05ChapterBG  CHAPTER V

True Renunciation

Sāṁkhya and Yoga lead to the same goal

Translation and Comment by Dr. Radhakrishnan

Sanskrit Text, Transliteration, word meaning

By Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

अर्जुन उवाच 

संन्यासं कर्मणां कृष्ण पुनर्योगं च शंससि ।

यच्छ्रेय एतयोरेकं तन्मे ब्रूहि सुनिश्चितम् ॥५- १॥

arjuna uvāca

saṁnyāsaṁ karmaṇāṁ kṛṣṇa punar yogaṁ ca śaṁsasi
yac chreya etayor ekaṁ tan me brūhi suniścitam 5.1

arjuna uvāca

sannyāsam1 karmaṇām2 kṛṣṇa3 punaḥ4 yogam5 ca6 śaṁsasi7
yat8 sreyaḥ9 etayoḥ10 ekam11 tat12 me13 brūhi14 suniścitam15  5.1  

 

arjuna uvāca  = Arjuna said; kṛṣṇa3 = O Krishna; śaṁsasi7 = You praise; yogam5 = Yoga; [of] sannyāsam1 = renunciation;  ca6 = and; punaḥ4 = again; karmaṇām2 = of actions. etayoḥ10 = Of the two; brūhi14 = tell; me13 = me; suniścitam15 = for sure; tat12 = that; ekam11 = one; yat8 sreyaḥ9  = which is better.   5.1

 

      Arjuna said:

(5.1) Thou praisest, O Kṛṣṇa, the renunciation of works and again their unselfish performance. Tell me for certain which one is the better of these two.

  S. argues that the question is with reference to the unenlightened, for the man who has realized the Self has no longer any object to gain since he has achieved all. In III, 17, it is said that he has no more duties to perform. In such passages as III, 4 and IV, 6, the method of work is enjoined as an accessory to the acquisition of the knowledge of the Self, while in VI, 3, it is said that the man who has obtained right knowledge has no longer anything to do with work. Further, in IV, 21, all action is denied to him except that which is required for bodily maintenance. The man who knows the true nature of the Self is directed in V, 8, always to meditate with a concentrated mind on the idea that it is not "1" that do it. It is not possible to imagine even in a dream that the man who knows the Self can have anything to do with work so opposed to right knowledge and entirely based on illusory knowledge.1 So S. contends that Arjuna's question relates only to those who have not known the Self. For the ignorant, work is better than renunciation.

  The intention of the Gītā right through seems to be that the work to be abandoned is selfish work which binds us to the chain of karma and not all activity. We cannot be saved by works alone" but works are not opposed to saving wisdom.

 1ātmatattvavidaḥ, saṁyagdarśanaviruddho mithyājānahetukah karmayogaḥ svapnepi na sambhāvayituṁ śakyate

 

श्रीभगवानुवाच

संन्यासः कर्मयोगश्च निःश्रेयसकरावुभौ ।

तयोस्तु कर्मसंन्यासात्कर्मयोगो विशिष्यते ॥५- २॥

śrībhagavān uvāca

saṁnyāsaḥ karmayogas ca niḥśreyasakarāv ubhau

tayos tu karmasaṁnyāsāt karmayogo viśiṣyate 5.2

śrībhagavān uvāca

sannyāsaḥ1 karmayogaḥ2 ca3 niḥśreyasa-karāv4 ubhau5

tayoḥ6 tu7 karma-sannyāsāt8 karmayogaḥ9 viśiṣyate10  5.2

 

śrībhagavān uvāca  = Sri Bhagavan said; ubhau5 = both; sannyāsaḥ1 = renunciation;  ca3 = and; karmayogaḥ2 = Karma Yoga;  niḥśreyasa-karāv4 = lead to salvation; tu7 = but; tayoḥ6 = of the two;  karma-sannyāsāt8 = (as compared to) renunciation of action; karmayogaḥ9 = Karma yoga; viśiṣyate10 = is better.  5.2

 

 The Blessed Lord said:

(5.2) The renunciation of works and their unselfish performance both lead to the soul's salvation. But of the two, the unselfish performance of works is better than their renunciation.1

  The Sāṁkhya method involves the renunciation of works and the Yoga insists on their performance in the right spirit. They are at bottom the same but the Yoga way comes more naturally to us. The two ways are not inconsistent. In Sāṁkhya, jāna or insight is emphasized. In Yoga, volitional effort is stressed. In one, we know the Self by thinking away the alien elements; in the other, we will them away.

1 See III, 8.

 

ज्ञेयः स नित्यसंन्यासी यो न द्वेष्टि न काङ्क्षति ।

निर्द्वन्द्वो हि महाबाहो सुखं बन्धात्प्रमुच्यते ॥५- ३॥

jeyaḥ sa nityasaṁnyāsī yo na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati
nirdvandvo hi mahābāho sukhaṁ bandhāt pramucyate 5.3

jeyaḥ1 saḥ2 nitya-sannyāsī3 yaḥ4 na5 dveṣṭi6 na7 kāṅkṣati8
nirdvandvaḥ9 hi10 mahābāho11 sukham12 bandhāt13 pramucyate14   5.3

 

jeyaḥ1 = [It] should be known; saḥ2 = he; yaḥ4 na5 dveṣṭi6 = who neither hates; na7 kāṅkṣati8 = nor desires; [is] nitya-sannyāsī3 = an abiding (perpetual) relinquisher; nirdvandvaḥ9 = one free from dualities; [and] hi10 = for sure; pramucyate14  = attains liberation; sukham12 = easily; bandhāt13 = from bondage;  mahābāho11 = O mighty-armed one.   5.3

 

 (5.3) He who neither loathes nor desires should be known as one who has ever the spirit of renunciation; for free from dualities he is released easily; O Mighty-armed (Arjuna), from bondage.

nityasaṁnyāsī: one who has ever the spirit of renunciation. The true worker (karmayogin) is also the true renouncer (nitya saṁnyāsin), for he does his work in a detached spirit.1

1 sa karmāṇi pravṛttopi nityaṁ saṁnyāsīti jeyaḥ. Madhusūdana

 

