Gita quotes on karma: Want to live your best life? Laws to live by…

The word karma in literal form means ‘action.’ The result of our actions is referred to as karma-phalam in Sanskrit, or the ‘fruit of one’s actions.”Phalam’ means fruit. These Gita quotes on karma will help you understand what it means, as the principal authority on how to live your life, the Bhagavad Gita, laid it down.

The law of karma and the path of karma yog

The law of ‘karma’ states that your work is your responsibility, not its result.

Bhagavad Gita says ‘never let the fruits of your actions be your motive. Nor give in to inaction. Set firmly in yourself, do your work, not attached to anything. Remain even-minded in success, and in failure. Even mindedness is true yoga.’

Karma yoga is a path to reach moksha (spiritual liberation) through your work, the Gita says.

Rightful action without being attached to fruits or being manipulated by what the results might be, with a dedication to one’s duty, and trying one’s best while being neutral to rewards or outcomes such as success or failure, is the true attainment of karma yoga.

This goes away from the human tendency to seek the fruits of action is normal,  but an exclusive attachment to fruits and positive immediate consequences can compromise dharma.

Bhagavad Gita is considered one of the eternal Vedic literature, whose teachings and message are supreme, and still practised in the modern era.

There are various subsections in the Gita but the concept of karma yoga is particularly relevant and so are the teachings and values of the Lord Krishna, due to its pragmatic modern-day implications.

Karma word emerges from the Sanskrit element ‘kri’ which means to ‘do something or some action.’

In a time where electronic devices are programmed to perform most actions for us, what does karma mean?

For something to become karma, the requisite is the living agent and willful action, not a compulsion act; it means a self-aware entity performing a willful action.

The human being is the self-aware entity that functions as an agent for the work by using their senses to act. As they are capable of attaining karma fal (results of their actions) with the intention to perform the conscious deeds.

The action is only one if it is accomplished with the right motive and intention that karma will lead one towards excellence or supremacy, nothing else.

When an action has  been done willfully and with awareness and going to create ‘karma fal’ that means the fruitful action, the virtues of which are carried by humans from one birth to the next, or as it is interpreted as a ‘good or bad result’ of their acts.

Your karma is your signature, whatever we do in our one life, we have to face the consequences in the next life.

Karma is a defining element in you, the common psychology of your success and decides what you are going to be in the future.

If one wants to become a true karma yogi, then they have to train their mind in such a conscious way that the net effect is so positive, effective that naturally, people start following you.

Gita quotes on Karma: Three Types of Karma

There are three types of karma

Sanchita karma:  The bulk storage of the men’s actions done in pakarma birth and the fruits of it haven’t yet been reaped. It dated back to incarnate from the past actions.

Agami karma: the actions or conduct of the person shortly. The action inherited in past will determine the destiny, luck or fortune in the present.

Prarabdha karma: the action performed freely in the present that will be going to decide the future. That means the seed is begun to bearing fruit and the results of the action will determine the future.

What the Gita quotes on karma and yoga

Stress and frustration are the results of expectations. The theory of karma states that one should focus on work or action rather than the result of the act, which will also help to sublimate the ego.

Yoga is an even mindful presence,  where one experiences no disappointment that is felt by the mind irrespective of all outer disturbances. If the person can inherit the steady mind then the person becomes a Yogi, without the pitfalls of emotions, whether good or bad. 

Happiness, sorrow, excitement, disappointment are all met the same by a karma yogi.

Yoga means is to unite with the great goal of ‘salvation.’

If you can convert your everyday actions into the means to unite you something very elevating i.e., Some great purpose or goals of your life and making good for others too.

For example-

Running a business not only with monetary profit in mind but with the motive of social interest, so that you become a stimulus for others too, maximize others’ happiness and affect good to several people. If the people start working in such a manner then their karma becomes yoga there.

This will take them to spiritual advancement.

One needs to convert karma into yoga through.

