kāyena manasā buddhyā
kevalair indriyair api
yoginaḥ karma kurvanti
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 5.11
The yogis, abandoning attachment, act with body, mind, intelligence and even with the senses, only for the purpose of purification.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
When one acts in Krishna consciousness for the satisfaction of the senses of Krishna, any action, whether of the body, mind, intelligence or even the senses, is purified of material contamination. There are no material reactions resulting from the activities of a Krishna conscious person. Therefore purified activities, which are generally called sad-acara, can be easily performed by acting in Krishna consciousness. Sri Rupa Gosvami in his Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.187) describes this as follows:
iha yasya harer dasye
karmana manasa gira
nikhilasv apy avasthasu
jivan-muktah sa ucyate
“A person acting in Krishna consciousness (or, in other words, in the service of Krishna) with his body, mind, intelligence and words is a liberated person even within the material world, although he may be engaged in many so-called material activities.” He has no false ego, for he does not believe that he is this material body, or that he possesses the body. He knows that he is not this body and that this body does not belong to him. He himself belongs to Krishna, and the body too belongs to Krishna. When he applies everything produced of the body, mind, intelligence, words, life, wealth, etc.—whatever he may have within his possession—to Krishna’s service, he is at once dovetailed with Krishna. He is one with Krishna and is devoid of the false ego that leads one to believe that he is the body, etc. This is the perfect stage of Krishna consciousness.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The karma yogis perform actions using the body, mind, intelligence and even the senses alone, giving up attachment, for purification of the mind (atma suddhaye). At the time of making offerings of oblations using the senses, the mind may wander. This is the manner in which only the senses are employed (kevalaih indriyair api).
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
5.11 Renouncing attachment to heaven etc., the Yogins perform actions accomplishable by the body, the mind and the intellect for the purification of themselves, i.e., for annulling the bonds of his previous Karma which have afected the self and which involve the self in Samsara.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
After previously stating that actions performed for the Supreme Lord as a matter of duty without desire for rewards do not bind one to samsara or the cycle of birth and death in material existence, Lord Krishna is illustrating how by bathing the body, meditating in the mind, reflecting with the intellect, hearing and narrating about the divine pastimes of the Supreme Lord and such activities are for the purification of the mind and lead to moksa or liberation from material existence.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna describes the activities of karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities and how they should be performed to achieve purity of mind.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna elaborating further states that those practising karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities without desire perform all their actions free from attachment to sense objects and the hankerings for rewards of actions solely for the purification of the mind.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
5.11 Since tyaktva, by giving up sangam, attachment with regard to results; yoginah, the yogis, men of action; kurvanti, undertake; karma, work; kevalaih, merely- this word is to be construed with each of the words, body etc., so as to deny the idea of ownership with regard to all actions-; kayena, through the body; manasa, through the mind; buddhya, through the intellect; and api, even; indriyaih, through the organs, which are devoid of the idea of ownership, which are unassociated with ownership thus: ‘I act only for God, and not for my gain’; atmasudhaye, for the purification of themselves, i.e., for the purification of the heart, therefore you have competence only for that. So you undertake action alone. And also since,
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
5.7-11 Yogayuktah etc. upto atma-siddhaye. He, whose (by whom) Self is [realised to be] the Self of all beings, is not stained, eventhough he performs all [sorts of] actions. For, he has undertaken neither what is enjoined nor what is prohibited. Hence, even while performing actions such as seeing and the like, he bears in mind, -i.e., he resolves with [all] firmness of observation, – that ‘If the sense-organs like eyes etc., function on their respective objects, what does it matter for me ? Indeed one is not stained by what another does’. This act is nothing but dedicating one’s actions to the Brahman. In this regard the characteristic mark is his detachment. Due to that he is not stained. Because they do not have attachment, the men of Yoga perform actions only with their body etc., that are freed from attachment and do not depend on each other.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
kayena manasa buddhya
kevalair indriyair api
yoginah karma kurvanti
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
kāyena — with the body; manasā — with the mind; buddhyā — with the intelligence; kevalaiḥ — puriﬁed; indriyaiḥ — with the senses; api — even; yoginaḥ — Kṛṣṇa conscious persons; karma — actions; kurvanti — they perform; sańgam — attachment; tyaktvā — giving up; ātma — of the self; śuddhaye — for the purpose of puriﬁcation.