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 7

The abandoning of daily obligatory acts (nityakamas) is not justifiable. Giving up that through delusion is declared to be based on tamas.


Verse 8

Whatever action one may relinquish merely as being painful, from fear of physical suffering, he, having resorted to renunciation based on rajas, will surely not acquire the fruits of renunciation.


Verse 9

Whatever obligatory duty is performed just because it is a bounden duty, O Arjuna, by giving up attachment and the result as well, -that renunciation is considered to be based on sattva.


Verse 10

The man of renunciation who has become imbued with sattva, who is wise and freed from doubts, does not hate unbefitting action, nor does he become attached to befitting activity.


Verse 11

Since it is not possible for one who holds on to a body to give up actions entirely, therefore he, on the other hand, who renounces results on actions is called a man of renunciation.


Verse 12

The threefold results of actions-the undesirable, the desirable, and the mixed-accrues after death to those who do not resort to renunciation, but never to those who resort to monasticism.