Prabhupāda: So we were discussing that everybody should work.
niyataṁ kuru karma tvaṁ
karma jyāyo hy akarmaṇaḥ
śarīra-yātrāpi ca te
na prasiddhyed akarmaṇaḥ
[Perform your prescribed duty, for action is better than inaction. A man cannot even maintain his physical body without work.]
yajñārthāt karmaṇo 'nyatra
loko 'yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ
tad-arthaṁ karma kaunteya
[Work done as a sacrifice for Viṣṇu has to be performed, otherwise work binds one to this material world. Therefore, O son of Kuntī, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain unattached and free from bondage.]
Now, this is the formula of spiritual realization, that we should not stop our working capacities, the prescribed duties in which we are engaged. That is not to be stopped. If we stop work and spiritual realization, for spiritual realization we leave this world and go to the jungle or Himalaya and sit down there for meditation, for spiritual realization, oh, how many people will be ready to do this thing? No. This is not for mass people.
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is prescribing something practical which can be adopted by everyone and all, without any distinction. This point we have already discussed in the last day's meeting, that whatever you may be, it doesn't matter. You can realize the highest perfection of life provided you work under the regulation of yajña. Yajñārthāt karmaṇaḥ. There is no harm working, but the work should be done for the Supreme Lord, Yajña. Yajña means Viṣṇu. Because according to laws of nature, any work you do, it has got some reaction, and we are bound up by those reactions.
Vedas also says, karmaṇā baddhyate jantuḥ. Karmaṇā baddhyate jantuḥ, that "All living entities, they are bound up in this material encagement on account of their different kinds of karma, or work." But here is the point, that you shall not be bound up by the reaction of your karma if you act it on behalf of Yajña, or Viṣṇu, or the Supreme Lord. That is prescription. Yajñārthāt karmaṇaḥ anyatra. Anyatra.
If you do not work for that supreme purpose, then you will be bound up, and your this encagement of body will continue. This encagement of body will continue if you work on your own responsibility and not for the supreme purpose or the Supreme Lord Yajña, or Viṣṇu. That is the secret.
Yajña means yajña vai viṣṇu iti śrute. Śrute. Śrute means the Vedic literatures, the Vedic hymns. They prove it. Yajña means Viṣṇu. Viṣṇus tu sārthaṁ karma samācara. Therefore we have to work for the satisfaction of Viṣṇu. That is called yajña.
saha-yajñāḥ prajāḥ sṛṣṭvā
eṣa vo 'stv iṣṭa-kāma-dhuk
[In the beginning of creation, the Lord of all creatures sent forth generations of men and demigods, along with sacrifices for Viṣṇu, and blessed them by saying, "Be thou happy by this yajña [sacrifice] because its performance will bestow upon you all desirable things."]
The proof of this sacrifice, yajña, is mentioned in the Vedic scripture. After the creation it was so announced that "If you want to be happy, you must perform sacrifices." Sacrifices.
The Vedic literature is created for guidance of the conditioned souls. Every living being who is in this material world is conditioned by the laws of material nature. And it is a chance. This creation, and especially this human body, is a chance to get rid of this material entanglement, and the chance is open by acting for the satisfaction of Viṣṇu. Saha-yajñāḥ prajāḥ sṛṣṭvā. Prajāḥ.
Prajāḥ means the living entities. After being created, they were advised that "You perform yajña, or sacrifice, for the satisfaction of Viṣṇu. That will..." Anena, "by this," prasaviṣyadhvam, "you increase your enlightenment." Prasaviṣyadhvam. "And whatever you want, that will be satisfied by this yajña." Devān... Yajña, that sacrifice.
te devā bhāvayantu vaḥ
śreyaḥ param avāpsyatha
[The demigods, being pleased by sacrifices, will also please you; thus nourishing one another, there will reign general prosperity for all.]
Now, yajña is practically, according to the Vedic rituals, yajña, or sacrifice, is offered to different devas, demigods. There are hundreds and thousands of demigods mentioned in the Vedic literatures. And the whole portion is called upāsanā-kāṇḍa. Upāsanā-kāṇḍa means worshiping different demigods. But what are these demigods? The demigods are just like different parts of the whole body of the Supreme Lord. They are, so to say, just like the government of the king. There is one king, but there are many state officers.
Just you can imagine that if for management of a city like New York you have got so many departments. As soon as we go to these chambers, we get so many departments: criminal department, civil department, and so many departments. So for management of these universal affairs, there are different departments also, so far we can get information from the Vedic literature.
And each department, there is a particular director. And Brahmā is considered to be supreme director of this universe. So this yajña, sacrifice, Vedic rituals, they are indicated to pay different taxes to different demigods. But the Supreme Lord is above all. Therefore, if one performs sacrifice for the Supreme Lord, he is immune from other obligations. That is also mentioned:
na kiṅkaro nāyam ṛṇī ca rājan
sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ
gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam
[O King, one who has given up all material duties and has taken full shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, who offers shelter to all, is not indebted to the demigods, great sages, ordinary living beings, relatives, friends, mankind or even one's forefathers who have passed away. Since all such classes of living entities are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, one who has surrendered to the Lord's service has no need to serve such persons separately.]
Now, as soon as a living being is born in this material world, he has got many obligations. [end]