For succeeding or even surviving in the world, we need to work. Simultaneously, when we become spiritually aware, we understand that worldly actions bind us to this material world, which is a place of distress. So, we strive to disentangle ourselves from this world.
How can we be engaged without becoming entangled? By doing karma-yoga for Krishna.
Karma refers to our various actions. Yoga refers to the process that connects us with our spiritual essence. Karma-yoga infuses our worldly actions with detachment, thereby transforming them into steps towards disentanglement. The Bhagavad-gita (03.09) cautions that any other kind of work – work done with attachment – causes bondage. When doing karma-yoga, we do our worldly duties in a mood of dutiful detachment, thereby realizing our spiritual identity as souls and progressing towards disentanglement.
However, becoming materially disentangled is itself not complete liberation. We long to love and be loved – and do so freely, eternally, unlimitedly. The supreme liberation fulfills this longing by linking us with the supreme soul, Krishna in a bond of immortal love.
When we do karma-yoga for Krishna, we do our worldly duties in a mood of loving service to him (09.27). By such actions, we become purified and attached to him, thereby freeing our consciousness from worldly allurements (09.28). Such karma-yoga rises seamlessly to bhakti-yoga, wherein we don’t just work for Krishna, but we live for him; our entire being becomes devoted to him. When we live in a mood of uninhibited devotional surrender, Krishna, being the controller of the law of karma, frees us from all karmic reactions (18.66).
Therefore, rather than worrying about staying disentangled while being engaged, we can focus on devoting all our actions to Krishna. And he will take our karma and give us the yoga of eternal love.