kurvann api na lipyate
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 5.7
One who works in devotion, who is a pure soul, and who controls his mind and senses is dear to everyone, and everyone is dear to him. Though always working, such a man is never entangled.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
One who is on the path of liberation by Krishna consciousness is very dear to every living being, and every living being is dear to him. This is due to his Krishna consciousness. Such a person cannot think of any living being as separate from Krishna, just as the leaves and branches of a tree are not separate from the tree. He knows very well that by pouring water on the root of the tree, the water will be distributed to all the leaves and branches, or by supplying food to the stomach, the energy is automatically distributed throughout the body. Because one who works in Krishna consciousness is servant to all, he is very dear to everyone. And because everyone is satisfied by his work, he is pure in consciousness. Because he is pure in consciousness, his mind is completely controlled. And because his mind is controlled, his senses are also controlled. Because his mind is always fixed on Krishna, there is no chance of his being deviated from Krishna. Nor is there a chance that he will engage his senses in matters other than the service of the Lord. He does not like to hear anything except topics relating to Krishna; he does not like to eat anything which is not offered to Krishna; and he does not wish to go anywhere if Krishna is not involved. Therefore, his senses are controlled. A man of controlled senses cannot be offensive to anyone. One may ask, “Why then was Arjuna offensive (in battle) to others? Wasn’t he in Krishna consciousness?” Arjuna was only superficially offensive because (as has already been explained in the Second Chapter) all the assembled persons on the battlefield would continue to live individually, as the soul cannot be slain. So, spiritually, no one was killed on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra. Only their dresses were changed by the order of Krishna, who was personally present. Therefore Arjuna, while fighting on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra, was not really fighting at all; he was simply carrying out the orders of Krishna in full Krishna consciousness. Such a person is never entangled in the reactions of work.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The jnani by performing karma is not contaminated. That is stated in this verse. The jnanis engaged in karma yoga are of three types: those who have controlled their intelligence (visuddhatma), those who have controlled their minds (vijtatma), and those who have controlled their senses (jitendriyah). The order of superiority is from last to first: having controlled intelligence being the best. All jivas are attracted to them even if they are grhasthas. Their bodies (atma) become the object of love for all living entities, just as each living entity has affection for his own soul (atma bhuta).
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
5.7 But a Karma Yogin remains engaged in the performance of pure actions prescribed by the Sastras, which are of the nature of propitiation of the Supreme Person. By this, he becomes purified in mind. He thus subdues his self, i.e., subdues his mind easily, because his mind is engaged in the virtuous actions he has been performing before. Therefore his senses are subdued. His self is said to have become the self of all beings. Because of his being devoted to contemplation on the true nature of the self, he finds that his self is similar to the self of all beings like gods etc. One who contemplates on the true nature of the self understands that all selves are of the same form or nature. The distinctions obtaining among gods, men etc., cannot pertain to the form of the self, because those distinctions are founded on particular modifications of Prakrti i.e., the bodies of beings. Sri Krsna will teach: ‘For the Brahman (an individual self), when untainted, is the same everywhere’ (5.19). The meaning of this is that when dissociated from the Prakriti, i.e., the body, the self is of the same nature everywhere, i.e., in the bodies of gods, men etc. It is of the same form of knowledge. The meaning is that one, who has become enlightened in this way, active though he be, is not tainted on account of erroneously conceiving what is other than the self (the body) as the self. He is not at all associated therewith. Therefore, he attains the self without any delay. As Karma Yoga is superior to Jnana Yoga because it is more easily pursued and is more rapidly efficacious in securing the fruits, listen to its requirement:
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Although by the application of karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities without desiring rewards one may realise the Brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence. Still any actions performed after this may still keep one in bondage. Apprehending such a doubt Lord Krishna specifies that one who is pure in mind, who controls the senses and has realised the atma or soul and see that the atma resides in all living beings is able to perform no actions or countless actions and is not bound by any actions whether as an example for others or one’s natural functions.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
So the manner in which karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities without desire is being explained by Lord Krishna. The Supreme Lord is present as paramatma or the omnipresent soul in all naturally conceived beings. One who attains perception of the Supreme Being within becomes aware the Supreme Being’s presence in all beings and thus becomes dear to all beings. This is emphasised by the words sarva bhutama which means all beings love such a person as they love themselves.
Now begins the summation.
Considering the Supreme Lord Krishna as the indwelling consciousness within the heart of all beings is the primary form of equanimity and knowing that all beings are under His control is knowing Him as the Supreme Being. In the Agni Purana it states: That one who knows the Supreme Lord is the indwelling consciousness within all beings has the understanding that He is the all pervading Lord of all beings.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
If it is postulated that the Brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence is omnipresent and transcendental to prakriti or material nature then how is it that a person engaged in actions within prakriti possesses the same attributes? To answer this Lord Krishna affirms that those practising yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness while being engaged in actions with a pure mind, controlled senses and body and realising that the atma or soul exists equally within all beings is the well wisher of all beings, such a yogi having overcome the duality of activity and inertia is not bound by actions. The word yoga specifically establishes that such a person is a yogi and achieving purity treats all beings equally and thus becomes transcendental to prakriti and equal to the Brahman in its attributes. Having attained the Brahman, fully peaceful in mind, neither grieving or desiring equiposed in all situations and to all beings such a one obtains devotion to the Supreme. Thus the explanation given is quite appropriate.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
5.7 When again, as a means to attain full enlightenment, this person becomes yoga-yuktah, endowed with yoga; visuddhatma, pure in mind; vijitatma, controlled in body; jitendriyah, a conqueror of the organs; and sarva-bhutatma-bhutatma, the Self of the selves of all beings-one whose Self (atma), the inmost consciousness, has become the selves (atma) of all beings (sarva-bhuta) beginning from Brahma to a clump of grass-, i.e., fully illumined; (then,) thus continuing in that state, he na lipyate, does not become tainted; kurvan api, even while performing actions for preventing mankind from going astray. That is to say, he does not become bound by actions. And besides, this person does not act in the real sense. Hence,
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:
kurvann api na lipyate
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
yoga-yuktaḥ — engaged in devotional service; viśuddha-ātmā — a puriﬁed soul; vijita-ātmā — self-controlled; jita-indriyaḥ — having conquered the senses; sarva-bhūta — to all living entities; ātma-bhūta-ātmā — compassionate; kurvan api — although engaged in work; na — never; lipyate — is entangled.