The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of material nature.
Two persons, one in Krishna consciousness and the other in material consciousness, working on the same level, may appear to be working on the same platform, but there is a huge difference in their respective positions.
The person in material consciousness is convinced by false ego that he is the doer of everything.
He does not know that the mechanism of the body is produced by material nature, which works under the supervision of the Supreme Lord.
The materialistic person has no knowledge that ultimately he is under the control of Krishna. The person in false ego takes all credit for doing everything independently, and that is the symptom of his nescience.
He does not know that this body is the creation of material nature, under the order of the Krishna, and as such his bodily and mental activities should be engaged in the service of Krishna, in Krishna consciousness.
The ignorant man forgets that the Krishna is known as Hrsikesa, or the master of the senses of the material body, for due to his long misuse of the senses in sense gratification, he is factually bewildered by the false ego, which makes him forget his eternal relationship with Krishna.
Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.
One who restrains the senses of action but whose mind dwells on sense objects certainly deludes himself and is called a pretender.
On the other hand, if a sincere person tries to control the active senses by the mind and begins karma-yoga [in Krishna consciousness] without attachment, he is by far superior.
Perform your prescribed duty, for doing so is better than not working. One cannot even maintain one’s physical body without work.
Work done as a sacrifice for Vishnu has to be performed, otherwise work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain free from bondage.
In the beginning of creation, the Lord of all creatures sent forth generations of men and demigods, along with sacrifices for Vishnu, and blessed them by saying, “Be thou happy by this yajna [sacrifice] because its performance will bestow upon you everything desirable for living happily and achieving liberation.”
The demigods, being pleased by sacrifices, will also please you, and thus, by cooperation between men and demigods, prosperity will reign for all.
In charge of the various necessities of life, the demigods, being satisfied by the performance of yajna [sacrifice], will supply all necessities to you. But he who enjoys such gifts without offering them to the demigods in return is certainly a thief.
The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.
All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rains. Rains are produced by performance of yajna [sacrifice], and yajna is born of prescribed duties.
Therefore, without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty, for by working without attachment one attains the Supreme.
Lord Shri Krisna says to Arjuna:
Kings such as Janaka attained perfection solely by performance of prescribed duties. Therefore, just for the sake of educating the people in general, you should perform your work.