naiva kinchitkaromeeti yukto manyeta tattvavit |
pashyan-shrunvan-sparshan-jighran-ashnan-gachchan-svapan-shvasan || 8 ||

pralapan-visrijan-grihnan-unmishan-nimishan-api |
indriyaaneendriyartheshu vartanta iti dhaarayan || 9 ||

Never do I perform any action – in this manner asserts the one established in yoga, who has realized the eternal essence. 

Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, dreaming and breathing; speaking, discarding, grasping, opening and closing of the eyelids. All this is the senses interacting with the sense objects – this is his understanding.

na : not
eva : ever
kinchit : anything
karomi : I act
iti : in this manner
yuktaha : one established in yoga
manyeta : asserts
tattvavit : who has realized the eternal essence

pashyan : seeing
shrunvan : hearing
sparshan : touching
jighran : smelling
ashnan : eating
gachchan : moving
svapan : dreaming
shvasan : breathing

pralapan : speaking
visrijan : discarding
grihnan : grasping
unmishan : opening eyelids
nimishan : closing eyelids
api : even during

indriyaani : senses
indriyartheshu : sense objects
vartanta : interacting
iti : this
dhaarayan : understanding

In prior shlokas, we learned that one who has realized the eternal essence understands that he is not the enjoyer and doer. So to make this as explicit as possible, Shri Krishna provided a detailed illustration of that teaching in this shloka. Here, he gives a comprehensive list of all activities performed by the body, mind and intellect. By providing this illustration, Shri Krishna demonstrates that one who has realized the eternal essence knows, in fact asserts, that he is not doing anything, and all these activities are happening automatically through the body, mind and intellect.

Having looked at this list of activities, we say  – yes we understand that blinking, hearing, dreaming and so on is automatic. But what about the process of thinking? Shri Krishna says that even the process of thought also happens automatically. Till such time as the ego is sublimated, it drives our mind to generate selfish thoughts. As the ego gets sublimated through karma yoga, selfish thoughts slowly transition to selfless ones. But the self , or the “I”, is just the witness of all these actions for one who has realized the eternal essence. Till then, the “I” thinks that it is the doer.

Only one who has realized the vision of the eternal essence truly knows that he is not the doer. What then, should be the vision of the karmayogi who wants to ultimately have this vision? This topic is tackled in the next shloka.