Bhagavad Gita: Understanding One Shloka at a time. (Chp. 4, Verse 18) — HBR Patel

Trying to understand Bhagavad Gita, one Shloka at a time…

HBR Patel
2 min readMar 12


Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Verse 18 Cover | HBR Patel

कर्मण्यकर्म य: पश्येदकर्मणि च कर्म य: |
स बुद्धिमान्मनुष्येषु स युक्त: कृत्स्नकर्मकृत् || 18||

One who realizes inaction in the action and action in inaction, is intelligent among mankind, he is a Yogi (transcendentally situated) although performing all sorts of activities.

Bhagavad-Gita-Chp-4-Verse-18 -Shloka-HBR-Patel
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Verse 18 Shloka | HBR Patel

It is very hard to define or understand the concept of ‘Karma’ and ‘Akarma’ or to say in plain language ‘Action’ and ‘Inaction’ respectively. It was highlighted by Bhagwan Shri Krishna in the previous shloka.

In this Shloka, Bhagwan Shri Krishna explains to us about seeing the clear difference between action and inaction. There is inaction in the action that we perform and there is action in the inaction that we do not perform.

There is a need to understand this and the ones who understand this is intelligent among us and is a Yogi who remains detached from the results of the action that he performs.

With this understanding of action and inaction, people can attain enlightenment and detach from this materialistic world even though they perform all the actions.

One who recognizes inactions in actions like yagna or worshipping the Bhagwan and realizes that such devotion is really non-action because it leads to knowledge and has no effects. Such understanding of action/inaction frees them from the shackles of material existence.

Similarly, when we meditate, sing kirtan or abstain from eating grains on Ekadashi, we might be not performing action. But, by abstaining or engaging with worldly actions and doing inaction, we might be doing something more towards liberating our soul and that is in itself an action.

To others it may be medidating on Supreme Bhagwan might be an inaction but to the wise their is action hidden in that inaction, the action of liberating the soul.

Being constant aware that self is not the doer of the action automatically liberates from the bondage of the actions. Those who are self-realized/Yogi attain Moksha even they perform all the activities because they know that they are not the doer of the action.

Use this awareness to eliminate all sense of doership from every action and by doing so, we will be progressing on the path to attain Liberation.



HBR Patel

Learning to Read, Write, Design & Pray aptly. Author of Political Fiction POTUS#45 & few more. Inspiring myself with my words to excel. હસતા રહેજો!