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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18 Verse 48

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 18 श्लोक 48

सहजं कर्म कौन्तेय सदोषमपि न त्यजेत्।
सर्वारम्भा हि दोषेण धूमेनाग्निरिवावृताः।।18.48।।

हिंदी अनुवाद - स्वामी रामसुख दास जी ( भगवद् गीता 18.48)

।।18.48।।हे कुन्तीनन्दन दोषयुक्त होनेपर भी सहज कर्मका त्याग नहीं करना चाहिये क्योंकि सम्पूर्ण कर्म धुएँसे अग्निकी तरह किसीनकिसी दोषसे युक्त हैं।

हिंदी अनुवाद - स्वामी तेजोमयानंद

।।18.48।। हे कौन्तेय दोषयुक्त होने पर भी सहज कर्म को नहीं त्यागना चाहिए क्योंकि सभी कर्म दोष से आवृत होते है? जैसे धुयें से अग्नि।।

हिंदी टीका - स्वामी रामसुख दास जी

।।18.48।। व्याख्या --   [पूर्वश्लोकमें यह कहा गया कि स्वभावके अनुसार शास्त्रोंने जो कर्म नियत किये हैं? उन कर्मोंको करता हुआ मनुष्य पापको प्राप्त नहीं होता। इससे सिद्ध होता है कि स्वभावनियत कर्मोंमें भी पापक्रिया होती है। अगर पापक्रिया न होती तो पापको प्राप्त नहीं होता यह कहना नहीं बनता। अतः यहाँ भगवान् कहते हैं कि जो सहज कर्म हैं? उनमें कोई दोष भी आ जाय तो भी उनका त्याग नहीं करना चाहिये क्योंकि सबकेसब कर्म धुएँसे अग्निकी तरह दोषसे आवृत हैं। ]सहजं कर्म कौन्तेय सदोषमपि न त्यजेत् -- स्वभावनियतकर्म सहजकर्म कहलाते हैं जैसे -- ब्राह्मणके शम? दम आदि क्षत्रियके शौर्य? तेज आदि वैश्यके कृषि? गौरक्ष्य आदि और शूद्रके सेवाकर्म -- ये सभी सहजकर्म हैं। जन्मके बाद शास्त्रोंने पूर्वके गुण और कर्मोंके अनुसार जिस वर्णके लिये जिन कर्मोंकी आज्ञा दी है? वे शास्त्रनियत कर्म भी सहजकर्म कहलाते हैं जैसे ब्राह्मणके लिये यज्ञ करना और कराना? पढ़ना और पढ़ाना आदि क्षत्रियके लिये यज्ञ करना? दान करना आदि वैश्यके लिये यज्ञ करना आदि और शूद्रके लिये सेवा।सहज कर्ममें ये दोष हैं --,(1) परमात्मा और परमात्माका अंश -- ये दोनों ही स्व हैं तथा प्रकृति और प्रकृतिका कार्य शरीर आदि -- ये दोनों ही पर हैं। परन्तु परमात्माका अंश स्वयं प्रकृतिके वश होकर परतन्त्र हो जाता है अर्थात् क्रियामात्र प्रकृतिमें होती है और उस क्रियाको यह अपनेमें मान लेता है तो परतन्त्र हो जाता है। यह प्रकृतिके परतन्त्र होना ही महान् दोष है।(2) प्रत्येक कर्ममें कुछनकुछ आनुषङ्गिक अनिवार्य हिंसा आदि दोष होते ही हैं।(3) कोई भी कर्म किया जाय? वह कर्म किसीके अनुकूल और किसीके प्रतिकूल होता ही है। किसीके प्रतिकूल होना भी दोष है।(4) प्रमाद आदि दोषोंके कारण कर्मके करनेमें कमी रह जाना अथवा करनेकी विधिमें भूल हो जाना भी दोष है।अपने सहजकर्ममें दोष भी हो? तो भी उसको नहीं छोड़ना चाहिये। इसका तात्पर्य है कि जैसे ब्राह्मणके कर्म जितने सौम्य हैं? उतने ब्राह्मणेतर वर्णोंके कर्म सौम्य नहीं हैं। परन्तु सौम्य न होनेपर भी वे कर्म दोषी नहीं,माने जाते अर्थात् ब्राह्मणके सहज कर्मोंकी अपेक्षा क्षत्रिय? वैश्य आदिके सहज कर्मोंमें गुणोंकी कमी होनेपर भी उस कमीका दोष नहीं लगता और अनिवार्य हिंसा आदि भी नहीं लगते? प्रत्युत उनका पालन करनेसे लाभ होता है। कारण कि वे कर्म उनके स्वभावके अनुकूल होनेसे करनेमें सुगम हैं और शास्त्रविहित हैं।ब्राह्मणके लिये भिक्षा बतायी गयी है। देखनेमें भिक्षा निर्दोष दीखती है? पर उसमें भी दोष आ जाते हैं। जैसे किसी गृहस्थके घरपर कोई भिक्षुक खड़ा है और उसी समय दूसरा भिक्षुक वहाँ आ जाता है तो गृहस्थको भार लगता है। भिक्षुकोंमें परस्पर ईर्ष्या होनेकी सम्भावना रहती है। भिक्षा देनेवालेके घरमें पूरी तैयारी नहीं है तो उसको भी दुःख होता है। यदि कोई गृहस्थ भिक्षा देना नहीं चाहता और उसके घरपर भिक्षुक चला जाय तो उसको बड़ा कष्ट होता है। अगर वह भिक्षा देता है तो खर्चा होता है और नहीं देता है तो भिक्षुक निराश होकर चला जाता है। इससे उस गृहस्थको पाप लगता है और बेचारा उसमें फँस जाता है। इस प्रकार यद्यपि भिक्षामें भी दोष होते हैं? तथापि ब्राह्मणको उसे छोड़ना नहीं चाहिये।क्षत्रियके लिये न्याययुक्त युद्ध प्राप्त हो जाय तो उसको करनेसे क्षत्रियको पाप नहीं लगता। यद्यपि युद्धरूप कर्ममें दोष हैं क्योंकि उसमें मनुष्योंको मारना पड़ता है? तथापि क्षत्रियके लिये सहज और शास्त्रविहित होनेसे दोष नहीं लगता। ऐसे ही वैश्यके लिये खेती करना बताया गया है। खेती करनेमें बहुतसे जन्तुओंकी हिंसा होती है। परन्तु वैश्यके लिये सहज और शास्त्रविहित होनेसे हिंसाका इतना दोष नहीं लगता। इसलिये सहज कर्मोंको छोड़ना नहीं चाहिये।सहज कर्मोंको करनेमें दोष (पाप) नहीं लगता -- यह बात ठीक है परन्तु इन साधारण सहज कर्मोंसे मुक्ति कैसे हो जायगी वास्तवमें मुक्ति होनेमें सहज कर्म बाधक नहीं हैं। कामना? आसक्ति? स्वार्थ? अभिमान आदिसे ही बन्धन होता है और पाप भी इन कामना आदिके कारणसे ही होते हैं। इसलिये मनुष्यको निष्कामभावपूर्वक भगवत्प्रीत्यर्थ सहज कर्मोंको करना चाहिये? तभी बन्धन छूटेगा।सर्वारम्भा हि दोषेण धूमेनाग्निरिवावृताः -- जितने भी कर्म हैं? वे सबकेसब सदोष ही हैं जैसे -- आग सुलगायी जाय तो आरम्भमें धुआँ होता ही है। कर्म करनेमें देश? काल? घटना? परिस्थिति आदिकी परतन्त्रता और दूसरोंकी प्रतिकूलता भी दोष है? परन्तु स्वभावके अनुसार शास्त्रोंने आज्ञा दी है। उस आज्ञाके अनुसार निष्कामभावपूर्वक कर्म करता हुआ मनुष्य पापका भागी नहीं होता। इसीसे भगवान् अर्जुनसे मानो यह कह रहे हैं कि भैया तू जिस युद्धरूप क्रियाको घोर कर्म मान रहा है? वह तेरा धर्म है क्योंकि न्यायसे प्राप्त हुए युद्धको करना क्षत्रियोंका धर्म है? इसके सिवाय क्षत्रियके लिये दूसरा कोई श्रेयका साधन नहीं है (गीता 2। 31)। सम्बन्ध --   अब भगवान् सांख्ययोगका प्रकरण आरम्भ करते हुए पहले सांख्ययोगके अधिकारीका वर्णन करते हैं।

