Understanding Gita – 108

Chapter 5 – Sanyasa Yoga

Shloka 7


yoga-yukto viśuddhātmā
vijitātmā jitendriyaḥ
kurvann api na lipyate

Text Source – “https://prabhupadabooks.com/bg/5/7

One who is engaged in yoga(karma yoga – acting in devotion), whose soul is pure, who has controlled his self and conquered his senses, who sees everything in himself and himself in everybody, will not get entangled although engaged in work.

By practicing karma yoga, working for God, one’s intention behind the karma purifies. You will no longer be doing action for the sake of its results. Hence one’s soul becomes pure. Doing so he would’ve controlled his mind which otherwise would run behind materials possessions and relations. Through controlled mind, indriyas are controlled. With the soul and mind purified you see oneness in all. With such a state even if you perform an action you are not bound by it(you don’t get affected by its results).

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Understanding Gita – 107

Chapter 5 – Sanyasa Yoga

Shloka 6


sannyāsas tu mahā-bāho
duḥkham āptum ayogataḥ
yoga-yukto munir brahma
na cireṇādhigacchati

Text Source – “https://prabhupadabooks.com/bg/5/6

O Mahabaho, Just by renouncing, without devotion, one can be afflicted with pain. The sages, who are engaged in devotional service, attain the Supreme without delay.

Just by renunciation, one cannot achieve The Supreme. For jnana to happen purity of mind is required. That is achieved by Karma Yoga – working without desire for fruits of actions. Without karma yoga, karma sanyasa will not happen. Mind still goes towards materials. One has to develop necessary bhavana(devotion) for the Lord. One who has this love for Supreme, achieves Bhraman very quickly.

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Understanding Gita – 106

Chapter 5 – Sanyasa Yoga

Shloka 5


yat sāṅkhyaiḥ prāpyate sthānaṁ
tad yogair api gamyate
ekaṁ sāṅkhyaṁ ca yogaṁ ca
yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati

Text Source – “http://prabhupadabooks.com/bg/5/5

What state is achieved by sankhya(analysis, jnana yoga), that state can be attained by yoga(karma yoga – acting in devotion) too. One who sees that sankhya and yoga are one, he actually sees.

Snakhya yoga is analytical study of one’s true nature; by that increased awareness one acts with knowledge. Karma Yoga is acting for the lord by bypassing their mind, which will uncover one’s true nature. Hence both lead to the same conclusion. Just the approach is different. One who sees this truth, is the one who is aware.

Divya: Devotee should be humble. If by analytical study one is getting arrogant, then his downfall begins.

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Understanding Gita – 105

Chapter 5 – Sanyasa Yoga

Shloka 4


sāṅkhya-yogau pṛthag bālāḥ
pravadanti na paṇḍitāḥ
ekam apy āsthitaḥ samyag
ubhayor vindate phalam

Text Source – “https://prabhupadabooks.com/bg/5/4

Only immature(balah) say that sankhya(analytical study) is different(prathak) than yoga(action in devotion), not the learned. By completely(samyak) being situated in one, the result of both can be enjoyed(vindate).   

Jnana Yoga is acting with knowledge. And karma yoga is acting in devotion which will ultimately lead you to knowledge. Even though approach is different, the result is the same – God/self realization. 

When “I” is not there, it’s all Him. Sankhya Yoga is knowing who is this “I”. Karma Yoga is starting with it’s all You, and then that bhava(Love) develops. Both approaches are aimed at getting rid of this “I”.

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Understanding Gita – 104

Chapter 5 – Sanyasa Yoga

Shloka 3


jñeyaḥ sa nitya-sannyāsī
yo na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati
nirdvandvo hi mahā-bāho
sukhaṁ bandhāt pramucyate

Text Source – “https://prabhupadabooks.com/bg/5/3

The one who never hates or desires should be known as a nitya-sanyasi(one who is always in renunciation).  He will be free from all dualities, O mighty armed, and easily liberated from bondage(bandhat pramuchyate).

In the previous verse Lord says karma yoga(acing in devotion) is better than karma tyaga(renouncing actions).

A person who neither hates nor desires anything, will be free from dvandva(disturbance in the mind). Even though he acts he doesn’t get caught up in it, as he is not acting for the results. He can easily come out of material bondage.

Action without expectations helps one to get out of material bondage easily, than mere mental speculations or theoretical knowledge. 

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Understanding Gita – 103

Chapter 5 – Sanyasa Yoga

Shloka 2


śrī-bhagavān uvāca

sannyāsaḥ karma-yogaś ca
niḥśreyasa-karāv ubhau
tayos tu karma-sannyāsāt
karma-yogo viśiṣyate

Text Source – “http://prabhupadabooks.com/bg

Sri Krishna said –
Both renunciation of karma and working in devotion lead to liberation. But of the two, karma yoga is better than karma sanyasa.

While both ultimately lead to liberation from the cycle of birth-death, working in devotion is better than renouncing. 

Perhaps, renouncing is for those who have reached certain level in spirituality. But for those caught up in this world, action is always better than renunciation.

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Understanding Gita – 102

Chapter 5 – Sanyasa Yoga

Shloka 1


arjuna uvāca

sannyāsaṁ karmaṇāṁ kṛṣṇa
punar yogaṁ ca śaṁsasi
yac chreya etayor ekaṁ
tan me brūhi su-niścitam

Text Source – “http://prabhupadabooks.com/bg

Arjuna said –
You ask me to renounce all activities, and again you are praising(shamsasi) yoga(karma in devotion). Out of these tell me which one is more beneficial(shreyah), definitely(su-nischitham).

In the previous chapters Lord said for the one who is situated in knowledge, Karma is not necessary(but he still needs to act to show guidance etc). In the last chapter Lord says all karma culminates is jnana. Finally what is good, renouncing or acting in devotion?

Knowledge helps in detaching oneself from worldly possessions and relations. So coming in jnana, Arjuna shouldn’t even have the desire to acquire the kingdom, let alone fight for it. Yet, Lord is asking Arjuna to get up and fight. Which one is better?

Coming to our mundane life, if one decides to pursue spiritual goals, should one just leave their family? In this situation, thinking of an answer is easy. One has to take care of their family first. But what if it is robbing the time which otherwise would’ve been spent on spiritual pursuits? So God says, act as though you are working for me. I think the details will be explained later on.

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