attitude between the two. The wise act without attachment to the fruits of work. The ignorant act with attachment to the fruits of work. The wise are not entangled in work because they have no sense of doership. The ignorant are caught in the meshes of work by thinking that they are the doers. The wise work for the welfare of the world. The ignorant work for their own satisfaction. Work is common to both. But what a world of difference in purpose and spirit. Therefore the wise attain liberation through work and the ignorant are bound to the wheel of birth and death. Work is like a sword. For one who knows how to use it, it is a good instrument of action; for another, it is a deadly weapon of self-destruction. The wise use fire for useful purposes, the ignorant get themselves burned by it. This being so, it is essential that the seeker should understand the secret of right action, it method, attitude, and aim.
The Lord says, “Do not be inactive. Use this great instrument of action (karma) for Self-realisation. Know how you should work and with what aim.” He explains the method here. The principle of work is detachment. Work should be done without desire for the personal enjoyment of the fruits thereof, and unmindful of success or failure.
The common man is constantly at work, earning money with zeal and enthusiasm, building houses, purchasing lands, securing for himself and his family all the material pleasures of life. Besides, he thinks that he is the doer of all this work. But the impersonal attitude to work is Karma yoga. The wise people work with equal zeal and enthusiasm, but they know that they are only the instruments of the Lord in the service of humanity. Acting in this spirit, they attain liberation.
Welfare of the world: We understand from these words that the Lord values service to humanity and other beings. It is the duty of all seekers to do what is most pleasing to the Lord. In this service, work is worship of the Lord. Any little help and service done to fellow beings is accepted by Him as an act of devotion to Him.
Bharata: The ordinary meaning for this word is one who belongs to the family of Bharata. It has a special meaning also. Bha means light, ratah means desirous of light (spiritual illumination). The lord address Arjuna as the seeker of divine light. He exhorts his disciple to dispel darkness by spiritual realisation.
Swami Vivekananda Says —
“That which the ignorant do with desire for results and gain, let the wise do without any attachment and without any desire for results and gain.”[Source]
Question: How should a wise man work?
Answer: He should work in a detached spirit.
Question: For what purpose?
Answer: He should work for the welfare of the world.