In chapter 3 of Bhagvat Geeta, Krishna says knowledge is more important than karma.

I could not understand that.

Can someone please explain me this?

  • you need to specify which verses you are asking about. Mar 29, 2020 at 10:11

1 Answer 1


The OP is referring to, perhaps, to the following sloka from the 3rd chapter of BG.

ज्यायसी चेत्कर्मणस्ते मता बुद्धिर्जनार्दन।

तत्किं कर्मणि घोरे मां नियोजयसि केशव।।3.1।।

Arjuna said O Janardana, if knowledge is held to be superior to action by You, then why do You engage me in action that is terrible, O Kesava ?

The following slokas are to be read with the above sloka for understanding the issue involved.

Sri Krishna said that no one can remain actionless. He further stated that emancipation is attained by one by simply renunciation. However, if one's mind is detached from action, he can remain in self.

न कर्मणामनारम्भान्नैष्कर्म्यं पुरुषोऽश्नुते।

न च संन्यसनादेव सिद्धिं समधिगच्छति।।3.4।।

A person attains actionlessness not [just] by non-commencement of actions; and not just by renunciation, he attains success (emancipation).

न हि कश्िचत्क्षणमपि जातु तिष्ठत्यकर्मकृत्।

कार्यते ह्यवशः कर्म सर्वः प्रकृतिजैर्गुणैः।।3.5।।

For, no one can ever remain, even for a moment, as a non-performer of action; because everyone, being not master of himself, is forced to perform action by the Strands born of the Prakrti (Material cause)

नियतं कुरु कर्म त्वं कर्म ज्यायो ह्यकर्मणः।

शरीरयात्रापि च ते न प्रसिद्ध्येदकर्मणः।।3.8।।

You must perform your action which has been enjoined. For, action is superior to inaction; and even the maintenance of your body could not be properly accomplished through inaction.

कर्मणैव हि संसिद्धिमास्थिता जनकादयः।

लोकसंग्रहमेवापि संपश्यन्कर्तुमर्हसि।।3.20।।

It was by action alone that Janaka and others had attained emancipation. Further, at least having regard to hold the world (the society) together you should act.

यस्त्वात्मरतिरेव स्यादात्मतृप्तश्च मानवः।

आत्मन्येव च सन्तुष्टस्तस्य कार्यं न विद्यते।।3.17।।

But the man, who simply rejoices in the Self; and who is satisfied in the Self; and who delights in the Self alone-there exists no action for him to be performed.

So for an ordinary person, emancipation results only after performing action done without expecting result. Very few people like Sri Ramana Maharshi may straight away dive into SELF REALISATION.

Whether action done, without expecting results, or serious contemplation, only result in Knowledge.

Thus, Knowledge is superior to action.

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