सांख्ययोगौ पृथग्बालाः प्रवदन्ति न पण्डिताः ।

एकमप्यास्थितः सम्यगुभयोर्विन्दते फलम् ॥५- ४॥

sāṁkhyayogau pṛthag bālāḥ pravadanti na paṇḍitāḥ
ekam apy āsthitaḥ samyag ubhayor vindate phalam 5.4

sāṅkhya yogau1 pṛthak2 bālāḥ3 pravadanti4 na5 paṇḍitāḥ6
ekam7 api8 āsthitaḥ9 samyak10 ubhayoḥ11 vindate12 phalam13  5.4

 

bālāḥ3 = The ignorant; na5 paṇḍitāḥ6 = [but] not the learned ones; pravadanti4 = say; sāṅkhya yogau1 = Sankhya Yoga [path of knowledge and karma yoga]; pṛthak2 = are different. [One who is] samyak10  = accomplished; [and] āsthitaḥ9 = abiding in; api8 ekam7 = even one ; vindate12 phalam13 = enjoys the fruits; ubhayoḥ11 = of both. 5.4

 

 (5.4) The ignorant speak of renunciation (Sāṁkhya) and practice of works (Yoga) as different, not the wise. He who applies himself well to one, gets the fruit of both.

In this chapter, Yoga means karmayoga and Sāṁkhya means the intellectual way with renunciation of works.

 

यत्सांख्यैः प्राप्यते स्थानं तद्योगैरपि गम्यते ।

एकं सांख्यं च योगं च यः पश्यति स पश्यति ॥५- ५॥

yat  sāṁkhyaiḥ prāpyate sthānaṁ tad yogair api gamyate
ekaṁ sāṁkhyaṁ ca yogaṁ ca yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati  5.5

yat1  sāṅkhyaiḥ2 prāpyate3 sthānam4 tat5 yogaiḥ6 api7 gamyate8
ekam9 sāṁkhyam10 ca11 yogam12 ca13 yaḥ14 paśyati15 sah16 paśyati17  5.5

 

tat5 = That; sthānam4 = place [state of Liberation, Paramapadam]; yat1 prāpyate3 = that is reached; sāṅkhyaiḥ2 = by the Sankhyas; gamyate8 = is attained; yogaiḥ6 = by the Yogis; api7 = also. sah16 = He; yaḥ14 = who; paśyati17  = sees; sāṁkhyam10 = Saṅkhya; ca11 = and; yogam12 = Yoga; ca13 = as; ekam9 = one; paśyati15 = sees.  5.5

 

(5.5) The status which is obtained by men of renunciation is reached by men of action also. He who sees that the ways of renunciation and of action are one, he sees (truly).

5(b) appears elsewhere in the M.B., Śāntiparva, 305, 19; 316, 4.1 The true renouncer is not he who remains completely inactive but he whose work is done in a spirit of detachment.Renunciation is a mental attitude, the casting-off of desire in work; true work is work with all desire renounced. There is not any opposition between the two. Cp. "When actions are performed by the wise man or the fool, the body (that is the external act) is the same but the inward understanding is different.2 M.B.says that the Bhāgavata religion is equal in merit to the Sāṁkhya religion."3

I Cp. yad eva yogaḥ pasyanti tat Sāṁkhyair api dṛśyate

ekaṁ Sāṁkhyaṁ ca yogaṁ ca yaḥ, paśyati. sa tattvavit.

2 prājaśya mūrkhasya ca kāryayoge

samatvam abhyeti tanur na buddhiḥ.-Avimāra, V, 5.

3 Sāṁkhyayogena tulyo hi dharma ekāntasevitaḥ. Śāntiparva, 348. 71.

 संन्यासस्तु महाबाहो दुःखमाप्तुमयोगतः ।

योगयुक्तो मुनिर्ब्रह्म नचिरेणाधिगच्छति ॥५- ६॥

saṁnyāsas tu mahābāho duḥkham āptum ayogataḥ
yogayukto munir brahma nacireṇādhigacchati 5.6

sannyāsaḥ1 tu2 mahābāho3 duḥkham4 āptum5 ayogataḥ6
yoga-yuktaḥ7 muniḥ8 brahma9 na10 cireṇa11 adhigacchati12   5.6

 

tu2 = But;  sannyāsaḥ1 = renunciation; ayogataḥ6 = without yoga; mahābāho3 = O Mighty-armed one; [is] duḥkham4 = difficult;  āptum5 = to attain.  yoga-yuktaḥ7 = He who practices Karma-Yoga; [being]  muniḥ8 = the Muni [the silent one, the meditative sage]; adhigacchati12  =  attains12  brahma9 = Brahman; na10 cireṇa11 = without10 delay115.6

 

 (5.6) But renunciation, O Mighty-armed (Arjuna), is difficult to attain without yoga; the sage who is earnest in yoga (the way of works) attains soon to the Absolute.

 

योगयुक्तो विशुद्धात्मा विजितात्मा जितेन्द्रियः ।

सर्वभूतात्मभूतात्मा कुर्वन्नपि न लिप्यते ॥५- ७॥

yogayukto viśuddhātmā vijitātmā jitendriyaḥ
sarvabhūtātmabhūtātmā kurvann api na lipyate 5.7

yoga-yuktaḥ1 viśuddha-ātmā2 vijita-ātmā3 jita-indriyaḥ4
sarva-bhūtātma-bhūtātmā5 kurvan6 api7 na8 lipyate9  5.7

 

yoga-yuktaḥ1 = Karma Yogi; viśuddha-ātmā2 = pure in mind; vijita-ātmā3 = controlled in body; jita-indriyaḥ4 = conqueror of the sense organs; [identifies] sarva-bhūta5A ātma5B-bhūtātmā5C = his Self5B with the selves of5C all beings5A; kurvan6 api7 = while7 performing actions6.  [He] na8 lipyate9  = is not8 tainted9.    5.7

 

(5.7) He who is trained in the way of works, and is pure in soul, who is master of his self and who has conquered the senses, whose soul becomes the self of all beings, he is not tainted by works, though he works.

