कर्मणैव हि संसिद्धिमास्थिता जनकादयः।
3.20 Janaka and others attained perfection verily by action only; even with a view to the protection of the masses thou shouldst perform action.
3.20 Hi, for; in the olden days, the leaned Ksatriyas, janakadayah, Janaka and others such as Asvapati; asthitah, strove to attain; samsiddim, Liberation; karmana eva, through action itself. If it be that they were possessed of the fullest realization, then the meaning is that they remained established in Liberation whlile continuing, because of past momentum, to be associated with action itself-without renouncing it-with a veiw to preventing mankind from going astray. Again, if (it be that) Janaka and others had not attained fullest realization, then, they gradually became established in Liberation through action which is a means for the purification of the mind. The verse is to be explained thus. On the other hand, if you think, Obligatory duty was performed even by Janaka and others of olden days who were surely unenlightened. [Ajanadbhih: This is also translated as, surely because they were unenlightened.-Tr.] There by it does not follow that action has to be undertaken by somody else who has the fullest enlightenment and has reached his Goal, nevertheless, tvam, you, who are under the influence of past actions; arhasi, ought; kartum, to perform (your duties); sampasyan api, keeping also in view; loka-sangraham, [V.S.A gives the meanings of the phrase as the welfare of the world, and propitiation of mankind.-Tr. ] the prevention of mankind from going astray; even that purpose. By whom, and how, is mankind to be prevented from going astray? That is being stated: [In Ast. this introductory sentence is as follows:loka-samgrahah kimartham kartavyam iti ucyate.-Tr.]
Karmanaiva hi samsiddhim aasthitaa janakaadayah; Lokasangraham evaapi sampashyan kartum arhasi.
karmaṇā—by the performance of prescribed duties; eva—only; hi—certainly; sansiddhim—perfection; āsthitāḥ—attained; janaka-ādayaḥ—King Janak and other kings; loka-saṅgraham—for the welfare of the masses; eva api—only; sampaśhyan—considering; kartum—to perform; arhasi—you should; yat yat—whatever; ācharati—does; śhreṣhṭhaḥ—the best; tat tat—that (alone); eva—certainly; itaraḥ—common; janaḥ—people; saḥ—they; yat—whichever; pramāṇam—standard; kurute—perform; lokaḥ—world; tat—that; anuvartate—pursues