Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 5 (Part-2) Karma Sannyaasa Yogah- Yoga of Renunciation of Action


na prahrishyet priyam praapya nodwijet  praapya chaapriyam
    sthirabuddhir asammoodho brahmavid  brahmani sthitah  // 5.20 //

Resting  in Brahman, with intellect steady and without delusion, the knower of Brahman  neither rejoices on obtaining what is pleasant nor grieves on obtaining what is  unpleasant.

From  this verse onwards the characteristics of a man of perfection are given.

The  Lord describes him as having always a balanced intellect because of the absence  of egocentric influences. He is never deluded.   He has abandoned all actions as he rests in the Self.

He  is neither exhilarated when he gets pleasant objects nor feels disappointed  when he obtains unpleasant objects. This does not mean that he has no reactions  at all but it means that he remains balanced always with a sense of equipoise  which cannot be shattered easily.

baahyasparsheshwasaktaatmaa  vindatyaatmani yatsukham
    sa brahma yoga yuktaatmaa sukham  akshayamashnute  // 5.21 //

With  the heart unattached to external contacts he discovers happiness in the Self;  with the heart engaged in the meditation of Brahman he attains endless bliss.

The  happiness from the enjoyment of outer objects is transitory while the Bliss of  Brahman is eternal. When the mind is not attached to the external objects of  the senses, when one is deeply and constantly engaged in the contemplation of  the Self, one finds eternal peace within.   If one wishes to enjoy the imperishable happiness of the Self within,  one has to withdraw the senses from their respective objects and enter in deep  meditation on the Self within. It is to be noted that through self-control a  void is created in the mind and heart which will have to be filled in with  bliss through contemplation of Brahman.

ye hi samsparshajaa bhogaa duhkhayonaya  eva te
    aadyantavantah kaunteya na teshu ramate  budhah  // 5.22 //

The  enjoyments that are born of contacts with objects are generators of pain only,  for they have a beginning and an end, O Son of Kunti, and the wise do not find  delight in them.

Man  goes in search of happiness among the external and perishable objects.  He finds no permanent joy in them but  receives a load of sorrows instead. One should, therefore, withdraw the senses  from the sense objects which are not at all a source of permanent joy. One  should fix the mind on the immortal, blissful Self within.  The sense objects have a beginning and an  end. The pleasure out of them is therefore momentary and fleeting during the  interval between the contact of the senses with the objects and their  separation. One who has discrimination or knowledge of the Self will never  rejoice in the objects of the senses.


shaknoteehaiva yah sodhum praak shareera  vimokshanaat
    kaamakrodhodbhavam vegam sa yuktah sa sukhee  narah  // 5.23 //

He  who is able to withstand the force of lust and anger even before he quits the  body - he is a Yogi, a happy man.

Desire  (lust) and anger are powerful enemies of peace.   It is extremely difficult to annihilate them.  One has to make strong efforts to destroy  these enemies. He who has controlled desire and anger is the happiest man in  the world.

Desire  is longing for a pleasant and agreeable object which gives pleasure when it is  seen, heard or remembered.  Anger is the  feeling one gets when he finds obstacles in the way of getting the desired  objects. The greater the desire for an object the greater will be the anger  against any obstacle that comes between the desirer and the objects desired.  Lust and anger create an agitation of mind accompanied by appropriate physical  symbols.

A  Yogi is the one who controls the impulses of desire and anger, destroys likes  and dislikes and attains equanimity of mind by resting in the Self. He is  always happy because there is neither desire nor hatred in him.  The implication of what Sri Krishna says is  that in this very world and in this very life one can be perfectly happy if one  learns to withstand the avalanche of desire and anger.

  yo'ntah sukho'ntaraaraamas  tathaantarjyotireva yah
  sa yogee brahma nirvaanam brahma  bhooto'dhigacchati  // 5.24 //

He  who is happy within, who rejoices within, who is illumined within, such a Yogi attains absolute freedom or Moksha, himself  becoming a Brahman.

