This is the basic teaching of the Bhagavad Gita. In these verses from (III, 20) to (III, 30), these ten verses you might, say are the “core” of the teaching of the Gita. All that has gone before is a preparation for this, and all that comes after is a consequence of this. But this is the basic message, that even when you become free you act. It is because afterwards, a new message came in India, even though Sri Krishna said: “Again and again you should act, even when you don’t need to act, you should act for the sake of solidarity of the people”, even then, we were told, “Do not act in the world, do not act for the world, give up all this world, take Sannyasa from the world, and do only your duty, and that is all, even if you have to do something, don’t put your heart into action.”: it is this false notion, which was spread in India. As a result, we became negligent in action, and once you become negligent in action, then as Sri Krishna himself says: “You destroy the people”
ye me matam idaṁ nityam anutiṣṭhanti mānavāḥ |
śraddhāvanto ’nasūyanto mucyante te ’pi karmabhiḥ ||31|| (III)
“Those people who follow this vision, those who are full of faith, and who are free from envy, they become free even in action.” This is the secret that Sri Krishna had promise at the beginning that there are two paths: one, the path of knowledge, which by throwing away action you become free, but there is another path of Karmayoga, which when you do, then even while doing action you will be free. And this is the promise fulfilled by Him: mucyante te ’pi karmabhiḥ, ‘even while doing actions you will be free’
ye tv etad abhyasūyanto nānutiṣṭhanti me matam |
sarva-jñāna-vimūḍhāṁs tān viddhi naṣṭān acetasaḥ ||32|| (III)
“Those who do not follow this, those who are envious and they are completely ignorant of knowledge, know that they are naṣṭān acetasaḥ, they are destroyed.” Those who do not act in this way, for them there is no fulfilment.
sadṛśaṁ ceṣṭate svasyāḥ prakṛter jñānavān api |
prakṛtiṁ yānti bhūtāni nigrahaḥ kiṁ kariṣyati ||33|| (III)
The action is such a powerful element in man that those who give up action, in one way or the other they fall into action whether they like it or not because everyone in the world is nothing but an instrument of Prakriti:
prakṛtiṁ yānti bhūtāni nigrahaḥ kiṁ kariṣyati,
Prakriti is the one which rules you even if you want to restrain yourself from it, even if you want to run away from the battlefield, how will you stop it? You will come back again: prakṛtiṁ yānti bhūtāni.
indriyasyendriyasyārthe rāga-dveṣau vyavasthitau |
tayor na vaśam āgacchet tau hy asya paripanthinau ||34|| (III)
“For every sense, attachment and dveṣa are fixed pertaining to the sense- objects. One should not come under their sway because they are his enemies.”