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 38

That joy is referred to as born of rajas which, arising from the contact of the organs and (their) objects, is like nectar in the beginning, but like poison at the end.


Verse 39

That joy is said to be born of tamas which, both in the beginning and in the end, is delusive to oneself and arises from sleep, laziness and inadvertence.


Verse 40

There is no such entity in the world or, again, among the gods in heaven, which can be free from these three gunas born of Nature.


Verse 41

O scorcher of enemies, the duties of the Brahmanas, the Ksatriyas and the Vaisyas, as also of the Sudras have been fully classified according to the gunas born from Nature.


Verse 42

The natural duties of the Brahmanas are the control of the internal and external organs, austerity, purity, forgiveness, straightforwardness, knowledge as also wisdom [Knowledge refers to the understanding of subjects presented by the scriptures; wisdom means making them matters of one's own experience.] and faith.


Verse 43

The natural duties of the Ksatriyas are heroism, boldness, fortitude, capability, and also not retreating from battle, generosity and lordliness.