Chapter 3 Karma Yoga Verse 21

Sloka

Prakriter gunasammoodhaah sajjante gunakarmasu;
Taan akritsnavido mandaan kritsnavin na vichaalayet.

Translation

Those deluded by the qualities of Nature are attached to the functions of the qualities.
A man of perfect knowledge should not unsettle the foolish one of imperfect knowledge.

Interpretation

Continuing his explanation about the gunas and their characteristics, Lord Krishna now shifts his focus on the gunas and how it is linked to knowledge. He says that the anybody who has the lack of understanding of the qualities of nature are attached to the functions of nature. That means that a person looks at the functions of each of these gunas with surprise when he doesnt understand its qualities. He then compares it with a man with perfect knowledge. He says that a person with perfect knowledge should never try to argue with the foolish man or attempt to bring him out of the imperfect knowledge.

Extending the Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Its a shloka which makes a stunning statement that a man with perfect knowledge should not bring a foolish man out of his imperfect knowledge. This is very much against the established beliefs which says that one should always try to bring people out of the ignorance and enlighten them. Then why did Lord Krishna say that? To understand that we need to know the characteristics of perfect and imperfect knowledge. A man with perfect knowledge will be humble, open to change and accepts things that comes to him. Whereas the opposite is true with a man with imperfect knowledge.

A man with an imperfect knowledge thinks that what he knows is right and believes in that so strongly that he shuts all his senses and never allow anything to touch him. He lives in the past and thinks that everything that is happening now is nothing but spiritual degradation. What will happen if you try to change that person? He will us all his foolishness on to you, force you to come to his level and will defeat you in the argument with his experience in foolishness. So, Lord Krishna advises Arjuna to stay away from advising foolish people because instead of taking the learning, they will make fun of you and will put you down. Such people always should be avoided.