Srimad Bhagavad-Gita :
Chapter-3. ( Karma-yogam)
Slokam-27. ( The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature. )
Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah,
ahankaravimudhatma kartahamiti manyate.
prakrteh gunaih = (it is because of the) guna-s of nature;
sarvasah = in all ways (all kinds of);
karmani kriyamanani = karma-s (actions/ activities) are all being done;
ahankaravimudhatma = one who lost his vivekam (discriminatory powers) due to ahamkaram (ego);
aham kartha iti manyate = (he) thus thinks that " I am the doer (of the action) ".
The difference between the actions of a person of wisdom and those who are ignorant is explained now. The person of wisdom recognises that the whole material existence is operating under the auspices of the three gunas or the modes of material nature being goodness, passion and nescience. From gunas comes the word gunataih which indicates one who is influenced by their senses. This is the symptom of one who is in ignorance is that they are controlled by their senses. The sense are on a lower platform then prakriti or material nature and are influenced by the three gunas. The one who is in ignorance is dominated by the senses assuming that they are doer and cause of their actions and thus stricken with false ego they perform all actions with desires and attachment. That person of wisdom recognises that all actions are but the result of the interaction of the three gunas and material nature and remaining free of desires and attachment performs all actions as a matter of duty. This is what Lord Krishna conveys here.
An argument may be put forth that if the person situated in knowledge of the Vedas also has to perform actions then what is the difference between the ignorant and the wise? Lord Krishna apprehending such a doubt explains the difference between the two in this verse and the next. All actions are impelled by prakriti or material nature through the gunas being the three modes of sattva or goodness, rajas or passion and tamas or nescience and these are experienced by the mind when the senses make contact with sense objects. Thus the ignorant person believes that they are the doer of the actions because the false ego has accepted the physical body as the self and deluded by this egoism has superimposed the senses over the self in illusion.
A question may be raised that the spiritually wise may sometimes perform actions that are also performed by the ignorant then what is the difference? Lord Krishna clarifies this point with the word prakriteh meaning the material nature which is impelling actions through the medium of the three gunas being the modes of prakriti known as sattva or goodness, rajas or passion and tamas or nescience. One who is perplexed by false ego believes that they are the physical body and that the physical body is the doer of all their actions.
On the scriptural authority of the Vedas the atma or soul is the doer but this is fully experienced only when moksa or liberation from material existence is attained. The impressions of the atma filter through the medium of the physical body in proportion to the purity of the mind. In Brahma Sutra II.III.XXXIII we see in the verse that the atma is the doer. Yet because the knowledge of a person in ignorance is limited the filtering process is negligible and they perceive their physical body as the doer of all their actions when in actuality all actions are performed by the interaction of material nature, the three gunas and the false ego. Because of this the ignorant whose minds are completely bewildered by false ego believe falsely that they are their bodies and that they are the doer of their actions.
To be continued ....