Chapter 5: Karma-yoga-Action in Kåñëa Consciousness
brahmany adhaya karmani
sangam tyaktva karoti yah
lipyate na sa papena
brahmaëi—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ädhäya—resigning unto; karmäëi—all works; saìgam—attachment; tyaktvä—giving up; karoti—performs; yaù—who; lipyate—is affected; na—never; saù—he; päpena—by sin; padma-patram—lotus leaf; iva—like; ambhasä—in the water.
One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme God, is not affected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water.
Here brahmaëi means in Kåñëa consciousness. The material world is a sum total manifestation of the three modes of material nature, technically called the pradhäna. The Vedic hymns, sarvam etad brahma, tasmäd etad brahma näma-rüpam annaà ca jäyate, and, in the Bhagavad-gétä, mama yonir mahad brahma, indicate that everything in the material world is the manifestation of Brahman; and, although the effects are differently manifested, they are nondifferent from the cause. In the Éçopaniñad it is said that everything is related to the Supreme Brahman or Kåñëa, and thus everything belongs to Him only. One who knows perfectly well that everything belongs to Kåñëa, that He is the proprietor of everything and that, therefore, everything is engaged in the service of the Lord, naturally has nothing to do with the results of his activities, whether virtuous or sinful. Even one's material body, being a gift of the Lord for carrying out a particular type of action, can be engaged in Kåñëa consciousness. It is beyond contamination by sinful reactions, exactly as the lotus leaf, though remaining in the water, is not wet. The Lord also says in the Gétä: mayi sarväëi karmäëi sannyasya: "Resign all works unto Me [Kåñëa]." The conclusion is that a person without Kåñëa consciousness acts according to the concept of the material body and senses, but a person in Kåñëa consciousness acts according to the knowledge that the body is the property of Kåñëa and should therefore be engaged in the service of Kåñëa.