Karma is among the most misunderstood terms in the modern world. Everyone is talking, writing, and sharing their experience with Karma. The term “Karma” is heavily mentioned in the Ancient Indian Scriptures including The Bhagavad Gita. Let’s see what Lord Krishna teaches Arjuna (and the world) about Karma through karma bhagavad gita quotes.
9 Inspiring Karma Bhagavad Gita Quotes
(These are not just quotes, but lessons on how we should work and live)
- Perform your duty, but don’t be attached to the results
- Karma Yoga frees a person from the cycle of birth and death
- Karma Yoga makes you the best among men
- Karma Yoga keeps the cycle of prosperity in the world going
- Karma without attachment to fruits leads to the attainment of Supreme Reality
- Karma is actually done by modes of material nature, not us
- Karma Yoga is better means of Liberation than the renunciation of work
- Karma Yoga makes you eternally peaceful
- Karma should only be done for the purification of oneself
1. Perform your duty, but don’t be attached to the results
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन ।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ॥ ४७ ॥
You have a right to perform your prescribed duty (Karma) but are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.
(Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, Verse 47)
You probably have heard this before. Lord Krishna mentions this to Arjuna right in the second chapter as this is the essence of Karma. The results of every work that we do depend on a lot of factors. So the fruits that we get out of our Karma may not necessarily be the same as we may wish.
Thus, Krishna teaches us to accept it as a fact that we only have control over performing our duties. The results will come according to the will of the Supreme Lord.
2. Karma Yoga frees a person from the cycle of birth and death
कर्मजं बुद्धियुक्ता हि फलं त्यक्त्वा मनीषिणः ।
जन्मबन्धविनिर्मुक्ताः पदं गच्छन्त्यनामयम् ॥ ५१ ॥
By thus engaging in devotional service to the Lord, great sages or devotees free themselves from the results of work in the material world (Karma Yoga). In this way, they become free from the cycle of birth and death and attain the state beyond all miseries [by going back to Godhead].
(Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, Verse 51)
When we stop working for the fruits or results and perform our duties in Karma Yoga, it is described that the reactions of our Karma stop which eventually frees us from the cycle of birth and death.
3. Karma Yoga makes you the best among men
यस्त्विन्द्रियाणि मनसा नियम्यारभतेऽर्जुन ।
कर्मेन्द्रियैः कर्मयोगमसक्तः स विशिष्यते ॥ ७ ॥
If a sincere person tries to control the active senses by the mind and begins karma-yoga [in Kṛṣṇa consciousness] without attachment, he is by far superior.
(Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 3, Verse 7)
The verse just before this says, “One who restrains the senses of action but whose mind dwells on sense objects certainly deludes himself and is called a pretender.” Therefore, Krishna advises us to be sincere in our effort to control our senses with the help of the mind.
And the mind will be able to control these powerful senses when we are situated in Karma Yoga (i.e. doing our prescribed duties and being detached from the fruits of our actions). Only when our minds, senses, and actions align can we do our best in our endeavors. This verse is among the best success karma bhagavad gita quotes.
4. Karma Yoga keeps the cycle of prosperity in the world going
अन्नाद्भवन्ति भूतानि पर्जन्यादन्नसम्भवः ।
यज्ञाद्भवति पर्जन्यो यज्ञः कर्मसमुद्भवः ॥ १४ ॥
All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rain. Rains are produced by the performance of yajña [sacrifice], and yajña is born of Karma.
(Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 3, Verse 14)
Not only our happiness but the world’s prosperity depends on Karma. As Lord Krishna revealed the cycle that goes from our survival on food and connects it to our Karma, we understand the importance of Karma in our life.
The karma quotes in Bhagavad Gita are like jewels spread throughout the book. It takes a great deal of divine knowledge and practice to be situated in Karma Yoga through sacrifice. And we should adopt these teaching to make our and other’s life prosperous.
5. Karma without attachment to fruits leads to the attainment of Supreme Reality
तस्मादसक्तः सततं कार्यं कर्म समाचर ।
असक्तो ह्याचरन्कर्म परमाप्नोति पूरूषः ॥ १९ ॥
Therefore, without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty, for by working without attachment one attains the Supreme.
(Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 3, Verse 19)
This is the best result that you can gain out of performing Karma Yoga. Since your actions are selfless and without attachment to fruits, no Karmic reactions are generated. Therefore you will attain the Supreme realities described in various scriptures including the Bhagavad Gita.
6. Karma is actually done by modes of material nature, not us
प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः ।
अहङ्कारविमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते ॥ २७ ॥
The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of material nature.
(Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 3, Verse 27)
This knowledge, that we are spirit soul, frees a person from the bondage of material nature. This karma bhagavad gita quotes says that all the Karmas are actually performed by modes of material nature and only an ignorant person thinks that he performs Karma. In this way, he bounds himself.
7. Karma Yoga is better means of Liberation than the renunciation of work
सन्न्यास: कर्मयोगश्च नि:श्रेयसकरावुभौ ।
तयोस्तु कर्मसन्न्यासात्कर्मयोगो विशिष्यते ॥ २ ॥
The renunciation of work and work in devotion are both good for liberation. But, of the two, work in devotional service (Karma Yoga) is better than the renunciation of work.
(Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 5, Verse 2)
As long as one is working or doing Karma, he is getting in the bondage of material nature. And as a result, a repeated cycle of birth and death occurs. In this verse, Lord Krishna recommends everyone to perform activities in Karma Yoga so that the reactions of your Karma stop and you will get liberated.
8. Karma Yoga makes you eternally peaceful
युक्त: कर्मफलं त्यक्त्वा शान्तिमाप्नोति नैष्ठिकीम् ।
अयुक्त: कामकारेण फले सक्तो निबध्यते ॥ १२ ॥
The steadily devoted soul attains unadulterated peace because he offers the result of all activities to Me; whereas a person who is not in union with the Divine, who is greedy for the fruits of his labor, becomes entangled.
(Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 5, Verse 12)
When you are not attached to the results of your action and offers them to God (whatever it may be good or bad), naturally you become peaceful. But when a person tries to take control of the results of his actions in every manner, he will be agitated.
9. Karma should only be done for the purification of oneself
कायेन मनसा बुद्ध्या केवलैरिन्द्रियैरपि ।
योगिन: कर्म कुर्वन्ति सङ्गं त्यक्त्वात्मशुद्धये ॥ ११ ॥
The yogīs, abandoning attachment, act with body, mind, intelligence, and even with the senses, only for the purpose of purification.
(Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 5, Verse 11)
Our karmas are contaminated by modes of material nature such as lust, greed, and anger. Therefore, an intelligent person should work for the purpose of purification not driven by these modes of material nature. In this way, you’ll proceed ahead both in the material and spiritual aspects of life.
Bhagavad Gita is the ocean of knowledge and wisdom. We can find various quotes just like these karma Bhagavad Gita quotes in this book on other aspects of life. There are many benefits of reading Bhagavad Gita and the most important of them all is that it gives clarity of mind.
As you can see, while reading the verses on Karma, you will sense a divine bliss because these instructions are directly spoken by Lord Krishna himself. Just like a manufacturer knows the working of a car, Lord Krishna (the creator of our universe) knows the Karma Yoga and tells us about this in Bhagavad Gita.
Reference: Veda Base to read online copies of ancient scriptures such as Bhagavad Gita As It Is as more.