It  will be seen from the above three verses that the man of perfection does not  attain joy in the ordinary sensual objects of the world. Renouncing all these  he reaches a state of bliss where there is no place for desire or anger, love  or hatred.  The Lord says such a man alone  can be said to be happy. Such an individual who lives in the Self is the one  who has known Brahman. He becomes a Jivanmukta. The next verse clarifies that  this state is not annihilation but the positive one full of knowledge and  Self-possession.
    labhante brahma nirvaanam rishayah  ksheena kalmashaah
    chinnadwaidhaa yataatmaanah  sarvabhootahite rataah  // 5.25 //

With  sins destroyed, doubts dispelled, senses controlled, and devoting themselves to  the welfare of all beings, the sages attain freedom in Brahman.

When  a man of perfection brings his senses under control, his sinful mental  impressions are cleared which were blocking his vision of the Self behind  several doubts about the Reality. Knowledge of his real nature comes to dawn on  him and he comes to rediscover himself as the Self.

Having  thus reached the goal of all evolution his duties till he leaves his mortal  body will be to engage himself in the good of all beings. Thus loka-seva becomes his obsession. To overcome the world is not to become other-worldly. It  is not to evade social responsibilities. His body, mind and intellect are  offered to the sacred fire of activity for the common welfare while remaining  at rest with himself and living in an unbroken consciousness of the Divine, the  Eternal.

The  two sides of religion viz. personal and social are emphasized here.

kaamakrodha viyuktaanaam yateenaam  yatachetasaam
    abhito brahma nirvaanam vartate  viditaatmanaam  // 5.26 //

Released  from desire and anger, the mind controlled, the Self realized, absolute freedom  exists for such Yogins both here and hereafter.

When  the seeker conquers his lust and anger and can face all the threats coming from  within and without, he knows the Self and gains the Bliss of Perfection both  here and hereafter.

The  import of this verse is that those who renounce all actions and do intense Sravana,  Manana and Nididhyasana, who are established in the Self and who are  steadily devoted to knowledge of the Self, attain liberation instantly (Sankhya  Yoga).  But Karma Yoga in which action is  performed in complete devotion to The Lord and as dedication to Him, leads to  liberation step by step; first  the  purification of the mind, then knowledge, then renunciation of all action and  lastly liberation.

To  enunciate the Dhyana Yoga, which is the nearest and effective means to right  knowledge, The Lord teaches the path of meditation in the following two verses.

sparshaan kritwaa bahir  baahyaamshchakshus chaivaantare bhruvoh
    praanaapaanau samau kritwaa  naasaabhyantara chaarinau  // 5.27 //

yatendriya manobuddhir munir  mokshaparaayanah
    vigatecchaabhayakrodho yah sadaa mukta  eva sah  // 5.28 //

Shutting  out all external contacts, steadying the gaze of his eyes between the eyebrows,  regulating the outward and inward breaths flowing within his nostrils, the  senses, mind  and intellect controlled,  with Moksha (Liberation) as the supreme goal, freed from desire, fear and anger,  such a man of meditation is verily liberated for ever.

In  these two verses The Lord has given a pre-view of the next Chapter.  Sri Krishna gives a scheme of practice by  which one can gain in himself a complete integration.

The  external world of objects by itself cannot bring any disturbances unless one  remains in contact with them through body, mind or intellect.  But if we shut out external objects - not  physically- but through discreet intellectual detachment at the mental plane,  we shall discover in ourselves the necessary tranquility for starting  meditation.

Then  the gaze should be fixed in between the eye brows so that the eye balls remain  steady. This is followed by rhythmical breathing which makes the mind quiet and  perfect harmony is developed in the system. These instructions relate to  physical adjustments.

The  instructions relating to mental and intellectual adjustments are then given.  The seeker is asked to be free from desire, fear and anger to attain perfect  peace of mind. When the senses, mind and intellect are subjugated by dedicating  all his outer and inner activities to achieve the goal of realizing the Self he  attains liberation. The mind gets restless because of the agitations caused by  desire, fear and anger. When it is desireless, it proceeds towards the Self  spontaneously and Liberation becomes one's highest goal. When an individual  follows these steps he can remain in the contemplation of Truth without any  distractions. Such a man of meditation comes to experience the freedom of the  God-hood before long.

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