Shrimad Bhagvad Gita

Shankar Bhashya on Gita- One shloka a day- 4.22

Gita 4.22

यदृच्छालाभसन्तुष्टो द्वन्द्वातीतो विमत्सरः।
समः सिद्धावसिद्धौ च कृत्वापि न निबध्यते।।4.22।।

Remaining content with whatever chance brings, having gone beyond the dualities, being free from malice, and equanimous in success and failure, he is not bound even by performing actions.

This verse is initiated by Bhagvan in order to prescribe the means of obtaining food etc for a sanyasi who is described in previous verse.

‘Yaddrichha-labha’ means what comes without having asked for. ‘Yaddrichha-labha-santushtah’ means one who gets the thought that he has had enough, who is content, by ‘Yaddrichha-labha’.

One who is having undisturbed mind despite being assailed by dualities such as heat-cold etc is called ‘dvandva-atita’.

‘Vimatsarah’ means a person who is devoid of malice and has a buddhi without enmity.

‘Samah’ refers to equanimity with respect to success and failure of things which come unasked for.

Such a sanyasi:-

  • who is equanimous in the success or failure of (attainment of) grains etc for sustenance of  body;
  • who is devoid of happiness or sorrow;
  • who has the vision of akarma etc in karma etc;
  • who is situated in aatma-darshan as it is;
  • who always has the vision of absence of kartritva of atman while doing the karma by body such as begging for sustaining the body in accordance with Gita 5.8 and 3.28. Thus he does not do any karma like begging etc. However, common people superimpose kartritva on him on account of seeing the general transactions undertaken by him and thus he becomes the doer of karmas like begging etc. He is not a karta by own experience generated through the shastra-pramana.

never gets bound despite doing the karma of begging etc for mere sustenance of body due to the superimposed kartritva by others.

Why so?

Because the karmas which are cause of bondage have been burnt along with their causes in the fire of jnana. Thus, this verse is reiteration of what has been said in 4.19 and 4.21.

By shloka 4.20, it was shown that there is actually no karma for a person:-

  • who becomes endowed with the vision of atman as Nishkriya Brahman and thus sees the absence of doership, karma and purpose of his atman and who thereby sees the appropriateness of renunciation of karma; BUT
  • who continues to remain engaged in karma as before due to prarabdha.

Of such a person for whom absence of karma was mentioned in 4.20, it is said (in next shloka):-


Acharya explains that it is natural for a person who gets jnana to relinquish karma. However, if due to prarabdha or due to loka-sangraha or for avoiding the criticism of wise people, relinquishment of karma is not possible, even then the karma performed by him are actually akarma only.

Gita 4.20 and 4.22 applies to such a jnani person who is engaged in karma due to prarabdha.

Gita 4.21 applies to a sanyasi who has got the jnana even before the start of karma (i.e. in Brahmacharya) and has thus naturally relinquished all karmas.  



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