Chapter 5

Chapter 5

कर्मसंन्यासयोग – Karma Sanyaasa Yoga

The Yoga of Renunciation of Action

5:01

अर्जुन उवाच |
संन्यासं कर्मणां कृष्ण पुनर्योगं च शंससि |
यच्छ्रेय एतयोरेकं तन्मे ब्रूहि सुनिश्चितम् || ५ १ ||

arjuna uvaacha:
sannyaasam
 karmanaam krshna
punar
 yogam cha shamsasi
yacchreya
 etayorekam 
tanme
 broohi sunish-chitam (SBG 5:01)

Arjuna said:
O Krishna, you praise renunciation of all actions, and then you talk about devotional Service or Yoga. Please tell me for sure, which one of the two is better.

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5:02

श्रीभगवानुवाच |

संन्यासः कर्मयोगश्चनिःश्रेयसकरावुभौ |

तयोस्तु कर्मसंन्यासात्कर्मयोगो विशिष्यते || ५ २ ||

Sri Bhagavaan uvaacha:

sannyaasaha karmayogash-cha

nihi-shreya-sakaraa vubhau

tayostu karma sannyaasaat

karmayogo vishishyate (SBG 5:02)

Bhagavan Shri Krishna said: Renunciation and the Yoga of performing selfless action both lead to liberation. But among the two, the Yoga of performing selfless action is superior to the Yoga  of renunciation of action.

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5:03

ज्ञेयः स नित्यसंन्यासी यो न द्वेष्टि न काङ्क्षति |

निर्द्वन्द्वो हि महाबाहो सुखं बन्धात्प्रमुच्यते || ५ ३ ||

jneyaha sa nityasannyaasi

yo na dweshti na kaangkshati

nirdvandvo hi mahaabaaho

sukham bandhaat pramuchyate (SBG 5:03)

A person who neither hates nor desires the results of his actions is known to be a Sanyasi or one who has renounced everything.  Such a person is free from dualities and is therefore liberated from material bondage.

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5:04

साङ्ख्ययोगौ पृथग्बालाः प्रवदन्ति न पण्डिताः |

एकमप्यास्थितः सम्यगुभयोर्विन्दते फलम् || ५ ४ ||

saankhyayogau prithagbaalaaha

pravadanti na panditaaha

ekam apyaasthitaha samyagu-

bhayor vindate phalam (SBG 5:04)

Ignorant people speak of Saankhya or knowledge accompanied by renunciation of action and Yoga through dedicated, detached and selfless action being different from one another. A person well established in either of these, attains the goal that is common to both.

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5:05

यत्साङ्ख्यैः प्राप्यते स्थानं तद्योगैरपि गम्यते |
एकं साङ्ख्यं च योगं च यः पश्यति स पश्यति || ५ ५ ||

yatsaankhyaihi praapyate sthaanam

tad yogair-api gamyate

ekam saankhyam cha yogam cha

yaha pashyati sa pashyati (SBG 5:05)

That status which is reached by the Saankhyas or the Gnyaanis is reached by the Karma Yogis. He  who sees Saankhya and Karma Yoga or knowledge and the performance of dedicated, detached and selfless action as one, sees indeed.

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5:06

संन्यासस्तु महाबाहो दुःखमाप्तुमयोगतः |

योगयुक्तो मुनिर्ब्रह्म नचिरेणाधिगच्छति || ५ ६ ||

sannyaasastu mahaabaaho

duhkha maaptuma yogataha

yogayukto munir brahma

nachirenaa-dhigacchati (SBG 5:06)


Living a life of a renounced person without any  devotional service to the Supreme Lord does not cause happiness but only distress. But the sage who is devoted to selfless action, attains the Supreme Bhagavan without delay.

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5:07

योगयुक्तो विशुद्धात्मा विजितात्मा जितेन्द्रियः |
सर्वभूतात्मभूतात्मा कुर्वन्नपि न लिप्यते || ५ ७ ||

yogayukto vishuddhaatmaa

vijitaatmaa jitendriyaha

sarva bhootaatma bhootaatmaa

kurvannapi na lipyate (5:07)

A person, who is devoted to the path of selfless action, has a pure mind or a purified soul, has his body and senses under control, is compassionate to all living beings and sees his Self in them, although engaged in work, is never in bondage.

