Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 4, Verse 17

कर्मणो ह्यपि बोद्धव्यं बोद्धव्यं च विकर्मण: |
अकर्मणश्च बोद्धव्यं गहना कर्मणो गति: || 17||

karmaṇo hyapi boddhavyaṁ boddhavyaṁ cha vikarmaṇaḥ
akarmaṇaśh cha boddhavyaṁ gahanā karmaṇo gatiḥ

karmaṇaḥrecommended action; hicertainly; apialso; boddhavyamshould be known; boddhavyammust understand; chaand; vikarmaṇaḥforbidden action; akarmaṇaḥinaction; chaand; boddhavyammust understand; gahanāprofound; karmaṇaḥof action; gatiḥthe true path

karmano hyapi boddhavyam boddhavyam cha vikarmanah
akarmanash cha boddhavyam gahana karmano gatih


BG 4.17: You must understand the nature of all three—recommended action, wrong action, and inaction. The truth about these is profound and difficult to understand.


Work has been divided by Shree Krishna into three categories—action (karm), forbidden action (vikarm), and inaction (akarm).

Action. Karm is auspicious actions recommended by the scriptures for regulating the senses and purifying the mind.

Forbidden action. Vikarm is inauspicious actions prohibited by the scriptures since they are detrimental and result in degradation of the soul.

Inaction. Akarm is actions that are performed without attachment to the results, merely for the pleasure of God. They neither have any karmic reactions nor do they entangle the soul.

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