Gita on Performing Selfless Actions

त्रैगुण्यविषया वेदा निस्त्रैगुण्यो भवार्जुन ।
निर्द्वन्द्वो नित्यसत्त्वस्थो निर्योगक्षेम आत्मवान् ॥४५॥

trai-guṇya-viṣayā vedā, nistrai-guṇyo bhavārjuna
nirdvandvo nitya-sattva-stho, niryoga-kṣema ātmavān

O Arjuna, the Vedas enumerate the three Guṇas (attributes of Prakṛti) and their evolutes.  Transcend the three Guṇas and rise above the dualities (pairs of opposites) such as attachment and aversion, and become established in Eternal Existence (God), unconcerned about the acquisition of new wants and preservation of what has been already acquired. Depend on God only i.e., have the aim to attain Him.   45

Comment – The Lord is commanding Arjuna to discard the portion of the Vedas which deal with actions to achieve worldly objects (sakām-bhāvā) and adopt the yoga of performing selfless actions (nishkāma-bhāva). By performing selfless actions, you will transcend the three Guṇas (freedom from birth and death cycle). By breaking the relationship with the constantly changing and temporary world, experience the Existent Conscious Element, that is ever presence, your natural state.  Also, do not desire for Yogakema (Yoga is the acquisition of what we do not have and Kema is the preservation of what we already have), because it is desire only which is the cause for the bondage.

Lord said it first in Verse 42, about those persons, who are interested in ‘veda-vāda-ratāḥ’ (portion of Vedas which describes sacrifices done to achieve worldly objects), their intellect is not determinate because for a determinate intellect it is necessary to have selfless motive. Vedas describe actions related to the three guṇas but Lord commands Arjuna to transcend the three Guṇasnistrai-guṇyo bhavārjuna’.

Persons performing sacrifices for selfish motive as mentioned in Vedas, do notgetYogakema and they continue to whirl in birth and death cycle- evaṁ trayī-dharmam anuprapannā gatāgataṁ kāma-kāmā labhante’  (Gītā  9/21). The reason for revolving in the birth and death cycle is not Vedas but it is the desire.

For aspirants whose goal is to attain God, what to speak of the desire for pleasure and prosperity, they should not even have a desire for Yogakema. Therefore, Lord is asking Arjuna to abandon the desire even for his Yogakema, it means to become totally selfless, not to have any worldly or spiritual desire.

No one is as merciful as God. He says for my devotees, I take care of their Yogakṣema — supply what they do not have and preserve what they already have (Gītā 9/22). I remove all obstacles in their spiritual path– ‘mac-cittaḥ sarva-durgāṇi mat-prasādāt tariṣyasi’ (Gītā 18/58) and deliver from the ocean of death-bound existence ‘ teṣām ahaṁ samuddhartā’(Gītā 12/7). Therefore, for the devotee who is engaged in adoration of God, he should not worry at all about his spiritual practice and his deliverance.

Gita Prabodhani – Chapter 2 Verse 45, By Swami Ramsukhdasji Maharaj;