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.