न हि कश्चित्क्षणमपि जातु तिष्ठत्यकर्मकृत् |
कार्यते ह्यवश: कर्म सर्व: प्रकृतिजैर्गुणै: || 5||
na hi kaśhchit kṣhaṇam api jātu tiṣhṭhatyakarma-kṛit
kāryate hyavaśhaḥ karma sarvaḥ prakṛiti-jair guṇaiḥ
na—not; hi—certainly; kaśhchit—anyone; kṣhaṇam—a moment; api—even; jātu—ever; tiṣhṭhati—can remain; akarma-kṛit—without action; kāryate—are performed; hi—certainly; avaśhaḥ—helpless; karma—work; sarvaḥ—all; prakṛiti-jaiḥ—born of material nature; guṇaiḥ—by the qualities
No one can live even for a moment without doing work. Everyone without his will is made to do work by the qualities born of Prakriti.
No one can live without work even for a second. Breathing is work, eating is work, walking is work, talking is work. So it is known to all that work is a part of life itself.
Except the Jnani, everyone else is subject to Maya (Prakriti). And the impulses of the mind compel all people to do some kind of work or other according to their nature. The scholar cannot live without the study of books. The idler cannot live without aimless wandering. The learned and the ignorant are acting under the power of the qualities born of Prakriti. Each according to his nature is doing some work or other, over which he has no control. The law applies to all beings in the world. Animals and birds work according to their nature. Each has its own peculiar characteristics. Man being endowed with reason (buddhi) may choose the work, but what is chosen is also according to his nature. So it is true that all are prompted by Prakriti. Here the word sarvah is used with only the single exception of the Jnani, who has become a Jivanmukta by direct realisation of the Supreme, having attained the Brahmi-sthiti the Jnani transcends the gunas, and so he is not moved by the impulses arising from the qualities of nature. But since he has a body that is the instrument of Prakriti, he uses it just for maintaining life. He is perfectly detached from the vehicle of action.
The ignorant people who are every minute dragged and whirled about in all directions by the forces of nature need not however be discouraged. They should first of all understand that they have become slaves to certain modes of thought and action, which they have themselves created in previous births. Knowing it, they should undertake some form of discipline, and by their own effort overcome bad by good karma, surrender the fruits of work to the Lord, and gradually purify their mind, and become Jeevanmuktas in the end.