ÅreyÄn sva-dharmo viguá¹aá¸¥
kurvan nÄpnoti kilbiá¹£am
ÅreyÄn - better; sva-dharmaá¸¥ - one's own occupation; viguá¹aá¸¥ - imperfectly performed; para-dharmÄt - than another's occupation; su-anuá¹£á¹hitÄt - perfectly done; svabhÄva-niyatam - prescribed according to one's nature; karma - work; kurvan - performing; na - never; Äpnoti - achieves; kilbiá¹£am - sinful reactions.
Oneâs occupational duty is prescribed in Bhagavad-gÄ«tÄ. As already discussed in previous verses, the duties of a brÄhmaá¹a, ká¹£atriya, vaiÅya and ÅÅ«dra are prescribed according to their particular modes of nature. One should not imitate anotherâs duty. A man who is by nature attracted to the kind of work done by ÅÅ«dras should not artiï¬cially claim to be a brÄhmaá¹a, although he may have been born into a brÄhmaá¹a family. In this way one should work according to his own nature; no work is abominable, if performed in the service of the Supreme Lord. The occupational duty of a brÄhmaá¹a is certainly in the mode of goodness, but if a person is not by nature in the mode of goodness, he should not imitate the occupational duty of a brÄhmaá¹a. For a ká¹£atriya, or administrator, there are so many abominable things; a ká¹£atriya has to be violent to kill his enemies, and sometimes a ká¹£atriya has to tell lies for the sake of diplomacy. Such violence and duplicity accompany political affairs, but a ká¹£atriya is not supposed to give up his occupational duty and try to perform the duties of a brÄhmaá¹a.
One should act to satisfy the Supreme Lord. For example, Arjuna was a ká¹£atriya. He was hesitating to ï¬ght the other party. But if such ï¬ghting is performed for the sake of Ká¹á¹£á¹a, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there need be no fear of degradation. In the business ï¬eld also, sometimes a merchant has to tell so many lies to make a proï¬t. If he does not do so, there can be no proï¬t. Sometimes a merchant says, âOh, my dear customer, for you I am making no proï¬t,â but one should know that without proï¬t the merchant cannot exist. Therefore it should be taken as a simple lie if a merchant says that he is not making a proï¬t. But the merchant should not think that because he is engaged in an occupation in which the telling of lies is compulsory, he should give up his profession and pursue the profession of a brÄhmaá¹a. That is not recommended. Whether one is a ká¹£atriya, a vaiÅya, or a ÅÅ«dra doesnât matter, if he serves, by his work, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even brÄhmaá¹as, who perform different types of sacriï¬ce, sometimes must kill animals because sometimes animals are sacriï¬ced in such ceremonies. Similarly, if a ká¹£atriya engaged in his own occupation kills an enemy, there is no sin incurred. In the Third Chapter these matters have been clearly and elaborately explained; every man should work for the purpose of YajÃ±a, or for Viá¹£á¹u, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Anything done for personal sense gratiï¬cation is a cause of bondage. The conclusion is that everyone should be engaged according to the particular mode of nature he has acquired, and he should decide to work only to serve the supreme cause of the Supreme Lord.