na kartritvam na karmaani lokasya srijati prabhuh |
na karmaphalasaiyogam svabhaavastu pravartate || 14 ||

Neither agency nor actions, in this world, are created by the eternal essence, and neither does it connect actions to results; for nature organizes (all this).

na : not
kartritvam : agency, doership
na : not
karmaani : actions
lokasya : in this world
srijati : create
prabhuh : eternal essence
na : not
karmaphala : results and actions
saiyogam : connect
svabhaavaha : nature
tu : for
pravartate : organizes (all this)

Earlier, Shri Krishna provided the example of the dweller in the city to illustrate the distinction between the eternal essence and the body, mind and intellect. In this shloka, he takes us one step further by saying that the eternal essence is beyond the realm of action. Furthermore, since action implies doership, results and their enjoyership, action and everything that comes with it is in the realm of prakriti or nature. The eternal essence is separate and distinct from action.

Any self-contained system has inherent rules which govern its operations. For example, let us consider the Pac-Man video game. The game is played in a computer that has four buttons which are used to move Pac-Man up, down, left or right. The rules of the game are programmed into the system. If the player manages to get the fruit while evading the monsters, he wins the game. All this happens automatically. It does not require external intervention by any divine or human entity.

But if we take a step back, the Pac-Man character does not really “move” anywhere. It is an illusion created by the computer by projecting the Pac-Man image to different parts of the screen. One who is watching the game very objectively knows that there is no movement of left, right etc.

Similarly, one who sees the world from the absolute standpoint of the eternal essence knows that in reality, there is no action. Action only exists from the standpoint of nature or prakriti. And if action only exists in nature, so does doership, enjoyership, and connection of actions to their results. It is a self-governing automatic system.