18. The verse continues to give the exception to the tenet of action. The experience of Realisation is like waking up from a dream. If you were able to re-enter the same dream how would you conduct yourself? Would the highest achievement in the dream make any difference to you? Or the greatest loss affect you adversely? Yet you would do what you have to do – objectively.
Similarly, when you wake up to the fourth plane of Consciousness becoming the wealthiest person in the world or the most powerful would have no impact on you. Yet you would fulfil every role enthusiastically, excitedly, wholeheartedly, knowing that the entire world is essenceless and of zero value.
You have no obligations to perform as you are not dependent on the world. When you put uncooked food in hot oil it splutters and sizzles. Cooked food has no spluttering when put in the same oil.
This is true both in the absolute as well as in the relative sense. To the extent you escalate to the higher you are freed from the obligations of the lower state. Einstein was free from the tyranny of keeping up with the Joneses! Mahatma Gandhi was not debarred from any place because of lack of formal clothing!
19. Krsna concludes after a logical presentation on the necessity for action. Therefore, always perform obligatory action well, without attachment.
Karyam karma – Shift track from desire to obligation. Follow the intellect when preferences of the mind conflict with its clear judgement. Perform your obligations well, perfectly, with sincerity and dedication. Not half-heartedly or in a slipshod manner.
Satatam always – Not occasionally, part-time or whenever the mind takes a fancy to it.
Asakta without attachment – When you are attached to the higher you get detached from the lower. Keep your thoughts on the higher while the body goes through action.
One who does what ought to be done without attachment grows spiritually. Desires reduce, the mind becomes blissful and you achieve success.
Desire and attachment impede action. When you are free from the debilitating effects of both you achieve excellence effortlessly.
Then work becomes entertaining, exciting, fulfilling, and restful. Swami Rama Tirtha defined rest as intense work! The body engages in intense work while the mind is at rest. This changes your life from mediocrity to excellence, drudgery to revelry, indignation to inspiration, misery to magic!