श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात्। स्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेयः परधर्मो भयावहः।।3.35।।
śhreyān swa-dharmo viguṇaḥ para-dharmāt sv-anuṣhṭhitāt swa-dharme nidhanaṁ śhreyaḥ para-dharmo bhayāvahaḥ
śhreyān—better; swa-dharmaḥ—personal duty; viguṇaḥ—tinged with faults; para-dharmāt—than another’s prescribed duties; su-anuṣhṭhitāt—perfectly done; swa-dharme—in one’s personal duties; nidhanam—death; śhreyaḥ—better; para-dharmaḥ—duties prescribed for others; bhaya-āvahaḥ—fraught with fear
Better is one's own duty, though devoid of merit, than the duty of another well discharged. Better is death in one's own duty; the duty of another is fraught with fear.
3.35 श्रेयान् better? स्वधर्मः ones own duty? विगुणः devoid of merit? परधर्मात् than the duty of another? स्वनुष्ठितात् than well discharged? स्वधर्मे in ones own duty? निधनम् death? श्रेयः better? परधर्मः anothers duty? भयावहः fraught with fear.Commentary It is indeed better for man to die discharging his own duty though destitute of merit than for him to live doing the duty of another though performed
in a perfect manner. For the duty of another has its pitfalls. The duty of a Kshatriya is to fight in a righteous battle. Arjuna must fight. This is his duty. Even if he dies in the discharge of his own duty? it is better for him. He will go to heaven. He should not do the duty of another man. This will bring him peril. He should not stop from fighting and enter the path of renunciation. (Cf.XVIII.47).