In continuation of should I be totally involved or non-attached? my second question is killing doing wrong deeds eg. serial killer is karma yogi because he is not thinking about result (psychopaths likes killing). And if someone cheats/hurt us should we take legal actions/ violent action or leave it saying that we don't have results//fruits of action in our hand

karmaṇy evādhikāras te mā phaleṣu kadācana mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr mā te saṅgo ’stv akarmaṇi "tasmad asaktah satatam karyam karma samacara asakto hy acaran karma param apnoti purushah"

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    I feel only a psychopath with a undeveloped or degraded mindset, morality , conscience due to defect at birth, disease, chemical effect or wrong teaching could consider it karma to kill innocents, or target victims, indiscriminately. This is why it is not. common.
    – ajitdas
    Sep 18, 2023 at 23:06
  • Duryodhana & ally , had hurted/cheated Pandavas several times in many ways . (Tried to burn them alive in the house of Lac ,so on.) It is only after the teaching of Gita is imparted , Arjuna as a karma yogi fulfills Kshatriya dharma by annihilating all his opponents who had fallen for shakunis malevolence.
    – Athrey
    Sep 29, 2023 at 15:18
  • You are responsible for Every Karma. If you offer your Karma to God (you can not offer bad karma) without exception of reward, it will not bind you. It is called Niskam Karmayoga in Gita.
    – Kaushik
    Dec 2, 2023 at 3:42

5 Answers 5


That 2nd verse "tasmad Asaktah.......purushah" you quoted is from 3rd sarga in Bhagavad Gita, unlike the "karmanyEvAdhikAraste..." which is from 2nd sarga. Reason I say that is beacause the answer to your question also lies in the same 3rd sarga itself.

First, Verse 47 in 2nd sarga is saying that we should unite ourselves with the actions instead of uniting ouselves with the fruits of our actions (hence karma 'yoga', yoga=union). I know that the very next thing we question immediately is - what actions, specifically? Shri Krishna answers that very question, but much later in Bhagavad Gita (verse 24 in Sarga 16 to be precise ^).

However, I would rather orient you to another statement Shri Krishna makes within Sarga 3 itself, since you can use this statement as your guide/measuring stick/filter that ANY action must first pass through before applying "karmanEvAdhikArasthe..." shloka. Using this filter will quickly address dour doubt/question here.

Shri Krishna states in verse 9 in Sarga 3:

यज्ञार्थात्कर्मणोऽन्यत्र लोकोऽयं कर्मबन्धन: | तदर्थं कर्म कौन्तेय मुक्तसङ्ग: समाचर || 9||

yajñārthāt karmaṇo ’nyatra loko ’yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ tad-arthaṁ karma kaunteya mukta-saṅgaḥ samāchara

Meaning: Work must be done as a sacrifice to the Supreme Lord; otherwise, work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore, O son of Kunti, for the satisfaction of God, perform your prescribed duties, without being attached to the results.

That is the key word, sacrifice.

Now apply your example: if the person is doing something because he likes it, where is the sacrifice?

i.e. in your example the person is already wedded to the end result of his actions - the killing (ending of a life). Why? because he likes the end result (killing/ending of a life) as you said. When emotions are the driving force, there will be no sacrifice.

The right example that ticks all these boxes (incl. verse 24 in sarga 16) is the killing done by the Judicial/Legislative Executioner, who is indifferent to the end result (killing of the sentenced prisioner) and does his act of execution in a purely detached fashion. Not because he likes killing, but because shAstra (Penal Code in this case) requires him to do that very act for the sake of civilization.

When you like the end result, that "karmanyEvAdhikArasthe.." verse does not apply because the 'liking' had already transaggressed that verse.

In case you say that what you meant in the example is that the person likes the act of killing as an adverb, vs. as an end result, then let me challenge you to think through it a bit more - what does the murderer really like, the act of choking, or the act of choking someone because it does something to that someone? (i.e. driven by the end result). A psychopath will not like choking if that act is not doing something to that someone.