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5:08

नैव किंचित्करोमीति युक्तो मन्येत तत्त्ववित् |
पश्यञ्शृण्वन्स्पृशञ्जिघ्रन्नश्नंगच्छन्स्वपन्श्वसन् || ५ ८ ||

naiva kinchit karomeeti

yukto manyeta tattva vit

pashyan shrunvan sprishan jighran-

n-ashnan gacchan swapan shwasan (SBG 5:08)

A person of selfless action thinks, “I am not doing anything at all”, even while seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, going, dreaming, breathing,

 5:09

प्रलपन्विसृजन्गृह्णन्नुन्मिषन्निमिषन्नपि |
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेषु वर्तन्त इति धारयन् || ५ ९ ||

pralapan visrijan grihnan-

unmishan nimishannapi

indriyaa neendriyaartheshu

vartanta iti dhaarayan (SBG 5:09)

talking, giving up, accepting, while opening and closing the eyelids; knowing that they are the senses that are interacting with sense objects.

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5:10

ब्रह्मण्याधाय कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा करोति यः |
लिप्यते न स पापेन पद्मपत्रमिवाम्भसा || ५ १० ||

brahmanyaa dhaaya karmaani

sangam tyaktvaa karoti yaha

lipyate na sa paapena

padmapatra mivaambhasaa (SBG 5:10)

 One who dedicates all his actions to the Supreme Bhagavan and gives up all attachment to his works, is untouched by sin, just as a lotus leaf is by water.

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5:11

कायेन मनसा बुद्ध्या केवलैरिन्द्रियैरपि |

योगिनः कर्म कुर्वन्ति सङ्गं त्यक्त्वात्मशुद्धये || ५ ११ ||

kaayena manasaa buddhyaa

kevalair indriyair api
yoginaha karma kurvanti

sangam tyaktvaat mashuddhaye (SBG 5:11)

In order to attain mental purity, Yogis give up all attachment and perform action with their body, mind, intellect or even merely with their senses.

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5:12

युक्तः कर्म फलं त्यक्त्वा शान्तिमाप्नोति नैष्ठिकीम् |
अयुक्तः कामकारेण फले सक्तो निबध्यते || ५ १२ ||

yuktaha karmaphalam tyaktvaa

shaanti maapnoti naisht-hikeem

ayuktaha kaamakaarena

phale sakto nibadhyate (SBG 5:12)

 One who has renounced all attachments to the results of actions attains highest levels of peace, whereas those who are prompted by desire for the results of their actions, are unsteady and are not free.

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5:13

सर्वकर्माणि मनसा संन्यस्यास्ते सुखं वशी |
नवद्वारे पुरे देही नैव कुर्वन्न कारयन् || ५ १३ ||

sarvakarmaani manasaa

sannyasyaaste sukham vashee

navadvaare pure dehee

naiva kurvan na kaarayan (SBG 5:13)


When a person mentally renounces all actions and has self control, he resides happily in the city of nine gates (figurative description of the material body of a human), neither acting nor causing (body or senses) to act.

Note: The soul lives in a body with nine orifices which is figuratively called a city of nine gates. People who identify themselves with the body invariably tend to suffer. But he who realises the superior nature of his soul and is conscious of Krishna, stays disconnected with the bodily activities and thus lives in happiness within his body or the city of nine gates.

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5:14

न कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभुः |
न कर्मफलसंयोगं स्वभावस्तु प्रवर्तते || ५ १४ ||

na kartritvam na karmaani

lokasya srijati prabhuhu

na karmaphala samyogam

swabhaavas tu pravartate (SBG 5:14)

The soul which is the master of the body does not create activities nor fruit of actions. All the actions are produced by the Gunas or the three kinds of nature.

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5:15

नादत्ते कस्यचित्पापं न चैव सुकृतं विभुः |

अज्ञानेनावृतं ज्ञानं तेन मुह्यन्ति जन्तवः || ५ १५ ||

naadatte kasya chitpaapam

na chaiva sukritam vibhuhu

ajnaane naavritam jnaanam

tena muhyanti jantavaha  (SBG 5:15)

The Bhagavan accepts neither the sin nor even the virtue of anyone.  People are therefore bewildered because knowledge of the Divine Spirit is enveloped by ignorance.

