sahajam karma kaunteya sadoshamapi na tyajet |
sarvaarambhaa hi doshena dhoomenaagnirivaavritaahaa || 48 ||

Natural duty, even though fraught with defect, should not be abandoned. For, all undertakings are covered with defect, like fire by smoke.
sahajam : natural
karma : duty
kaunteya : O Kaunteya
sadosham : with defect
api : even
na : not
tyajet : abandoned
sarvaarambhaa : all undertakings
hi : for
doshena : with defect
dhoomen : by smoke
agnihi : fire
iva : like
aavritaahaa : covered
Some people in this world are perfectionists. Either we know such people as friends or co-workers, or we may be one ourselves. Perfectionism is a recipe for constant sorrow, because no matter who performs the actions, they will never be perfect. As we have seen earlier, an action is based on several factors, including the mental state of the performer, the instruments used, the state of the outside world and so on. It is next to impossible to expect all these factors to line up in such a manner that the action and its result will be perfect.
Shri Krishna says that any undertaking, any project, any action will always have some imperfection built into it, just like any fire will have some smoke covering it. So there is no point giving up our actions and our duties because they contain some imperfection or the other. Even the human body, the most intricate organism on this earth, has some minor defect in one form or the other, in the form of ill health or deformity and so on. Therefore, we have to accept this fact and continue to perform our best actions, not focus too much on the result.
With this shloka, the topic of karma yoga is concluded. If we recall, this topic was prompted by Arjuna in the beginning of this chapter, when he wanted to know the difference between sanyaasa and tyaaga. Tyaaga was redefined by Shri Krishna to mean karma yoga, and was analyzed in great detail. Tyaaga or karma yoga, combined with bhakti, is a process, is a means to get us to a destination. When practised properly, it lifts us from our materialistic life and places us on the path towards liberation. So then, if tyaaga is the means, what is the goal? This is taken up next.