यज्ञार्थात्कर्मणोऽन्यत्र लोकोऽयं कर्मबन्धनः |
तदर्थं कर्म कौन्तेय मुक्तसङ्गः समाचर ||३-९||


yajñārthātkarmaṇo.anyatra loko.ayaṃ karmabandhanaḥ .
tadarthaṃ karma kaunteya muktasaṅgaḥ samācara ||3-9||



3.9. The world is fettered by action which is other than the Yajnartha action; hence, O son of Kunti, being freed from attachment, you most properly perform Yajnartha action.

Shri Purohit Swami

3.9 In this world people are fettered by action, unless it is performed as a sacrifice. Therefore, O Arjuna, let thy acts be done without attachment, as sacrifice only.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

3.9 Yajnarthat etc. Binding are the actions which are different from the one that is Yajnartha, i.e., the one that is to be performed necessarily. The action, that is to be performed necessarily, does not yield any fruit, if it is performed with no attachment for the fruit.

Sri Ramanuja

3.9 The world is imprisoned by the bond of work only when work is done for personal ends, but not when work is performed or money acired for the purpose of sacrifice etc. prescribed in the scriptures. So, for the purpose of sacrifice, you must perform acts like the acisition of money. In doing so, overcome attachments generated by the pursuit of personal ambitions, and then do your work in the spirit of Yajna. When a person free from attachment does the work for the sake of sacrifices etc., the Supreme Person, propitiated by sacrifices etc., grants him the calm vision of the self after destroying the subtle impressions of his Karmas, which have continued from time without beginning.

Sri Krsna stresses the need for sustenance of the body solely by the remnants of sacrifices in respect of those who are devoted to all ends of human life. He decries the sin of those who nourish the body by things other than the remnants of sacrifices:

Sri Shankaracharya

3.9 Ayam, this; lokah, man, the one who is eligible for action; karma-bandhanah, becomes bound by actions- the person who has karma as his bondage (bandhana) is karma-bandhanah-; anyatra, other than; that karmanah, action; yajnarthat, meant for Got not by that meant for God. According to the Vedic text, ‘Sacrifice is verily Visnu’ (Tai. Sam. 1.7.4), yajnah means God; whatever is done for Him is yajnartham. Therefore, mukta-sangah, without being attached, being free from attachment to the results of actions; O son of Kunti, samacara, you perform; karma, actions; tadartham, for Him, for God. An eligible person should engage in work for the following reason also:

Swami Adidevananda

3.9 This world is held in the bondage of work only when work is not performed as sacrifice. O Arjuna, you must perform work to this end, free from attachment.

Swami Gambirananda

3.9 This man becomes bound by actions other than that action meant for God. Without being attached, O son of Kunti, you perform actions for Him.

Swami Sivananda

3.9 The world is bound by actions other than those performed for the sake of sacrifice; do thou, therefore, O son of Kunti (Arjuna), perform action for that sake (for sacrifice alone), free from attachment.


Swami Sivananda

3.9 यज्ञार्थात् for the sake of sacrifice? कर्मणः of action? अन्यत्र otherwise? लोकः the world? अयम् this? कर्मबन्धनः bound by action? तदर्थम् for that sake? कर्म action? कौन्तेय O Kaunteya? मुक्तसंगः free from attachment? समाचार perform.Commentary Yajna means sacrifice or religious rite or any unselfish action done with a pure motive. It means also Isvara. The Taittiriya Samhita (of the Veda) says Yajna verily is Vishnu (174). If anyone does actions for the sake of the Lord? he is not bound. His heart is purified by performing actions for the sake of the Lord. Where this spirit of unselfishness does not govern the action? it will bind one to Samsara however good or glorious it may be. (Cf.II.48).