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Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 2, Verse 49

Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized
Verse: 49
durena hy avaram karma
buddhi-yogad dhananjaya
buddhau saranam anviccha
kripanah phala-hetavah

O Dhananjaya, keep all abominable activities far distant by devotional service, and in that consciousness surrender unto the Lord. Those who want to enjoy the fruits of their work are misers.

Krishna in this verse talks about the three types of activities: abominable activities (vikarma – activities that are not prescribed in the Vedas), prescribed activities performed in the mood of enjoyment (karma) and activities performed for the pleasure of the Lord (akarma).

A miser is a person who works hard but enjoys the fruits of his work. A person who works with a fruitive mentality gets only repeated birth and death. The real fruits of the activity, which is liberation, is lost because of this miserly mentality of wanting to enjoy the fruits. Srila Prabhupada mentions, "Only misers desire to enjoy the fruit of their own work just to be further entangled in material bondage." This mentality is condemned by Krishna.

This verse should be noted as Arjuna will ask further questions to seek clarifications on this verse beginning from the third chapter.

The living entity should work hard to escape suffering and not become further entangled in it. Buddhi yoga liberates one, and the effect of its practice is described in the next verse.

Please read the Sanskrit Verse and the Prabhupada's Purport.

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