यस्य नाहङ् कृतो भावो बुद्धिर्यस्य न लिप्यते |
हत्वाऽपि स इमाँल्लोकान्न हन्ति न निबध्यते ||
yasya nāhankṛito bhāvo buddhir yasya na lipyate
hatvā ‘pi sa imāl lokān na hanti na nibadhyate
जिस पुरुष के अन्तःकरण में ‘मैं कर्ता हूँ’ ऐसा भाव नहीं है तथा जिसकी बुद्धि सांसारिक पदार्थों में और कर्मों में लिपायमान नहीं होती, वह पुरुष इन सब लोकों को मारकर भी वास्तव में न तो मरता है और न पाप से बँधता है। (जैसे अग्नि, वायु और जल द्वारा प्रारब्धवश किसी प्राणी की हिंसा होती देखने में आए तो भी वह वास्तव में हिंसा नहीं है, वैसे ही जिस पुरुष का देह में अभिमान नहीं है और स्वार्थरहित केवल संसार के हित के लिए ही जिसकी सम्पूर्ण क्रियाएँ होती हैं, उस पुरुष के शरीर और इन्द्रियों द्वारा यदि किसी प्राणी की हिंसा होती हुई लोकदृष्टि में देखी जाए, तो भी वह वास्तव में हिंसा नहीं है क्योंकि आसक्ति, स्वार्थ और अहंकार के न होने से किसी प्राणी की हिंसा हो ही नहीं सकती तथा बिना कर्तृत्वाभिमान के किया हुआ कर्म वास्तव में अकर्म ही है, इसलिए वह पुरुष ‘पाप से नहीं बँधता’।)॥17॥
Those who are free from the ego of being the doer, and whose intellect is unattached, though they may slay living beings, they neither kill nor are they bound by actions.
English Translation Of Sri Shankaracharya’s Sanskrit Commentary By Swami Gambirananda
18.17 Yasya, he who, the person whose intellect is refined by the instructions of the scriptures and the teachers, and reason; who has na, not; ahankrtah bhavah, the feeling of egoism, in whom does not occur the notion in the form, ‘I am the agent’; i.e., he who sees thus: ‘These five, viz locus etc. (14), imagined in the Self through ignorance, are verily the agents of all actions; not I. But I am the absolute, unchanging witness of their functions, ‘Without vita force, without mind, pure, superior to the (other) superior immutable (Maya)” (Mu. 2.1.1)’; yasya, whose; buddhih, intellect, the internal organ, which is the limiting adunct of the Self; is na, not; lipyate, tainted, does not become regretful thinking, ‘I have done this; as a result, I shall enter into hell’; whose intellect does not become thus tainted, he has a good intellect and he perceives (rightly). Api, even; hatva, by killing; iman, these; lokan, creatures, i.e. all living beings; sah he; does not hanti, kill-he does not perform the act of killing; nor does he nibadhyate, become bound, nor even does he become connected with its result, the fruit of an unrighteous action.
Objection: Even if this be a eulogy, is it not contradictory to say, ‘even by killing he does not kill’?
Reply: This defect does not arise; for this becomes logical from the ordinary and the enlightened points of view. By adopting the empirical point of view (which consists in thinking), ‘I am the slayer’, by identifying the body with the Self, the Lord says, ‘even by killing’; and, by taking His stand on the supreme Truth as explained above (the Lord says), ‘he does not kill, nor does he become bound’. Thus both these surely become reasonable.
Objection; Is it not that the Self certainly does act in combination with the locus etc., which conclusion follows from the use of the word kevala (absolute) in the text, ‘the absolute Self as the agent’ (16)?
Reply: There is not such fault, because, the Self being changeless by nature, there is no possiblity of Its becoming united with the locus etc. For it is only a changeful entity that can possibly be united with another, or come to have agentship through combination. But, for the changeless Self there can be no combination with anything whatsoever. Hence, agentship through combination is not logical. Therefore, the absoluteness of the Self being natural, the word kevalam is merely a reiteration of an established fact.
And the changelessness of the Self is well known from the Upanisads, the Smrtis and logic. As to that, in the Gita itself this has been established more than once in such texts as, ‘It is said that৷৷.This is unchangeable’ (2.25), ‘Actions are being done by the gunas themselves’ (see 3.27), ‘this ৷৷.supreme Self does not act৷৷.although existing in the body’ (13.31), and in the Upanisads also in such texts as, ‘It thinks, as it were, and shakes, as it were’ (Br. 4.3.7).
And from the standpoint of reason also, the royal path is to hold that the true nature of the Self is that It is partless, independent of others and changeless. Even if mutability (of the Self) be accepted, It should have a change that is Its own. The functions of the locus etc. cannot be attributed to the agency of the Self. Indeed, an action done by someone else cannot be imputed to another by whom it has not been done! As for what is imputed (on somody) through ignorance, that is not his. As the ality of silver is not of nacre, or as surface or dirt attributed through ignorance to the sky by foolish people is not of the sky, similarly, the changes in the locus etc. also are verily their own, and not of the Self. Hence it has been well said that the enlightened person ‘does not kill, nor is he bound’, becuase of the absence of his being tainted by the idea that actions are done by himself. [Some translate this portion thus: ‘৷৷.because of the absence of the thought ‘I am doing’, and also due to the taintlessness of the mind’; or, ‘৷৷.in the absence of egotism and of all taint in the mind’.-Tr.]
After having declared, ‘This One does not kill, nor is It killed’ (2.19); having stated the immutability of the Self through such texts as, ‘Never is this One born’ (2.20) , etc., which adduce the reason for this; having briefly stated at the commencement of the Scripture-in, ‘he who knows this One as indestructible’ (2.21)-that the enlightened man has no eligibility for rites and duties; and having deliberated in various places on that (cessation) which has been mooted in the middle (of the Scripture), the Lord, by way of summarizing the purport of the Scripture, concludes here by saying that the enlightened person ‘does not kill, nor does he become bound.’ If this be so, then it becomes established that the three kinds of results of actions, viz the undesirable etc., do not accrue to the monks, since it is reasonable that, because of the illogicality of their entertaining the idea of being embodied, all actions resulting from ignorance become abandoned (by them). And hence, as a conseence of a reversal of this, it becomes inevitable that the results do accrue to others.
Thus, this is how the purport of the scripture Gita has been summed up. In order that this which is the essence of the teachings of all the Vedas should be. understood after deliberation by the learned ones possessing a sharp intellect, it has been explained by us in accordance with the scriptures and reasoning, in various places by dealing with it topically.
Thereafter, now is being stated what promts actions: