Gita series - 43. Bhagavad Gita - Chapter III. 25 –26:
Oh! Descendent of Bharata! As ignorant are attached to the reward of their actions, so the men of knowledge who remain unattached to their actions, should act to lead the people in the right path. Such self-realized men should not confuse those who perform such actions with dedication and sincerity as prescribed by sastras, undermining the importance of such actions. Instead, the ignorant should be encouraged to perform the prescribed actions. Krishna addresses even minute details in expounding karma yoga, to which this chapter is dedicated. Ignorant are those who are bound by desires and attachments, which springs up while performing actions expecting something in return.
For example, let us take a person who continues to perform rituals for a longer time. He performs those rituals with a desire to attain material prosperity. While performing such rituals, his concentration may not be on the invoked deity to whom such rituals are performed and instead he might concentrate on the procedural formalities. At the same time, the necessity and importance of performing such rituals are not to be subverted, based on the fact that rituals have been prescribed in sastras and scriptures. External rituals are not given importance by the learned people. They would like to spend their time by purifying their consciousness, leaving behind all desires for material prosperity. At the same time, such a stage can be attained only by dedication and sincere practice of performing such rituals in the initial stages of pursuing the path of spirituality. The transition in spirituality should be steady and gradual. Overnight renunciation does not help in enlightenment. Krishna calls those who continue to perform only rituals for a longer time as ignorant.
Men of knowledge are those who have progressed from the ignorant stage to the higher stages of realisation. They have gained their wisdom by performing such rituals initially and over a period of time, they have conglomerated knowledge by understanding that the Brahman can be better realized by mind control and exploring within, pursuing the path of meditation. Such men of knowledge and wisdom should continue to perform their prescribed duties, though they are not necessary for them. But they should continue to do their prescribed duties so that the ignorant are guided by them to perform prescribed actions in right earnest. Instead of not performing any actions, it is better to perform actions, though with attachments. Krishna cites the same reasons for His own actions in verse 22 of this chapter. Such men of knowledge should encourage the ignorant to perform actions irrespective of their attachments to fruits of such actions. Krishna had already said that everyone should be active and remaining inactive and docile is not acceptable for spiritual progress.