Our relationships with one another can be perfected only when we make our center of attraction Kṛṣṇa, the all-attractive Personality of Godhead. Constitutionally, we are all eternally related to Kṛṣṇa, who is the original living being and thus the center of all attraction. So what we need to do is to revive this relationship which has merged into oblivion because the covering and detaching process of the illusory energy, called māyā, has fostered temporary forgetfulness. And to proceed in this direction of rehabilitation of our eternal relationship is to adopt karma-yoga, the first step to such transcendental realization. It is stated in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta that the living entity, the spirit soul, is encaged by māyā, or the illusory energy, in a process of forgetfulness of his eternal relationship with Kṛṣṇa.
The karma-yogī can help revive this transcendental relationship of the living spirit with Kṛṣṇa as His eternal servitor. And the karma-yogī renders this immense benefit to the ordinary living entities-who are entirely addicted to mundane activities—without disturbing them in their ordinary engagements. In fact, the Bhagavad-gītā advises that in the interest of the mundane workers, they should not be restrained from their ordinary engagements; on the contrary, they may be encouraged to stay engaged in that way, within the process of karma-yoga, or work with transcendental results.
Ordinarily, these mundaners cannot easily understand their eternal relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Instead, they themselves have posed as Kṛṣṇa, under the false inducement of the illusory energy. This false position of supreme enjoyer gives them much trouble as they search for lordship over the powers of nature, but still these mundaners cannot give up the spirit of lording it over. And when they pretend to give up the enjoying spirit, under the pressure of disappointment and frustration, they usually take shelter of pseudo renunciation, with an even greater spirit of enjoyment. The mundane workers, who are always desirous of enjoying the fruits of their mundane activities, suffer greatly under the pressing disadvantages of such activities, just like poor oxen tightly tethered to the grinding mill. But under a false pretense of "enjoyer" dictated by the illusory energy, they think themselves to be really enjoying. Therefore, the learned karma-yogīs tactfully engage such foolish mundaners in the respective works for which they have special attachments—but in relation with Kṛṣṇa—without disturbing them in their general activities. For this purpose only, the learned and liberated souls who are eternal servitors of Kṛṣṇa sometimes remain in the midst of ordinary activities, just to attract the foolish mundaners to the process of karma-yoga.
The foolish mundaners would have been left perpetually in the darkness of foolish activities if Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, or His eternal associates, such as Marshal Arjuna, had not kindly taken the trouble of initiating the process of karma-yoga by the direct method of personal example. The foolish mundaners are unable to come to an awareness of the immeasurable difficulties that confront them in pursuance of their foolish mundane activities. However much they may bewilder themselves by the conception of lordship over their various actions, they are always being driven under the direction of the modes of nature—that is the considered verdict of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, in the Bhagavad-gītā. He says that the foolish mundaner considers himself the author or doer of all his activities by a sense dictated by his false egoism, without knowing that it is the modes of nature that lead him to do everything in all his engagements. The foolish mundaner cannot understand that he is under the spell of Lord Kṛṣṇa's illusory energy, Maya-devi, who has made the mundaner bound to do as she desires. Consequently, the foolish mundaner enjoys only the temporary results of his activities—fleeting mundane happiness or distress—and undergoes a severe penalty of servitude dictated by the modes of nature.