Home » Bhagavad Gītā 5

Bhagavad Gītā 5

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Chapter 5



 Union by Renunciation of Action


(Sanskrit terms and names can be clicked for explanation)


Arjuna said:

The renunciation of actions, O Kṛṣṇa, and again [the performance of] yoga you praise. Tell me clearly which one of the two is better. (1)

The Holy One said:

Renunciation and karmayoga [union by action] are both makers of ultimate bliss. But of these two karma-yoga is better than renunciation of action [karma sannyāsāt]. (2)

He is to be known as a man of constant renunciation who hates nor desires. Free from the ‘pairs of opposites,’ he is easily rid of bondage, o you of mighty arms! (3)

Children, not the wise, declare that Sāṅkhya and yoga are separate. Engaged in [practice of] one [of the two] a man obtains the fruit of both together. (4)

The state that is attained by the Sāṅkhyas is reached also by the Yogas. He who sees that the Sāṅkhya and the Yoga are one, sees indeed! (5)

But renunciation, O you of mighty arms, is difficult to attain without yoga. The sage who is proficient in yoga, before long approaches brahman. (6)

He who is proficient in yoga, of a pure heart (viśuddhātmā), self controlled, of subdued senses, and whose self is the self of all beings, though the act, is not enmeshed [‘soiled’]. (7)

The devotee who knows the truth should think thus: “I am really doing naught when seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, going, sleeping, breathing. (8)

Talking, excreting, grasping and shutting the eyelids. The organs of sense are working with the faculty of sense” – thus he maintains. (9)

He who acts, placing [all] actions in brahman and abandoning attachments [to results], is not soiled [ensnared] by evil, even as the petal of the lotus [is not soiled] by water. (10).

With the body, with the mind, with the understanding, even with the very faculties of sense, the followers of yoga perform action, abandoning attachment for freedom of the self. (11)

The devotee abandoning the fruit of action attains perfect peace. The non-devotee attached to results by the working of desire, is bound down. (12)

Having renounced all actions by the mind, the self-controlled embodied self abides happily in the city with nine gates [the body], neither acting nor casing to act. (13)

The mighty one emanates not agency [of action], nor the actions of the world, nor the bond between karman [action] as its fruit. But [it is] inherent disposition [svabhāvas, nature, which] rolls onward [in action]. (14)

The omnipresent one receives the sin of no one, nor indeed the merit. Knowledge is encompassed by ignorance. Hence all beings are bewildered. (15)

But to those in whom that ignorance of the Self has been destroyed by knowledge [of it], knowledge like the sun reveals that highest [principle]. (16)

Those whose understanding is it, whose are centered in it, and who make it their principle aim, go never to return, having shaken off evil by knowledge. (17)

The learned regard with equal mind a Brāhmaṇa possessed of wisdom and perfect education, a cow, a dog, and an outcast. (18)

Even in this world, nature is conquered by those whose mind rests in evenness [equipoise]. For brahman is faultless equipoise. Hence they rest in brahman. (19)

The knower of brahman who rests in brahman, does not exult in obtaining what was desired, nor is he agitated in obtaining what is undesirable. He is of immovable mind, not bewildered. (20)

He whose self is unattached to exterior sensations, finds what is [real] happiness in himself, and his self being devoted to brahmayoga, he reaches imperishable bliss. (21)

The enjoyments born of contact [between senses and the objects of these] are verily wombs of sorrow. They are impermanent, O son of Kuntī! The wise dallies not with these. (22)

He who is able in this world, up to his release from the body, to endure the agitation springing from desire and passion, he is a devotee! He is a happy man! (23)

He who is internally happy, internally joyful, and who thus is also eternally illuminated, he is a yogin. Having become of the nature of brahman, he attains brahmanirvānam: [the mere personal self is ‘blown out’ – expanded – into brahman]. (24)

The ṛṣis whose sins have been exhausted, whose uncertainties have been destroyed, who are of controlled self, and intent on the welfare of all beings, attain brahman nirvānam. (25)

brahman nirvānam comes to pass for those who know the Self, who have thrown of desire and passion, who are temperate, who are of controlled thought, both before death and after it. (26)

The muni who shuts out external sensations, and really places the sense of sight between the brows, who makes the upward-going and the downward-going breaths equal, which move within the nose. (27)

Who is of controlled faculties of sense, mind, understanding, and whose main effort is liberation, who is delivered form wishes, from fear, and from passion, he verily is forever free! (28)

Knowing me to be the enjoyer of sacrifices and penances, the great lord of all worlds, the friend of all beings, he rises to Peace. (29)


Thus in the Holy

Bhagavad-Gītā. The fifth

chapter, by name —


Union by Renunciation of Action