हिंदी टीका - स्वामी चिन्मयानंद जी

।।18.48।। स्वभाव (वर्ण) और स्वधर्म (आश्रम) का इतना वर्णन करने के पश्चात् भगवान् श्रीकृष्ण विचाराधीन सिद्धांत के एक अत्यन्त सूक्ष्म पक्ष का विवेचन करते हैं। उनका उपदेश सामान्य है? जिसकी उपादेयता सार्वभौमिक एवं सार्वकालिक है। भगवान् का यह उपदेश है कि सहज कर्म के सदोष होने पर भी उसका त्याग नहीं करना चाहिए।शीघ्रता में केवल सतही दृष्टि से इस श्लोक का अध्ययन करने पर कोई भी पाठक इसे आध्यात्मिकता नहीं मानेगा। परन्तु ध्यानपूर्वक अध्ययन करने पर? सहज शब्द से इस श्लोक की गुत्थी सुलझ जाती है। सहज शब्द का अर्थ है जन्म के साथ। प्रत्येक व्यक्ति का जन्म अपनी पूर्वार्जित वासनाओं के साथ ही होता है। अत सहज कर्म से तात्पर्य उन वासनाओं से है जिनके साथ मनुष्य का जन्म होता है। भगवान् श्रीकृष्ण का यह कथन है कि उन कर्मों को नहीं त्यागना चाहिए? जो मनुष्य की सहज अर्थात् स्वाभाविक वासनाओं से प्रेरित होते हैं? परन्तु उन्होंने यह नहीं कहा कि जिस दूषित वातावरण में मनुष्य का जन्म होता है उस वातावरण के दोषयुक्त कमर्ों को उसे करना चाहिए।दो प्रकार की शक्तियां हमारे कर्मों को प्रेरित और नियमित? सीमित और निश्चित करती हैं (1) आन्तरिक मानसिक स्वभाविक से उत्पन्न होने वाली प्रवृत्तियाँ? तथा (2) बाह्य वातावरण तथा विषयों से उत्पन्न होने वाली नयेनये प्रलोभन। मनुष्य को अपनी स्वाभाविक वासनाओं के सदोष होने पर भी उनका अनुसरण करना चाहिए? परन्तु उसी समय? उसमें बाह्य प्रलोभनों का त्याग करने का साहस और क्षमता होनी चाहिए।जिन संस्कारों के साथ हमारा जन्म हुआ है? उसके अनुसार हमको कर्म करने चाहिए। परन्तु स्मरण रहे कि ये कर्म निरहंकार और निस्वार्थ भाव से ही किये जाने चाहिए। बाह्य जगत् के प्रलोभन हमारे प्रलोभन को दूषित नहीं कर सकें? इसकी हमें सावधानी रखनी चाहिए। इस तथ्य पर भगवान् श्रीकृष्ण विशेष बल देते हैं। गीता के अनुसार? मनुष्य परिस्थितियों का स्वामी है? दास नहीं। जिस मात्रा में मनुष्य अपने स्वामित्व को दृढ़तापूर्वक व्यक्त कर पायेगा? उसी मात्रा में उसका विकास संभव होगा।क्या सभी कर्म दोष से आवृत नहीं हैं भगवान् श्रीकृष्ण का युक्तिवाद यह है कि जब सभी कर्म दोषयुक्त हैं? तो स्वकर्म का त्याग कर परधर्म का आचरण क्यों करना चाहिए यह सर्वथा अनुपयुक्त है। दूसरी बात यह है कि अहंकारपूर्वक कर्म करने पर ही वे बन्धन कारक होते हैं? अन्यथा नहीं। अत साधक को निरहंकार भाव से सहज कर्म का पालन करना चाहिए। इस तथ्य को यहाँ आरम्भ शब्द से इंगित किया गया है। इसके पूर्व? हम आरम्भ शब्द का वास्तविक अर्थ देख चुके हैं कि कर्तृत्वाभिमान रहितकर्म। कर्तृत्व का अभिमान ही वासनाओं को उत्पन्न करके कर्म को दोषयुक्त बना देता है।अज्ञान अवस्था में यह दोष अपरिहार्य है? जैसे अग्नि के साथ धूम्र। परन्तु यदि चूल्हे को बाहर खुले वातावरण में रखा जाये? तो धुंआ नष्ट हो जाता है और अग्नि प्रज्वलित हो उठती है। इसी प्रकार? ईश्वर का स्मरण करके निरहंकार भाव से जगत् कर्म करने पर अहंकार के अभाव में वासनाओं का आवरण नष्ट होकर स्वयं का शुद्ध चैतन्य स्वरूप स्पष्ट अनुभव होता है।सहज कर्म के पालन का फल क्या है सुनो

