tasmad asaktah? satatam´
karyam´ karma samacara
asakto hy acaran karma
param apnoti purus?ah?
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 3.19
Therefore, without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty, for by working without attachment one attains the Supreme.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The Supreme is the Personality of Godhead for the devotees, and liberation for the impersonalist. A person, therefore, acting for Krishna, or in Krishna consciousness, under proper guidance and without attachment to the result of the work, is certainly making progress toward the supreme goal of life. Arjuna is told that he should fight in the Battle of Kurukshetra for the interest of Krishna because Krishna wanted him to fight. To be a good man or a nonviolent man is a personal attachment, but to act on behalf of the Supreme is to act without attachment for the result. That is perfect action of the highest degree, recommended by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna.
Vedic rituals, like prescribed sacrifices, are performed for purification of impious activities that were performed in the field of sense gratification. But action in Krishna consciousness is transcendental to the reactions of good or evil work. A Krishna conscious person has no attachment for the result but acts on behalf of Krishna alone. He engages in all kinds of activities, but is completely nonattached.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Therefore (tasmad) since you do not have qualification for rising to the platform of jnana, and performing actions with desires is not suitable for you since you have spiritual intelligence, you should perform action without desire. That is explained in this verse. Therefore you should perform obligatory prescribed, actions. By doing this you will attain liberation (param).
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
3.19 Therefore, considering that work has to be performed with detachment, you perform it, considering yourself a non-agent. This will be declared in the words ‘with detachment’ and ‘which ought to be done,’ meaning that one attains the Supreme by Karma Yoga itself.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Thus it can be clearly demonstrated that the grief that would arise due to the death of Bhishma and other exalted superiors has been negated. Also Arjunas statement in chapter one, verse thirty-five of not wanting to slay them has been proven equally groundless as well by the Supreme Lords explanation of the Ultimate Truth revealing that the eternal soul does not slay anything and the eternal soul cannot be slain by anything. The reason for this is given in the next verse.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
In the minds of living entities identifying themselves only as their physical bodies, or as their species, planet, or country as the case may be; the declaration that one who thinks that one can be factually slain or one who thinks that one can factually slay are both deluded, poses bewilderment. What can be factually slain is the physical body but not the embodied soul. The living entity becomes alive only by the energising facility of the Supreme Lord by the activation of the soul. Thus the Supreme Lord is always to be worshipped and glorified.
Now begins the summation.
If the statement one who thinks the living entity is able to kill another living entity independently on their own would be considered then the statement of the Supreme Lord in chapter 11, verse 34 kill those whom have already been killed by Me would be contradictory. The word hantaram being applicable to the soul is applicable to the Supreme Lord as well.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
In this way after establishing the immortality of the soul, Lord Krishna informs Arjuna that for anyone to believe that it is possible for the soul to be slain or anyone believing that they can be responsible for the slaying of the soul, are both in complete ignorance. Not being able to fathom the intrinsic nature of the soul they cannot realize that the soul is never the instigator of any action nor is the soul ever the recepient of any action.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
3.19 Since this is so, therefore, asaktah, remaining unattached; samacara, perform; satatam, always; karyam, the obligatory; daily karma, duty; hi, for; acaran, by performing; (one’s) karma, duty; asaktah, without attachment, by doing work as a dedication to God; purusah, a person; apnoti, attains; param, the Highest, Liberation, through the purification of the mind. This is meaning. And (you should perform your duty) for the following reason also:
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
3.17-19 Yas ca etc. upto purusah. However, for a person who rejoices in the Self and performs action simply as a [routine] business of organs of action, there is no difference between (his) action and nonaciton. That is why he inflicts punishment on, or does favour to, every being, not with desire for any gain for himself, but with a conviction that it a is thing that deserves to be performed. Therefore, just unattached, one should perform action that is to be performed.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
tasmad asaktah satatam
karyam karma samacara
asakto hy acaran karma
param apnoti purusah
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
tasmat — therefore; asaktah? — without attachment; satatam — constantly; karyam — as duty; karma — work; samacara — perform; asaktah? — unattached; hi — certainly; acaran — performing; karma — work; param — the Supreme; apnoti — achieves; purus?ah? — a man.