Understanding Gita – 51

Chapter 3 – Karma Yoga 

Shloka 9-10


yajñārthāt karmao ‘nyatra
loko ‘ya karma-bandhana
tad-artha karma kaunteya
mukta-saga samācara


yajñaarthātonly for the sake of Yajña, or Viṣṇu; karmaawork done; anyatraotherwise; lokathis world; ayamthis; karmabandhana—bondage by work; tatHim; arthamfor the sake of; karmawork; kaunteya—O son of Kuntī; muktasagaliberated from association; samācarado it perfectly.

Text Source – “http://prabhupadabooks.com/bg

Any work done, which is not for yajna(as a service for God), leads to karma bandana(bondage). Therefore do the karma perfectly for the sake of Lord, O Kaunteya, and you shall be liberated.

From the previous verse we got to know that doing karma is far better than not doing karma. So what kind of karma one needs to do, is told in this verse.

Do the work for the sake of the Lord. Any other work will lead you to bondage.  And do it perfectly. So when one is performing their duties, they should think that they are doing it as a service to the Lord. And anything done for the Lord, we tend to do it wholeheartedly and perfectly.

What is Yajna here?

Divya – there is fire in our body to assimilate food, knowledge, etc. So when we eat food if we offer it to God, then the process of burning that food becomes yajna. The process of burning ignorance becomes yajna. 



saha-yajñā prajā sṛṣṭ
purovāca prajāpati
anena prasaviyadhvam
ea vo ‘stv iṣṭa-kāma-dhuk


sahaalong with; yajñāsacrifices; prajāgenerations; sṛṣṭby creating; purāanciently; uvācasaid; prajāpatithe Lord of creatures; anenaby this; prasaviyadhvambe more and more prosperous; eacertainly; vayour; astulet it be; iṣṭaall desirable; kāmadhukbestower.

Text Source – “http://prabhupadabooks.com/bg

By creating prajah(people) who knew about yajna, the Lord who created them said, by doing yajna become more and more prosperous and and let it bestow upon you everything you desire.

In the beginning of creation, this is what Lord directed the people to do(the previous verse, i.e do yajnas), and all your desires will be fulfilled.

Now in the previous chapter we saw that anything done for the sake of desire fulfillment is low quality karma. But here it is the other way around. You do everything for the sake of Lord -> high quality of karma, and as a result your desires will be fulfilled.

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