English Translation - Swami Gambirananda

18.48 O son of Kunti, one should not give up the duty to which one is born, even though it be faulty. For all undertakings are surrounded with evil, as fire is with smoke.

English Translation - Swami Sivananda

18.48 One should not abandon, O Arjuna, the duty to which one is born, though faulty; for, all undertakings are enveloped by evil, as fire by smoke.

English Translation - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

18.48. O son of Kunti ! One should not give up the nature-born duty, even if it is (appears to be) defective. For, all beginnings are enveloped by harm just as the fire by smoke.

English Commentary - Swami Sivananda

18.48 सहजम् which is born? कर्म action? कौन्तेय O Kaunteya? सदोषम् with fault? अपि even? न not? त्यजेत् (one) should abandon? सर्वारम्भाः all undertakings? हि for? दोषेण by evil? धूमेन by smoke? अग्निः fire? इव like? आवृताः are enveloped.Commentary Sahajam Born with oneself born with the birth of man.Sadosham Faculty for everything is constituted of the three Gunas.All undertakings Ones own as well as others duties.If a Vaisya or a Kshatriya does the duties of a Brahmana he will not in any way be benefited. Anothers duty brings in fear. Therefore it is not proper to perform anothers duty. It is not possible for any man who has no knowledge of the Self to relinish action totally therefore he should not abandon action.

