Chapter 5: Karma-yoga — Action in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 5.10

brahmaṇy ādhāya karmāṇi

sańgaḿ tyaktvā karoti yaḥ

lipyate na sa pāpena

padma-patram ivāmbhasā


brahmaṇi — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ādhāya — resigning; karmāṇi — all works; sańgam — attachment; tyaktvā — giving up; karoti — performs; yaḥ — who; lipyate — is affected; na — never; saḥhe; pāpena — by sin; padma-patrama lotus leaf; iva — like; ambhasā — by the water.


One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water.


Here brahmaṇi means in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The material world is a sum total manifestation of the three modes of material nature, technically called the pradhāna. The Vedic hymns sarvaḿ hy etad brahma (Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad 2), tasmād etad brahma nāma-rūpam annaḿ ca jāyate (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.2.10), and, in the Bhagavad-gītā (14.3), mama yonir mahad brahma indicate that everything in the material world is a manifestation of Brahman; and although the effects are differently manifested, they are nondifferent from the cause. In the Īśopaniṣad it is said that everything is related to the Supreme Brahman, or Kṛṣṇa, and thus everything belongs to Him only. One who knows perfectly well that everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa, that He is the proprietor of everything and that, therefore, everything is engaged in the service of the Lord, naturally has nothing to do with the results of his activities, whether virtuous or sinful. Even one's material body, being a gift of the Lord for carrying out a particular type of action, can be engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is then beyond contamination by sinful reactions, exactly as the lotus leaf, though remaining in the water, is not wet. The Lord also says in the Gītā (3.30), mayi sarvāṇi karmāṇi sannyasya: "Resign all works unto Me [Kṛṣṇa]." The conclusion is that a person without Kṛṣṇa consciousness acts according to the concept of the material body and senses, but a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness acts according to the knowledge that the body is the property of Kṛṣṇa and should therefore be engaged in the service of Kṛṣṇa.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness