उत्सीदेयुरिमे लोका न कुर्यां कर्म चेदहम् |
सङ्करस्य च कर्ता स्यामुपहन्यामिमा: प्रजा: || 24||
utsīdeyur ime lokā na kuryāṁ karma ched aham
sankarasya cha kartā syām upahanyām imāḥ prajāḥ
utsīdeyuḥ—would perish; ime—all these; lokāḥ—worlds; na—not; kuryām—I perform; karma—prescribed duties; chet—if; aham—I; sankarasya—of uncultured population; cha—and; kartā—responsible; syām—would be; upahanyām—would destroy; imāḥ—all these; prajāḥ—living entities
These worlds would perish if I do not perform work; I would be the cause of the confusion of species and the destruction of these beings.
If I do not work, these worlds would perish. People would not work. Consequently, there would be confusion in all fields of life. Peace would not be there. People would become unrighteous and sinful. As a result, natural calamities would overtake them. I would be the author and cause of the destruction of beings. So, for the protection and welfare of all the worlds, I work. Thus the Lord proves the need for the discipline of karma yoga in the world.
The Lord is the cosmic intelligence who gives the law for the orderly evolution of the Universe. The plan of the Universe and its orderly functioning is due to the will of the Lord. Let us imagine what would happen to mankind on the globe if the laws of the universe are relaxed for a brief while. The whole world would crash into destruction. The pride of human intelligence appears childish when one contemplates the beneficent power that keeps the planets in their orbits. So the Lord says that if he does not work the world would perish.
The same law applies to the various duties and functions of man for the orderly maintenance and progress of humanity. The violation of this law would lead to confusion of duties and functions The Lord expects every man to keep the law by the performance of the duties in the scheme of the world. By doing so, the community as a whole would grow and prosper. Karma Yoga, besides being the path of self-purification and Self-realisation, is the divine technic to secure peace and prosperity for mankind in this earthly life.
Swami Vivekananda Says —
Work day and night! “Behold, I am the Lord of the Universe. I have no duty. Every duty is bondage. But I work for work’s sake. If I ceased to work for a minute, [there would be chaos].” So do thou work, without any idea of duty.[Source]
Krishna says, “Look at Me, Arjuna! If I stop from work for one moment, the whole universe will die. I have nothing to gain from work; I am the one Lord, but why do I work? Because I love the world.” God is unattached because He loves; that real love makes us unattached.[Source]
If a great man who has attained peace of mind and freedom ceases to work, then all the rest without that knowledge and peace will try to imitate him, and thus confusion would arise. “Behold, Arjuna, there is nothing that I do not possess and nothing that I want to acquire. And yet I continue to work. If I stopped work for a moment, the whole universe would [be destroyed].”[Source]
The first is the question of creation, that this nature, Prakriti, Maya is infinite, without beginning. It is not that this world was created the other day, not that a God came and created the world and since that time has been sleeping; for that cannot be. The creative energy is still going on. God is eternally creating — is never at rest. Remember the passage in the Gita where Krishna says, “If I remain at rest for one moment, this universe will be destroyed.” If that creative energy which is working all around us, day and night, stops for a second, the whole thing falls to the ground. There never was a time when that energy did not work throughout the universe, but there is the law of cycles, pralaya.[Source]
Thus the vital point of our national life has been touched; otherwise, why should we sink to this degraded state? Read in the Gita, “सङ्करस्य च कर्ता स्यामुपहन्यामिमा: प्रजा: — I should then be the cause of the admixture of races, and I should thus ruin these beings.” How came this terrible varna-samkarya — this confounding mixture of all castes — and disappearance of all qualitative distinctions? Why has the white complexion of our forefathers now become black? Why did the sattva-guna give place to the prevailing tamas with a sprinkling, as it were, of rajas in it? That is a long story to tell, and I reserve my answer for some future occasion. For the present, try to understand this, that if the jati dharma (*) be rightly and truly preserved, the nation shall never fall.[Source]
* Jati dharma, that is, the dharma enjoined according to the different castes — the svadharma, that is, one’s own dharma, or set of duties prescribed for man according to his capacity and position — which is the very basis of Vedic religion and Vedic society.