He renounces all actions inwardly, not outwardly. Even S. admits that such action is quite consistent with the knowledge of Self. Even if he acts for the sake of world-solidarity, he is not bound by actions. 1

1saḥ, ... lokasasaṁgrahāya karma kurvann apt na lipyate, na karmabhir badhyate.

 

नैव किंचित्करोमीति युक्तो मन्येत तत्त्ववित् ।

पश्यञ्श्रृण्वन्स्पृशञ्जिघ्रन्नश्नन्‌गच्छन्स्वपञ्श्वसन् ॥५- ८॥

naiva kiṁcit karomīti yukto manyeta tattvavit

paśya śṛṇvan spṛśa jighrann aśnan gacchan svapa śvasan 5.8

na1 eva2 kicit3 karomī4 iti5 yuktaḥ6 manyeta7 tattva-vit8

paśya9 śṛṇvan10 spṛśa11 jighran12 aśnan13 gacchan14 svapa15 śvasan16 5.8

 

tattva-vit8 = Knower of Reality; yuktaḥ6 = having been engaged in Yoga; manyeta7 = should think; [that he]  na1 = never; eva2 = really; karomī4 = does; kicit3 = anything; [while] iti5 = thus ;  paśya9 = seeing; śṛṇvan10 = hearing; spṛśa11 = touching; jighran12 = smelling; aśnan13 = eating; gacchan14 = moving; svapa15 = sleeping; śvasan16  = breathing...  5.8

 

 (5.8) The man who is united with the Divine and knows the truth thinks "I do nothing at all" for in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting, walking, sleeping, breathing;

 प्रलपन्विसृजन्गृह्णन्नुन्मिषन्निमिषन्नपि ।

इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेषु वर्तन्त इति धारयन् ॥५- ९॥

pralapan visṛjan gṛhṇann unmiṣan nimiṣann api
indriyāṇīndriyārtheṣu vartanta iti dhārayan 5.9

pralapan1 visṛjan2 gṛhṇan3 unmiṣan4 nimiṣan5 api6
indriyāṇi7 indriya-atheṣu8 vartanta9 iti10 dhārayan11  5.9  

 

pralapan1 = speaking; visṛjan2 = excreting [discharging]; gṛhṇan3 = grasping; unmiṣan4 = opening; nimiṣan5 =  closing; api6 = though; dhārayan11 = realizing; iti10 = thus; indriyāṇi7 = all sense organs; vartanta9 = operate; indriya-atheṣu8  = in the respective sense objects . 5.9

 

(5.9) In speaking, emitting, grasping, opening and closing the eyes he holds that only the senses are occupied with the objects of the senses.

■We are called upon to realize the self in us which is pure and free and distinct from the factors of prakṛti or objective universe. The constituents of the ego are impermanent, a flux which changes from moment to moment. There is no changeless center or immortal nucleus in these pretenders to selfhood.

 

ब्रह्मण्याधाय कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा करोति यः ।

लिप्यते न स पापेन पद्मपत्रमिवाम्भसा ॥५- १०॥

brahmaṇy ādhāya karmāṇi saṅgaṁ tyaktvā karoti yaḥ
lipyate na sa pāpena padmapatram ivāmbhasā 5.10

brahmaṇi1 ādhāya2 karmāṇi3 saṅgam4 tyaktvā5 karoti6 yaḥ7
lipyate8 na9 saḥ10 pāpena11 padma-patram12 iva13 ambhasā14  5.10 

 

saḥ10 = He; yaḥ7= who; ādhāya2 = dedicates; [his] karmāṇi3 = actions; brahmaṇi1 = to Brahman; tyaktvā5 = by relinquishing; saṅgam4 = [worldy] attachment; [to] karoti6 = acts;  na9 lipyate8 = is not9 tainted8;  pāpena11 = by sin;  iva13 padma-patram12 = like13 lotus leaf12; ambhasā14  =  in the water. 5.10

 

(5.10) He who works, having given up attachment, resigning his actions to God, is not touched by sin, even as a lotus leaf (is untouched) by water.

The Gītā requires us, not to renounce works but to do them, offering them to the Supreme in which alone is immortality. When we renounce our attachment to the finite ego and its likes and dislikes and place our actions in the Eternal, we acquire the true renunciation which is consistent with free activity in the world. Such a renouncer acts not for his fleeting finite self but for the Self which is in us all.1

brahmaṇi1 ādhāya2 karmāṇi3. R. makes Brahman equivalent to prakṛti.

1Cp. Emerson:

"Teach me your mood, O patient stars;

Who climb each night the ancient sky,

Leaving on space no shade, no scars;

No trace of age, no fear to die."

 

कायेन मनसा बुद्ध्या केवलैरिन्द्रियैरपि ।

योगिनः कर्म कुर्वन्ति सङ्गं त्यक्त्वात्मशुद्धये ॥५- ११॥

kāyena manasā buddhyā kevalair indriyair api
yoginaḥ karma kurvanti saṅgaṁ tyaktvātmaśuddhaye 5.11

kāyena1 manasā2 buddhyā3 kevalaiḥ4 indriyaiḥ5 api6
yoginaḥ7 karma8 kurvanti9 saṅgam10 tyaktvā11 ātma12 śuddhaye13  5.11  

 

yoginaḥ7 = The Yogis; tyaktvā11 = give up; saṅgam10 = attachment [to fruits of actions]; [and] kurvanti9 = perform; karma8 = work, actions; kevalaiḥ4 = merely;  kāyena1 = with the body; manasā2 = with the mind; buddhyā3 = with the intellect; [and] api6 = even; indriyaiḥ5 = with the senses; ātma12 śuddhaye13  = for the purification13 of the self12 or themselves. 5.11

 

(5.11) The yogins (men of action) perform works merely with the body, mind, understanding or merely with the senses, abandoning attachment, for the purification of their souls.

