Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 3 verse 9: Excluding acts of sacrifice, this world is in bondage to action. To achieve sacrifice perform actions free from attachments.


Krishna's uses 'bondage' in two ways. First, we are bound to act because our survival depends on it: 'Even the maintenance of your body would not be possible without action' (3.08). Second and on a deeper level, when we look for happiness in objects of the senses — rather than within ourselves — we become bound to our actions to acquire those objects and the happiness they promise (2.39).


Regardless, 'To achieve sacrifice perform actions free from attachments.' Serve the desires of others; practice karma yoga (2.45, 3.08). When we sacrifice our desires for others' — a natural consequence of staying true to the householder's path (previous verse, 3.08) — we operate on the level of the Self.* The Self just is, eternal, 'maintenance' free, outside the field of action and therefore, 'free from attachments.'

*To sacrifice desire and action simply means to innocently renounce the same (2.45).

copyright commentary Keith R Parker 2021