English Translation of Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya's

18.48 Kaunteya, O son of Kunti; na tyajet, one should not give up;-what?-the karma, duty; sahajam, to which one is born, which devolves from the very birth; api, even though; it be sadosam, faulty, consisting as it is of the three gunas. Hi, for; sarva-arambhah, all undertakings (-whatever are begun are arambhah, i.e. all actions, according to the context-), being constituted by the three gunas (-here, the fact of being constituted by the three gunas is the cause-); are avrtah, surrounded; dosena, with evil; iva, as;; agnih, fire; is dhumena, with smoke, which comes into being concurrently. One does not get freed from evil by giving up the duty to which one is born-called ones own duty-, even though (he may be) fulfilling somody elses duty. Anothers duty, too, is fraught with fear. The meaning is: Since action cannot be totally given up by an unelightened person, therefore he should not relinish it. Opponent: Well, is it that one should not abandon action because it cannot be given up completely, or is it because evil [Evil resulting from discarding daily obligatory duties.] follows from the giving up of the duty to which one is born? Counter-objection: What follows from this? Opponent: If it be that the duty to which one is born should not be renounced because it is impossible to relinish it totally, then the conclusion that can be arrived at is that complete renunciation (of duty) is surely meritorious! Counter-objection: Truly so. But, may it not be that total relinishment is itself an impossibility? Is a person ever-changeful like the gunas of the Sankhyas, or is it that action itself is the agent, as it is in the case of the momentary five [Rupa (from), vedana (feeling), vijnana (momentary consciousness), sanjna (notion), samskara (mental impressions)-these have only momentary existence. In their case there can be no distinction between action and agent, simply due to the fact of their being momentary.] forms of mundane consciousness propounded by the Buddhists? In either case there can be no complete renunciation of action. Then there is also a third standpoint (as held by the Vaisesikas): When a thing acts it is active, and inactive when that very thing does not act. If this be the case here, it is possible to entirely give up actions. But the speciality of the third point of view is that a thing is not ever-changing, nor is action itself the agent. What then? A nonexistent action originates in an existing thing, and an existing action gets destroyed. The thing-in-itself continues to exist along with its power (to act), and that itself is the agent. This is what the followers of Kanada say. [Their view is that agentship consists in possessing the power to act, not in being the substratum of action.] What is wrong with this point of view. Vedantin: The defect indeed lies in this that, this veiw is not in accord with the Lords view. Objection: How is this known? Vedantin: Since the Lord as said, Of the unreal there is no being৷৷., etc. (2.16). The view of the followers of Kanada is, indeed, this that the non-existent becomes existent, and the existent becomes nonexistent. Objection: What defect can there be if it be that this view, even though not the view of the Lord, yet conforms to reason? Vedantin: The answer is: This is surely faulty since it contradicts all valid evidence. Objection: How? Vedantin: As to this, if things like a dvyanuka (dyad of two anus, atoms) be absolutely nonexistent before origination, and after origination continue for a little while, and again become absolutely non-existent, then, in that acase, the existent which was verily nonexistent comes into being, [Here Ast. adds, sadeva asattvam apadyate, that which is verily existent becomes nonexistent.-Tr.] a non-entity becomes an entity, and an entity becomes a non-entity! If this be the view, then the non-enity that is to take birth is comparable to the horns of a hare before it is born, and it comes into being with the help of what are called material (inherent), non-mateial (non-inherent) and efficient causes. But it cannot be said that nonexistence has origination in this way, or that it depends on some cause, since this is not seen in the case of nonexistent things like horns of a hare, etc. If such things as pot etc. which are being produced be of the nature of (potentially) existing things, then it can be accepted that they originate by depending on some cause which merely manifests them. [According to Vedanta, before origination a thing, e.g. a pot, remains latent in its material cause, clay for instance, with its name and form unexpressed, and it depends on other causes for the manifestation of name and form.] Moreover, if the nonexistent becomes existent, and the existent becomes non-existent, then nobody will have any faith while dealing with any of the means of valid knowledge objects of such knowledge, because the conviction will be lacking that the existent is existent and the nonexistent is nonexistent! Further, when they speak of origination, they (the Viasesikas) hold that such a thing as a dvyanuka (dyad) comes to have relationship with its own (material) causes (the two atoms) and existence, and that it is nonexistent before origination; but later on, depending on the operation of its own causes, it becomes connected with its own causes, viz the atoms, as also with existence, through the inherent (or inseparable) relationship called samavaya. After becoming connected, it becomes an existent thing by its inherent relationship with its causes. [The effect (dyad) has inherent relationship with existence after its material causes (the two atoms) come into association.] It has to be stated in this regard as to how the nonexistent can have an existent as its cuase, or have relationship with anything. For nobody can establish through any valid means of knowledge that a son of a barren woman can have any existence or relationship or cause. Vaisesika: Is it not that relationship of a non-existent thing is not at all established by the Vaisesikas? Indeed, what is said by them is that only existent entities like dvyanuka etc. have the relationship in the form of samavaya with their own causes. Vedantin: No, for it is not admitted (by them) that anything has existence before the (samavaya) relationship (occurs). It is surely not held by the Vaisesikas that a pot etc. have any existence before the potter, (his) stick, wheel, etc. start functioning. Nor do they admit that clay itself takes the shape of a pot etc. As a result, it has to be admitted (by them) as the last aternative that nonexistence itself has some relationship! Vaisesika: Well, it is not contradictory even for a nonexistent thing to have the relationship in the form of inherence. Vedantin: No, because this is not seen in the case of a son of a barren woman etc. If the antecedent nonexistence (prag-abhava) of the pot etc. alone comes into a relationship with its own (material) cause, but not so the nonexistence of the son of a barren woman etc. though as nonexistence both are the same, then the distinction between the (two) nonexistences has to be explained. Through such descriptions ( of abhava, nonexistence) as nonexistence of one, nonexistence of two, nonexistence of all, antecedent nonexistence, nonexistence after destruction, mutual nonexistence and absolute non-existence, nobody can show any distinction (as regards nonexistence itself)! There being no distinction, (therefore, to say that:) it is only the antecedent nonexistence of the pot which takes the form of the pot through the (action of) the potter and others, and comes into a relationship with the existing pot-halves which are its own (material) causes and becomes fit for all empirical processes [Such as production, destruction, etc.] but the nonexistence after destruction of that very pot does not do so, though it, too, is nonexistence. Hence, the nonexistence after destruction, etc. [Etc. stands for mutual nonexistence (anyonya-abhava) and absolute nonexistence (atyanta-abhava).] are not fit for any empirical processes, whereas only the antecedent nonexistence of things called dvyanuka etc. is fit for such empirical processes as origination etc.-all this is incongruous, since as nonexistence it is indistinguishable, as are absolute nonexistence and nonexistence after destruction. Vaisesika: Well, it is not at all said by us that the antecedent nonexistence becomes existent. Vedantin: In that case, the existent itself becomes existent , as for instance, a pots becoming a pot, or a cloths becoming a cloth. This, too, like nonexistence becoming existent, goes against valid evidence. Even the theory of transformation held by the Sankhyas does not differ from the standpoint of the Vaisesikas, since they believe in the origination of some new attribute [i.e. in the origination of a transformation that did not exist before.] and its destruction. Even if manifestation and disappearance of anything be accepted, yet there will be contradiction with valid means of knowledge as before in the explanation of existence or nonexistence of manifestation and disappearance. Hery is also refuted the idea that origination etc. (of an effect) are merely particular states of its cuase. As thelast alternative, it is only the one entity called Existence that is imagined variously through ignorance to be possessed of the states of origination, destruction, etc. like an actor (on a stage). This veiw of the Lord has been stated in the verse, Of the unreal there is no being৷৷. (2.16). For, the idea of existence is constant, while the others are inconstant. Objection: If the Self be immutable, then how does the renunciation of all actions become illogical? Vedantin: If the adjuncts (i.e. body and organs) be real or imagined through ignorance, in either case, action, which is their attribute, is surely superimposed on the Self through ignorance. From this point of view it has been said that an unenlightened person is incapable of totally renouncing actions even for a moment (cf. 3.5). The enlightened person, on the other hand, can indeed totally renounce actions when ignorance has been dispelled through Illumination; for it is illogical that there can (then) remain any trace of what has been superimposed through ignorance. Indeed, no trace remains of the two moons, etc. superimposed by the vision affected by (the disease called) Timira when the desease is cured. This being so, the utterance, having given up all actions mentally (5.13), etc. as also, Being devoted to his own duty (45) and A human being achieves success by adoring Him through his own duties (46), becomes justifiable. What was verily spoken of as the success arising from Karma (-yoga), characterized as the fitness for steadfastness in Knowledge,-the fruit of that (fitness), characterized as steadfastness in Knowledge consisting in the perfection in the form of the state of one (i.e. a monk) free from duties, has to be stated. Hence the (following) verse is begun:

English Translation of Commentary - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

18.48 See Comment under 18.60

English Translation of Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary

18.48 So, one should not relinish ones works, understanding that they are natural, are easy to perform and not liable to negligence. Such thoughts coupled with the idea that there are imperfections in them should not lead you to abandon them. The meaning is that though one is fit for Jnana Yoga, one should perform Karma Yoga only. All enterprises, be they of Karma or Jnana, are indeed enveloped by imperfections, by pain, as fire by smoke. But still there is this difference: Karma Yoga is easy and does not involve negligence, but Jnana Yoga is contrary to this.

Commentary - Chakravarthi Ji

You should not think that only you have problems in executing your duties. There are problems in others’ duties also. You should not give up work according to your nature (sahajam), even with fault, because all actions performed now and in the future are covered by fault, just as fire is seen to be covered by smoke. Just as by removing the smoke, the heat of the fire is useful for removing darkness and cold, so by removing the faulty portion of one’s work, the good portion is useful for purification of your existence.

Rudra Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

If however according to the philosophy of sankhya or analytical reasoning the idea of performing the duty of another is appealing because it is superior to the degradation of killing someone it should be pointed out although superior it is still fraught with the chance of great demerits if performed improperly. So with this in mind one should never abandon their own natural path which is ordained by ones inherent nature from past life actions, even if it is attended with inauspiciousness. All actions and activities yielding visible and invisible results are always accompanied by some defect or other demerit as fire is enveloped by its attendant smoke. Hence by regardless of the smoke the fire is used to remove darkness, cook food and alleviate cold; in the same way by the meritorious parts of all activities alone are to be accepted for the purification of the mind. This is what Lord Krishna means.