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5:16

ज्ञानेन तु तदज्ञानं येषां नाशितमात्मनः |

तेषामादित्यवज्ज्ञानं प्रकाशयति तत्परम् || ५ १६ ||

gnyaanena tu tadagnyaanam

yeshaam naashitam-aatmanaha

teshaam aaditya-vajgnyaanam

prakaashayati tatparam (SBG 5:16)

 But, to those whose ignorance is destroyed by knowledge of the Self, their knowledge like the sun, manifests that highest Being.

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5:17

तद्बुद्धयस्तदात्मानस्तन्निष्ठास्तत्परायणाः |
गच्छन्त्यपुनरावृत्तिं ज्ञाननिर्धूतकल्मषाः || ५ १७ ||

tadbuddhayas tadaatmaanas

tannisht-haas tatparaayanaaha

gacchantya-punaraavrittim

jnaana nirdhoota kalmashaaha (SBG 5:17)

 When  a man’s intelligence, mind and faith take refuge in the Supreme, one is fully cleansed of sins and he goes into the path of liberation.

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5:18

विद्याविनयसंपन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि |
शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिताः समदर्शिनः || ५ १८ ||

vidyaa vinaya sampanne

braahmane gavi hastini

shuni chaiva shvapaake cha

panditaaha samadarshinaha (SBG 5:18)

People who are wise treat equally, a Brahmin endowed with learning and humility,  a cow,  an elephant, and even a person who cooks and eats dog meat.

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5:19

इहैव तैर्जितः सर्गो येषां साम्ये स्थितं मनः |

निर्दोषं हि समं ब्रह्म तस्माद् ब्रह्मणि ते स्थिताः || ५ १९ ||

ihaiva tairjitaha sargo

yeshaam saamye sthitam manaha

nirdosham hi samam brahma

tasmaad brahmani te sthitaaha (5:19)

 Even here in this life, those who have their minds situated in equality and in equanimity and have conquered dualities, are flawless and are situated in the Ultimate truth.

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5:20

न प्रहृष्येत्प्रियं प्राप्य नोद्विजेत्प्राप्य चाप्रियम् |

स्थिरबुद्धिरसंमूढो ब्रह्मविद् ब्रह्मणि स्थितः || ५ २० ||

na prahrishyet priyam praapya

nodwijet praapya chaapriyam

sthirabuddhir asammood-ho

brahmavid brahmani sthitaha (SBG 5:20)


A person who knows the Supreme Bhagavan perfectly well, has a steady mind. He neither rejoices on achieving something pleasant nor laments on obtaining something unpleasant.

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5:21

बाह्यस्पर्शेष्वसक्तात्मा विन्दत्यात्मनि यत्सुखम् |

स ब्रह्मयोगयुक्तात्मा सुखमक्षयमश्नुते || ५ २१ ||

baahya sparsheshva saktaatmaa

vindatyaatmani yat sukham

sa brahma yoga yuktaatmaa

sukham akshayam-ashnute (SBG 5:21)


A person who is liberated and is not attached to external objects of the senses achieves bliss which is in the Self.  Meditating on the Supreme Bhagavan in his mind, he enjoys unlimited happiness.

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5:22

ये हि संस्पर्शजा भोगा

दुःखयोनय एव ते |

आद्यन्तवन्तः कौन्तेय न तेषु रमते बुधः || ५ २२ ||

ye hi samsparshajaa bhogaa

duhkhayonaya eva te

aadyanta-vantaha kaunteya

na teshu ramate budhaha (5:22)


A person who is intelligent, does not rejoice in the enjoyments brought by the contact of sense objects. Such pleasures have a beginning and an end and they are sources of distress and misery.

