In the Bhagavad Gita we have it at least in two places:

mat-karma paramo bhava - (12.10) and mat-karma-kṛit mat-paramo - (11-55)

We know the literal meaning of mat-karma. For instance in the Shankara Bhashya we have the explanation as "madarthe karma matkarma; tat karoti iti matkarmakrit". That is "Working for God" or doing "God's Work." But how do we know what God's work is and what isn't ? I know for a fact that many spiritual/religious organisations claim that their work is God's work. It may very well be true. But is it just a matter of faith or is there a rigorous explanation ? After all even people who commit unbearable atrocities on other people claim that they are following "God's Will" and doing "God's Work."

I did find some details here but it doesn't address the core question that I have.

1 Answer 1


First of all God's work must benefit other people.

I abide in all beings as their inner-most soul. Disregarding My presence within them, men make a show of worshiping Me through images. If one disregards Me present in all as their soul and Lord but ignorantly offers worship only to images, such worship is as ineffective as a sacrificial offering made in ashes. A man who persecutes Me residing in others, who is proud and haughty, who looks upon God as the other – such a person will never attain to peace of mind. If a man disregards and persecutes fellow beings, but worships Me in images with numerous rituals and rich offerings, I am not at all pleased with him for proffering such worship. A man should, however, worship Me in images, side by side with discharging his duties, which include the love of all beings, until he actually realises My presence in in himself and in all beings. As long as man is self-centred and makes an absolute distinction between himself and others (without recognising the unity of all in Me, the Inner Pervader), he will be subject to the great fear of Death (including every form of deprivation of self-interest). So overcoming the separateness of a self-centred life, one should serve all beings with gifts, honour and love, recognising that such service is really being rendered to Me who reside in all beings as their innermost soul.

Srimad Bhagavata Purana III.29.21-27

Secondly, he must identify with other people's interests.

O Arjuna! In My view that Yogi is the best who, out of a sense of identity with others on account of the perception of the same Atman in all, feels their joy and suffering as his own.

Gita 6.32

Finally, a person who does God's work must also not make the mistake that his work is really helping other persons, that he is saving people. He should do his best but he must keep in mind that only Ishvara can really help others.

Therefore, O dear one! Give up your infatuation born of ignorance, which makes you feel worried, thinking – how will these helpless people get without me? To think that one can save or protect another while one’s own body, subject to the power of time, karma and Guna, is decaying, is like a person in the grip of a python thinking of saving another.

Srimad Bhagavata Purana I.13.44-45

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