From what I understand, for the enlightened person, it doesn't matter if he/she gains something or loses something because nothing we observe is ultimately real. Ultimately there is neither the observer nor the observed and Brahman is the only Truth. But if there is nothing to gain or nothing to lose, then there is no reason to do anything as well as NOT to do anything.

But at the level of this world, we humans must decide to do something or not to do something. There is no in-between. A decision must be made.

Then how does an enlightened person decide what to do or what not to do? How does an enlightened person live his/her life? Do they have any goals in their life?

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    Here are the properties of a Jivamukta: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…. In short - he does right karma (Karma Yoga), according to his duties and responsibilities best according to other's expectations and wills without consdering own, because I-ness vanishes after enlightment.
    – user29449
    Feb 29 at 15:10

1 Answer 1


The (Prarabdha) Karma which has fashioned this body prior to the dawning of knowledge, is not destroyed by that knowledge without yielding its fruits, like the arrow shot at an object.(Vivekachudamani 451)

The arrow which is shot at an object with the idea that it is a tiger, does not, when that object is perceived to be a cow, check itself, but pierces the object with full force.(Vivekachudamani 452)

No jiva (Not just humans) can ever remain even for a split second in the state of inaction.(mental,verbal, physical). Every one is made to act helplessly by impulses born of nature(Gita 3.5)

This is the reason why , at the level of the world, humans must decide over ,what to do and what not . But this is not the case of an enlightened person who can remain in inaction (natural propensity) , abiding self.

The (enlightened) man whose delight is in self alone ,content/satisfied with self, for him there exists no work that needs to be done(BG 3.17)

Nevertheless quoting Janaka and others , Gitacharya says in 3.20 , an enlightened man who is devoid of I - sense, and any expectation of reward may engage in action in view of lokasangraha (welfare of the common good or world maintenance)

In which case, what is the basis of such action? By virtue of Prarabdha Karma an enlightened acts according to Gita 3.33 , which does not bind the enlightened whatever be the act ,(as in Gita 18.17)

सदृशं चेष्टते स्वस्या: प्रकृतेर्ज्ञानवानपि |(Gita 3.33) Man of knowledge acts in accordance with His own nature.

why does the act not bind ?

..like the question of a man who has awakened from sleep having any connection with the objects seen in the dream-state.(Vivekachudamani 454)

No one can ever see rope and snake simultaneously. When an enlightened man sees rope, the snake eventually disappears , thus there is no question of an enlightened man holding on to any goal pertaining to snake(world /life) as in Gita 2.69

What all beings consider as day is the night of ignorance for the wise, and what all creatures see as night is the day for the introspective sage.(No one ever see night and day simultaneously) Gita 2.69

So life of opposites must not be compared.

there is nothing to gain or nothing to lose, then there is no reason to do anything as well as NOT to do anything. All that remains for an enlightened is the Prarabdha Karma alone.

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