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 13

O mighty-armed one, learned from Me these five factors for the accomplishment of all actions, which have been spoken of in the Vedanta in which actions terminate.


Verse 14

The locus as also the agent, the different kinds of organs, the many and distinct activities, and, the divine is here the fifth.


Verse 15

Whatever action a man performs with the body, speech and mind, be it just or its reverse, of it these five are the causes.


Verse 16

This being the case, anyone, who, owing to the imperfection of his intellect, perceives the absolute Self as the agent, that man does not perceive (properly), and has a perverted intellect.


Verse 17

He who has not the feeling of egoism, whose intellect is not tainted, he does not kill, nor does he become bound-even by killing these creatures!


Verse 18

Knowledge, the object the knowledge and the knower-this is the threefold inducement to action. The comprehension of actions comes under three heads-the instruments, the object and the subject.