 

युक्तः कर्मफलं त्यक्त्वा शान्तिमाप्नोति नैष्ठिकीम् ।

अयुक्तः कामकारेण फले सक्तो निबध्यते ॥५- १२॥

yuktaḥ karmaphalaṁ tyaktvā śāntim āpnoti naiṣṭhikīm

ayuktaḥ kāmakāreṇa phale sakto nibadhyate 5.12

yuktaḥ1 karma-phalam2 tyaktvā3 śāntim4 āpnoti5 naiṣṭhikīm6

ayuktaḥ7 kāma-kāreṇa8 phale9 saktaḥ10 nibadhyate11   5.12

 

yuktaḥ1 = Karma yogi; tyaktvā3 = giving up; karma-phalam2  = the fruits of actions;  āpnoti5 = attains; śāntim4 = peace; naiṣṭhikīm6 = coming from steadfastness. ayuktaḥ7 = Man not pursuing Yoga; kāma-kāreṇa8  = by induction of desires; saktaḥ10 = attached;  phale9 = to the fruit; nibadhyate11 = is bound.   5.12

 

(5.12) The soul earnest (or devoted) attains to peace well founded, by abandoning attachment to the fruits of works, but he 'whose soul is not in union with the Divine is impelled by desire, and is attached to the fruit (of action) and is (therefore) bound.

yuktaḥ1 or disciplined in action.

śāntim4. When the peace of God descends on us, Divine knowledge floods our being with a light which illumines and transforms making clear all that was before dark and obscure.

The Enlightened Self

सर्वकर्माणि मनसा संन्यस्यास्ते सुखं वशी ।

नवद्वारे पुरे देही नैव कुर्वन्न कारयन् ॥५- १३॥

sarvakarmāṇi manasā saṁnyasyāste sukhaṁ vaśī

navadvāre pure dehī naiva kurvan na kārayan 5.13

sarva1 karmāṇi2 manasā3 sannyasya4 āste5 sukham6 vaśī7

nava-dvāre8 pure9 dehī10 na11 eva12 kurvan13 na14 kārayan15   5.13

 

dehī10 = The embodied soul; [and]  vaśī7 = self-controlled man; sannyasya4 = renouncing; sarva1 karmāṇi2 = all activities; manasā3 = mentally;  āste5 = remains; sukham6 = in happiness; [in] nava-dvāre8 pure9 = the nine gates8 city9 [body has nine openings]; na11 eva12 kurvan13  = neither11 really12 doing any work13; na14 kārayan15 = nor14 causing any work15.   5.13

 

(5.13) The embodied (soul), who has controlled his nature having renounced all actions by the mind (inwardly) dwells at ease in the city of nine gates, neither working nor causing work to be done.

Cp. Kaṭha Up. V, I.

The nine gates are the two eyes, the two ears, the two nostrils, and the mouth and the two organs of excretion and generation.

See Śvetāśvatara Up., III, 18.

 

न कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभुः ।

न कर्मफलसंयोगं स्वभावस्तु प्रवर्तते ॥५- १४॥

na kartṛtvaṁ na karmāṇi lokasya sṛjati prabhuḥ
na karmaphalasaṁyogaṁ svabhāvas tu pravartate 5.14

na1 kartṛtvam2 na3 karmāṇ4 lokasya5 sṛjati6 prabhuḥ7
na8 karma-phala9 saṁyogam10 svabhāvaḥ11 tu12 pravartate13   5.14

 

prabhuḥ7= Bhagavan, the Self;  sṛjati6 = creates; lokasya5 = for people; na1 kartṛtvam2  = no agency or doership; na3 karmāṇ4 = no activities; [and] na8  karma-phala9 saṁyogam10 = no connection between work and fruits [no8  work-fruits9-union10]; tu12 = but; svabhāvaḥ11 = one's own nature; pravartate13  = acts, prevails.  5.14

 

(5.14) The Sovereign Self does not create for the people agency, nor does He act. Nor does He connect works with their fruits. It is nature that works out (these).

prabhuḥ7is the Sovereign Self of the knower, the Real Self which is one with all that is.

 

नादत्ते कस्यचित्पापं न चैव सुकृतं विभुः ।

अज्ञानेनावृतं ज्ञानं तेन मुह्यन्ति जन्तवः ॥५- १५॥ 

nādatte kasyacit pāpaṁ na caiva sukṛtaṁ vibhuḥ
ajānenāvṛtaṁ jānaṁ tena muhyanti jantavaḥ 5.15

na1 ādatte2 kasyacit3 pāpam4 na5 ca6 eva7 sukṛtam8 vibhuḥ9
ajānena10 āvṛtam11 jānam12 tena13 muhyanti14 jantavaḥ15   5.15

 

vibhuḥ9 = The all-pervading Brahman; na1 ādatte2  = neither accepts; kasyacit3 = anyone's; pāpam4 = sin; na5 ca6 eva7 sukṛtam8 = nor5 also6 surely7 virtuous acts8 [merits].  jānam12 =  knowledge; āvṛtam11 = is enveloped; ajānena10 = by ignorance; tena13 = thereby ; jantavaḥ15 = living beings; muhyanti14 = are deluded . 5.15

 

(5.15) The All-pervading Spirit does not take on the sin or the merit of any. Wisdom is enveloped by ignorance; thereby creatures are bewildered.

vibhuḥ9: all-pervading. Each soul is not a separate monad, eternal and changeless. Vibhuḥ refers either to the Self of the jānin or the Supreme Self, which are identical in Advaita Vedanta.

ajānena10: by ignorance. It is the ignorance which makes us believe in the ultimateness of the multiplicity,

jānam12: wisdom. It is the wisdom which is the one basis of all distinctions.1

1 ajaneṇavaranavikṣepaśaktimatā māyākhyenā,'nṛtena tamasā jānam

Jīveśvarajagadbhedabhramādhikṣṭhānabhūtaṁ nityaṁ svaprakāśam

saccidānandarūpam advitīyaṁ paramārthasatyam. Madhusūdana

 

ज्ञानेन तु तदज्ञानं येषां नाशितमात्मनः ।

तेषामादित्यवज्ज्ञानं प्रकाशयति तत्परम् ॥५- १६॥

jānena tu tad ajānaṁ yeṣāṁ nāśitam ātmanaḥ
teṣām ādityavaj jānaṁ prakāśayati tat param 5.16

jānena1 tu2 tat3 ajānam4 yeṣām5 nāśitam6 ātmanaḥ7
teṣām8 ādityavat9 jānam10 prakāśayati11 tat12 param13  5.16  

 

tu2 = But; ātmanaḥ7 = of the living beings;  yeṣām5 = in whom; tat3 ajānam4 = that ignorance;  nāśitam6 = is destroyed; jānena1 = by knowledge; teṣām8 = their; jānam10 = knowledge; ādityavat9 = like the sun; prakāśayati11 = illumines;  tat12 param13  = that12 Supreme13.   5.16

 

(5.16) But for those in whom ignorance is destroyed by wisdom, for them wisdom lights up the Supreme Self like the sun.

tat12 param13 : paramartha tattvam: ultimate reality. S.

