तदायासो निरर्थ: स्याद् भयादेरिव सत्तम ॥ २१ ॥
kalpyate niṣphalāya cet
tad-āyāso nirarthaḥ syād
bhayāder iva sattama
yaḥ yaḥ — whatever; mayi — unto Me; pare — the Supreme; dharmaḥ — is religion; kalpyate — tends; niṣphalāya — toward becoming free from the result of material work; cet — if; tat — of that; āyāsaḥ — the endeavor; nirarthaḥ — futile; syāt — may be; bhaya-ādeḥ — of fear and so on; iva — as; sat-tama — O best of saintly persons.
O Uddhava, greatest of saints, in a dangerous situation an ordinary person cries, becomes fearful and laments, although such useless emotions do not change the situation. But activities offered to Me without personal motivation, even if they are externally useless, amount to the actual process of religion.
Even the most insignificant activity, when offered to the Supreme Lord without personal desire, can elevate one to the perfection of spiritual life. Actually, Lord Kṛṣṇa always protects and maintains His devotee. But if a devotee cries to the Lord for protection or maintenance, desiring to continue his devotional service unimpeded, Lord Kṛṣṇa accepts such apparently unnecessary appeals to be the highest religious process.