yajnayacharatah karma samagram praviliyate (4.23)
The person who is totally detached (gatasanga), and free from attachments (mukta), and established in the wisdom of life – (jnanavasthita-ceta), and who performs action as a sacrificeas detailed in the Third Chapter, for him every action melts, as ice before the sun.
No action will produce a reaction in the case of a person who acts as if in a yajna or a sacrifice – i.e., as a participation in the cosmic purposes and not as an individual actor for the purpose of reaping an ulterior fruit. Expecting a fruit is a special characteristic of selfish action, and there is no expectation of fruit in an unselfish action. It is work for work’s sake, duty for duty’s sake, as they say. The moment there is an intention in the mind to reap a consequence or a fruit tomorrow or the day after or in the future, as the result of karma or action done today, that person is actually thinking in terms of the time process, because the fruit of an action will accrue only after some time. The expectation of the fruit of an action, therefore, is tantamount to involvement in the process of time, and time is equal to death; and such a person is bound by karma. But one who performs actions as a yajna, as a duty, does not expect any fruit. Ulterior motive is totally absent in the case of unselfish action.