Chapter 3, Verse 20



कर्मणैव हि संसिद्धिमास्थिता जनकादयः । लोकसंग्रहमेवापि संपश्यन्कर्तुमर्हसि ॥२०॥

Transliteration

karmaṇaiva hi saḿsiddhim āsthitā janakādayaḥ loka-sańgraham evāpi sampaśyan kartum arhasi

Word Meanings

karmaṇā — by work; eva — even; hi — certainly; saṁsiddhim — in perfection; āsthitāḥ — situated; janaka-ādayaḥ — Janaka and other kings; loka-saṅgraham — the people in general; eva api — also; sampaśyan — considering; kartum — to act; arhasi — you deserve.

Translation

By performing their prescribed duties, King Janak and others attained perfection. You should also perform your work to set an example for the good of the world.

Purport

Kings like Janaka were all self-realized souls; consequently they had no obligation to perform the prescribed duties in the Vedas. Nonetheless they performed all prescribed activities just to set examples for the people in general. Janaka was the father of Sītā and father-in-law of Lord Śrī Rāma. Being a great devotee of the Lord, he was transcendentally situated, but because he was the king of Mithilā (a subdivision of Bihar province in India), he had to teach his subjects how to perform prescribed duties. Lord Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, the Lord’s eternal friend, had no need to fight in the Battle of Kurukṣetra, but they fought to teach people in general that violence is also necessary in a situation where good arguments fail. Before the Battle of Kurukṣetra, every effort was made to avoid the war, even by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the other party was determined to fight. So for such a right cause, there is a necessity for fighting. Although one who is situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness may not have any interest in the world, he still works to teach the public how to live and how to act. Experienced persons in Kṛṣṇa consciousness can act in such a way that others will follow, and this is explained in the following verse.


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