Chapter 3: Karma-yoga
evam pravartitam cakram
mogham partha sa jivati
evam—thus prescribed; pravartitam—established by the Vedas; cakram—cycle; na—does not; anuvartayati—adopt; iha—in this life; yah—one who; aghayuh—life full of sins; indriya-aramah—satisfied in sense gratification; mogham—useless; partha—O son of Prtha (Arjuna); sah—one who does so; jivati—lives.
My dear Arjuna, a man who does not follow this prescribed Vedic system of sacrifice certainly leads a life of sin, for a person delighting only in the senses lives in vain.
The mammonist philosophy of work very hard and enjoy sense gratification is condemned herein by the Lord. Therefore, for those who want to enjoy this material world, the above-mentioned cycle of performing yajnas is absolutely necessary. One who does not follow such regulations is living a very risky life, being condemned more and more. By nature's law, this human form of life is specifically meant for self-realization, in either of the three ways—namely karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, or bhakti-yoga. There is no necessity of rigidly following the performances of the prescribed yajnas for the transcendentalists who are above vice and virtue; but those who are engaged in sense gratification require purification by the above-mentioned cycle of yajna performances. There are different kinds of activities. Those who are not Krsna conscious are certainly engaged in sensory consciousness; therefore they need to execute pious work. The yajna system is planned in such a way that sensory conscious persons may satisfy their desires without becoming entangled in the reaction of sense-gratificatory work. The prosperity of the world depends not on our own efforts but on the background arrangement of the Supreme Lord, directly carried out by the demigods. Therefore, the yajnas are directly aimed at the particular demigod mentioned in the Vedas. Indirectly, it is the practice of Krsna consciousness, because when one masters the performance of yajnas, one is sure to become Krsna conscious. But if by performing yajnas one does not become Krsna conscious, such principles are counted as only moral codes. One should not, therefore, limit his progress only to the point of moral codes, but should transcend them, to attain Krsna consciousness.