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


Arjun said: O mighty-armed Krishna, I wish to understand the nature of sanyās (renunciation of actions) and tyāg (renunciation of the desire for the fruits of actions). O Hrishikesh, I also wish to know the distinction between the two, O Keshinisudan.

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Verse 2


The Supreme Divine Personality said: Giving up of actions motivated by desire is what the wise understand as sanyās. Relinquishing the fruits of all actions is what the learned declare to be tyāg.

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Verse 3


Some learned people declare that all kinds of actions should be given up as evil, while others maintain that acts of sacrifice, charity, and penance should never be abandoned.

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Verse 4


Now hear my conclusion on the subject of renunciation, O tiger amongst men, for renunciation has been declared to be of three kinds.

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Verse 5


Actions based upon sacrifice, charity, and penance should never be abandoned; they must certainly be performed. Indeed, acts of sacrifice, charity, and penance are purifying even for those who are wise.

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Verse 6


These activities must be performed without attachment and expectation for rewards. This is my definite and supreme verdict, O Arjun.

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