Detachment of the will from merely personal gain( selfishness) but do it for the larger consciousness.  It consists of many complex elements such as Paapa- Punya, Punar-janma, Prarabdha, Manav yoni, Praniyoni, sasyayoni, etc.

It means performing an action and making choices is in our hands, but the results and the consequences are not!

When one doesn’t have control over the results then desiring for the result is of no use. Instead of this, one should focus on the Karma and desires that result in Paapa and Punya.

Gita quotes karma in the context of good and bad

Finally these two, paapa and punya, are united in your Prarabhdha (Destiny). Our future is not decided by God but it is decided by our actions that lead us towards our destiny. One should perform their duties relentlessly and not for any rewards. So, even in an extreme situation, the mind should be a steady state.

The Gita says never consider yourself the cause of the results of the activities. Generally, it happens when the credit comes we are the first one to take it but if it failure intersects then we blame others for that action only. Lord Krishna gives two tools for achieving this karma yoga i.e., Vairagya and Abhyasa.

In vairagya, you train your mind to be steady but once attained then it is very important to maintain your mind in a steady state; so, here the Abhyasa plays a key role and one can practice this, again and again, one can achieve the steady mind.

The Gita asks various questions on death, afterlife, karma, cosmic effect, and moksha.  

Lord Krishna says all works are of God so one does not need to bondage with the activity. He advises Arjuna that a leader can do their act and the whole universe will follow them. 

Krishna says that one should have to perform his duties selflessly without thinking about its prospective results and by this one can capable to achieve Salvation. That is the approach Lord Krishna tells Arjuna to adopt on the battlefield.

Hence, we concluded various dimensions of karma yoga -:

  1.   The duties oriented
  2.   The detachment from the results or absence of desire from reward.
  3.   Do selfless work
  4.   Calmness and Equanimity under distant circumstances and life events.

‘Molla and Krishna, 2006 – By applying Karma yoga in the practical work the force of the companies, the dutifulness could be increased and there will stress- free environment in the companies.’

Gita Quotes on Karma: Chapterwise

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 39

O Arjuna.,Wisdom was said about knowledge-yoga (Sankhya-yoga) for you and Now listen to the science of God-dedicated, selfless action (Karma Yoga), so that if you do deeds with this wisdom, then you will be able to free yourself from the bondage of deeds.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 40

In this way, there is no harm, and no resultant defect while performing karma, but even a little progress of this selfless action protects us from the great fear of birth and death. 

Karma Bhagavad Gita Quotes from Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 41

A Karma Yogi has firm determination for God-realization only, but the desires of one, who works to enjoy the fruits of work are endless. 

In Nishkam Yoga, the intellect of the visually-conscious is only one, but those who are not visually-conscious have their intellects divided into eternal branches. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 47 – Gita Quotes on Karma

You have the right to do karma, there is no right in the fruits of it, so you neither consider yourself to be the reason for the fruits of your actions and neither should you have any attachment to not doing karma. 

You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction.

Karma Quotes from Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 48

Do your duty to the best of your ability, O Arjuna, with your mind attached to the Lord, abandoning attachment to the results, and remaining calm in both success and failure. Equanimity of mind is called Karma Yoga (because equanimity leads to union with God.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 50 -Gita Karma Quotes

A Karma Yogi or the selfless person becomes free from both vice and virtue in this life itself. Therefore, strive for selfless service. Working to the best of one’s abilities without becoming attached to the fruits of work is called Karma Yoga or Seva. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 51

Karma Yogis are freed from the bondage of rebirth due to renouncing (attachment to) the fruits of all work, and they attain a blissful divine state of salvation or Nirvana. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 Verse 03

Lord Krishna said: In this world I have stated a twofold path of spiritual discipline in past—the path of Self-knowledge (for the contemplative ones) and the path of unselfish work (Seva, Karma Yoga) for all others. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 Verse 04-05 -Karma Bhagavad Gita

