Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 5, Verse 12

युक्त: कर्मफलं त्यक्त्वा शान्तिमाप्नोति नैष्ठिकीम् |
अयुक्त: कामकारेण फले सक्तो निबध्यते || 12||

yuktaḥ karma-phalaṁ tyaktvā śhāntim āpnoti naiṣhṭhikīm
ayuktaḥ kāma-kāreṇa phale sakto nibadhyate

yuktaḥone who is united in consciousness with God; karma-phalamthe results of all activities; tyaktvāgiving up; śhāntimpeace; āpnotiattains; naiṣhṭhikīmeverlasting; ayuktaḥone who is not united with God in consciousness; kāma-kāreṇaimpelled by desires; phalein the result; saktaḥattached; nibadhyatebecomes entangled

yuktah karma-phalam tyaktva shantim apnoti naishthikim
ayuktah kama-karena phale sakto nibadhyate


BG 5.12: Offering the results of all activities to God, the karm yogis attain everlasting peace. Whereas those who, being impelled by their desires, work with a selfish motive become entangled because they are attached to the fruits of their actions.


How is it to be understood that performing the same actions some people are bound to material existence and others are released from material bondage?  Shree Krishna gives the answer in this verse.  Those who are unattached and unmotivated by material rewards are never bound by karma.  But those craving reward and obsessed with the desire to enjoy material pleasures become entangled in the reactions of work.

The word yukt means “united in consciousness with God.”  It can also mean “not wanting any reward other than purification of the heart.”  Persons who are yukt relinquish desire for the rewards of their actions, and instead engage in works for the purpose of self-purification.  Therefore, they soon attain divine consciousness and eternal beatitude.  

On the other hand, ayukt means “not united with God in consciousness.”  It can also denote “desiring mundane rewards not beneficial to the soul.”  Such persons, incited by cravings, lustfully desire the rewards of actions.  The reactions of work performed in this consciousness bind these ayukt persons to the samsara or the cycle of life and death.

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