Understanding Gita – 58

Chapter 3 – Karma Yoga

Shloka 23 – 24

TEXT 23

yadi hy aha na varteya
jātu karmay atandrita
mama vartmānuvartante
manu pārtha sarvaśa

SYNONYMS

yadiif; hicertainly; ahamI; nado not; varteyamthus engage; jātuever; karmaiin the performance of prescribed duties; atandritawith great care; mamaMy; vartmapath; anuvartantewould follow; manuall men; pārthaO son of Pthā; sarvaśain all respects.

Text Source – “http://prabhupadabooks.com/bg

If I do not engage in Karma with great care, all men would follow my path in all respects, O Partha!

Lord himself is engaged his duties carefully so that people will follow all his aspects.

People have a tendency to always pick up bad from respectable people to justify their bad actions. So people who have a following have a higher responsibility of showing the proper way to others.

*********

TEXT 24

utsīdeyur ime lokā
na kuryā karma ced aham
sakarasya ca kartā syām
upahanyām imā prajā

SYNONYMS

utsīdeyuput into ruin; imeall these; lokāworlds; nado not; kuryāmperform; karmaprescribed duties; cetif; ahamI; sakarasyaof unwanted population; caand; kartācreator; syāmshall be; upahanyāmdestroy; imāall these; prajāliving entities.

Text Source – “http://prabhupadabooks.com/bg

All these worlds will be put into ruins, if I do not perform my duties. I will be the reason for unwanted population, and hence leading the population towards destruction.

Here God explains what will happen if respectable people don’t lead the way.

If God himself is not doing any karma, then people will follow him. The rules and regulations prescribed are for the betterment of the whole society. A King should lead his nation, a brahmana should perform rituals for the upliftment of the society, learn and preach knowledge, a businessman should conduct his business in an ethical manner. But if one doesn’t follow their dharma, then they are setting a bad example to their children and others.

For example, people won’t hesitate to be corrupt under a corrupt government. This produces unwanted elements in the society who can disturb and destroy the peace of others. Thus the whole society will be destroyed.

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