The doer and the non-doer



Maharaj Please accept my most humble and respectful obediences, all glories to Srila Prabhupad.

Dear Maharaj please let me ask you a question!

In verse 4.13 of the Gita:
Catur-Varnyam Maya Srstam… There is a word on the 3rd and 4th line that makes me wonder; why “Kartaram” is translated as “Father” and “akartaram” is translated as “one who does not”?

I thought that as a father the other could be the one who is not a father or the father who does not and the father who does …

Your servant:
Mukunda Madhava das.
Hare Krishna!



The word karta comes from the sanskrit root “kr” which means “to do”. It’s the same root of karma, action, but it follows a different construction rule.

In the Bhagavad-gita verse 4.13 there are two concepts, which are related but different.

The first is that the four varnas were created (sristam). By whom? By Him, Krishna. The word kartaram (the doer) means that He is the creator (or the father) of the varna system.
Tasya kartaram (“I am the one who did that”) concludes the first concept of the verse.

Then Krishna goes on explaining the second.

In the material world anyone who does something produces results (karma). Also anyone who does something does it out of attachment for both the action and the consequent reaction.

So in that verse Krishna wants to make clear that His action are not material and therefore, by not receiving any reaction and by not being attached, it’s like if he does nothing.
Hence the akartaram, the non-doer, or someone who does no material actions.

The word avyayam makes the concept even clearer. Avyayam means unchangeable. Since he has no attachment and receives no reactions for His actions, then He remains always the same, in the transcendental platform.

In conclusion,
1) In the first “kartaram” He says that He is the creator,
2) In the second He says that he is transcendental to all material actions and reactions.


– Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)
12 october 2019


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