Bhagavad Gita: Understanding One Shloka at a time. (Chp. 4, Verse 17) — HBR Patel
कर्मणो ह्यपि बोद्धव्यं बोद्धव्यं च विकर्मण: |
अकर्मणश्च बोद्धव्यं गहना कर्मणो गति: || 17||
One should properly understand the subject of actions prescribed in the Vedas, the subject of actions prohibited in the Vedas and the subject of renunciation of action as prescribed by the Vedas; because the intricacies of actions are very mysterious(very hard to understand).
Bhagwan Shri Krishna promised Arjuna in the previous Shloka that he will explain Karma. The subject of Karma or Actions is very important to understand as it can be the ladder to the liberation of our souls or it can be the rope that can tie us down to this materialistic world and ruin our chance to attain Moksha(Liberation).
Bhagwan Shri Krishna in this Shloka highlights the three types of distinction in the actions that we desire to perform or not perform:
Recommended Action, Wrong Action, and Inaction or
Action (karma),Forbidden Action (vikarma), and Inaction (akarma).
Vikarma or forbidden action refers to any action that is not prescribed in one’s Svadharma or which is prohibited. The simple reason for their prohibition is that they create bondage for the living entity to material existence. Sinful and forbidden actions are mysterious and poorly understood due to the complexity of action.
Inaction (akarma) is also considered an action and as a result, the intricacies of action and inaction are complex, difficult to understand, and not widely understood in the world.
Bhagwan Shri Krishna solves these intricacies of action in the upcoming shloka.