SB 8.1.14

Text

athāgre ṛṣayaḥ karmāṇ-
īhante ‘karma-hetave
īhamāno hi puruṣaḥ
prāyo ‘nīhāṁ prapadyate

Synonyms

athaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigatha

after all; after this; after this offering of prayers by Vasudeva; also; and; and so on; and thereafter; as; as also; as such; as well (like the four Kumāras and others); as well; as well as; at last; at one time; at that time; because of this; Brahmaloka, the ultimate in material enjoyment; certainly; either; even though; for the matter of; for this reason; from him (Homa); from him; from Suhotra; furthermore; hence; hereafter (when the Lord accepted the throne on the request of Bharata); hereafter; herewith; if your son should not become like that; if, however; if, therefore; in this way; indeed; moreover; my brother Arjuna; now (after hearing the history of the dynasty of the sun); now; now(over and above these); of course; on the occasion of the Lord's appearance; otherwise; rather; still; then; then, from Prāruṇa; thereafter (after the appearance of the goddess of fortune); thereafter (the son of Upagupta); thereafter; thereafter, his son; therefore; thereof; thereupon (after the departure of his father); thereupon; thus (from Cākṣuṣa); thus (while coming back home); thus; when Vasudeva tried to take his transcendental son out of the confinement.
—therefore; agreplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigagre

at first; before (before the creation of this cosmic manifestation); before; before creation; before the creation; before them; formerly; hereinbefore; in front; in the beginning; in the beginning, before the creation; in the previous birth; previously; prior to the creation.
—in the beginning; ṛṣayaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigrsayah

all learned //ṛṣis,// saintly persons; all the //ṛṣis//; all the great saintly persons; all the sages; all the saintly persons; all the saintly sages; great sages; great sages and saintly persons; great saintly persons; great saintly persons like Mārkaṇḍeya; great saintly sages; great saints; learned scholars; O great sages; sages; sages who perform such sacrifices; saintly persons; the great //ṛṣis// such as Bhṛgu; the great sages; the great sages and saintly persons; the great saintly persons; the great saintly sages; the learned sages; the sages (in the forest); the sages; the seven //ṛṣis//; the seven //ṛṣis// of the seven planets; the seven famous sages; the seven sages; those who are active within; very saintly persons.
—all learned ṛṣis, saintly persons; karmāṇiplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigkarmani

activities; by which activities; duties; fruitive activities; fruits of activities; in action; in activity; in discharging fruitive activities; in fruitive activities; in fruitive activity; in one's prescribed duty; in the churning; in the matter of; in the performance of prescribed duties; in the sacrifice; in the work; in work; of a ritualistic ceremony; of fruitive activity; performance of; performances; prescribed duties; the activity.
—fruitive activities; īhanteplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigihante

here.
—execute; akarmaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigakarma

freedom from fruitive results; inaction.
—freedom from fruitive results; hetaveplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bighetave

for the purpose of; for the sake of; the original cause; the root cause; to cause.
—for the purpose of; īhamānaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigihamanah

although acting.
—engaging in such activities; hiplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bighi

addressed; all; also; and above all; and exactly; as a matter of fact; assuredly; because; because of which; certainly; certainly are; exactly; exactly like; for; for this reason; from which; in deed; in fact; indeed (You can be realized by the devotees); indeed; is certainly; only; positively; reason of; since; surely; than; though; thus; undoubtedly; without fail.
—indeed; puruṣaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigpurusah

man.
—a person; prāyaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigprayah

almost; almost always; for the most part; generally; in most cases; mostly.
—almost always; anīhāmplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_biganiham

indifferent.
—liberation from karma; prapadyateplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigprapadyate

achieves; attains; he enters; is experienced; reaches; surrenders; takes to; transacts.
—attains.

Translation

Therefore, to enable people to reach the stage of activities that are not tinged by fruitive results, great saints first engage people in fruitive activities, for unless one begins by performing activities as recommended in the śāstras, one cannot reach the stage of liberation, or activities that produce no reactions.

