Canto 5: The Creative ImpetusChapter 5: Lord Ṛṣabhadeva's Teachings to His Sons

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 5.5.15

putrāḿś ca śiṣyāḿś ca nṛpo gurur

mal-loka-kāmo mad-anugrahārthaḥ

itthaḿ vimanyur anuśiṣyād ataj-jñān

na yojayet karmasu karma-mūḍhān

kaḿ yojayan manujo 'rthaḿ labheta

nipātayan naṣṭa-dṛśaḿ hi garte

SYNONYMS

putrān — the sons; ca — and; śiṣyān — the disciples; ca — and; nṛpaḥ — the king; guruḥ — the spiritual master; — or; mat-loka-kāmaḥ — desiring to go to My abode; mat-anugraha-arthaḥ — thinking that to achieve My mercy is the aim of life; itthamin this manner; vimanyuḥ — free from anger; anuśiṣyāt — should instruct; a-tat-jñān — bereft of spiritual knowledge; na — not; yojayet — should engage; karmasuin fruitive activities; karma-mūḍhān — simply engaged in pious or impious activities; kam — what; yojayan — engaging; manu-jaḥa man; artham — benefit; labheta — can achieve; nipātayan — causing to fall; naṣṭa-dṛśam — one who is already bereft of his transcendental sight; hi — indeed; gartein the hole.

TRANSLATION

If one is serious about going back home, back to Godhead, he must consider the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead the summum bonum and chief aim of life. If he is a father instructing his sons, a spiritual master instructing his disciples, or a king instructing his citizens, he must instruct them as I have advised. Without being angry, he should continue giving instructions, even if his disciple, son or citizen is sometimes unable to follow his order. Ignorant people who engage in pious and impious activities should be engaged in devotional service by all means. They should always avoid fruitive activity. If one puts into the bondage of karmic activity his disciple, son or citizen who is bereft of transcendental vision, how will one profit? It is like leading a blind man to a dark well and causing him to fall in.

PURPORT

It is stated in Bhagavad-gītā (3.26):

na buddhi-bhedaḿ janayed

ajñānāḿ karma-sańginām

joṣayet sarva-karmāṇi

vidvān yuktaḥ samācaran

"Let not the wise disrupt the minds of the ignorant who are attached to fruitive action. They should be encouraged not to refrain from work, but to work in the spirit of devotion."

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