Chapter 3 Verse 12 – Karma Yoga

Sloka

Yastwaatmaratir eva syaad aatmatriptashcha maanavah;
Aatmanyeva cha santushtas tasya kaaryam na vidyate.

Translation

But for that man who rejoices only in the Self, who is satisfied in the Self,
who is content in the Self alone, verily there is nothing to do.

Interpretation

In the previous shloka we have seen the fate of a person who doesn’t sacrifice and who lives on his senses alone. In this shloka Lord Krishna talks about a person who has a control on his senses, and who works with his soul. He says that a person who enjoys his life with his soul not with his senses alone is a satisfied person. That means satisfaction can come when our soul feels happy, not just the body. Lord Krishna says that the person who is content with himself has nothing else to do in this world. All his things gets accomplished by the soul itself!

Extending the interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

To understand the above shloka one needs to compare the life with the friends vs life with himself. Lets do a small experiment. Let a person hang out with his friends and just enjoy life for 15 days. After that let him shut down and just spend the next 15 days all alone just with himself. What will happen? It is easy to spend 15 days time with enjoying with friends. 15 days will go off as 15 hours and you will feel like spending more time like that. The next 15 days you spend all alone will feel like hell and you will feel as if you are alone for 15 years, not 15 days. Why is it like that?

If you see, in the beginning the pleasure of senses gives us more happiness than pleasure of self. If you are with friends your senses will feel pleasure but if you are alone your soul or self gets pleasure. Pleasure of senses is temporary but more popular. You will feel happy first and sad later. Happy because you enjoyed. When you are used to enjoyment, you tend to forget your responsibilities and that gives you sadness in life. But if you spend time alone with self, you are reminded of your responsibilities and you will plan how to execute them. This might give lot of pain in the beginning, but the sense of fulfilling one’s responsibilities will give everlasting happiness and that person has nothing else to do as he accomplishes everything.