Understanding Gita – 56

Chapter 3 – Karma Yoga

Shloka 19 – 20

TEXT 19

tasmād asakta satata
kārya karma samācara
asakto hy ācaran karma
param āpnoti pūrua

SYNONYMS

tasmāttherefore; asaktawithout attachment; satatamconstantly; kāryamas duty; karmawork; samācaraperform; asaktanonattachment; hicertainly; ācaranperforming; karmawork; paramthe Supreme; āpnotiachieves; pūruaa man.

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

Therefore, without attachment, constantly perform karma as your duty. By performing karma with non-attachment, one can achieve The Supreme.

How to attain detachment towards karma, by practicing not getting attached to the fruits of your karma. If you do anything as your duty, you are automatically not focusing on the results. We have to make a habit out of it. Like for example, a mother takes care of her child as a duty, so she is automatically not focusing on the results.  

Edited to add:
Divya – one should accept whatever task comes one’s way, be it a measly job or an important one without mentally getting involved in it. Work should be done physically not mentally.

*********

TEXT 20

karmaaiva hi sasiddhim
āsthitā janakādaya
loka-sagraham evāpi
sampaśyan kartum arhasi

SYNONYMS

karmaāby work; evaeven; hicertainly; sasiddhimperfection; āsthitāsituated; janakaādayakings like Janaka and others; lokasagrahameducating the people in general; evaalso; apifor the sake of; sampaśyanby considering; kartumto act; arhasideserve.

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

By work itself, Kings like Janaka and others attained siddhi(liberation). For the sake of educating the people at least you deserve to act.

If a person who attains siddhi doesn’t perform his duties, as he doesn’t need to do that anymore, then the ignorant people will copy the latter part of not performing their duties, and leave the first part of attaining siddhi. So to guide them, people who have achieved perfect knowledge, should still continue to perform their duties. Kings like Janaka, even after attaining liberation, performed their prescribed duties(in his case as a King), only to guide people.

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