I would like to understand this thing from our scriptures point of view:

Are our actions outcome of our mind & body or of soul (atma)?

Please cite authentic references with your answers.

  • Actions are outcome of all 3. Soul is the agent, but it needs a mind and body to act. – Ikshvaku Jan 9 '20 at 16:48
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    Prakriti kriyamanani guna karmani sarvashah - check this gita verse. Actions happen by default in nature of prakriti. Ur vasanas samskaras tendencies dictate the movement of mind and hence actions. The Atma is akarta. Non doer. In that verse krishna says due to ahamkars Atma thinks itself as doer. But actions are purely related to prakriti and Atma is non doer and just a witness. – Parabrahman Jyoti Jan 9 '20 at 18:06
  • Drop sense of doership. You won't incur karma but carry on what's to be done. – Parabrahman Jyoti Jan 9 '20 at 18:07
  • @ParabrahmanJyoti can you plz tell from which chapter is this verse? – Just_Do_It Jan 9 '20 at 19:18
  • @ParabrahmanJyoti, a witness never has to bear consequences of actions that happen. but the atma does. One of the first few verses of Brahma Sutra says that Jiva is the doer, because if he is not the doer, then there is no use of Shastras dictating what to do and what to avoid - so we either have to choose between Shastras being useless or Jiva being the doer. Hence we choose the latter.[ – mar Jan 10 '20 at 1:12

Who does the actions is emphasized atleast twice in Bhagavad Gita by Shri Krishna that Prakriti alone does all the actions and it happens by default. But due to the deluded false ego, the Jiva assumes itself to be doer and thus incurs consequences of Karma.

प्रकृत्यैव च कर्माणि क्रियमाणानि सर्वश: | य: पश्यति तथात्मानमकर्तारं स पश्यति || 30||

prakṛityaiva cha karmāṇi kriyamāṇāni sarvaśhaḥ

yaḥ paśhyati tathātmānam akartāraṁ sa paśhyati


BG 13.30: They alone truly see who understand that all actions (of the body) are performed by material nature, while the embodied soul actually does nothing.

Krishna in this makes a confirmation that who understands all actions are particularly done by body and mind in accoradance with Guna, and the Dehi, Jiva doesnt do anything are the one who sees the knowledge.

Another verse here it is.

प्रकृते: क्रियमाणानि गुणै: कर्माणि सर्वश: |

अहङ्कारविमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते || 27||

prakṛiteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśhaḥ

ahankāra-vimūḍhātmā kartāham iti manyate

BG 3.27: All activities are carried out by the three modes of material nature. But in ignorance, the soul, deluded by false identification with the body, thinks itself to be the doer.

Here's another verse from Karma Yoga which says entire activities are carried on in accordance with Prakritis Gunas but the false ego makes the Jiva thinks itself as the doer.

If the Atma is non doer, why it incurs Karma? The Karma is incured as long as one owns doership of "I". This "I" is the ahankar, the ego. Its this identity of "I" experiences the sukha dukha, i.e happiness and sorrows as consequences of Karma but the Jiva wrongly identifies itself with the changing nature of prakriti.

The Shiva sutras also say "Atma Chittam" = the Individuality is the Mind. Thus, through the practice of Karma Yoga, one gives up the sense of doership and once the ahankara is dropped, the Atma Jnana dawns into such practitioners.

One cannot compare changing nature of prakriti with unchanging nature of Atma.

  • Aside that, now what is for enlightened ones? Those who are in into sadhana through any means of agamas, tantras, vedanta = as they advance in sadhana , the individuality which they are now will be disappeared as one advances. When individuality disappears what happens, the enjoyer and enjoyment, the bhokta of Karma is uprooted. When that is uprooted, the Jiva realizes its eternal nature and finally upon end of prarabdha attains the parama padam. – Parabrahman Jyoti Jan 10 '20 at 3:56
  • But thing is without soul, body & mind are nothing and all the karmas are carry forwarded to the next birth by the soul so in that case isn't soul the doer of all actions? – Just_Do_It Jan 10 '20 at 13:11
  • No. Doers of actions are karma indriyas jnana indriyas manas Buddhi and ahamkara which expects results of actions. And what dictates this movement of actions is your own samskara vasanas. Thus the Atma gives life for all these to function but it doesn't do anything. But due to maya what happens is "when there's anger emotion, it identifies itself with "Iam angry. "IAM happy. Who is aware and is identifying with the changes? That is jivatma. Any changes in prakriti is noted by it and due to maya it identifies itself with change. Thats why jeeva seems to be doer but not – Parabrahman Jyoti Jan 10 '20 at 16:49
  • Patanjali yoga sutras also is good source to verify. When modifications of mind sre stopped Purusha is appreciated in its real nature. Just a different word but look at content. As long as modifications of mind in ignorance is there seer identifies itself with changing. When identification happens brinhs him to bondage. Again karma. – Parabrahman Jyoti Jan 10 '20 at 17:17

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