^ Verse 24 in Sarga 16:

तस्माच्छास्त्रं प्रमाणं ते कार्याकार्यव्यवस्थितौ | ज्ञात्वा शास्त्रविधानोक्तं कर्म कर्तुमिहार्हसि || 24||

tasmāch chhāstraṁ pramāṇaṁ te kāryākārya-vyavasthitau jñātvā śhāstra-vidhānoktaṁ karma kartum ihārhasi

Meaning: Therefore, let the scriptures be your authority in determining what should be done and what should not be done. Understand the scriptural injunctions and teachings, and then perform your actions in this world accordingly.

  • if someone cheats/hurt us should we take legal actions/ violent action or leave it saying that we don't have results//fruits of action in our hand
    – quanity
    Sep 19, 2023 at 6:55
  • The entire legend of Shri Krishna and Shyamantak Mani, which we religiously recite every Vinayak Chathurthi day, is - when someone hurts you one way or another (ex: accusing you of something you never did, in this particular story) is to NOT leave it to anything and instead go take action and address it head on and resolve it immediately. I hope that answered your question:) Do what Shri Krishna did. Sep 19, 2023 at 12:02

A karma Yogi always works for the good of the world according to the Gita. He won't do anything that is harmful and thus cares about the result.

Therefore, perform action always without attachment. For, by working without attachment a man attains the Supreme.

Gita 3.19

Men like Janaka verily attained to perfection by work alone. You ought to work for the good of the world (having their example in view).

Gita 3.20

A Karma Yogi is unattached to the result of his work. That does not mean he is not caring about the result. He tries his best to get a good result. What he does not do is take credit for any good result of his work but gives the karmaphala or fruits of the work to God.

A serial killer or a psychopath is never a karma Yogi. He is very much interested in killing and destruction. Gita calls these type of people demons. They come to a very sorry end.

The Demoniac type

In this world there are two types of creation, the divine and the demoniac. The divine heritage has already been described. Now hear from Me what constitutes the demoniac heritage, O son of Prtha.

Gita 16.6

Men of demoniac nature know not what should not be done and what should be avoided. Neither purity, nor good conduct, nor truthfulness is found in them.

Gita 16.7

According to them nothing is ultimately real in this world. It is Godless and without any moral basis. Being born of sex union, what else but lust can be said to be its cause.

Gita 16.8

Holding such views, these lost souls – these men of little understanding –given, as they are, to cruel deeds opposed to general well-being, appear as agents for the destruction of the world.

Gita 16.9

Steeped in insatiable lust, motivated by hypocrisy, vanity, arrogance and avarice, given to corrupt and impure ways of life, they work in pursuit of false values entertained through delusion.

Gita 16.10

Obsessed with numerous cares all through life, looking on sex indulgence as the highest aim, convinced that there is no higher purpose in life than this,

Gita 16.11

Bound with a hundred cords of hopes and expectations, and enslaved by lust and anger, they strive to accumulate wealth in improper ways for the fulfilment of their sensuous desires.

Gita 16.12

“Today I have gained this object, tomorrow I shall gain that object of desire too; I have this much wealth now, much more will be mine hereafter;

Gita 16.13

“This enemy has been slain, the others too I will soon destroy; I am the master; everything is for enjoyment; I am the successful man, the powerful man, the happy man;

Gita 16.14

“I am wealthy and high-born; who is there like unto me? I will perform sacrifices, I will make charity, and I will rejoice” – deluded thus by ignorance;

Gita 16.15

Gripped by numerous bewildering thoughts, entangled in the meshes of delusion, and ever given to sex indulgences, they are degraded into states that are loathsome and full of suffering.

Gita 16.16

Vain-glorious, stubborn and intoxicated with the pride of wealth, they perform for more show Yajnas that are so in name only, being done without the observant of the commandments of the scriptures.

