Bh Gita- Chapter 18(Pt-1) Moksha Sannyaasa Yogah- Yoga of Liberation by Renunciation


nishchayam shrinu me tatra tyaage bharatasattama
    tyaago hi purushavyaaghra trividhah samprakeertitah  // 18.4 //

Hear  from Me the conclusion or the final truth about this relinquishment, O Best of  the Bharatas; relinquishment verily, O Best of Men, has been declared to be of  three kinds.

Sri  Krishna promises Arjuna that He will explain what constitutes Tyaga or spirit  of relinquishment and its various kinds.

yajnadaanataph karma na tyaajyam kaaryameva tat
    yajno daanam tapashchaiva paavanaani maneeshinaam  // 18.5 //

Acts  of sacrifice, gift and austerity should not be given up, but should be performed;  for verily sacrifice, gift and also austerity are the purifiers of the wise.

The  Lord says that practice of worship, charity and austerity should not be given  up because these activities bring about a discipline in the mind and its inner  peace and equilibrium which are necessary for spiritual unfoldment and final  experience of the Infinite.

etaanyapi  tu karmaani sangam tyaktwaa phalaani cha
    kartavyaaneeti me paartha nischitam matamuttamam //  18.6 //

But  even these actions should be performed leaving aside attachment and the desire  for rewards, O Partha, this is My certain and conclusive conviction.

Even  these actions viz. sacrifice (Yajna), charity (Dana) and austerity (Tapas)  should be performed without any attachment i.e. without any sense of egoism and  desire for its rewards. Ego and its desires are the components of attachment.  When ego tries to satisfy its desires it develops a relationship with the  outside world of things and beings. This relationship is attachment. If any  action is performed with attachment, the expectations of its fruits affect the  efficiency in the action undertaken.

To  be rid of attachment and to be free from anxieties regarding the fruits of  actions that will accrue at a future time are the roots of the Krishna doctrine in the Gita. Detachment is not a matter  of outward action or inaction; it is the possession of the impersonal outlook  and inner renunciation of ego while performing action.


niyatasya  tu sannyaasah karmano nopapadyate
    mohaattasya parityaagas taamasah parikeertitah // 18.7  //
    Verily  the renunciation of obligatory action is not proper; the relinquishment of the  same from delusion is declared to be Tamasic.

Relinquishment  of obligatory duties is considered as the worst. Obligatory duties mean  unavoidable duties such as daily worship and special duties such as certain  rituals on special occasions both individually and from the view point of the  society in which one lives. As the performance of these duties makes the  aspirant’s heart pure, giving up of such duties is considered as Tamasic.

duhkhamityeva yat karma kaayakleshabhayaat tyajet
    sa kritwaa raajasam tyaagam naiva tyaagaphalam  labhet // 18.8 //

He,  who abandons action from the fear of bodily trouble because it is painful, does  not obtain the merit of renunciation by doing such Rajasic renunciation.

If  anyone gives up his obligatory duties because they are painful or on account of  fear of bodily suffering such Tyaga is considered as Rajasic because for a man  of action to perform his duties only so long as they are not risky to his  person is no heroism at all. Hence The Lord says that such a person shall not  attain any fruit of his renunciation.

kaaryamityeva   yatkarma niyatam kriyate'rjuna
    sangam tyaktwaa phalam chaiva sa tyaagah saatwiko  matah // 18.9 //

Whatever  obligatory action is done, O Arjuna, merely because it ought to be done,  abandoning attachment and also the fruit, that renunciation is regarded as Sattvic.

A  man of pure nature performs actions that have fallen to his lot in accordance  with his capacity and inherent nature. He is not filled with pride in  performing action nor does he hope to gain any reward therefrom. When a man  performs his obligatory duties without the spirit of doership and selfishness,  his mind is purified and becomes fit for Self Realization. This kind of  renunciation of attachment in performing action as also the expectation of the  rewards of such action is considered Sattvic.

It  will be noted from the above three verses that the discussion is not so much  about what is to be renounced as to how and where one should act. Thus the  concept of Tyaga in the Gita is a subjective renunciation of selfishness and  desire in the field of activity and not giving up the world and one's duties  and actions in it. Acting in the outside world, renouncing ego and egocentric  desires, an individual grows in inward purity.

na dweshtyakushalam karma kushale naanushajjate
    tyaagi sattvasamaavishto medhaavee chhinnasamshayah  // 18.10 //

The  man of renunciation, intelligent and pervaded by purity, with his doubts dispelled,  has no aversion to disagreeable work and no attachment to agreeable action.

The  question how does such a person, purified through Sattvic Tyaga, gain the  highest spiritual experience is answered here.

A  man of Sattvic relinquishment never hates any disagreeable work and environment  nor gets attached to any agreeable fields of action and favorable scheme of  things. He does his duties under all circumstances, agreeable or disagreeable,  without getting elated when successful or dejected when faced with obstacles.

He  is not overwhelmed by joy or sorrow; he is always equanimous. He is independent  of the happenings around him. Even the low impulses like jealousy, anger,  passion, greed etc. do not influence him. He does not become a victim of his  own mental impressions, Vasanas.

Such  a man is considered to be pervaded by purity. He is said to be educated,  cultured and with clear vision of his goal without getting hampered by all  sorts of doubts. He is termed a man of understanding, a Medhavi.

He  knows his field of activity and his own divine nature. He is fully aware of the  instruments of action and his relationship with the world outside. But a  majority of people identify themselves with doership and live in the world  conditioned by the happenings around. Such an average man who works with an ego  and attachment must learn to work at least renouncing the fruits of his action  which is explained in the next verse.

na hi dehabhritaa shakyam tyaktum karmaanyasheshatah
    yastu karmaphalatyaagee sa tyaageetyabhidheeyate //  18.11 //

Verily  it is not possible for an embodied being to renounce actions entirely; but he  who relinquishes the rewards of actions is verily called a man of renunciation.

Since  all of us are embodied and therefore cannot abandon all activities so long as  the body is alive, the only way is to direct all our actions in such a way as  to bring harmony in our inner lives.

If  Tyaga of Sattva type is not possible due to attachment to the world, relinquishment  of attachment or anxiety to the fruits of actions which will materialize at a  future time is advised by The Lord. A man who abandons his longing to enjoy the  rewards for his action is called a Tyagi.


anishtamishtam mishram cha trividham karmanah  phalam
    bhavatyatyaaginaam  pretya na tu sannyaasinaam kwachit // 18.12 //

The  threefold fruit of action - desirable, undesirable and mixed - accrues after  death to those who have no spirit of renunciation, but never to the  relinquishers.

Earlier  three types of Tyaga were discussed. Now three types of fruits of Tyaga are  explained. The fruits of action mean not only the results of actions accruing  at a future date but also the changes that take place at the mental plane or in  the thought process itself. Such changes or reactions in the mind are of three  types viz. the disagreeable - those that are positively bad, the agreeable -  those that are positively good and the mixed - those that include both good and  bad.

As  the present determines the quality of the future, after death, the next  embodiment and its environment would depend upon the type of vasanas produced  in the present actions. This is called the Theory of Re-incarnation.

The  Lord explains that for a man of renunciation (Sannyasa) there cannot be any  response to the actions done in the past or in the present; he realizes the  Bliss. The pleasant, unpleasant and mixed reactions - Karma Phalam- are  applicable only to those who have an ego-centric identification with actions as  well as their results. Relinquishment of the sense of ego and the anxiety for  the results and serving the world as a service to The Lord is Tyaga.

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