Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 5, Verse 14

न कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभु: |
न कर्मफलसंयोगं स्वभावस्तु प्रवर्तते || 14||

na kartṛitvaṁ na karmāṇi lokasya sṛijati prabhuḥ
na karma-phala-saṅyogaṁ svabhāvas tu pravartate

naneither; kartṛitvamsense of doership; nanor; karmāṇiactions; lokasyaof the people; sṛijaticreates; prabhuḥGod; nanor; karma-phalafruits of actions; sanyogamconnection; svabhāvaḥone’s nature; tubut; pravartateis enacted

Translation

BG 5.14: Neither the sense of doership nor the nature of actions comes from God; nor does he create the fruits of actions. All this is enacted by the modes of material nature (guṇas).

Commentary

In this verse, the word Prabhu has been used for God, to indicate that he is the Lord of the world. He is also omnipotent and controls the entire universe. Yet, though he conducts the activities of the universe, he remains the non-doer. He is neither the director of our actions, nor does he decree whether we will perform a particular virtuous or evil deed. Had he been our director, there would be no need for elaborate instructions on good and bad actions. All the scriptures would have ended in three short sentences: “O souls, I am the director of all your works. So you do not need to understand what good or bad action is. I will make you do as I wish.”

Similarly, God is not responsible for our getting stuck with the sense of doership. If he had deliberately created the pride of doing in us, then again we could have blamed him for our misdoings. But the fact is that the soul brings this pride onto itself out of ignorance. If the soul chooses to do away with the ignorance, then God helps dispel it with his grace.

Thus, renunciation of the sense of doership is the responsibility of the soul. The body is constituted of the three modes of material nature, and all actions are performed by the modes. But out of ignorance, the soul identifies with the body and becomes implicated as the doer of actions, which are in fact done by material nature (verse 3.27).