Devotee: The Gita seems to emphasise karma. For Arjuna is persuaded to fight; Sri Krishna Himself set the example by an active life of great exploits.
Maharishi: The Gita starts saying that you are not the body, that you are not therefore the karta. One should act without thinking that oneself is the actor. The actions go on despite his egolessness. The person has come into manifestation for a certain purpose. That purpose will be accomplished whether he considers himself the actor or not.
Devotee: What is karma yoga? Is it non-attachment to karma or its fruit?
Maharishi: Karma yoga is that yoga in which the person does not arrogate to himself the function of being the actor. The actions go on automatically. The question [about non-attachment to the fruits of actions] arises only if there is the actor. It is being all along said that you should not consider yourself the actor.
Devotee: So karma yoga is kartrtva buddhi rahita karma – action without the sense of doership.
Maharishi: Yes. Quite so.