The Self above the ego is not touched by sin or merit, by joy or sorrow. It is the witness of all.

 

तद्‌बुद्धयस्तदात्मानस्तन्निष्ठास्तत्परायणाः ।

गच्छन्त्यपुनरावृत्तिं ज्ञाननिर्धूतकल्मषाः ॥५- १७॥

tadbuddhayas tadātmānas tanniṣṭhās tatparāyaṇāḥ
gacchanty apunarāvṛttiṁ jānanirdhūtakalmaṣāḥ 5.17

tat-buddhayaḥ1 tat-ātmānaḥ2 tat-niṣṭhāḥ3 tat-parāyaṇā4
gacchanti5 apunaḥ-āvṛttim6 jāna7 nirdhūta8 kalmaṣāḥ5.17

 

tat-buddhayaḥ1 = The one whose Buddhi abides in That [the Supreme]; tat-ātmānaḥ2 = whose mind abides in That;  tat-niṣṭhāḥ3  = who is steadfast in That; [and] tat-parāyaṇā4  = who has That as the Supreme Goal; gacchanti5 = attains;  apunaḥ-āvṛttim6  = that from which there is no return [ liberation]; [havingjāna7 nirdhūta8 kalmaṣāḥ= sin cleansed by knowledge [knowledge7-cleansed8-dirt9].   5.17

 

(5.I7) Thinking of That, directing one's whole conscious being to That, making That their whole aim, with That as the sole object of their devotion, they reach a state from which there is no return, their sins washed away by wisdom.

The false ego determined by works disappears and the Jīva realizes its identity with the Supreme Self and works from that center. 

 विद्याविनयसंपन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि ।

शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिताः समदर्शिनः ॥५- १८॥

vidyāvinayasaṁpanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śvapāke ca paṇḍitāḥ samadarśinaḥ 5.18

vidya1 vinaya2 sampanne3 brāhmaṇe4 gavi5 hastini6
śuni
7 ca8 eva9 śvapāke10 ca11 paṇḍitāḥ12 sama-darśina13  5.18

 

paṇḍitāḥ12 = The learned ones; sama-darśina13  = see with equal view [eye]; brāhmaṇe4 = on a Brahmana; vidya1 vinaya2 sampanne3  = endowed with knowledge and humility = [learning1-humility2-endowed3];  gavi5 = on a cow; hastini6 = on the elephant; ca8 = and; śuni7 = on the dog;  ca11 eva9 = and surely; śvapāke10 = on the dog-eater.   5.18

 

(5.18) Sages see with an equal eye, a learned and humble Brahmin, a cow, an elephant or even a dog or an outcaste.

vidyāvinayasaṁpanne = vidya1 vinaya2 sampanne3: great learning brings great humility. As our knowledge increases we become increasingly aware of the encircling darkness. It is when we light the candle that we see how dark it is. What we know is practically nothing compared to what we do not know.1 A little knowledge leads to dogmatism, a little more to questioning and a little more takes us to prayer. Besides, humility comes from the knowledge that we are sustained in existence by the love of God. The greatest thinkers of all ages were deeply religious men.

vinaya2: humility or rather modesty which is the result of cultivation or discipline. The first division of the Buddhist. Tripitaka is called vinaya or discipline. vinaya is the opposite of pride or insolence. The recognition of dependence on non-human factors produces cosmic piety. The truly learned are humble.

samadarśinaḥ:see with an equal eye. The Eternal is the same in all, in animals, as in men, in learned Brahmins as in despised outcasts. The light of Brahman dwells in all bodies and is not affected by the differences in the bodies it illumines. The characteristics of the Supreme, being, consciousness and bliss, are present in all existences and the differences relate to their names and forms, that is, their embodiments.2 When we look at things from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality present in all, we "see with an equal eye.''3 The fundamental dualism is that of spirit and nature and not of soul and body. It is the distinction between the subject and the object. Nature is the world of objectivization, of alienation, of determinability. There

we have, the distinction of minerals, plants and animals and men, but they all have an inner non-objective existence. The subject, Reality, dwells in all of them. This affirmation of basic identity is not inconsistent with the empirical variety. Even S. admits that the one eternal reality is revealing itself in higher and higher forms through successive stages of manifestation.4 The empirical variety should not hide from us the metaphysical reality which all beings have in common ..This view makes us look upon our fellow beings with kindliness and compassion. The wise see the one God in all beings and develop the quality of equal-mindedness which is characteristic of the Divine.

1The familiar sentence of the great Newton illustrates this: ''I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay undiscovered before me:' I might transcribe a sentence of Henry Adams. ''After all, man knows mighty little, and may some day learn enough of his own ignorance to fall down and pray.'

2 aṣti bhāti priyaṁ rūpam nāmacet' amśapacakam

ādyam trayaṁ brahmarūpaṁ jagadrūpaṁ tato dvayam.

3 carācaram jagad bramadrṣṭaIyaiva pasyantī. Nīlakaṇṭha. 

4 ekasyāpi kūtastkasya cittatārataṁyāt, jānaiśvaryāṇām abhivyakhiḥ

pasṇa pareṇa bhūyasī bhavati. S-B.I., 3, 30.

