दूरेण ह्यवरं कर्म बुद्धियोगाद्धनञ्जय | बुद्धौ शरणमन्विच्छ कृपणाः फलहेतवः ||२-४९||
dūreṇa hyavaraṃ karma buddhiyogāddhanañjaya . buddhau śaraṇamanviccha kṛpaṇāḥ phalahetavaḥ ||2-49||
2.49. O Dhananjaya ! The inferior action stays away at a distance due to Yoga of (one’s contact with) determining faculty; in the determining faculty you must seek refuge; wretched are those who constitute the causes for the fruits of action.
Shri Purohit Swami
2.49 Physical action is far inferior to an intellect concentrated on the Divine. Have recourse then to Pure Intelligence. It is only the petty-minded who work for reward.
Sri Abhinav Gupta
2.49 Durena etc. Due to the contact (one has) with determining faculty [one’s] inferior action i.e., the action that bears bad fruits and is empty, remains far away [from him]. Therefore seek i.e., pray for a refuge in the determining faculty of that nature, on account of which that determining faculty is gained.
2.49 All other kinds of action are far inferior to those done with evenness of mind, which consists in the renunciation of the main result and with eanimity towards success or failure in respect of the secondary results. Between the two kinds of actions, the one with eanimity and the other with attachment, the former associated with eanimity removes all the sufferings of Samsara and leads to release which is the highest object of human existence. The latter type of actions, which is pursued with an eye on results, leads one to Samsara whose character is endless suffering. Thus when an act is being done, take refuge in Buddhi (evenness of mind). Refuge means abode. Live in that Buddhi, is the meaning. ‘Miserable are they who act with a motive for results’: it means, ‘Those who act with attachment to the results, etc., are miserable, as they will continue in Samsara.’
2.49 Then again, O Dhananjaya, as against action performed with eanimity of mind for adoring God, karma, action undertaken by one longing for the results; is, hi, indeed; durena, ite, by far; avaram, inferior, very remote; buddhi-yogat, from the yoga of wisdom, from actions undertaken with eanimity of mind, because it (the former) is the cause of birth, death, etc. Since this is so, therefore, saranam anviccha, take resort to, seek shelter; buddhau, under wisdom, which relates to Yoga, or to the Conviction about Reality that arises from its (the former’s) maturity and which is the cause of (achieving) fearlessness. The meaning is that you should resort to the knowledge of the supreme Goal, because those who under take inferior actions, phala-hetavah, who thirst for rewards, who are impelled by results; are krpanah, pitiable, according to the Sruti, ‘He, O Gargi, who departs from this world without knowing this Immutable, is pitiable’ (Br. 3.8.10). [See note under 2.7.-Tr.]
2.49 Action with attachment is far inferior, O Arjuna, to action done with evenness of mind. Seek refuge in evenness of mind. Miserable are they who act with a motive for results.
2.49 O Dhananjaya, indeed, action is ite inferior to the yoga of wisdom. Take resort to wisdom. Those who thirst for rewards are pitiable.
2.49 Far lower than the Yoga of wisdon is action, O Arjuna. Seek thou refuge in wisdom; wretched are they whose motive is the fruit.
2.49 दूरेण by far? हि indeed? अवरम् inferior? कर्म action or work? बुद्धियोगात् than the Yoga of wisdom? धनञ्जय O Dhananjaya? बुद्धौ in wisdom? शरणम् refuge? अन्विच्छ seek? कृपणाः wretched? फलहेतवः seekers after fruits.Commentary Action done with evenness of mind is Yoga of wisdom. The yogi who is established in the Yoga of widdom is not affected by success or failure. He does not seek fruits of his actions. He has poised reason. His reason is rooted in the Self. Action performed by one who expects fruits for his actions? is far inferior to the Yoga of wisdom wherein the seeker does not seek fruits because the former leads to bondage and is the cause of birth and death. (Cf.VIII.18).