Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON ; SPIRITNET

Chant Gauranga ! and Be Happy

Please read text2 25-26 of chapter three along with the purport, and then read the following commentary.  Afterwards, each participant should offer a thought or comment on this passage. As you do, please consider these study questions:


  1. Why do you think it is so difficult for people to understand the concept of acting without attachment?
  2. Is it possible to serve Krsna in the secular world?


saktah karmany avidvamso
yatha kurvanti bharata
kuryad vidvams tathasaktas
cikirsur loka-sangraham


na buddhi-bhedam janayed
ajnanam karma-sanginam
josayet sarva-karmani
vidvan yuktah samacaran


While those who are in a state of Krsna Consciousness simply act, having no attachment, and serving as a role model for others; the majority of people are ignorant of the Absolute Truth and as a result act always with attachment to results. Most people seek to reap the rewards of their actions, not realizing that these material rewards are developing karma that will keep them bound to this material world and not allow them to find liberation.

          The Krsna Conscious person may stand as an example, but the majority of people do not seem inclined to learn from this example. Instead, they act and perform duties for the sake of reward. One may work very hard at a job in order to make money or gain a promotion. One may donate to charity for the sake of getting their name on a list, or perhaps just for the feeling. One may perform correct duties, but do so for the desire of attaining Moksha. It is very difficult for the average person to understand the concept of acting and performing duties without attachment.

          In some religious traditions, religious leaders force their views upon the masses to disastrous results. In the Krsna Consciousness movement, it is understood that people need slow and steady guidance, not rushed obedience. Therefore, the Krsna Conscious person should “engage them in all sorts of activities [for the gradual development of Krsna Consciousness]” (p.163).

          Some people believe that the devotee must do nothing in order to live without attachment, but this is not the case. In actuality, the devotee works very hard and never stops working. It is not the effort that changes, it is the mindset. Therefore, when one attempts to bring others to Krsna Consciousness, one should do so slowly. Allow the individual to continue to work, but show them that any task performed may be performed for Krsna. 

          I remember being very distraught sometime after coming to this movement and wondering why it had taken so long to find Krsna (much of my life, I wasn’t even looking). All of the time spent in other pursuits might have been so much better spent in the pursuit of Krsna Consciousness, but then with help, I came to realize that this early work was not in vain, but rather it allowed me to attain the position that I am in now, which in turn has allowed me to bring the name and message of Krsna to many people. So, while I work in the secular world, my work is still for Krsna. This is the understanding that a person can come to over the course of time.

          Work may still be performed; duties may still be performed, and in fact must be performed. What slowly changes in the devotee is the motivation. One stops aiming for the material benefits and rewards of action and instead simply acts, offering the fruits of action to their rightful owner, Sri Krsna. Whatever work you may do in this life, through Krsna’s mercy, you too may come to this realization.




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Replies to This Discussion

Hare Krishna!

These two verses clearly state that the every body has to work because the essence of the body is action.

Since we are three part beings, the soul desires, the mind translates the soul's desire in create conditions to fulfill the same and the body performs to complete the soul's desire.

Thought word and action are 3 tools to create our soul's desire into reality.

Since the soul has forgotten it's true nature because it is embodied, it thinks itself as the body and hence forms attachment to the material world - my family, my friends, my job, my likes and dislikes. This thinking is in the mode of Tamoguna and Rajoguna. When one is elevated to Satvaguna through the knocks he gets when things and people that he is attached to, are taken away from him, he becomes receptive to understanding what true knowledge is and starts elevating himself beyond the modes of material nature by keeping the association of saintly people who have seen the Truth and are on the path to bring others to such awareness. 

Such a soul who have reached Krishna Consciousness by realizing the futility of being attached to the temporary and transient world, such a soul just guides those who are still attached and are suffering, to change the consciousness to Krishna Consciousness without changing or leaving their prescribed duties. Thus, slowly changing their consciousness to be focused at the Krishna's Lotus feet while performing their day to day actions.

One who is Krishna Conscious soul serves everyone as if he is serving Krishna and brings others out of their sleep walking in the world, to walking in awareness of Krishna. They just show them that there is another way to perform the same actions without suffering the consequences of Karma by performing acts of Yog, that is connecting to the Supreme through total awareness, consciousness, Krishna Consciousness.

Hare Krishna!

It is hard to be detached. We are trained to be invested in everything we do.  To do your duty/job/life without caring about what happens is hard.   Srila Prabhupada showed us that detachment is merely offering it all to Krishna, good and bad. Yes, you CAN serve Krishna in the secular world. I do, merely by showing up at work in a grocery store, talking about vegetarianism, religious festivals etc.

Yes, being Krsna Conscious is a state of mind. Krsna can be served in any capacity of life. Although I teach at a state university and must be careful about how it is done, every class is taught about Krsna, every class reads something from the Gita or the writings of Prabhupada, and has the opportunity to visit the temple. This isn't done to benefit me, in fact, it is potentially dangerous. It is done to serve Krsna. So no matter what you do in life, do it to serve Krsna, and offer the fruits of that action to Him.

George Harrison is an excellent example of this. Here is someone who had fame and fortune, but was touched by Prabhupada's message and embraced Krsna Consciousness. Although he lived and worked in a very secular world, he served Krsna through his efforts.


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