Brahma Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Serenity, self-restraint, austerity, purity, forbearance, righteousness, wisdom, knowledge and faith are the natural characteristics found to be the inherent attributes of Brahmins and Vaisnavas. Some of the attributes such as righteousness and wisdom are found in a lesser extent in ksatriyas of the royal, warrior class and in special cases powerful emperors such as Yudhisthira Maharaja who ruled the entire Earth possessed these attributes even equal to that of the Brahmins. King Janaka was renown for possessing great wisdom and forbearance as well as righteousness. King Kartavirya was known to be a saintly seer with knowledge of past, present and future. The ksatriyas in general are courageous, steadfast, fearless, resourceful and righteous. The vaisyas or agriculture and mercantile class are less restrained and austere then the ksatriyas due to always being involved in activities of profit and gain supplying society with the staples of life. Because of their service to others sudras or the menial class are serving the three higher classes. If a sudra is found to possess superior qualities then based on such exemplary attributes he may become qualified to receive initiation and become a Vaisnava Brahmin. Contrarily if one born in a Brahmin family exhibits degraded qualities such a meat eating and wine drinking they have lost their caste and should be known as a sudra. Among humans those that follow righteousness and purity which are divine attributes, follow the path of God. Now begins the summation. It is acknowledged that when each class performs their prescribed Vedic activities some attributes from another class have been known to manifest. For example a ksatriya may possess the attributes of serenity and self- restraint for in their absence propitiation to the Supreme Lord is not possible. Devotional activities unto the Supreme Lord require serenity of mind and restraint of the senses to be considered actual worship. This conforms to the earlier maxim that yagna or ritualistic activities of propitiation along with tapah or austerities and danam or charity should never be abandoned. The mind must be tranquil and the senses must be controlled and combined with purity, austerity and righteousness glorifies a ksatriya and are most appropriate and praiseworthy such as Emperor Yudisthira Maharajas immense wisdom and self restraint or like King Janakas exemplary equanimity and serenity. Yet the prime duty of ksatriyas is ruling and protecting the citizenry and so to be fearless in times of war never fleeing from the battlefield until victory is secured is what is exceptional and praiseworthy. The preceding attributes apply to ksatriyas, the attributes of vaisyas are cow raising and cow protection along with farming and mercantile affairs. For the sudras it is loyal service to the other three classes for acquiring sustenance. Brahmins of course study and teach the Vedas, perform yagnas and receive donations. These are the perennial principles established by the Supreme Lord but do not apply to others outside the pantheon of Vedic culture. Valour, courage, fearlessness, dexterity, resourcefulness, etc. are to be found primarily in ksatriyas, some Brahmins possess such qualities as well, vaisyas may show a little from them in times of adversity and in sudras they hardly exist at all. The Brahmins may exhibit such attributes according to situation but it is not for the sake of livelihood but rather to set an example for society and educate the noble minded. Educating society according to dharma the eternal principles of righteousness is the principle activity of the Vaisnavas and Brahmins to the ksatriyas and vaisyas who learn from them. The sudras are prohibited from studying the Vedic scriptures and thus their duty is to offer service to the other classes as a donation or for renumeration. Sometimes in extraordinary circumstance due to the force and rapidity of events even the natural attributes have to abandoned and the enactment of contrary activities must be enacted in emergency for example to save ones very life. Other times even those opposed to prescribed Vedic activities participate for their best interests and benefit. Yet for the spiritually qualified and evolved yagnas, tapah and danam must never be abandoned by the Vaisnavas and Brahmins as they are most auspicious and no other acts are more propitious. Confiscating wealth obtained by unrighteous means, disciplining the disobedient, destroying parasitical economic power, imposing punishment and executions for heinous transgressions are the signs of the mighty and are enforced exclusively under the jurisdiction of the ksatriyas. The mleechas or low caste meat eaters and other outcastes who are not followers of the Vedic culture should be properly governed by the ksatriyas according to a minimum standard of adherence. The Vaisnavas and Brahmins can punish their disciples without causing any bodily injury. The disciples who have voluntarily accepted the position as celibate student to learn the knowledge of the eternal Vedic scriptures and have been accepted by a Vaisnava spiritual master will learn their lesson and continue serving the guru. Teachers and relatives can administer punishment also ithout bodily harm according to the degree of the infraction. If a teacher is found to be defective due to following questionable activities then one should dispense with his services and according to applicable laws cancel the engagement. If an ordinary teacher unknowingly challenges one who is superior to him then this should be brought to his attention. They should be firmly disciplined but not abandoned as that would be offensive. Those teachers who are devoted to the Supreme Lord should never be abandoned or penalised as this would be opposed to righteousness. Disciples never have the right to criticise or chastise the Vaisnava spiritual master who gave one initiation into Krishna bhakti. Even if famous persons are seen performing activities contrary to the Vedic scriptures they should not be punished if such actions do not interfere with the mission of the spiritual master. In times of adversity Brahmins may performed occupations ordained for ksatriyas or even vaisyas. But the sudras are never permitted to perform the occupations of the ksatriyas or Brahmins. Ksatriyas in adversity may perform the occupation of a vaisya and in extreme cases even the rites of the Brahmins but they are prohibited to beg for their food. Vaisyas in times of adversity may only accept the occupations of sudras and no other and become carpenters or blacksmiths, etc. which are known as the occupations of sudras. The sudras sometimes must accept the occupation of vaisyas but they are prohibited from any endeavour to study the Vedic scriptures. In times of greatest adversity a ksatriya may offer service to the Brahmins or otther well to do ksatriyas but they should never offer obeisance to their feet. It is not that such acts of a ksatriya are unworthy or ignoble for performed expressly for the purpose of concealing oneself incognito it is equal to even the activities of the Brahmins. The most meritorious actions are those sanctioned and ordered by the Vaisnava spiritual master, who are all followers of the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His avatars or authorised incarnations and expansions revealed in Vedic scriptures. It is much more meritorious to follow the spiritual masters commands rather then to remain neutral not opposing him. Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasadeva has stated that by the powerful arms of the ksatriyas and the spiritual wisdom and devotion to the Supreme Lord of the Vaisnava Brahmins, then the protection and evolution of the world is secured.