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5:23

शक्नोतीहैव यः सोढुं प्राक्शरीरविमोक्षणात् |

कामक्रोधोद्भवं वेगं स युक्तः स सुखी नरः || ५ २३ ||

shaknotee haiva yaha sod-hum

praak shareera vimokshanaat

kaama krodhod-bhavam vegam

sa yuktaha sa sukhee naraha (SBG 5:23)

 A person, who, before giving up his body, is able to tolerate urges of desire and anger that are generated in him, is a self-controlled and happy Yogi.

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5:24

योऽन्तःसुखोऽन्तरारामस्तथान्तर्ज्योतिरेव यः |

स योगी ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं ब्रह्मभूतोऽधिगच्छति || ५ २४ ||

yo’ntaha sukho’ntaraa raamas-

ta thaantarjyotir eva yaha

sa yogee brahma nirvaanam

brahmabhooto’dhigacchati (SBG 5:24)

 A person who is ever happy within, who rejoices within and who is illumined within, is a Yogi who attains absolute freedom, total Self Realisation and Moksha. Such a person becomes one with the Supreme Bhagavan or Brahman.

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5:25

लभन्ते ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृषयः क्षीणकल्मषाः |
छिन्नद्वैधा यतात्मानः सर्वभूतहिते रताः || ५ २५ ||

labhante brahma nirvaanam

rishayaha ksheena-kalma shaaha

chinnad vaidhaa yataat maanaha

sarva bhoota hite rataaha (SBG 5:25)

 Those whose sins have been destroyed, whose minds are clear of doubts, and are always engaged in working for the welfare of all living beings, achieve liberation and absorption in the Supreme Bhagavan or Brahman.

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5:26

कामक्रोधवियुक्तानां यतीनां यतचेतसाम् |
अभितो ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं वर्तते विदितात्मनाम् || ५ २६ ||

kaama krodha viyuktaanaam

yateenaam yata  chetasaam

abhito brahma nirvaanam

vartate viditaat manaam (SBG 5:26)

Sages who are free from passion and anger, who have their mind under control, who have realised the Self and are constantly aiming for perfection, are assured of liberation in the Supreme, here and hereafter.

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5:27

स्पर्शान्कृत्वा बहिर्बाह्यांश्चक्षुश्चैवान्तरे भ्रुवोः |

प्राणापानौ समौ कृत्वा नासाभ्यन्तरचारिणौ || ५ २७ ||

sparshaan krutvaa bahir baahyaamsh-

chakshush chaivaantare bhruvoho

praanaa-paanau samau krutvaa

naasaabhyantara chaarinau (SBG 5:27)

 Shutting out all external sense objects such as sound,  fixing the gaze between the eyebrows, controlling  the breath that moves in and out through nostrils,

5:28

यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिर्मुनिर्मोक्षपरायणः |
विगतेच्छाभयक्रोधो यः सदा मुक्त एव सः || ५ २८ ||

yatendriya manobuddhir

munir mokshaparaayanaha

vigatecchaabhaya krodho

yaha sadaa mukta eva saha (Gita 5:28)

 with the senses, the mind and the intellect always controlled, with liberation as his supreme goal, free from desire, fear and anger—the wise person is truly liberated for ever.

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5:29

भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् |

सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति || ५ २९ ||

bhoktaaram yajnatapasaam

sarvaloka maheshvaram

suhridam sarvabhootaanaam

jnaatvaa maam shaantim ricchati (SBG 5:29)

He who knows Me as the enjoyer of sacrifices and austerities, the great Bhagavan of all the worlds and the friend of all beings, attains to peace. The wise who know Me – the Supreme Bhagavan of all planets and deities and benefactor of all living beings, as the purpose of all their sacrifices and austerities, attain Me.

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हरी ॐ तत्सदिति श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतासूपनिषत्सु

ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रे श्रीकृष्णार्जुनसंवादे

संन्यासयोगो नाम पंचमोऽध्यायः || ५ ||

Hari Om Tat Sat Iti Srimad Bhagavad geetaasoopanishatsu BrahmavidyaayaamYogashaastre Sri Krishnaarjuna samvaade Sanyaasa yogo Naama panchammo’dhyaayaha.

Thus ends the fifth part of the  Bhagavad Gita “The Yoga of Renunciation of Action” – The Science of the Eternal, the Scripture of Yoga,the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna.


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