Chapter 3: Karma-yoga

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gita As It Is 3.24

utsideyur ime loka

na kuryam karma ced aham

sankarasya ca karta syam

upahanyam imah prajah

SYNONYMS

utsideyuh -- would be put into ruin; ime -- all these; lokah -- worlds; na -- not; kuryam -- I perform; karma -- prescribed duties; cet -- if; aham -- I; sankarasya -- of unwanted population; ca -- and; karta -- creator; syam -- would be; upahanyam -- would destroy; imah -- all these; prajah -- living entities.

TRANSLATION

If I did not perform prescribed duties, all these worlds would be put to ruination. I would be the cause of creating unwanted population, and I would thereby destroy the peace of all living beings.

PURPORT

Varna-sankara is unwanted population which disturbs the peace of the general society. In order to check this social disturbance, there are prescribed rules and regulations by which the population can automatically become peaceful and organized for spiritual progress in life. When Lord Krsna descends, naturally He deals with such rules and regulations in order to maintain the prestige and necessity of such important performances. The Lord is the father of all living entities, and if the living entities are misguided, indirectly the responsibility goes to the Lord. Therefore, whenever there is general disregard of regulative principles, the Lord Himself descends and corrects the society. We should, however, note carefully that although we have to follow in the footsteps of the Lord, we still have to remember that we cannot imitate Him. Following and imitating are not on the same level. We cannot imitate the Lord by lifting Govardhana Hill, as the Lord did in His childhood. It is impossible for any human being. We have to follow His instructions, but we may not imitate Him at any time. The Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.30-31) affirms:

naitat samacarej jatu

manasapi hy anisvarah

vinasyaty acaran maudhyad

yatha 'rudro 'bdhi-jam visam

isvaranam vacah satyam

tathaivacaritam kvacit

tesam yat sva-vaco-yuktam

buddhimams tat samacaret

"One should simply follow the instructions of the Lord and His empowered servants. Their instructions are all good for us, and any intelligent person will perform them as instructed. However, one should guard against trying to imitate their actions. One should not try to drink the ocean of poison in imitation of Lord Siva."

We should always consider the position of the isvaras, or those who can actually control the movements of the sun and moon, as superior. Without such power, one cannot imitate the isvaras, who are superpowerful. Lord Siva drank poison to the extent of swallowing an ocean, but if any common man tries to drink even a fragment of such poison, he will be killed. There are many pseudo devotees of Lord Siva who want to indulge in smoking ganja (marijuana) and similar intoxicating drugs, forgetting that by so imitating the acts of Lord Siva they are calling death very near. Similarly, there are some pseudo devotees of Lord Krsna who prefer to imitate the Lord in His rasa-lila, or dance of love, forgetting their inability to lift Govardhana Hill. It is best, therefore, that one not try to imitate the powerful, but simply follow their instructions; nor should one try to occupy their posts without qualification. There are so many "incarnations" of God without the power of the Supreme Godhead.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness