Karma and Guna 
The spiritual ignorance I.e. the ignorance of the Self/ Avidya when functions in the intellect, expresses itself as DESIRES.
( You have already learnt that seat of ignorance is the intellect. The Knowledge~ Ahankar that “I am this & that..” arises in the intellect because of the ignorance of the Self nature. ) When these desires function in the mind, they express themselves as THOUGHTS. These thoughts, when they express in the outer world,  become ACTIONS.
Thus by mere giving up of actions is not sufficient to attain the perfection.( neither in the material nor in the spiritual life path.) It can be explained with a common and crude example.
A man is very much addicted to alcohol. He is suffering from its after effects as various health & socioeconomic issues .  Doctor tells him to give up the alcohol. So he stops drinking alcohol. ( gives up the action -at physical level ). But he cannot get rid of thoughts of alcohol( mental activity is still present). Desires of drinking alcohol gives rise to thoughts of it again and again. Because of the suppression of the physical actions he starts suffering from mental agitations,  anxiety, depression etc. The time comes, when thoughts & desires overpower, crosses the limit and he again indulge in drinking the alcohol.
You can take examples of various types of addictions in this way.
Suppression or forceful withholding physical actions cannot solve the problem of addiction/ bad habits/ bad tendencies. A diabetic person is told to stop eating sugar. He stops it for few days and again start indulging in it, because he has no detail knowledge of the diabetes, its after effects and importance of stopping the sugary diet. When we educate the same person about these all,  the very knowledge can reduce his desire of eating sugar. If he is convinced well, probability of reducing his desires is more. And when desires reduces, thoughts also get reduced.  When no thoughts of eating sugar, he will not eat sugar. Got it?

So, what is needed is to destroy the desires at root level. Only knowledge can destroy the ignorance, the root cause of desires. Now coming to our original topic, the karma/ action.
Why do karmas/ actions bind us??
Because Desire prompted karmas/ actions further strengthen the vasanas/ tendency to repeat. Tendencies at deeper level in causal layer again give rise to desires at superficial level…..and then thoughts…action….and so on..
In order to get free from these shackles of BMI( I- ignorance in the intellect/ desires, M- Thoughts in the mind and B- Actions at body level), we have to get deaddicted of  our false identification with the BMI.
This habit of wrong thinking ” I am the body” has been since time immemorial, we are living births after births with. The only remedy for destroying this habit is the Self-knowledge.

The Constant contemplation upon our True nature , That ” I am the Sat Chit Ananda Brahman”, is sure to remove the false knowledge ~ “I am the body” at the root level.
( Atmavasana/आत्मवासना/I am the Self will remove the Anatmavasana/ अनात्मवासना/I am the BMI)
This  practice/साधना is called ” nididhyasana/ निदिध्यासना”
and  if done with perseverance,  one is sure to experience the Eternal Bliss.
What is the role of karma then? It is 100 % sure that action cannot destroy the ignorance, the root cause of the transmigration. Only Self-knowledge (experience) can destroy it.
Karma, the actions done with desires of results,  motive to gain something binds us for sure. It is the karmayoga ( Selfless dedicated activities), which makes our mind clear/clean/pure. And in this pure mind only, The Self/ Atman gets reflected clearly.
Thus, it is not good to give up the actions/ karmas. Man cannot live without actions. From birth to death, from early waking hours to sleeping hours one is engaged in actions. Scriptures doesn’t tell us to give up the actions but tells us which actions are good or bad. Which actions bind us and Which don’t. We have already learnt in previous part that prarabdha karmas are not in our hands or control. They are the ripened fruits of our seed karmas of previous lives. We have to exhaust it without complaints or blame game( arrows already shot). We can control the Agami karma ( which will get added in sanchita karma and decide future births) we have to choose right actions so as to get good birth.

Seekers of the Truth should dedicate the life in Selfless work so that mind gets purified so that Self-knowledge will turn in to wisdom (The Truth will get reflected in the pure mind).
Life is constituted of moments of activity and moments of inactivity (deep sleep) Periods of activity create man. This creative period depends upon what type of activity we venture upon.
According to the ancient Seers, activities can be of two types.
#Constructive activities which contribute towards the evolution of the individual are termed as karma. #Destructive activities are those that totally condemned by the shastras, because they tend to devolve the individual and are termed as Vi-karma/ विकर्म.
The constructive activities/karma can be of three kinds: 1.Nitya/नित्य( regular duties),
2. Naimittika/ नैमित्तिक    ( special duties on special occasions) and
3. kamya/काम्य(purposeful and Self determined work for winning a desirable result or reward/ desire prompted).
Inactive is  the observer in us/sakshi which observes the activities. The fan moves,but not the electricity.  The body mind intellect function and act , but not the Self( enlivening principle)
We are born here because of our innumerable vasanas in the causal body. Causal body is nothing but the layer of ignorance (Avidya) which is the Maya at individual level.
And you know that maya consists of the three gunas : Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. All the forms of creation manifest through these three gunas of maya.
These three qualities are always found together and are always in a state of dynamic interaction. e.g Satvik people have all three gunas but sattva guna is dominant in them. That’s why these people have virtues of honesty, truthfulness, purity and contentment. 
Rajasic people have all three gunas but Rajoguna is dominant, so they have the quality of passion and agitation, emotional fluctuations, attraction and repulsion,  fear and desire.
Tamasik people have all three gunas but Tamoguna is dominant, and it leads to dullness, inertia, emotional clinging and stagnation, lack of motivation etc.
Thus the work/actions/karma the people carry out in the life are mostly governed by these prominent gunas. But one can modify the lifestyle so as to increase the sattva gunas with Proper diet, physical purification like asana, pranayama, kriyas, devotion, mantra, satsang ( company of the people those support our spiritual growth), etc. It is said, A tamasic person cannot become satvik all of a sudden.  We have to help him to lift from dullness/Tamas  to  the Rajas, the activities with motives, then slowly to the sattva.  He must be lured with the incentives of desire prompted activities.  Then he can slowly be directed to the selfless dedicated activities.
Thus we should engage our life in Nitya, Naimittika  karma, avoiding vi karma. We should also engage in kamya karma. ( desire prompted actions. But desires should be good) Because our sanatana dharma has given four goals of human life. Dharma, Arth, kama, Moksha.  Moksha is the primary and the highest/ ultimate goal. Rest three are secondary goals. It means, we have to work (karma) to earn the wealth ( Arth) according to dharma( with ethics), to fulfill the desires ( ethical). Once you achieve these three goals, one must not stagnet at that level only, every effort should be for attaining the Moksha.
This is the last part of the series, “The basics of the Vedanta.”
With this knowledge in hands, you can now understand any advait vedanta texts like upanishad,  Bhagvad gita,  etc. So let’s continue our spiritual journey- read- hear,-reflect- contemplate -with firm determination.                                 Hari Om!

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