Action, Discernment and Desire

To act solely from a desire for rewards is not laudable, yet an exemption from that desire is not (to be found) in this (world): for on (that) desire is grounded the study of the Veda and the performance of the actions, prescribed by the Veda.

So if we cannot not have desire, why not have the desires of the highest, purest, and righteous purpose?

The desire (for rewards), indeed, has its root in the conception that an act can yield them, and in consequence of (that) conception sacrifices are performed; vows and the laws prescribing restraints are all stated to be kept through the idea that they will bear fruit.

Not a single act appears ever to be done by a man free from desire; for whatever (man) does, it is (the result of) the impulse of desire.

He who persists in discharging these (prescribed duties) in the right manner, reaches the deathless state and even in this (life) obtains (the fulfillment of) all the desires that he may have conceived.

But a learned man after fully scrutinising all this with the eye of knowledge, should, in accordance with the authority of the revealed texts, be intent on (the performance of) his duties.

So you see, nothing from the Vedas is followed in fear or in ignorance but of deep learning, deep insight, and experience. From this deep scrutinization, one will come to see that it is sanatana dharma (perennial wisdom) and just truth.

For that man who obeys the law prescribed in the revealed texts and in the sacred tradition, gains fame in this (world) and after death, unsurpassable bliss.

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