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Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 2, Verse 50

Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized
Verse: 50
buddhi-yukto jahatiha
ubhe sukrita-dushkrite
tasmad yogaya yujyasva
yogah karmasu kausalam

Translation:
A man engaged in devotional service rids himself of both good and bad actions even in this life. Therefore strive for yoga, which is the art of all work.

Explanation:
People often focus on "good actions," to the exclusion of every thing else. The terms "service to man is service to God" or "charity starts at home" are often quoted to support this view. Here Krishna clearly says that one must free oneself with both good and bad actions. Both these type of activities result in binding one to the material world, either in the spirit of enjoyment or suffering. Whether a person is living in a first class cell or a third class cell, life in the prison will ultimately lead to distress. Similarly whether one enjoys or suffers, material life for all is ultimately subject to the four fold miseries of birth, death, disease and old-age.

One may endeavor to strive for akarma (or activity without reactions) by completely ceasing all activities. The jnanis try to do that but ultimately fail because it is the nature of the soul to be active and seek engagements. Krishna thus offers the perfect solution. Work, but in devotion. The senses are fully engaged but since all is done for the pleasure of the Lord, there will never be any reactions.

Krishna recommends yoga as the "art of all work." Yoga means to connect with God. Once a person strives to understand his constitutional position with respect to the Lord, then he will automatically perform activities for the pleasure of the Lord. These activities, called bhakti or devotional service are the only means of liberation. This concept is further explained in the next verse.

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

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