शमो दमस्तपः शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च।
ज्ञानं विज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् ॥
samo damas tapah saucam
ksantir arjavam eva ca
jnanam vijnanam astikyam
śamaḥ—peacefulness; damaḥ—self-control; tapaḥ—austerity; śaucam—purity; kṣāntiḥ—tolerance; ārjavam—honesty; eva—certainly; ca—and; jñānam—wisdom; vijñānam—knowledge; āstikyam—religiousness; brahma—of a brāhmaṇa; karma—duty; svabhāva-jam—born of his own nature.
Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness-these are the qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work.
शौर्यं तेजो धृतिर्दाक्ष्यं युद्धे चाप्यपलायनम्।
दानमीश्वरभावश्च क्षात्रं कर्म स्वभावजम्॥
sauryam tejo dhrtir daksyam
yuddhe capy apalayanam
danam isvara-bhavas ca
ksatram karma svabhava-jam
śauryam—heroism; tejaḥ—power; dhṛtiḥ—determination; dākṣyam—resourcefulness; yuddhe—in battle; ca—and; api—also; apalāyanam—not fleeing; dānam—generosity; īśvara—leadership; bhāvaḥ—nature; ca—and kṣātram-kṣatriya; karma—duty; svabhāva-jam—born of his own nature.
Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity, and leadership are the qualities of work for the kṣatriyas.
कृषिगौरक्ष्यवाणिज्यं वैश्यकर्म स्वभावजम्।
परिचर्यात्मकं कर्म शूद्रस्यापि स्वभावजम्॥
kṛṣi—ploughing; go—cows; rakṣya—protection; vāṇijyam—trade; vaiśya-vaiśya; karma—duty; svabhāva-jam—born of his own nature; paricaryā—service; ātmakam—nature; karma—duty; śūdrasya—of the śūdra; api—also; svabhāva-jam—born of his own nature.
Farming, cattle raising and business are the qualities of work for the vaiśyas, and for the śūdras there is labor and service to others.
स्वे स्वे कर्मण्यभिरतः संसिद्धिं लभते नरः।
स्वकर्मनिरतः सिद्धिं यथा विन्दति तच्छृणु॥
sve sve karmany abhiratah
samsiddhim labhate narah
yatha vindati tac chrnu
sve—own; sve—own; karmaṇi—in work; abhirataḥ—following; saṁsiddhim—perfection; labhate—achieves; naraḥ—a man; svakarma—by his own duty; nirataḥ—engaged; siddhim—perfection; yathā—as; vindati—attains, tat—that; śṛṇu—listen.
By following his qualities of work, every man can become perfect. Now please hear from Me how this can be done.
यतः प्रवृत्तिर्भूतानां येन सर्वमिदं ततम्।
स्वकर्मणा तमभ्यर्च्य सिद्धिं विन्दति मानवः॥
yatah pravrttir bhutanam
yena sarvam idam tatam
sva-karmana tam abhyarcya
siddhim vindati manavah
yataḥ—from whom; pravṛttiḥ—emanation; bhūtānām—of all living entities; yena—by whom; sarvam—all; idam—this; tatam—is pervaded; svakarmaṇā—in his own duties; tam—Him; abhyarcya—by worshiping; siddhim—perfection; vindati—achieves; mānavaḥ—a man.
By worship of the Lord, who is the source of all beings and who is all-pervading, man can, in the performance of his own duty, attain perfection.
श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात्।
स्वभावनियतं कर्म कुर्वन्नाप्नोति किल्बिषम्॥
sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah
kurvan napnoti kilbisam
sreyān—better; sva-dharmaḥ—one’s own occupation; viguṇaḥ—imperfectly performed; para-dharmāt—another’s occupation; svanuṣṭhitāt—perfectly done; svabhāva-niyatam—prescribed duties according to one’s nature; karma—work; kurvan—performing; na—never; āpnoti—achieve; kilbiṣam—sinful reactions.
It is better to engage in one’s own occupation, even though one may perform it imperfectly, than to accept another’s occupation and perform it perfectly. Prescribed duties, according to one’s nature, are never affected by sinful reactions.
सहजं कर्म कौन्तेय सदोषमपि न त्यजेत्।
सर्वारम्भा हि दोषेण धूमेनाग्निरिवावृताः॥
saha-jam karma kaunteya
sa-dosam api na tyajet
sarvarambha hi dosena
saha-jam—born simultaneously; karma—work; kaunteya—O son of Kuntī; sa-doṣam—with fault; api—although; na—never; tyajet—to be given up; sarva-ārambhāḥ—any venture; hi—is certainly; doṣeṇa—with fault; dhūmena—with smoke; agniḥ—fire; iva—as; āvṛtāḥ—covered.
Every endeavor is covered by some sort of fault, just as fire is covered by smoke. Therefore one should not give up the work which is born of his nature, O son of Kuntī, even if such work is full of fault.