 

इहैव तैर्जितः सर्गो येषां साम्ये स्थितं मनः ।

निर्दोषं हि समं ब्रह्म तस्माद्ब्रह्मणि ते स्थिताः ॥५- १९॥

ihaiva tair jitaḥ sargo yeṣāṁ sāmye sthitaṁ manaḥ
nirdoṣaṁ hi samaṁ brahma tasmād brahmaṇi te sthitāḥ 5.19

iha1 eva2 taiḥ3 jitaḥ4 sargaḥ5 yeṣām6 sāmye7 sthitam8 manaḥ9
nirdoṣam10 hi11 samam12 brahma13 tasmāt14 brahmaṇi15 te16 sthitāḥ17  5.19

 

iha1 = Here; eva2 = surely; sargaḥ5 = the created world [Samsara];  jitaḥ4 = is conquered; taiḥ3 = by them; yeṣām6 = whose;  manaḥ9 = mind; sthitam8 = is established; sāmye7 = on equality, equilibrium.  brahma13 = Brahman; hi11 = certainly; [is] nirdoṣam10 = flawless; [and] samam12 = the same. tasmāt14 = Therefore; te16 = they; sthitāḥ17 = are established; brahmaṇi15 = in Brahman .  5.19

 

 (5.I9) Even here (on earth) the created (world) is overcome by those whose mind is established in equality. God is flawless and the same in all. Therefore are these (persons) established in God.

See Chāndogya Up., II, 23.1. The state of liberation is one which we can attain here on earth.

 न प्रहृष्येत्प्रियं प्राप्य नोद्विजेत्प्राप्य चाप्रियम् ।

स्थिरबुद्धिरसंमूढो ब्रह्मविद्ब्रह्मणि स्थितः ॥५- २०॥

na prahṛṣyet priyaṁ prāpya nodvijet prāpya cāpriyam

sthirabuddhir asaṁmūḍho brahmavid brahmaṇi sthitaḥ 5.20

na1 prahṛṣyet2 priyam3 prāpya4 na5 udvijet6 prāpya7 ca8 apriyam9

sthira-buddhiḥ10 asammūḍhaḥ11 brahmavit12 brahmaṇi13 sthitaḥ14  5.20

 

[He] na1 = neither; prahṛṣyet2 = rejoices; prāpya4 = on attaining;  priyam3 = the pleasant, the desirable; na5 = nor; udvijet6 = trembles, grieves; prāpya7 = by getting; ca8 = also; apriyam9 = the unpleasant.  [He is] sthira-buddhiḥ10  = the steady intelligent one; brahmavit12 = the knower of Brahman; asammūḍhaḥ11 = the unbewildered; [and]sthitaḥ14 = remains established; brahmaṇi13 = in Brahman.   5.20

 

(5.20) One should not rejoice on obtaining what is pleasant nor sorrow on obtaining what is unpleasant. He who is (thus) firm of understanding and unbewildered, (such a) knower of God is established in God.

brahmaṇi13 sthitaḥ14 : established in God. He gets at It, reaches It, enters into It and is fairly established in It.

 

बाह्यस्पर्शेष्वसक्तात्मा विन्दत्यात्मनि यत् सुखम् ।

स ब्रह्मयोगयुक्तात्मा सुखमक्षयमश्नुते ॥५- २१॥

bāhyasparśeṣv asaktātmā vindaty ātmani yat sukham
sa brahmayogayuktātmā sukham akṣayam aśnute 5.21

bāhya-sparśeṣu1 asakta-ātmā2 vindati3 ātmani4 yat5 sukham6

saḥ7 brahma-yoga8 yukta-ātmā9 sukham10 akṣayam11 aśnute12  5.21 

 

asakta2A-ātmā2B  = One2B with no attachment2A; bāhya1A-sparśeṣu1B = to external1A sense objects1B; vindati3 = obtains; sukham6 = happiness; yat5 = which is; ātmani4 = in the Self.  saḥ7 = he; [is] brahma-yoga8 yukta-ātmā9  = one absorbed9 in Brahma yoga8; [and] aśnute12 = experiences; akṣayam11 = undecaying; sukham10 = happiness.   5.21

 

(5.21) When the soul is no longer attached to external contacts (objects) one finds the happiness that is in the Self. Such a one who is self-controlled in Yoga on God (Brahma) enjoys undying bliss.

He, who has freed himself. from the phantoms of the senses and lives in the Eternal, enjoys the bliss divine.1

1Cp, Brother Lawrence: " I know" that, for the right practice of it, the heart must be empty of all else; because God wills to possess the heart alone; and as He cannot possess it alone unless it is empty of all else, so He cannot work in it what He would unless it be left vacant for Him." The Practice of the Presence of God.

 

ये हि संस्पर्शजा भोगा दुःखयोनय एव ते ।

आद्यन्तवन्तः कौन्तेय न तेषु रमते बुधः ॥५- २२॥

ye hi saṁsparśajā bhogā duḥkhayonaya eva te
ādyantavantaḥ kaunteya na teṣu ramate budhaḥ 5.22

ye1 hi2 saṁsparśajāḥ3 bhogaḥ4 duḥkha5 yonayaḥ6 eva7 te8
ādi9 anta10 vantaḥ11 kaunteya12 na13 teṣu14 ramate15 budhaḥ16 5.22

 

ye1 = Certainly;  bhogaḥ4 = enjoyments; saṁsparśajāḥ3 = result from contact between senses and their objects; hi2 = which; [are] eva7 = indeed; duḥkha5 yonayaḥ6 = sources6 of sorrow5te8= They; ādi9 anta10 vantaḥ11 = have11 a beginning9 and an end10; kaunteya12 = O son of Kuntibudhaḥ16 = The wise; na13 teṣu14 ramate15  = never delight in them [never13 in them14 delight15].  5.22

 

(5.22) Whatever pleasures are born of contacts (with objects) are only sources of sorrow, they have a beginning and an end, o Son of Kuntī (Arjuna) no wise man delights in them.

1See II, 14n .2 

Cp, Bhāgavata

1sukhasyānantaraṁ duḥkhaṁ duḥkhasyānantaram sukham

cakravat parivarttete sukhaduḥkhe nirantaram.

