IAS General Studies Prelims Question No. 8

Nishkam Karma Yoga is the core philosophy of Bhagvadgeeta. Consider the following statements with this respect:

  1. While the Nishkam Karma refers to Satvika actions, Sakam Karma refers to Tamasika actions
  2. Performing a duty for duty's sake is Sakam Karma, while Nishkam Karma is mindfulness in the present moment

Which among the above statements is / are correct?
[A] Only 1
[B] Only 2
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
[toggles][toggle title=”Answer”]

[D] Neither 1 nor 2
In Indian philosophy, action or Karma has been divided into three categories, according to their intrinsic qualities or gunas. Here Nishkam Karma belongs to the first category, the Satvik (pure) or actions which add to calmness; the Sakam Karma (Self-centred action) comes in the second rājasika (aggression) and Akarma (in-action) comes under the third, tāmasika which correlates to darkness or inertia. Nishkam karma is performing duty for duty’s sake. Nishkam karma is also the mindfulness in the present moment and not worrying about future.