किं कर्म किमकर्मेति कवयोऽप्यत्र मोहिताः |
तत्ते कर्म प्रवक्ष्यामि यज्ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसेऽशुभात् ||४-१६||


kiṃ karma kimakarmeti kavayo.apyatra mohitāḥ .
tatte karma pravakṣyāmi yajjñātvā mokṣyase.aśubhāt ||4-16||



4.16. Even the wise are perplexed about what is action and what is non-action; I shall preperly teach you the action, by knowing which you shall be freed from evil.

Shri Purohit Swami

4.16 What is action and what is inaction? It is a question which has bewildered the wise. But I will declare unto thee the philosophy of action, and knowing it, thou shalt be free from evil.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

4.16 See Comment under 4.17

Sri Ramanuja

4.16 What is the form of the action which should be done by an aspirant for liberation? And what is non-action? Knowledge about the true nature of the acting self, is spoken of as non-action. The wise, even the learned scholars, are puzzled, i.e., do not truly know, both these - the proper form of the actions to be performed and the proper form of knowledge included in it. I shall teach you that action which includes knowledge within itself. Knowing, i.e., following it, you will be released from evil, i.e., from the bondage of Samsara. Knowledge about the work to be performed results in its performance.

Why is it so difficult to know this Karma? Sri Krsna replies:

Sri Shankaracharya

4.16 Kavayah api, even the intelligent; mohitah, are confounded in this subject of action etc.; iti atra, as to; kim karma, what is action; and kim akarma, what is inaction. Therefore, pravaksyami, I shall tell; te, you; of karma, action; akarma ca, as also of inaction; jnatva, by knowing; yat, which-action etc.; moksyase, you will become free: asubhat, from evil, from transmigration. ‘And you should not think thus: What is called karma is the movement of the body etc. as are well-known in the world; and akarma, inaction, is not doing those, (i.e.) sitting ietly. What is there to understand (further) in that regard?’ ‘Why?’ The answer is:

Swami Adidevananda

4.16 What is action? What is non-action? Even the wise are puzzled in respect of these. I shall declare to you that kind of action by knowing which you will be freed from evil.

Swami Gambirananda

4.16 Even the intelligent are confounded as to what is action and what is inaction. I shall tell you of that action by knowing which you will become free from evil.

Swami Sivananda

4.16 What is action? What is inaction? As to this even the wise are confused. Therefore I shall teach thee such action (the nature of action and inaction) by knowing which thou shalt be liberated from the evil (of Samsara, the wheel of birth and death).


Swami Sivananda

4.16 किम् what? कर्म action? किम् what? अकर्म inaction? इति thus? कवयः wise? अपि also? अत्र in this? मोहिताः (are) deluded? तत् that? ते to thee? कर्म action? प्रवक्ष्यामि (I) shall teach? यत् which? ज्ञात्वा having known? मोक्ष्यसे (thou) shalt be liberated? अशुभात् from evil.No Commentary.