|Yoga of Renunciation |
1. O Krishna! Thou praisest in one breath both abandonment of works and communion
through their performance. Now tell me with certainty which of them leads to one's good.
The Blessed Lord said:
2. Both abandonment of works and communion through works lead to liberation. But of
them, communion through work excels abandonment of work.
3. O mighty-armed one! Whoever hates not, nor desires, should be known as one
established in renunciation. Indeed, one who is above such contraries is easily liberated
4. It is only the childish and not the wise that speak of Samkhya (or Knowledge
accompanied by abandonment of work) and Yoga (or communion through detached and
dedicated work) as different. A person well-established in even one of these, attains the
end that is the common goal of both. (That is, in the means they employ, they look
different, but their end or ultimate purpose is identical.)
5. The state which one attains by Samkhya, that same state is attained by Yoga too. He who
sees both Samkhya and Yoga as one, sees indeed.
6. O mighty-armed Arjuna! True abandonment of work (which the discipline of Samkhya
implies) is difficult to practise for one who is not accomplished in the Yoga discipline of
detached work. But the sage accomplished in Yoga attains to Brahman in no long time.
7. One who is established in selfless and detached action, who is pure, whose mind and
senses are under control, and whose self is identified with the self of all - he is never
bound, though he be engaged in work.
8-9. I (the Self) do naught; only the senses are occupied with their objects - this should be
the conviction of one who is detached in action and established in the truth (that he is the
Atman), even while seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, walking, sleeping,
breathing, conversing, evacuating, holding, and opening and closing the eyes.
10. One who resigns all his actions to Brahma and works without any personal
attachments, is not soiled by sin, as a lotus leaf is not wetted by water.
11. For the attainment of mental purity, spiritual aspirants (Yogins) perform action devoid
of attachment, with their body, mind, intellect or even merely with the senses.
12. By abandoning the fruits of action a man of restrained mind attains to abiding peace.
But the one with unrestrained mind, being prompted by desire for the fruits of action, gets
13. A self-controlled soul, having abandoned all work mentally (in the way described
above), resides at ease (as a witness) in this corporeal mansion with nine gates, neither
working nor causing work to be done.
14. In regard to all beings in this world, the sovereign soul is not the cause of the sense of
agency, nor of actions, nor of the fruition of actions. It is Nature that does all this.
15. The all-pervading Being does not accept the sins or merits of any one. knowledge of the
Divine Spirit is veiled by ignorance, and therefore beings are deluded.
16. But in the case of those whose ignorance has been destroyed by the knowledge of the
Atman, to them that knowledge reveals the supreme Truth, as the sun does the objects of
17. Those who think of That always, who are ever at one with That, who are deeply devoted
to That, and who look upon That as their goal, get purified of their sins by divine
knowledge and go to the state from which there is no return to worldly life.
18. Enlightened men are those who see the same (i.e. the Atman) in a Brahmana with
learning and humility, in a cow, in an elephant, and even in a dog or in an eater of dog-
19. Even here in this embodied state, the cycle of births and deaths has been overcome by
those who have this vision of sameness in all. Verily, Brahman is the Unsullied and the
Pure. Therefore are those seers of sameness said to be established in Brahman.
20. Unperturbed and undeluded, a knower of Brahman, who is established in Him, neither
rejoices at pleasant experiences nor gets agitated at unpleasant ones.
21. An aspirant who is unattached to the contactual experiences of the external world, gains
the joy that is in the Self within. He enjoys unending bliss with his mind absorbed in
communion with Brahman.
22. Whatever enjoyments are there born of sense contact, they are sources of suffering
only. For, they are with a beginning and an end. A wise man finds no delight in them.
23. Here, even while in the body, whoever is able to withstand the agitation caused by lust
and anger, he is the self-controlled one, he is the happy man.
24. The Yogin whose happiness is within, whose resting place is within, who likewise
experiences' the light within - he realises himself to be the Spirit and attains to beatitude in
25. Verily, they attain to beatitude in Brahman who are sinless, whose doubts have been
destroyed, whose self is under their control and who rejoice in the good of all.
26. To those self-controlled ones (ascetics) who are free from lust and anger, who have
controlled their minds and who have known their real nature as the spirit - the attainment
of beatitude in Brahman is near at hand.
27-28. Excluding all sense perceptions; fixing the look between the eye brows; steadying the
flow of Prana (out-going breath) and Apana (incoming breath) through the nostrils;
controlling the senses, mind and intellect; devoid of desires, fear and anger; and aspiring
for liberation alone - a meditative sage is liberated for ever.
29. Knowing Me, the recipient of all worship and austere practices, the Supreme Lord of all
the worlds, and the friend of all beings, man attains to eternal peace