One does not attain freedom from the bondage of Karma by merely abstaining from work. No one attains perfection by merely giving up work because no one can remain action less even for a moment. Everything in the universe is driven to action—helplessly indeed—by the forces of Nature. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 Verse 07

One who restrains the senses by (a trained and purified) mind and intellect and engages the organs of action to Karma Yoga or selfless service without attachment, is considered superior. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 Verse 09

Human beings in this world are bound by work  that is not performed as a selfless service . Therefore, becoming free from attachment to the fruits of work, do your duty to the best of your abilities as a service to Me (for the good of humanity). 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 Verse 17

On The Other Hand, If a Sincere Person Tries To Control The Active Senses By The Mind And Practice Karma-Yoga Without Attachment, He Is By Far Superior. 


Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 Verse 18

King Janaka and many others attained perfection of Self-realization by selfless service alone. You also should perform your duty with a view to guide people and for the welfare of society. 

Karma Quotes Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 Verse 31-32

Those who always practice this teaching of Mine with faith and free from criticism become free from the bondage of Karma. But those who find fault with this teaching and do not practice it, should be considered ignorant, senseless, and confused. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Verse 01

Lord Krishna said: I taught this Karma Yoga, the eternal science of right ac­tion, to King Vivasvan. Vivasvan taught it to Manu; Manu taught it to Ikshvaku.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Verse 02

Thus, the saintly Kings knew this science of proper action handed down in succession. After a long time, this science was lost from this earth.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Verse 04

Karma does not bind me because I have no desire for the fruits of work. One who fully knows me and practices this truth, is also not bound by Karma. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Verse 17

The enlightened Karma yogi on the other hand knows what is action in inaction and inaction in action. 

Bhagavad Gita Quotes from Gita Chapter 4 Verse 22

A Karm yogi who is satisfied with the gain comes naturally by his will, who is free from all conflicts and does not envy anyone, who remains stable in success and failure, is not bound by Karma.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Verse 23

All Karmic bonds of a Karma Yogi—who is free from attachment, whose mind is fixed in Self-knowl­edge, and who does work as a service to the Lord, merges completely in the knowledge form as  Brahman

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Verse 37

The fire of Self-knowledge reduces all bonds of Karma to ashes, O Arjuna, like the blazing fire reduces wood to ashes. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Verse 41

Work does not bind a Self-conscious person who has renounced work—by renouncing the fruits of work—through Karma Yoga and whose confusion (with regard to body and Spirit) is completely de­stroyed by Self-knowledge, O Arjuna.

Therefore, cut the ignorance-born confusion (with regard to body and Spirit) by the sword of Self-knowledge, resort to Karma Yoga,

and get up for the war, O Arjuna.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 Verse 01

Arjuna asked: O Krishna, You praise the path of transcendental knowledge, and also the path of selfless service (Karma Yoga). Tell me, definitely, which one is the better of the two paths?

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 Verse 04

The ignorant-not the wise consider the path of Self-knowledge and the path of selfless service (Karma Yoga) as different from each other. The person who has truly mastered one, gets the benefits of both. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 Verse 05

The supreme state that is attained by means of karm sanyās is also attained by working in devotion. Hence, those who see karm sanyās and karm yog to be identical, truly see things as they are.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 Verse 06

But true renunciation (the renunciation of doership and ownership), O Arjuna, is difficult to attain without Karma Yoga. A sage equipped with Karma Yoga quickly attains Nirvana. 

