I want to know whether a yogi/self realized person is free from his actions?

Is this mentioned in the Gita?

Does this mean that he can do whatever he wants and not be accountable?

  • Even Lord Vishnu is not from his actions. He receives shraap, takes human births, and even dies and does prayashchit.
    – sbharti
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 14:45
  • Actions will bind anybody, the moment they become attached to the actions and their results. Those who are consistently detached from the results of their actions are karma yogis, the detachment being the reason for non-binding. Of course, it goes without saying that all actions need to be dhArmic.
    – user23407
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 15:57
  • 1
    @Amethyst IMHO this question is coming because you have not understood the meaning of self realisation. Self realisation means completely submitting your will to God. Only people who completely surrender their will to God becomes realized. So once realized, these people won't do anything bad, their will is given to God completely.
    – user22253
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 17:41

2 Answers 2


A Jivanmukta is not free from his fruits of his action. He does not care about the fruits of action.

Wise men, established thus in the unperturbed evenness of mind, abandon the fruits of action, free themselves from entanglement in the cycle of births and deaths, and attain to the state of freedom from all sorrow (liberation).

Gita 2.51

What does abandoning the fruits of action mean?

It means that he is indifferent to what happens to him.

'He is the true Jivanmukta, whose facial expression neither flushes nor fades under pleasure or pain and who subsists on whatever comes of its own accord.

Laghu-Yogavasishta 5.91

The flushing is of course indicative of joy. The joy, which ordinary men derive from sandal-paste and other marks of hospitality, does not rejoice him (make him happy). "Fading' means depression. He is not depressed by any loss of wealth, .... or similar calamities, that may befall him. 'Who subsists on whatever comes of its own accord' means, who remains content with whatever goes to him in the shape of alms, etc.

Jivanmuktiviveka of Vidyaranya

  • 1
    +1 for references of Laghu Yogavasistha and Jivamuktivivrka. Didn’t know abt them. Thanks, good answer. Tripura Rahasya and muktika Upanishad also talks about similar concept.
    – Ketan
    Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 18:15
  • @Pradip Gangopadhyay Why is it called “discards”,when a ‘better’ replacement would be “unassailed by the fruits of his actions”?
    – Amethyst
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 15:24

A jivanmukti is free from karmic consequence, good or bad, and from suffering. That’s because karma is generated in the consciousness (some would call this awareness) not in the pure chit of the Self. If you wanted, you could say he/she does not engage in karmic activity, but ultimately the two are equivalent - he has stopped generating karma and is free.

In my understanding, a yogi is not necessarily enlightened (?)

I am using the terms where sat-chit-ananda would be translated reality-awareness-peace. I do not refer to chit when I say consciousness. Some reverse the terms consciousness and awareness.

Brahma Sutras:

When Brahman is realized, the non-clinging and destruction of the subsequent and previous karma respectively.

Mundaka Upanishad II.ii.8

Sundered are the knots of the heart, torn off are all his doubts, and the seeds of his karma disappear when the knowing of Brahman is obtained.

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    “He has stopped generating Karma”,doesn’t that mean he is disobeying Sri Krishna’s instruction in the second part of “Karmanye..”(BG),where Bhagwan asks Arjuna to not be inert with regards to karma,?
    – Amethyst
    Commented Jul 28, 2021 at 10:16
  • @Amethyst Thats one interpretation, but the above quotes show others. The reason I say that is Brahma Sutras “When Brahman is realized, the non-clinging and destruction of the subsequent and previous karma respectively.” So previous karma eliminated makes me think under that interpretation, karma can be eliminated not just by behaving correctly but other ways, in Brahma sutra
    – Al Brown
    Commented Jul 28, 2021 at 12:22

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