One cannot remain a single moment without acting.
It is our Karma which is the cause of bondage, and it is Karma which aids the soul in liberation. Karma is not the direct cause of liberation or Nirvana; it becomes binding when it is performed with the object of attaining selfish results. It binds more strongly when its motive is to harm others. The chief work of Karma is the purification of the antahkaran (the psychic nature of man). When this purification has been achieved, then attainment of true Knowledge, which alone leads to Nirvana, becomes natural.
According to the three Gunas (modes of nature) Sattwa (illumination), Rajas (activity), and Tamas, (sloth) our karma is also of three kinds. Tamas, the karma which means sloth, ignorance, anger, passion, greed, and such-like, drags the soul downward to darker regions.
The action of Rajas (activity), that craving for progress and speed, desire for pleasure, joys of the flesh, name, fame and power, do not permit any upward progress of the individual.
The karma based on Sattwa (light), which springs from devotion to Truth, and higher motives of philanthropy, is based on devotion, right meditation, worship of God within, study of Truth and philosophy, charity and service. This leads to higher regions.
It is said that those who have done good deeds are born as princes in luxurious surroundings, or in the families of pious men.
Every action, whether of thought, word or deed, leaves a slight impression on the inner nature of man, and is called sanskar. It is the aggregate of these that determines one’s character and temperament. Liberation and spiritual progress is possible only in the body of man, which is therefore of great importance.
It is useless to retire from the world. We take our ego with us. Only the fire of jnana (knowledge and realisation of Truth) banishes all feelings of duality and separation, burns up our karma, and brings about that blessed state of Nirvana in which there is no duality or ignorance, and Peace reigns for ever In this state the soul knows that it alone exists, and that it is one with Absolute Reality. This is perfection, and it is attainable before the death of the physical body.
Perfection after death is merely a matter of speculation, on the validity of which we cannot rely.
The good deeds that are performed for the benefit of others, without attachment to their fruits, do not bind.
When a hero is in the thick of a fight, undertaken unselfishly and as a duty, the ego consciousness being absent, it is as good as dhyana (meditation) in Samadhi (the high state of spiritual realisation).
No profession is mean, no action bad, if it is under taken as a duty, in the true spirit of unselfishness.