From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Aśuklakrsna literally means ‘that which is neither white nor black’.

This is a special term used by Patañjali (200 B. C.) in his celebrated work the Yogasutras.[1] Normally the karma of individuals that fructify in this life or in the future lives is classified either as ‘śukla’ (‘white;’ i.e., puṇya or meritorious) or as ‘kṛṣṇa’ (‘black;’ i.e., pāpa or sinful). The former bring good results whereas the latter cause evil effects.

But the karmas done by a perfected yogin are neither kṛṣṇa nor śukla, since he never commits sins; and offers the fruits of all his meritorious deeds to īśvara or God. Hence his karma is known as ‘aśukla- akṛṣṇa,’ ‘neither white nor black’ and does not produce any result that will bind him in any way.


  1. Yogasutras 4.7
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore