Shrimad Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 18

Moksha Sanyasa Yoga {The Yoga of Liberation through Renunciation & Surrender to the Lord}

Lord Shree Krishna & Shree Meera Bai
Lord Shree Krishna & Shree Meera Bai
Chapter 18

Arjuna said: I wish to understand the truth of Sanyasa (renunciation of actions), O Lord Shree Krishna (O Mahabaho, the Mighty-Armed One); and of Tyaga (renunciation of desires for enjoying the fruits of actions), O Hrishikesha (O Lord Shree Krishna); and the difference of both, O Destroyer of Keshi (O Lord Shree Krishna, the Destroyer of the Keshi demon). (1)

Shree Bhagavan said: The learned know Sanyasa (renunciation of actions) as giving up of actions based on desire; and the wise declare renunciation of all desires for enjoying the fruits of actions as Tyaga (renunciation of desires for enjoying the fruits of actions). (2)

Thus, some learned declare that all the actions as evil should be given up; and others say that sacrifice, charity and austerities should never be abandoned. (3)

Hear ME with certainty on the subject about Tyaga (renunciation of desires for enjoying the fruits of actions), O best of the Bharatas; Tyaga (renunciation of desires for enjoying the fruits of actions), O tiger amongst the men; is declared to be of three kinds like the Prakriti. (4)

Actions of sacrifice, charity, penance should never be abandoned and must certainly be performed; know that sacrifice, charity, penance indeed are purifying for the wise. (5)

These activities must certainly be done and should be done as a duty; by giving up the attachment to the rewards; such is MY Definite Supreme Opinion, O Arjuna (O Partha, the son of Pritha). (6)

But it is said that, renunciation of prescribed duties, actions that have to be performed, shouldn’t be done; deluded of that renunciation has been declared to be as Tamasic (in the mode of ignorance). (7)

As indeed, giving up of duties which are troublesome out of fear of bodily discomfort; such a Tyaga (renunciation of desires for enjoying the fruits of actions) is considered as Rajasic (in the mode of passion) in nature; one never certainly attain result for such a Tyaga. (8)

As work that is done as obligatory actions, which are performed as a duty; O Arjuna, and certainly relinquishing attachment to any reward; such a Tyaga (renunciation of desires for enjoying the fruits of actions) is considered to be Sattvic (in the mode of goodness) in nature. (9)

One who neither hates disagreeable work, nor seeks an agreeable one; such a person is Tyagi (who renounces desires for enjoying the fruits of actions), endowed with intelligence; is Sattvic without doubt. (10)

For it is not possible for the embodied being to abandon actions completely; but one who renounces all desires for enjoying the fruits of actions, they are known as Tyagi (one who renounces all desires for enjoying the fruits of actions). (11)

There are three kinds of results of action; desirable, undesirable and mixed; which happen to the Tyagi after the death, but these do not ever happen to the Sanyasi (renouncers of the fruits of actions). (12)

Listen from ME; O Arjuna (O Mahabaho, the mighty-armed one); for the five reasons; they are enumerated to be done finally (in the teachings of Sankhya), stated for the perfection of all actions. (13)

The initiation and the doer and the doing in various different ways; the various separate endeavors and fate is the fifth factor. (14)

Action which a person performs with body, or speech, or mind; proper or improper; these are the five factors for it. (15)

There in spite of this, one who sees the doer as the soul alone; he sees so, not because he is wise, but sees as he’s foolish. (16)

Whose intellect is free from the sense of being the doer; whose nature is unattached; even though he kills, he neither kills the living beings nor does he get bound. (17)

Knowledge, the object of knowledge, the knower are the three factors that induce action; thus, the threefold constituents of action are the instruments of action, the act, the doer. (18)

Knowledge, action and the doer are also declared to be of three kinds; distinguished according to the three Gunas (the modes of material nature); it is said in the Sankhya philosophy, which describes the Gunas (the modes of material nature); listen to them as well. (19)

That knowledge by which one sees, one inexhaustible being within all living beings; know that knowledge, which sees the undivided among the divided, to be Sattvic (in the mode of goodness). (20)

However, the knowledge which considers manifold unconnected entities of diversity in all living entities; know that knowledge to be Rajasic (in the mode of passion). (21)

But that which is engrossed in itself, as if it encompasses the whole; actions without a reason, is not based on truth and that which is fragmental is said to be Tamasic (in the mode of ignorance). (22)

That action; which is done in accordance with the scriptures, is free from attachment, is done without attachment or hatred; the action which is done without the desire for rewards; is called Sattvic. (23)

But that action, which is prompted by selfish desire, is done with pride or again which is enacted with great effort; is said to be Rajasic. (24)

That action which is begun out of delusion; by disregarding one’s own ability and the consequences, loss, violence; is declared to be Tamasic. (25)

Free from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with determination and enthusiasm; the doer, who is free from change, in perfection and in incompleteness, is called Sattvic. (26)

Craving, seeking the fruits of action, greedy, violent natured and impure; the doer moved by joy and sorrow is described as Rajasic. (27)

Doer who is undisciplined, obstinate, cunning, dishonest, lazy, depressed and procrastinator; is said to be Tamasic. (28)

Hear in detail; O Arjuna (O Dhananjaya, the conqueror of wealth), the difference between intelligence and determination; being spoken in full and separately described distinctly according to the three modes of Gunas. (29)

In instinct and renunciation, in action and in fear and in fearlessness; that intellect, which knows bondage and liberation; O Arjuna (O Partha, the son of Pritha), is Sattvic. (30)

By which righteousness and unrighteousness; and right conduct and wrong conduct are distinguished; that intellect which perceives improperly; O Arjuna (O Partha, the son of Pritha), is Rajasic. (31)

One that is covered with darkness, thinks that iniquity is righteousness; that intellect; O Arjuna (O Partha, the son of Pritha), which is opposed to all meanings, is Tamasic. (32)

That determination which holds the mind (Mana), life-force (Prana) and sense-activities (Indriya-kriya); that unwavering determination through Yoga, O Arjuna (O Partha, the son of Pritha), is Sattvic. (33)

But, by that which holds duty (Dharma), pleasure (Kama) and wealth (Artha) with determination O Arjuna; that determination, O Arjuna (O Partha, the son of Pritha); that by the way desires for rewards, is Rajasic. (34)

In which one doesn’t give up dreams, fears, sorrows, depressions and madness; that unintelligent determination; O Arjuna (O Partha, the son of Pritha), is Tamasic. (35)

But now hear from ME of three kinds of happiness; O Arjuna, the best of the Bharatas; in which one by practice, rejoices and reaches the end of all suffering. (36)

That which is like poison at first and like nectar in the end; that happiness is said to be Sattvic, born of the grace of the Self-intelligence. (37)

From the contact of the senses (Indriya) with the sense objects (Vishaya); that which seems like nectar but results like poison, that happiness is said to be Rajasic. (38)

Happiness, which is derived by delusion of the self from the beginning to the end; that which arises from sleep, laziness and negligence; that is said to be Tamasic. (39)

There is no such thing on earth, or in heaven or among the Gods again; that is liberated from the influence of these three Gunas born of Prakriti. (40)

Brahmins (the priests), Kshatriyas (the warriors), Vaishyas (the traders) and the Shudras (the workers); O Arjuna, the scorcher of enemies; actions/duties are divided for all based on one’s virtues originating in nature (Prakriti and Guṇas). (41)

Peace, self-control, austerity, purity, forbearance and simplicity; knowledge, science, belief are Brahmana actions that are born of the intrinsic nature. (42)

Valor, splendor, patience, dexterity and standing firm in the battle; charity and godliness are the Kshatriya actions born of nature. (43)

Agriculture, cattle-raising and trade are the Vaishya activities born of nature; action consisting of attendance is inherent in the nature of a Shudra. (44)

A man who is engaged in his own actions attains perfection; listen to how one who is engaged in his own action attains perfection. (45)

From whom is the instinct of all beings and by whom all this is pervaded; by worshiping HIM by one’s natural actions, man attains perfection. (46)

Better is one's own prescribed duty devoid of any merit, than the duty of others which is perfectly done; by performing the action determined by the nature, one does not attain to sin. (47)

One should not abandon action born of one’s nature; O Arjuna (Kaunteya, the son of Kunti), even if it is faulty; for all beginnings are covered with fault, like fire with smoke. (48)

With intellect that is unattached everywhere; with conquered mind devoid of desires; one attains the supreme perfection of non-action through renunciation. (49)

Learn from ME in summary; O Arjuna, (Kaunteya, the son of Kunti), how he who has attained perfection attains Brahman; that is the supreme faith of knowledge. (50)

Endowed with pure intellect and controlling himself with patience; abandoning all deviations, sound and other objects and abandoning passion and hatred. Secluded, light-eater, controlled in speech, body and mind; one who is devoted to meditation and yoga and is always engaged in renunciation. Having liberated himself of ego, strength, pride, lust, anger and attachment; he becomes selfless, peaceful and free from attachment and becomes eligible to attain Brahma. (51- 53)

The happy soul who has become Brahma, does not grieve or desire; is equal to all beings attains supreme devotion to ME. (54)

With devotion MY devotee knows ME and ME in all forms as I AM in truth; then knowing ME in truth he enters, dwells in ME. (55)

Always performing all his actions, he takes refuge in ME; by MY grace he attains the eternal and inexhaustible abode. (56)

Renouncing all actions in ME, with the mind devoted to ME; relying on the Yoga of intelligence, be constantly in ME. (57)

With ME in your heart, you shall overcome all the obstacles by MY grace; but if you do not listen due to the ego in the heart; you will be destroyed. (58)

If depending on ego, you think you won’t fight; this is going to turn out to be a false resolve, as nature will engage you in it. (59)

Bound by own nature, by own action; O Arjuna, (Kaunteya, the son of Kunti); that which you do not wish to do out of delusion, still that you will be helplessly driven to do. (60)

God resides in the hearts of all beings, O Arjuna; by HIS illusory power (Maya) all beings wander as if riding on magic machines (Maya). (61)

Take refuge in HIM with all your heart, O Bharatha (Arjuna); by HIS grace you will attain a place of supreme peace forever. (62)

Thus, I have told to you the knowledge which is the most secret; more secret than the secret; think over it in its entirety and then do as you wish. (63)

Hear again MY Supreme Words which are the most secret of all; since you are very dear to ME; thus, I am telling you that what is good for you. (64)

Always thinking of ME, MY devotees, live in ME, worship ME; you will certainly come to ME that I promise, you are dear to ME. (65)

Forsake all duties, thoughts, everything and take refuge in ME alone; I shall liberate you from all your sins, do not grieve. (66)

These Supreme Words, this Instruction; is never to be spoken at any time, to those who are not austere, never to those who are not devoted; also, never to be spoken to those who do not want to listen and also never to those who are resentful towards ME. (67)

He who will reveal this Supreme Secret to MY devotees; having supreme devotion to ME, he will undoubtedly come to ME. (68)

And there is not anyone other than them amongst human beings who does more loving service to ME; and there will never be anyone on this Earth dearer to ME than them. (69)

And whoever will study this sacred conversation between US; worshipped through the Yagna of that knowledge, thus would become MINE, according to ME. (70)

A man who hears this with faith and without reluctance; he too, being liberated, attains the auspicious worlds of the pious. (71)

Have you heard this, O Arjuna (O Partha, the son of Pritha), with a focused mind? Has the delusion of ignorance disappeared from you, O Arjuna (O Dhananjaya, the conqueror of wealth)? (72)

Arjuna said: I have lost my delusion and regained my memory by YOUR Grace, O Lord Shree Krishna (O Achyuta, the infallible one); I stand without any doubt, I will carry out YOUR Instructions. (73)

Sanjaya said: Thus, here I heard this wonderful and thrilling conversation of Lord Shree Krishna (Vasudeva) and the noble hearted soul Arjuna. (74)

By the grace of Vyasa, I have heard this Supreme Secret Yoga; directly from Lord Shree Krishna; the Lord of Yoga, telling Himself. (75)

O King; repeatedly remembering this wonderful conversation between Lord Shree Krishna (Keshava, the killer of the demon named Keshi) and pious Arjuna, I rejoice again and again. (76)

And remembering that most wonderful form of the Lord Vishnu; I am astonished, O great King, and rejoice again and again. (77)

Where there is Lord Shree Krishna, the Lord of Yoga (Yogeshwara), where there is Arjuna (Partha), the bow-bearer; there will certainly be prosperity, victory, happiness, righteousness in my opinion. (78)