The concept of Karm, Akarm, Vikarm and Nishkaam Karm || Acharya Prashant, on Bhagavad Gita (2020)

Questioner (Q): What is the exact meaning of ’Gahna Karmo Gati’? There are a lot of sayings about that.

AP: In fact, ’Gahna Karmo Gati’ is related to this, this only: Karma, Akarma, and Vikarma.

Karma is when you make a choice in acting. Akarma is when there is no choice available. No choice might be available for two reasons. One, the action might be totally involuntary, prakritik, or because you are so inattentive that stuff is happening without your consent or notice—that is Akarma. So, there is no doership involved there. There is no real choice involved there. Complete conditioning is at play—that is Akarma.

So, the fundamental distinction is, first of all, between Karma and Akarma. Karma is when there is an agency making a choice. Akarma is when there is no agency at all making a choice.