 शक्नोतीहैव यः सोढुं प्राक्शरीरविमोक्षणात् ।

कामक्रोधोद्भवं वेगं स युक्तः स सुखी नरः ॥५- २३॥

śaknotīhaiva yaḥ soḍhuṁ prāk śarīravimokṣaṇāt
kāmakrodhodbhavaṁ vegaṁ sa yuktaḥ sa sukhī naraḥ 5.23

śaknoti1 iha2 eva3 yaḥ4 soḍhum5 prāk6 śarīra7 vimokṣaṇāt8

kāma9 krodha10 udbhavam11 vegam12 sah13 yuktaḥ14 saḥ15 sukhī16 naraḥ17  5.23

 

 śaknoti1 iha2 eva3 yaḥ4 soḍhum5 = One who is able to endure in this birth [one who4 is able to1 endure5  in this birth2-3; udbhavam11 = the origin of ; vegam12 = the flood of;  kāma9 krodha10 = desire and anger; prāk6 = before;  śarīra7 vimokṣaṇāt8 = giving up8 the body7; sah13 yuktaḥ14 = he [is]Yogi.  saḥ15 naraḥ17 = That man; sukhī = [is] a happy one.   5.23

 

(5.23) He who is able to resist the rush of desire and anger, even here before he gives up his body, he is a yogin, he is the happy man.

The non-attachment from which inner peace, freedom and joy arise is capable of realization even here on earth, even when we lead embodied lives. In the midst of human life, peace within can be attained.

Peace from Within 

 

योऽन्तःसुखोऽन्तरारामस्तथान्तर्ज्योतिरेव यः ।

स योगी ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं ब्रह्मभूतोऽधिगच्छति ॥५- २४॥

yontaḥsukhontarārāmas tathāntarjyotir eva yaḥ
sa yogī brahmanirvāṇaṁ brahmabhūtodhigacchati 5.24

yaḥ1 antaḥ-sukhaḥ2 antar-ārāmaḥ3 tathā4 antaḥ-jyotiḥ5 eva6 yaḥ7
sah8 yogī9 brahma-nirvāṇam10 brahma-bhūtaḥ11 adhigacchati12  5.24 

 

yaḥ1 = One who; [is] antaḥ-sukhaḥ2  = happy inside; [and] antar-ārāmaḥ3 = happy within;  tathā4 antaḥ-jyotiḥ5 = in like manner4 has inner light5. eva6 yaḥ7 = Surely anyone; [like] sah8 yogī9 = that Yogi; Brahma-bhūtaḥ11 = having become Brahman; adhigacchati12 =  attains; brahma-nirvāṇam10  = absorption in Brahman --liberation. 5.24

 

(15.24) He who finds his happiness within, his joy within and likewise his light only within, that yogin becomes divine and attains to the beatitude of God (brahmanirvāṇa).

The yogin becomes unified in consciousness with the Eternal in him. The next verse indicates that this nirvāṇa is not mere annihilation. It is a positive state full of knowledge and self-possession.

 लभन्ते ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृषयः क्षीणकल्मषाः ।

छिन्नद्वैधा यतात्मानः सर्वभूतहिते रताः ॥५- २५॥

labhante brahmanirvāṇam ṛṣayaḥ kṣīṇakalmaṣāḥ
chinnadvaidhā yatātmānaḥ sarvabhūtahite ratāḥ 5.25

labhante1 brahma-nirvāṇam2 ṛṣayaḥ3 kṣīṇa-kalmaṣāḥ4
chinna5 dvaidhā6 yata-ātmānaḥ7 sarva-bhūta8 hite9 ratāḥ10  5.25

 

ṛṣayaḥ3 = Rishis [sages];  kṣīṇa4A-kalmaṣāḥ4B = whose sins4B are destroyed4A; chinna5 dvaidhā6 = [who] cut off5 dualities6; yata7A-ātmānaḥ7B = [who have] subdued7A their mind7B; ratāḥ10  = [who are] engaged in; hite9 = weal and welfare;  sarva8A-bhūta8B = of all8A beings8B;  labhante1 = attain; brahma-nirvāṇam2  = Brahma-nirvanam--absorption in Brahman.   5.25

 

(5.25) The holy men whose sins are destroyed, whose doubts (dualities) are cut asunder, whose minds are disciplined and who rejoice in (doing) good to all creatures, attain to the beatitude of God.

sarvabhūtahite ratāḥ: the soul which has acquired wisdom and peace is also the soul of love and compassion. He who sees all existence in the Supreme, sees the Divine even in the fallen and the criminal, and goes out to them in deep love and sympathy. To do good to others is not to give them physical comforts or raise their standard of living. It is to help others to find their true nature, to attain true happiness. The contemplation of the Eternal Reality in whom we all dwell gives warmth and support to the sense of the service of fellow-creatures. All work is for the sake of the Supreme. jagad hitāya kṛṣṇāya. To overcome the world is not to become other-worldly. It is not to evade the social responsibilities.

The two sides of religion, the personal and the social, are emphasized by the Gītā. Personally, we should discover the Divine in us and let it penetrate the human; socially, society must be subdued to the image of the Divine. The individual should grow in his freedom and uniqueness and he should recognize the dignity of every man, even the most insignificant. Man has not only to ascend to the world of spirit but also to descend to the world of creatures. 1

1 Cpo dṛiṭiṁ jānamayīṁ kṛtvā,

paśyed brahmamayaṁ jagat.

 कामक्रोधवियुक्तानां यतीनां यतचेतसाम् ।

अभितो ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं वर्तते विदितात्मनाम् ॥५- २६॥

kāmakrodhaviyuktānāṁ yatīnāṁ yatacetasām

abhito brahmanirvāṇaṁ vartate viditātmanām 5.26

kāma1 krodha2 viyuktānām3 yatīnām4 yata-cetasām5

abhitaḥ6 brahma-nirvāṇam7 vartate8 vidita-ātmanām9  5.26  

 

kāma1 krodha2 viyuktānām3 = Free from3 desire1 and anger2; yatīnām4 yata-cetasām5  = the ascetic4 who has restrained his mind5 ;vidita-ātmanām9 = who has known the Self; vartate8 = there is; abhitaḥ6 = in every way or on all sides; brahma-nirvāṇam7  = absorption in Brahman or liberation.  5.26

 

 (5.26) To those austere souls (yatis) who are delivered from desire and anger and who have subdued their minds and have knowledge of the Self, near to them lies the beatitude of God.

