TEXT 20
karmaṇaiva hi saṁsiddhim
āsthitā janakādayaḥ
loka-saṅgraham evāpi
sampaśyan kartum arhasi
SYNONYMS
karmaṇāby work; evaeven; hicertainly; saṁsiddhimperfection; āsthitāḥsituated; janaka-ādayaḥkings like Janaka and others; loka-saṅgrahameducating the people in general; evaalso; apifor the sake of; sampaśyanby considering; kartumto act; arhasideserve.
TRANSLATION
Even kings like Janaka and others attained the perfectional stage by performance of prescribed duties. Therefore, just for the sake of educating the people in general, you should perform your work.
PURPORT
Kings like Janaka and others 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 Mithila (a subdivision of Behar province in India), he had to teach his subjects how to fight righteously in battle. He and his subjects 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.

Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/bg/3/20

Previous: Bg 3.19     Next: Bg 3.21

If you Love Me Distribute My Books -- Srila Prabhupada