kartā sāttvika ucyate
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 18.26
One who performs his duty without association with the modes of material nature, without false ego, with great determination and enthusiasm, and without wavering in success or failure is said to be a worker in the mode of goodness.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
A person in Krishna consciousness is always transcendental to the material modes of nature. He has no expectations for the result of the work entrusted to him, because he is above false ego and pride. Still, he is always enthusiastic till the completion of such work. He does not worry about the distress undertaken; he is always enthusiastic. He does not care for success or failure; he is equal in both distress and happiness. Such a worker is situated in the mode of goodness.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The three types of work have been described. Now, the three types of workers are described.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
18.26 ‘Muktasangah’ is one who is free from attachment to fruits. ‘Anahamvadi’ is one who is devoid of the feeling of being the agent. He is endued with ‘steadiness and zeal.’ ‘Steadiness’ is perseverance in regard to an act that has been begun in spite of the pain that is inevitable till the completion of the work. ‘Zeal’ is the possession of an active mind. One who is enduded with these, and whose mind remains firm, untouched by success and failure in war etc., and also in gathering the material requisities for the work on hand — such an agent is, of Sattvika nature.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
The threefold qualities of the performer of actions is now described by Lord Krishna beginning with sattva guna the mode of goodness. One who performs an action devoid of attachment, free from egoism, equipoise in success or failure, with steadiness, fortitude and enthusiasm is deemed situated in sattva guna.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Of the three objects worth knowing Lord Krishna speaks of the performer of actions in the three gunas or modes of material nature commencing with sattva guna the mode of goodness. One who is free from the desire for rewards of actions is free from attachment to actions. Such a one has dissolved their ego involving the performance of actions. Although possessing enthusiasm and determination they are equipoised and not agitated by the infamy of failure or ecstatic by the adulation of success. Those possessing such attributes are invariably situated in sattva guna.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
18.26 Karta, the agent; who is mukta-sangah, free from attachment-one by whom attachment has been given up; anahamvadi, not egotisic, not given to asserting his ego; dhrti-utsaha-samanvitah, endowed with fortitude and diligenc; and nirvikarah, unperturbed; siddhi-asiddhyoh, by success and failure, in the fruition and non-fruition of any action under-taken-led only by the authority of the scriptures, not by attachment to results etc. [Etc. stands for attachment to work.];-the agent who is such, he is ucyate, said to be; sattvikah, possessed of sattva.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
18.26-28 Muktasangah etc. upto Tamasa ucyate. He who does not make speech of egoism : He who does not claim ‘I am the agent’ i.e., he who is different from the one who claims so by natural inclination, or claims as such with an intention that ‘I should do so’, or claims so in an efficient manner. This nini (suffix employed in anahamvadi) does not prohibit for a Yogin, the speech ‘I do’ under the influence of the cover of the mundane life. Who is overpowered by joy and grief : i.e., at the time of success and failure [respectively]. Wickedness : cruelty.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
karta sattvika ucyate
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
mukta-sańgaḥ — liberated from all material association; anaham-vādī — without false ego; dhṛti — with determination; utsāha — and great enthusiasm; samanvitaḥ — qualiﬁed; siddhi — in perfection; asiddhyoḥ — and failure; nirvikāraḥ — without change; kartā — worker; sāttvikaḥ — in the mode of goodness; ucyate — is said to be.