Chapter 5

Karma Sanyasa Yoga

The fifth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita is "Karma Sanyasa Yoga". In this chapter, Krishna compares the paths of renunciation in actions (Karma Sanyas) and actions with detachment (Karma Yoga) and explains that both are means to reach the same goal and we can choose either. A wise person should perform his/her worldly duties without attachment to the fruits of his/her actions and dedicate them to God. This way they remain unaffected by sin and eventually attain liberation.

Verse 1
Arjuna said, "O Krishna, you praise renunciation of actions and also yoga. Please tell me conclusively which is better of the two."
Verse 2
The Blessed Lord said, "Renunciation and the Yoga of action both lead to the highest bliss; but of the two, the Yoga of action is superior to the renunciation of action."
Verse 3
He should be known as a perpetual Sannyasi who neither hates nor desires; for, free from the pairs of opposites, O mighty-armed Arjuna, he is easily freed from bondage.
Verse 4
Children, not the wise, speak of knowledge and the Yoga of action, or the performance of action, as though they are distinct and different; he who is truly established in one, obtains the fruits of both.
Verse 5
That place which is reached by the Sankhyas or the Jnanis is also reached by the Yogis (Karma Yogis). He who sees knowledge and the performance of action (Karma Yoga) as one, sees truly.
Verse 6
But, O mighty-armed Arjuna, renunciation is hard to attain without Yoga; the sage who is in harmony with Yoga quickly goes to Brahman.
Verse 7
He who is devoted to the path of action, whose mind is pure, who has conquered the self, who has subdued his senses, and who realizes his Self as the Self in all beings, though acting, is not tainted.
Verse 8
I do nothing at all," thus would the harmonized knower of Truth think, seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, going, sleeping, and breathing.
Verse 9
Speaking, letting go, seizing, opening, and closing the eyes, one should be convinced that the senses move among the sense-objects.
Verse 10
He who does actions, offering them to Brahman and abandoning attachment, is not tainted by sin, just as a lotus leaf is not tainted by water.
Verse 11
Yogis, having abandoned attachment, perform actions only through the body, mind, intellect, and even the senses, for the purification of the self.
Verse 12
The one who is united (the well-poised or harmonized) having abandoned the fruit of action attains eternal peace; whereas the one who is not united (the unsteady or unbalanced), impelled by desire and attached to the fruit, is bound.
Verse 13
Mentally renouncing all actions and being self-controlled, the embodied one happily rests in the nine-gated city, neither acting nor causing others (body and senses) to act.
Verse 14
Neither does the Lord create agency nor actions for the world, nor union with the fruits of actions; rather, it is Nature that acts.
Verse 15
The Lord takes neither the demerit nor the merit of any; knowledge is enveloped by ignorance, and beings are deluded.
Verse 16
But to those whose ignorance is destroyed by knowledge of the Self, like the sun, knowledge reveals the Supreme Brahman.
Verse 17
Their intellect absorbed in That, their self being That, established in That, with That as their supreme goal, they go whence there is no return, their sins dispelled by knowledge.
Verse 18
Sages look with an equal eye on a Brahmana endowed with learning and humility, on a cow, an elephant, a dog, and even an outcaste.
Verse 19
Even here in this world, those whose minds rest in reality overcome birth; Brahman is indeed spotless and real; therefore they are established in Brahman.
Verse 20
Resting in Brahman, with a steady intellect and undeluded, the knower of Brahman neither rejoices upon obtaining what is pleasant nor grieves upon obtaining what is unpleasant.
Verse 21
With the self unattached to external contacts, he finds happiness in the Self; with the self engaged in the meditation of Brahman, he attains endless happiness.
Verse 22
The enjoyments that arise from contact are only sources of pain, for they have a beginning and an end, O Arjuna; the wise do not rejoice in them.
Verse 23
He who is able, while still here in this world, to withstand the impulse born out of desire and anger before the liberation from the body, he is a Yogi, and he is a happy man.
Verse 24
He who is happy within, who rejoices within, and who is illuminated within, that Yogi attains absolute freedom, or Moksha, becoming Brahman himself.
Verse 25
The sages obtain absolute freedom or Moksha when their sins have been destroyed, their dualities have been torn asunder, they are self-controlled, and they are intent on the welfare of all beings.
Verse 26
Absolute freedom exists on all sides for those self-controlled ascetics who are free from desire and anger, who have controlled their thoughts, and who have realized the Self.
Verse 27
Shutting out all external contacts and fixing the gaze between the eyebrows, realizing the outgoing and incoming breaths moving within the nostrils.
Verse 28
With the senses, mind, and intellect ever controlled, having liberation as their supreme goal, free from desire, fear, and anger, the sage is truly liberated forever.
Verse 29
He who knows Me as the enjoyer of sacrifices and austerities, the great Lord of all the worlds, and the friend of all beings, attains peace.