Sudāmā: Verse number eight: "Perform your prescribed duty, which is better than not working. A man cannot even maintain his physical body without work (BG 3.8)."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna was talking. Kṛṣṇa never said Arjuna, "Oh, my dear Arjuna, you are My friend, intimate friend and devotee. All right. You haven't got to fight with your... Everything will be done by Me. You go to Himalaya and meditate." No. He never said that. Kṛṣṇa could do, Kṛṣṇa could fight for Arjuna. He was all-powerful. Without fighting, He could give him everything, but still, He wanted to engage him—that one should be engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness along with his prescribed duty, that is required. Yes. (reading from text:) "Perform your prescribed duty which is better than not working."
If you cannot work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then you better perform your prescribed duty according to varṇāśrama. Just like if you are a brāhmaṇa, then you have to act such way. If you are a kṣatriya you have to work in that way. But don't stop working. Kṛṣṇa says that, "A man cannot even maintain his physical body without work." He does not say that "You become Kṛṣṇa conscious beggar and maintain your body in that way." No. That is not required. That service for Kṛṣṇa should not be taken, should not be accepted as profession for livelihood. It should be simply for the service of the Lord. For the service of the Lord you can collect millions of dollars, but for your livelihood you cannot take one dollar from any person. Then you'll be indebted. You have to repay him. You cannot cheat others. It is very strictly enjoined. Simply for Kṛṣṇa's satisfaction you can take, you can beg from others.
Just like according to Vedic system, begging is allowed. Begging allowed for whom? For the brāhmaṇas, for the sannyāsīs, for the brahmacārīs, because they collect money, beg from door to door for their benefit. Suppose a brahmacārī is going to a householder's place or a storekeeper's place, "Give us some contribution." He is not collecting that money for his livelihood. He's quite competent to work. But that one dollar which he contributes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, it is good for him. At least, some portion of his energy goes to Kṛṣṇa. That is the philosophy. Not that "Some way or other, I may collect some money and live very comfortably." No. We cannot do that. But you can accept Kṛṣṇa's prasāda. That is a different thing. But for personal comfort you have to work.
If you are a karmī, then you have to work. If you are a devotee, if you are completely... Devotee means hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate (CC Madhya 19.170). Devotee means one who has engaged his senses cent percent for the service of the Lord, he is devotee, pure devotee.
So one who cannot become cent percent, all right, become fifty percent, twenty-five percent, one percent. Give something for Kṛṣṇa. Don't be miser. Because whatever you have got, it is Kṛṣṇa's. So long you catch it up, "It is mine," that is māyā. You just let loose it for (chuckling) Kṛṣṇa. Then it is freedom for you. You see. Go on.
Sudāmā: Verse number nine: "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 prescribed duties for His satisfaction and in that way you will always remain unattached and free from bondage (BG 3.9)."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Bondage means working for one's own account. The same example. Just like a soldier is fighting for the country under the command of the commander in chief. The more he's killing, he's getting promotion, he's getting medals. But the same man, when he comes back at home, if he kills one man, he's hanged. Why? Because that killing and this killing is not the same thing. So one who cannot engage himself cent percent in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, let him remain in his own position and try to sacrifice for Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa as far as possible.
The prescription is for the gṛhasthas, for the householder, as exemplified by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī that his income was divided into four parts. Fifty percent for Kṛṣṇa, twenty-five percent for the family and twenty-five percent for his personal reserve fund. That he showed us example how a gṛhastha should live. Not that out of hundred dollars, ninety-nine percent for my wife, and one percent for Kṛṣṇa. No. Not like that. One should sacrifice at least fifty percent. If he cannot sacrifice this... Brahmacārīs, sannyāsīs, they have sacrificed their everything, cent percent. The gṛhastha, they cannot do that. Because they have got wife, children. Therefore fifty percent.
So these are the prescribed rules and regulations for executing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Anyway, if one cannot sacrifice cent percent, let him sacrifice at least one percent, two percent. The more he does, that is, more he becomes free from bondage. And the more he uses his earning for sense gratification, the more he becomes bound up by the laws of material nature. Yes.