THE BHAGAVAD GITA — III:17-18
by Paramahansa Yogananda
(Excerpts from God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita)
The Yogi Has No Motive for Worldly Gain
But the individual who truly loves the soul and is fully satisfied with the soul and finds utter contentment in the soul alone, for him no duty exists.
Such a person has no purpose of gain in this world by performing actions, nor does he lose anything by their nonperformance. He is not dependent on anyone for anything.
—The Bhagavad Gita III:17-18
All mortals who live and work solely for pleasure and gain, remaining ignorant of the divine purpose of life, are inexorably bound by their actions—elevated by performance of proper actions and degraded by evil actions. But the yogi who has by Self-realization attained the supreme goal of life is neither required to perform actions nor, if he does, is he bound by any karmic results of such actions. Having fulfilled all his desires by attaining the all-satisfying supreme bliss of Spirit, he possesses no motive for worldly gain through actions.
Far above any selfish motivation, the accomplished yogi may engage in dutiful actions for the sole purpose of setting a good example to others. Some great yogis live and teach in the world just to demonstrate to mankind the way to freedom; while other illumined masters remain aloof, never mixing with the world.