एवं ज्ञात्वा कृतं कर्म पूर्वैरपि मुमुक्षुभिः।
कुरु कर्मैव तस्मात्त्वं पूर्वैः पूर्वतरं कृतम्।।4.15।।
4.15 Having known this, the ancient seekers after freedom also performed action; therefore do thou also perform action, as did the ancients in days of yore.
4.15 Jnatva, having known; evam, thus, that I am not an agent; I have no desire for the results of actions; karma, duties; krtam, were undertaken; api, even; purvaih, by the ancient; mumuksubhih, seekers of Liberation. Tasmat, therefore; tvam, you; kuru, undertake; karma, action; eva, itself. You ought not to sit ietly, or even renounce. Therefore, you (undertake actions) because they were performed by the ancients as well-if you have no Self-knowledge, then (undertake actions) for self-purification; or, if you have Self-knowledge, then (undertake actions) in order to prevent people from going astray-, as were krtam, performed; purvataram, earlier; purvaih, by the ancient ones, Janaka and others; not actions as are undertaken in the present day. [This last portion of the sentence is translated by some as follows: You should not undertake actions which are done in the present manner (i.e. do not perform actions in the manner undertakne by people nowadays, which neither purifies the mind nor helps people). (See G1. Pr. p. 114.) If action has to be undertaken here, then I shall do so following Your instruction itself. What is the use of specifying that it was done earlier by the ancient ones? The answer is: Because there is a great difficult as regards actions. How?
Evam jnaatwaa kritam karma poorvair api mumukshubhih; Kuru karmaiva tasmaat twam poorvaih poorvataram kritam.
evam—thus; jñātvā—knowing; kṛitam—performed; karma—actions; pūrvaiḥ—of ancient times; api—indeed; mumukṣhubhiḥ—seekers of liberation; kuru—should perform; karma—duty; eva—certainly; tasmāt—therefore; tvam—you; pūrvaiḥ—of those ancient sages; pūrva-taram—in ancient times; kṛitam—performed