Perfect renunciation (karm sanyās) is difficult to attain without performing work in devotion (karm yog), O mighty-armed Arjun, but the sage who is adept in karm yog quickly attains the Supreme.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 Verse 07

A Karma Yogi, whose mind is pure, whose mind and senses are under control, and who sees one and the same Spirit in all beings, is not bound by Karma, though engaged in work.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 Verse 10

One Who Performs His Duty Without Attachment, Surrendering The Results Unto The Supreme Lord, Is Unaffected By Sinful Action, As A Lotus Leaf Is Untouched By Water.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 Verse 11

The Karma Yogis perform action-without attachment with their body, mind, intellect, and senses only for the purification of their mind and intellect. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 Verse 12

A Karma Yogi attains Supreme peace by abandoning attachment to the fruits of work, while others who are attached to the fruits of work become bound by work with a personal motive. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 Verse 01

Lord Krishna said: One who does not perform the prescribed duty just to enjoy its fruit is both a renunciant and a Karma Yogi. One does not become a renunciant, merely by not lighting the fire, and one does not become a yogi merely by performing no duty.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 Verse 02

O Arjuna, renunciation (Sanyasa) is the same as Karma Yoga because, one does not become a Karma Yogi because no human being can attain yoga (divine) without sacrificing the desire for sense-pleasure (pleasure of the body).   (6.02)

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 Verse 03

For the wise, who seek to attain yoga of meditation or the equanimity of mind, Karma Yoga is said to be the means. For one who has at­tained yoga, equanimity becomes the means of Self-realization.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7 Verse 28

But the persons purified by unselfish deeds, whose Karma has come to an end, become free from the delusion of pairs of opposites and worship Me with firm resolve. (7.28)

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 8 Verse 03

Lord Krishna said: The indestructible, transcendental living entity is called Brahman, and his eternal nature is called adhyatma, the self. Action pertaining to the development of the material bodies of the living entities is called karma, or fruitive activities. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 9 Verse 28

You shall become free from the bondage, both good and bad, of Karma and come to Me by the yoga of renunciation. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 9 Verse 21

They again return to the mortal world—after enjoying the wide world of heavenly pleasures—upon exhaustion of the fruits of their good Karma. Thus, following the injunctions of the Vedas, persons working for the fruit of their actions take repeated births and deaths.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10 Verse 03

One who knows Me as the unborn, the beginning less, and the Supreme Lord of the universe, is considered wise among mortals and becomes liberated from the bondage of Karma. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 13 Verse 31

Because of being beginning less and undetectable by the three modes of material Nature, the eternal Supersoul—even though dwelling in the body as a living entity—neither does anything nor becomes tainted by Karma, O Arjuna. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 16 Verse 19

I direct these haters, these cruel, sinful, and mean people, into the cycles of death and birth in the womb of demons (or degraded parents) again and again, according to their Karma. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18 Verse 13-14

Learn from Me, O Arjuna, the five causes, as described in the Samkhya doctrine, for the accomplishment of all actions. They are: the physical body (the seat of Karma), the modes of material Nature (Gunas, the doer), the eleven organs of perception and action (the instruments), various life forces (Prana), and the fifth is the Karmic impressions (or Samskaras, fate). 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18 Verse 61

The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.(18.61)

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18 Verse 66

Setting aside all Dharmas, just surrender to My Will. I shall liberate you from all sins or bonds of Karma. Do not grieve.


These were the Gita quotes on karma, chapterwise. Worshipping your work is the same as worshipping a God or following the path of a religion, mentoring individual colleagues, performing work with the most extreme trustworthiness and astuteness.

Kriya Yoga or Karma Yoga means treating yourself with self-regard, fulfilment and find the world of opportunity around you, as you look for the highest soul-fulfilment.

Lord Krishna gives us the most powerful knowledge and tools to get rid of the mental challenges when dealing with conflicts and to lead with true courage, conviction, and inner power, through the Bhagavad Gita.

When you feel stuck, motionless, distressed, and fearful and can’t make the right choices and fruitful decisions out of fear and lack of wisdom, the Gita quotes on karma can make you  acutely aware about your inner potential and build meaning, purpose, and deep fulfilment.

When you open up your professional and personal life to self-knowledge and self-realization, you open your mind to unknown dimensions and let your true capability flow out in time, to actually live your best life.



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