यज्ञार्थात्कर्मणोऽन्यत्र लोकोऽयं कर्मबन्धन: |
तदर्थं कर्म कौन्तेय मुक्तसङ्ग: समाचर || 9||
yajñārthāt karmaṇo ’nyatra loko ’yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ
tad-arthaṁ karma kaunteya mukta-saṅgaḥ samāchara
yajña-arthāt—for the sake of sacrifice; karmaṇaḥ—than action; anyatra—else; lokaḥ—material world; ayam—this; karma-bandhanaḥ—bondage through one’s work; tat—that; artham—for the sake of; karma—action; kaunteya—Arjun, the son of Kunti; mukta-saṅgaḥ—free from attachment; samāchara—perform properly
O Arjuna! Works other than those performed for the sake of sacrifice (Yajna) binds this world. So perform work for sacrifice without attachment.
The teacher of the Gita dives new interpretations to familiarise with terms like yajna, sannyasa, tyaga etc. Ordinarily, yajna means a certain form of ritual, accompanied with the sacred fire, oblations, mantras and tantras, and other rites. The Lord defines the word as an act performed with no selfish motive for the service or humanity. Whatever may be the scope of work, great or small, if it is done as an act of dedication to God and service to beings, it becomes a yajna. This is within the capability of all men to perform and acquire merit. Generally, it is a mistaken view to think that karma binds men to Samsara. And even if it is good work, man has to be born again and again to enjoy the fruits of such karma. They argue that karma should be given up. But the Lord clears this misconception. When karma is done with the desire of enjoying its fruits, it binds man to the wheel of birth and death. What is done without desire and attachment cannot bind man. On the other hand, it purifies the mind and heart and leads to ultimate freedom.
Work done with attachment binds; the same work performed without attachment, liberates. Work performed as dedicated to God or as service to mankind liberates. So there is nothing evil in work as such. The evil lies in the personal motive behind it – the desire for reward and enjoyment. The Lord exhorts Arjuna to work intensely (samachara). But he wants his disciple to understand the principle behind work. One should understand it correctly and go into action. Otherwise he is caught in the meshes of karma. The law of work is thus explained here. 1. Yajna should be done as an act of dedication to God and as a service to humanity. 2. Yajna should be done without any attachment for the fruits thereof. Work done in this spirit, though it is of a common quality is transformed into a great yajna. Work then becomes worthier. It purifies and liberates.
Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 3 🔻 (43 Verses)
Question: What kind of work does not bind?
Answer: Work dedicated to God and humanity, and performed without desire for its fruits, does not cause bondage.