Shri Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The conclusion Lord Krishna gives for this subject is that actions that are initiated naturally and easily executed and are beset with no difficulties should be done even if there may be some fault or defect. The inner purport is that even those situated in jnana yoga or facilitating communion with the Supreme absolute by knowledge, they too should adopt the path of karma yoga or facilitating communion with the Supreme absolute by actions. All endeavours in the material world are accompanied by some sort of fault or defect and all living beings must perform actions to exist but the following of ones own natural path is not in the least difficult or beset with unpredictable dangers. Whereas the standard of jnana yoga being higher the possibility of mistake and the chance of defect is greater as well as the demerit incurred. So karma yoga is encouraged.

Kumara Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The conclusion Lord Krishna gives for this subject is that actions that are initiated naturally and easily executed and are beset with no difficulties should be done even if there may be some fault or defect. The inner purport is that even those situated in jnana yoga or facilitating communion with the Supreme absolute by knowledge, they too should adopt the path of karma yoga or facilitating communion with the Supreme absolute by actions. All endeavours in the material world are accompanied by some sort of fault or defect and all living beings must perform actions to exist but the following of ones own natural path is not in the least difficult or beset with unpredictable dangers. Whereas the standard of jnana yoga being higher the possibility of mistake and the chance of defect is greater as well as the demerit incurred. So karma yoga is encouraged.

Transliteration Bhagavad Gita 18.48

Sahajam karma kaunteya sadoshamapi na tyajet; Sarvaarambhaa hi doshena dhoomenaagnirivaavritaah.

Word Meanings Bhagavad Gita 18.48

saha-jam—born of one’s nature; karma—duty; kaunteya—Arjun, the son of Kunti; sa-doṣham—with defects; api—even if; na tyajet—one should not abandon; sarva-ārambhāḥ—all endeavors; hi—indeed; doṣheṇa—with evil; dhūmena—with smoke; agniḥ—fire; iva—as; āvṛitāḥ—veiled