Tag Archives: gita theory of action

“Care of the present”–Daily Metta

May 19: “I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned enough with taking care of the present.” –Gandhi (Harijan, 1-25-1935, p. 399) St. Augustine did not believe that the past, present and future were “times” as much as states of mind. The past is recollection; the future, anticipation; and the present: awareness.… read more

“Means and Ends”–Daily Metta

February 15: “Means and ends are convertible terms in my philosophy of life.” –Gandhi (Young India, 12-26-1924, p. 424) Where conventional thought suggests that the “ends justify the means,” Gandhi emphasized the importance of the means–how we do it– over the ends–what we want to happen. He is only being practical, as our means are… read more

“The Gita Theory of Action”–Daily Metta

January 21 “I cannot attain freedom by a mechanical refusal to act, but only by intelligent action in a detached manner.” -Gandhi (Young India, 9-17-1921) Gandhi read the spiritual classic the Bhagavad Gita every day. He said it was to him as a “mother’s milk,” nourishing and nurturing him in times of joy and great… read more


Phalam is a Sanskrit for fruit, and is the word used in the Bhagavad Gita to describe the personal gains acquired as the result of human action. According to the Gita theory of action, one should strive to be detached from these fruits.  The goal is to learn to act selflessly and according to one’s duty rather than… read more


Karma is the Sanskrit word for action.  Because thought is an action, karma includes our thoughts and actions and their collective effect on us.  This is known in psychology as our conditioning.  Everything that is experienced, including thoughts, leaves a kind of mark on us, a fact now borne out by modern neuroscience. These experiences… read more

Gita Theory of Action

The Gita Theory of Action, derived from the ancient Indian spiritual text the Bhagavad Gita, is Gandhi’s approach to nonviolent action in a nutshell. The basic formula for selfless action is: choose the right goal, use the right means, and leave the results to God.  The right goal is unity, or reconciliation, rather than winning or… read more


According to the Gita Theory of Action, the philosophical basis of Gandhi’s approach to nonviolence, inaction is not possible for the human being as our thoughts themselves are actions. In effect, the decision not to act is a kind of action in itself.  Since inaction is impossible, human beings must focus on how to act in… read more