‘Karmanye Vadhikaraste’ Means What?

Arjuna and Krishna during Kurukshethra

Karmanye Vadhikaraste ma phaleshu kadachana

Karmanye vadhikaraste is the starting line and most popular in Bhagavad Gita’s chapter-2 verse-47. Bhagavad Gita is not just a book with loads of text but provides solutions and guidance to human’s life problems and equips you in improving horizon of knowledge and build a courage to live in any part of the world with confidence. It is experienced by many followers of the Bhagavad Gita readers that if you read and understand one sloka of the Bhagavad Gita per day then you will be away from all the sadness and get enlightened.

Karmanye Vadhikaraste

As the saying goes “No Pain No Gain”, which means when you are expecting some gains from an activity then definitely you must put 100 percent efforts on it to achieve gains from it. In contrast, the below sloka or verse goes like this:

Karmanye Vadhikaraste sloka

“Karmanye vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana,
Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhur Ma Te Sango Stv Akarmani”

Some people write Karmanye vadhikaraste as one word Karmanyevadhikaraste, both are accepted. The latter is used because it is appeared like that in the original sloka. But for an easy understanding of the reader I am emphasizing with two words.

The above sloka or verse means:

You have every right to work but not expecting the fruits out of it.
Let the focus be not on the fruits and never be inactive.

The line actually is a combination of Karmaya+eva+adhikara+te

Meaning of Karmanye Vadhikaraste ma phaleshu kadachana

  • Karmanya means In the work
  • Eva means Only
  • Adhikara means Right
  • Te means Your
  • Ma means No or not
  • Phaleshu means In the result or fruit (‘Phal ’ refers to fruit)
  • Kadachana means At any time or Ever
  • Ma means No or not
  • Karmaphala means fruit of the work or result of the work
  • Heteu means either reason or motive
  • Bhu means Be
  • Ma means No or not
  • Te means Your
  • Sang means either Attachment or Companion
  • Astu means Let there be
  • Akarmani means Be in Action

Sloka from Mahabharat

The above sloka/verse was a message given by Lord Krishna to Arjuna during the war time of the Mahabharata. Arjuna denies to fight against his opponents, who are none other than his relatives like uncles, cousins and other beloved ones being under the impression says to Lord Krishna that what will I get by killing my own relatives, just a piece of land, I will not commit a sin by killing them. Instead of killing them Arjuna prefers him to be killed by them in the war. At this moment, Lord Krishna delivers this message (i.e., the above sloka) to warrior Arjuna making him know what is his duty:

Karmanye

Karmanye Vadhikaraste

Lord Krishna says to Arjuna that your duty is to fight in the war and you have to fight. No matter whether you win or lose, but you have to fight to fulfill your duty. You don’t worry about the end result of the war, just perform your duty well and leave the rest to almighty. Even if you are killed and die in the war, you will go to heaven because you have performed your duty well.

Lord Krishna also tells to Arjuna that you should never let the result be the motive of your action. In this context, fight refers to action and win or lose refers to the result or fruit. Ultimately, the inference is be neutral if you win or your opponent wins. Consistently focus on your duties and not on the output on the duties.

I want to take an example of a student in connection to the above verse

The duty of a student is to learn the subjects and gain knowledge. A student must not study for the sake of just passing the exams but has to acquire the subject comprehensively so that he/she can excel in that area in whatever way it comes. So, a student has to learn things without thinking about will he/she pass or fail in exam. If  a student studies keeping in mind whether he/she will pass or fail in the exam then nothing stores in the brain subjectively, this may result in the performance issues aftermath the examination and chances are there student may lose the ability to understand the concepts learned before exams. So, it is better to follow the verse explained in the Bhagavad Gita and flourish in the world of knowledge.

One more example to highlight on Selflessness:

Under some circumstances, we help others either financially or on the grounds of the humanity without expecting the help in return, this is called as Selflessness. According to Bhagavad Gita, it is believed that if you help someone without expecting something in return then you will be rewarded by something good in some form.  In reference to the above verse, helping refers to duty and getting reward is the fruit.

Bagavad_Gita -Karmanye Vadhikaraste                         “Karmanye Vadhikaraste maa phaleshu kadachana”

Note:

Be indifferent and do things differently with the knowledge you have gained. This can be performed only when you practice things consistently and explore the subject knowledge. When you do things rightly then the end result will be rewarded in some form or the other, never do things for the sake of rewards because it will confine your pathway to bigger success ahead. Learning a new verse from Bhagavad Gita on a daily basis and implementing in one’s life will yield good result and drives you to God Consciousness.

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