Gita 16.17

Dominated by self-conceit, prone to the use of force, arrogant, lustful and choleric, these traducers of virtue violate Me, dwelling in them and also in others.

Gita 16.18

What happens to these type of people according to Gita teaching?

These vicious men, oppressive, cruel and sinful as they are, are always hurled by Me into demoniac wombs in life after life, in the transmigratory cycle.

Gita 16.19

O son of Kunti! Falling into demoniac wombs, in life after life, they go to still lower states of degradation, without attaining Me.

Gita 16.20

  • if someone cheats/hurt us should we take legal actions/ violent action or leave it saying that we don't have results/fruits of action in our hand
    – quanity
    Sep 19, 2023 at 7:00
  • This question has nothing to do with Karma Yoga. The answer will depend on whether you are a householder or a monk. As a householder you will have the right to take legal action. As a monk you can follow Vayu Purana's advice: One shall not strike or rebuke when struck or rebuked. Restraint in thought, speech and action and forgiveness is called endurance. Vayu Purana I.59.44 Sep 19, 2023 at 8:42

First of all question why does one kill someone because of his /her tamsic nature or he have some desire to eliminate few people. If you think it only means yogi minded person would commit murder. Then you are wrong. Gita also tells to leave all kind of desire and attachment, then perform your duties. Now, due to some attachment or desire he might be doing it. And if you ask why God would make a person in the state of mindlessness Or to do diseaseful things, the answer is adharma commited in previous janam. Like try reading stories of previous life stories of bhisma stealing kam dhenu Or previous life of karna as demon killed by nar narayan avtar Or previous life story of drithrasthra. You will understand.

Legal actions must be taken in case Or frauds, violence etc. Because it is also duty to fight for what is right


Bhagvad gita 2.31

"Besides, considering your duty as a warrior, you should not waver. Indeed, for a warrior, there is no better engagement than fighting for upholding of righteousness"


Here's a similar perspective to your question, can a person who isn't involved in good for all attain liberation?

Vyadha Gita is a Gita attributed to sage Markandeya narrating the story of a Vyadha or butcher and a sanyasi who was blinded by ego through his siddhis out of spiritual practices.

The surprised sannyasi asks the vyadha as to how he could become illumined by doing a "filthy, ugly work". The vyadha says that he is working as per the principles of karma, which placed him in a circumstance into which he is born.

The vyadha further advises, "no duty is ugly, no duty is impure"[7] and it is only the way in which the work is done, determines its worth.[8]

Work done out of non-attachment is superior. Liberation is when you get beyond the dualities of Maya (such as heat-cold, good-bad, win-loss, etc).

Why did Krishna ask Arjuna to work for the sake of Dharma?

BG 2.37: If you fight, you will either be slain on the battlefield and go to the celestial abodes, or you will gain victory and enjoy the kingdom on earth. Therefore arise with determination, O son of Kunti, and be prepared to fight. source: https://www.holy-bhagavad-gita.org/chapter/2/verse/37

Unless someone absorbed in advanced spiritual practices, it is practically not possible to get liberation in a single lifetime alone, in such cases, if the person goes to the celestial realms beyond the gross plane (physical plane) - he could enjoy the celestial abode of heaven, instead of painful hell.

It's important to note that liberation is beyond hell and heaven (these two are part of Maya), therefore, if not possible liberation - higher planes (such as heaven) should be the goal of the celestial bodies after death. Suffering from hell as well as prarabdha Karma in previous life is considered most dangerous and could also act as a hurdle in spiritual growth in future births.


Geethabhaashyam says " The karma gets over or gets completed when the accomplisher renounces his attachment towards it ". It means karma is temporary and sins/virtues attached to karma are decided by God and not by human who renounced it. But it is the non-realisation of a human that karma continues and its impact multiplies with either PUNYA or PAAPA. If PUNYA the person may rejoice with materials and joy but If PAAPA the person cannot do PRAAYASCHITTA in this JANMA and requires another Janma as human. It is a very difficult chance.

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