Purport

In Bhagavad-gītā (Bg. 3.9)plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā 3.9

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.
Lord Kṛṣṇa advises, yajñārthāt karmaṇo ‘nyatra loko ‘yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ: “Work done as a sacrifice for Viṣṇu has to be performed, otherwise work binds one to this material world.” Generally, everyone is attracted to hard labor for becoming happy in this material world, but although various activities are going on all over the world simply for the sake of happiness, unfortunately only problems are being created from such fruitive activities. Therefore it is advised that active persons engage in activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which are called yajña, because then they will gradually come to the platform of devotional service. Yajña means Lord Viṣṇu, the yajña-puruṣa, the enjoyer of all sacrifices (bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram [Bg. 5.29]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā 5.29

The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries.
). The Supreme Personality of Godhead is actually the enjoyer, and therefore if we begin our activities for His satisfaction, we will gradually lose our taste for material activities.

Sūta Gosvāmī declared to the great assembly of sages at Naimiṣāraṇya:

ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā
varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ
svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya
saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam

“O best among the twice-born, it is concluded that the highest perfection one can achieve, by discharging his prescribed duties [dharma] according to caste divisions and order of life, is to please the Lord Hari.” (SB 1.2.13)plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.2.13

O best among the twice-born, it is therefore concluded that the highest perfection one can achieve by discharging the duties prescribed for one's own occupation according to caste divisions and orders of life is to please the Personality of Godhead.
According to Vedic principles, everyone must act according to his classification as brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha or sannyāsī. Everyone should progress toward perfection by acting in such a way that Kṛṣṇa will be pleased (saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam). One cannot please Kṛṣṇa by sitting idly; one must act according to the directions of the spiritual master for the sake of pleasing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and then one will gradually come to the stage of pure devotional service. As confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.5.12)plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.5.12

Knowledge of self-realization, even though free from all material affinity, does not look well if devoid of a conception of the Infallible [God]. What, then, is the use of fruitive activities, which are naturally painful from the very beginning and transient by nature, if they are not utilized for the devotional service of the Lord?
:

naiṣkarmyam apy acyuta-bhāva-varjitaṁ
na śobhate jñānam alaṁ nirañjanam

“Knowledge of self-realization, even though freed from all material affinity, does not look well if devoid of a conception of the infallible [God].” Jñānīs recommend that one adopt naiṣkarmya by not doing anything but simply meditating and thinking of Brahman, but this is impossible unless one realizes Parabrahman, Kṛṣṇa. If there is no Kṛṣṇa consciousness, any kind of activity, be it philanthropic, political or social, simply causes karma-bandhana, bondage to material work.

As long as one is entangled in karma-bandhana, one must accept different types of bodies that spoil the human form of facility. Therefore, in Bhagavad-gītā (Bg. 6.3)plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā 6.3

For one who is a neophyte in the eightfold yoga system, work is said to be the means; and for one who has already attained to yoga, cessation of all material activities is said to be the means.
karma-yoga is recommended:

ārurukṣor muner yogaṁ
karma kāraṇam ucyate
yogārūḍhasya tasyaiva
śamaḥ kāraṇam ucyate

“For one who is a neophyte in the yoga system, work is said to be the means; and for one who has already attained to yoga, cessation of all material activities is said to be the means.” Nonetheless:

karmendriyāṇi saṁyamya
ya āste manasā smaran
indriyārthān vimūḍhātmā
mithyācāraḥ sa ucyate

“One who restrains the senses and organs of action, but whose mind dwells on sense objects, certainly deludes himself and is called a pretender.” (Bg. 3.6)plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā 3.6

One who restrains the senses and organs of action, but whose mind dwells on sense objects, certainly deludes himself and is called a pretender.
One should act for Kṛṣṇa very seriously in order to become fully Kṛṣṇa conscious and should not sit down to imitate such great personalities as Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura condemned such imitation. Me said:

duṣṭa mana! tumi kisera vaiṣṇava?

pratiṣṭhāra tare, nirjanera ghare,

tava hari-nāma kevala kaitava

“My dear mind, what kind of devotee are you? Simply for cheap adoration, you sit in a solitary place and pretend to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, but this is all cheating.” Recently at Māyāpur an African devotee wanted to imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura, but after fifteen days he became restless and went away. Do not suddenly try to imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Engage yourself in Kṛṣṇa conscious activities, and gradually you will come to the stage of liberation (muktir hitvānyathā rūpaṁ svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ [SB 2.10.6]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.10.6

The merging of the living entity, along with his conditional living tendency, with the mystic lying down of the Mahā-Viṣṇu is called the winding up of the cosmic manifestation. Liberation is the permanent situation of the form of the living entity after he gives up the changeable gross and subtle material bodies.
).