Chapter 18 - Moksha Sanyaas Yoga

Yoga through the Perfection of Renunciation and Surrender

The eighteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita is Moksha Sanyas Yoga. Arjuna requests the Lord to explain the difference between the two types of renunciations - sanyaas(renunciation of actions) and tyaag(renunciation of desires). Krishna explains that a sanyaasi is one who abandons family and society in order to practise spiritual discipline whereas a tyaagi is one who performs their duties without attachment to the rewards of their actions and dedicating them to the God. Krishna recommends the second kind of renunciation - tyaag. Krishna then gives a detailed analysis of the effects of the three modes of material nature. He declares that the highest path of spirituality is pure, unconditional loving service unto the Supreme Divine Personality, Krishna. If we always remember Him, keep chanting His name and dedicate all our actions unto Him, take refuge in Him and make Him our Supreme goal, then by His grace, we will surely overcome all obstacles and difficulties and be freed from this cycle of birth and death.

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Verse 1

Arjuna said: O mighty-armed Hrsikesa, O slayer of (the demon) Kesi, I want to know severally the truth about sannyasa as also about tyaga.


Verse 2

The Blessed Lord said: The learned ones know sannyasa to be the giving up of actions done with a desire for reward. The adepts call the abandonment of the results of all works as tyaga.


Verse 3

Some learned persons say that action, beset with evil (as it is), should be given up, and others (say) that the practice of sacrifice, charity and austerity should not be given up.


Verse 4

O the most excellent among the descendants of Bharata, hear from Me the firm conclusion regarding that tyaga. For, O greatest among men, tyaga has been clearly declared to be of three kinds.


Verse 5

The practice of sacrifice, charity and austerity is not to be abandoned; it is surely to be undertaken. Sacrifice, charity and austerity are verily the purifiers of the wise.


Verse 6

But even these actions have to be undertaken by renouncing attachment and (hankering for) results. This is My firm and best conclusion, O Partha.