कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन | मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ||२-४७||
karmaṇyevādhikāraste mā phaleṣu kadācana . mā karmaphalaheturbhūrmā te saṅgo.astvakarmaṇi ||2-47||
2.47. Let your claim lie on action alone and never on the fruits; you should never be a cause for the fruits of action; let not your attachment be to inaction.
Shri Purohit Swami
2.47 But thou hast only the right to work, but none to the fruit thereof. Let not then the fruit of thy action be thy motive; nor yet be thou enamored of inaction.
Sri Abhinav Gupta
2.47 Karmani etc. You should be concerned in the action alone, but not in the fruits of actions. But, if an action has been performed, then will not its fruit just inevitably befall [to the performer] ? No. It is not so. For, in that case, if you are covered with the dirt of desire for fruits, then you become a cuase for the fruit of action. What is prayed for is known to be the fruit; and it does not befall him who does not desire it. Thus, what attachment a person entertains with regard to the negation of action, that alone is like a firm seizure, and is of the nature of false conception, and hence it must be abandoned. Then what ?-
2.47 As for obligatory, occasional and desiderative acts taught in the Vedas and associated with some result or other, you, an aspirant established in Sattva, have the right only to perform them: You have no right to the fruits known to be derived from such acts. Acts done with a desire for fruit bring about bondage. But acts done without an eye on fruits form My worship and become a means for release. Do not become an agent of acts with the idea of being the reaper of their fruits. Even when you, who are established in pure Sattva and are desrious of release, perform acts, you should not look upon yourself as the agent. Likewise, it is necessary to contemplate yourself as not being the cause of even appeasing hunger and such other bodily necessities. Later on it will be said that both of these, agency of action and desire for fruits, should be considered as belonging to Gunas, or in the alternative to Me who am the Lord of all. Thinking thus, do work. With regard to inaction, i.e., abstaining from performance of duties, as when you said, ‘I will not fight,’ let there be no attachment to such inaction in you. The meaning is let your interest be only in the discharge of such obligatory duties like this war in the manner described above.
Sri Krsna makes this clear in the following verse:
2.47 Te, your; adhikarah, right; is karmani eva, for action alone, not for steadfastness in Knowledge. Even there, when you are engaged in action, you have ma kadacana, never, i.e. under no condition whatever; a right phalesu, for the results of action may you not have a hankering for the results of action. Whenever you have a hankering for the fruits of action, you will become the agent of aciring the results of action. Ma, do not; thus bhuh, become; karma-phalahetuh, the agent of aciring the results of action. For when one engages in action by being impelled by thirst for the results of action, then he does become the cause for the production of the results of action. Ma, may you not; astu, have; sangah, an inclination; akarmani, for inaction, thinking, ‘If the results of work be not desired, what is the need of work which involves pain?’
2.47 To work alone you have the right, and not to the fruits. Do not be impelled by the fruits of work. Nor have attachment to inaction.
2.47 Your right is for action alone, never for the results. Do not become the agent of the results of action. May you not have any inclination for inaction.
2.47 Thy right is to work only, but never with its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive, nor let thy attachment be to inaction.
2.47 कर्मणि in work? एव only? अधिकारः right? ते thy? मा not? फलेषु in the fruits? कदाचन at any time? मा not? कर्मफलहेतुः भूः let not the fruits of action be thy motive? मा not? ते thy? सङ्गः attachment? अस्तु let (there) be? अकर्मणि in inaction.Commentary When you perform actions have no desire for the fruits thereof under any circumstances. If you thirst for the fruits of your actions? you will have to take birth again and again to enjoy them. Action done with expectation of fruits (rewards) brings bondage. If you do not thirst for them? you get purification of heart and you will get knowledge of the Self through purity of heart and through the knowledge of the Self you will be freed from the round of births and deaths.Neither let thy attachment be towards inaction thinking what is the use of doing actions when I cannot get any reward for themIn a broad sense Karma means action. It also means duty which one has to perform according to his caste or station of life. According to the followers of the Karma Kanda of the Vedas (the Mimamsakas) Karma means the rituals and sacrifices prescribed in the Vedas. It has a deep meaning also. It signifies the destiny or the storehouse of tendencies of a man which give rise to his future birth.