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Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 3, Verse 8

Chapter 3: Karma-yoga
Verse: 8
niyatam kuru karma tvam
karma jyayo hy akarmanah
sarira-yatrapi ca te
na prasiddhyed akarmanah

Perform your prescribed duty, for doing so is better than not working. One cannot even maintain one's physical body without work.

Prescribed duties are too important to be whimsically given up. They purify the heart; maintain a balance in the society and one's very existence. Arjuna was a householder and a military general, his prescribed duty was to fight on religious principles.

In this verse of Krishna, we can trace the path of fall down of one who artificially gives up prescribed duties and follows some path of renunciation. In the later part of Chapter 2, Krishna explained how the senses of a living entity are so strong that they can forcibly carry the mind and intelligence of even one who is endeavoring to control them (2.60, 2.67). Now Krishna reveals the reason behind that – that it is the nature of the soul to be active (3.5). Thus one who suppresses this intrinsic quality of the soul is destined to fall down sooner or later.

Srila Prabhupada summarizes, "Anyone who is in the material world is certainly possessed of the impure propensity for lording it over material nature, or, in other words, for sense gratification. Such polluted propensities have to be cleared. Without doing so, through prescribed duties, one should never attempt to become a so-called transcendentalist, renouncing work and living at the cost of others."

Please read the Sanskrit Verse and the Prabhupada's Purport.

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