They live in the consciousness of Spirit. The possibility of blessed existence in this world is indicated here.

 

स्पर्शान्कृत्वा बहिर्बाह्यांश्चक्षुश्चैवान्तरे भ्रुवोः ।

प्राणापानौ समौ कृत्वा नासाभ्यन्तरचारिणौ ॥५- २७॥

sparśān kṛtvā bahir bāhyāṁś cakṣuś caivāntare bhruvoḥ
prāṇāpānau samau kṛtvā nāsābhyantaracāriṇau 5.27

sparśān1 kṛtvā2 bahiḥ3 bāhyān4 cakṣuḥ5 ca6 eva7 antare8 bhruvoḥ9
prāṇa10 apānau11 samau12 kṛtvā13 nāsa-abhyantara14 cāriṇau15  5.27 

 

kṛtvā2  = Keeping; bāhyān4  = the external; sparśān1 = objects; bahiḥ3  = outside; ca6  = and;  cakṣuḥ5  = the eyes; eva7  = certainly;  antare8  = keeping inside;  bhruvoḥ = between the eyebrows; samau12 kṛtvā13  = making13 equal12; prāṇa10  = out-breath; [and]  apānau11 = in-breath; cāriṇau15  =  moving;  nāsa14Aabhyantara14B = within14B nostrils14A  (Pranayama = breath control)    5.27

 

5.27: Abandoning all sense objects, fixing the gaze between the eyebrows, and keeping the movement of air up and down (Prāna, Apāna) the nostrils in equilibrium within the nostrils, (continued)--Krishnaraj

 

(5.27) and (5.28). Shutting out all external objects, fixing the vision between the eyebrows, making even the inward and the outward breaths moving within the nostrils, the sage who has controlled the senses, mind and understanding, who is intent on liberation, who has cast away desire, fear and anger, he is ever freed.Dr. Radhakrishnan

Cp. "When one fixes the thought on the midpoint between the two eyes the Light streams of its own accord."1 It is symbolic of union with buddhi, that gives spiritual knowledge.

1 The Secret of the Golden Flower". E.T. by Wilhelm.

 

यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिर्मुनिर्मोक्षपरायणः ।

विगतेच्छाभयक्रोधो यः सदा मुक्त एव सः ॥५- २८॥

yatendriyamanobuddhirmunir mokṣaparāyaṇaḥ
vigatecchābhayakrodho yaḥ sadā mukta eva saḥ 5.28

yata1 indriya2 manaḥ3 buddhiḥ4 muniḥ5 mokṣa6 parāyaṇaḥ7
vigata8 icchā9 bhaya10 krodhaḥ11 yaḥ12 sadā13 muktaḥ14 eva15 saḥ16   5.28

 

muniḥ5 = Ascetic; [who] yata1 = has control over; indriya2 = his sense organs manaḥ3 = mind; [and] buddhiḥ4 = intellect; [has]  mokṣa6 = liberation; [as] parāyaṇaḥ= aim [goal]; vigata8 = free from [gone away]; icchā9 = desire; bhaya10 = fear; [and] krodhaḥ11 = anger; yaḥ12 = who; sadā13 = always; muktaḥ14 = is liberated. eva15 = Verily; saḥ16 = he is.  5.28 

 

5.28: The sage, who has controlled his senses, his mind, and his intellect, has his highest aim as moksa or liberation, having freed himself from desire, fear, and anger, and is forever liberated. Krishnaraj

 

5.27) and (5.28). Shutting out all external objects, fixing the vision between the eyebrows, making even the inward and the outward breaths moving within the nostrils, the sage who has controlled the senses, mind and understanding, who is intent on liberation, who has cast away desire, fear and anger, he is ever freed.Dr. Radhakrishnan.

 

भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् ।

सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति ॥५- २९॥

bhoktāraṁ yajatapasāṁ sarvalokamaheśvaram

suhṛdaṁ sarvabhūtānāṁ jātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati 5.29

bhoktāram1 yaja2 tapasām3 sarva-loka4 maheśvaram5

suhṛdam6 sarva-bhūtānām7 jātvā8 mām9 śāntim10 ṛcchati11 5.29 

 

bhoktāram1 yaja2 tapasām3 = Knowing Me as enjoyer of the fruits of sacrifices and austerities [enjoyer1-sacrifices2-austerities3] ; [and] sarva-loka4 maheśvaram5  = the Great Lord of all the worlds [all-worlds4-the great Lord5]; suhṛdam6 sarva-bhūtānām7 jātvā8 mām9 śāntim10 ṛcchati11  = one attains peace knowing Me as the friend of all beings [friend6-all beings7-knowing8-Me9-peace10-one attains11].  5.29

 

(5.29) And having known Me as the Enjoyer of sacrifices and austerities, the Great Lord of all the worlds, the Friend of all beings, he (the sage) attains peace.

The transcendent God becomes the lord of all creation, the friend of all creatures, who does good to them without expecting any return.1 God is not merely the distant world-ruler but an intimate friend and helper, ever ready to assist us in overcoming evil, if only we trust Him. The Bhāgavata says: "Of whom I am the beloved, the self, the son, the friend, the teacher, the relative and the desired deity."2

iti . . . karmasaṁnyāsayogo nāma pacamo 'dhyāyaḥ,

This is the fifth chapter entitled The Yoga of Renunciation of Action

1 sarvaprāṇināṁ pratyupakāranirapekṣatayā upakāriṇam. S. See also S.B.G., IX, 18.

2 yeṣām aham priya, ātmā, sutaś ca

sakhā, guruḥ, suhṛdo, daivam iṣṭam. III, 25, 38.