The BhagvadgitaChapter V: Karma Sanyasa Yoga (Yoga of Action and Knowledge)  


1                    Arjuna said: Krsna, you extol Sankhyayoga (the Yoga of Knowledge) and then the Yoga of Action. Pray tell me which of the two is decidedly better.

2                    Sri Bhagvan said: The Yoga of Knowledge and the Yoga of Action both lead to supreme bliss. Of the two, however, the Yoga of Action (being easier of practice) is superior to the Yoga of Knowledge.

3                    The Karmayogi, who neither hates nor desires, should be ever considered a Sannyasi (renouncer). For, Arjuna, he who has transcended the pairs of opposites, is easily freed from bondage.

4                    It is the ignorant, not the wise, who say that Sankhyayoga and Karmayoga are productive of divergent results. For one, who is firmly established in either, gets the fruit of both (viz., God-Realization).

5                    The supreme state, which is reached by the Sankhyayogi, is attained also by the Karmayogi. Therefore, he, who sees Sankhyayoga and karmayoga as one, so far as their result goes, really sees.

6                    Without Karmayoga, however, Sankhyayoga (or renunciation of doership in relation to all activities of the mind, senses and the body) is difficult to attain; whereas the Karmayogi, who keeps his mind fixed on God, reaches Brahma in no time, Arjuna.

7                    The Karmayogi, who has fully conquered his mind and subdued his senses, whose heart is pure, and who has identified his self with the Self of all beings (viz., God), remains unaffected, even though performing action.

8                    The Sankhyayogi, however, who knows the reality of things, even though seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, going, sleeping,

9                    Breathing, speaking, passing urine and stool, taking, and opening or closing the eyes, must believe that he does nothing, holding that it is the senses that are acting on sense-objects.

10               He, who acts, offering all actions to God, and shaking off attachment, remains untouched by sin, as the lotus leaf by water.

11               The Karmayogis perform action only with their senses, mind, intellect, and body as well, withdrawing the feeling of meum in respect of them and shaking off attachment, simply for the sake of self-purification.

12               Offering the fruit of actions to God, the Karmayogi attains peace in the shape of God-Realization; whereas he who works with a selfish motive, being attached to the fruit of actions through desire, gets tied down.

13               The self-controlled Sankhyayogi doing nothing himself and getting nothing done by others, rests happily in God, mentally relegating all actions to the city of nine gates (the body with nine holes).

14               The Lord determines not the doership nor the doings of beings, nor even their contact with fruit of actions. It is Nature that functions (deriving its motive power from God).

15               The omnipresent Lord does not partake of the virtue or sin of anyone. Knowledge is enveloped in ignorance; hence it is that beings are constantly falling a prey to delusion.

16               In the case, however, of those whose said ignorance has been destroyed by knowledge of God, that wisdom shining like the sun reveals the Supreme.

17               Those whose mind and intellect are wholly merged in him, who are constantly established in identity with Him, and are exclusively devoted to Him, their sins being wiped out by wisdom, go to whence there is no return.

18               The wise look with the same eye on a Brahman endowed with learning and culture, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a pariah.

19               Even here is the mortal plane conquered by those whose mind is established in equanimity; since the absolute is free from blemish and equanimous, hence they are established in the Eternal.

20               He, who, with reason form and free from doubt, rejoices not on obtaining what is agreeable, and does not feel perturbed on meeting with the unpleasant, that knower of Brahma lives eternally in identity with It.

21               He, whose mind remains unattached to external enjoyments, derives through meditation the unmixed joy, which is inherent in the soul; then that Yogi, having completely identified himself through meditation with Brahma, enjoys eternal Bliss.

22               The pleasures which are born of sense-contacts are verily sources of pain (though appearing as enjoyable to worldly-minded people). They have a beginning and an end (they come and go). Arjuna, it is for this reason that a wise man does not indulge in them.

23               He who is able to stand, here on earth, before casting off this body, the urges of lust and anger, he is a Yogi – a harmonized soul; he is a happy man.

24               He, who is happy within himself, enjoys within himself the delight of the soul, and even so is illumined by the inner light (light of the soul), such a Yogi (Sankhyayogi) identified with Brahma attains Brahma. Who is all Peace.

25               The seers whose sins have been washed away, whose doubts have been dispelled by knowledge in God and who are actively engaged in promoting the welfare of all beings, attains Brahma, who is all Peace.

26               To those wise men, who are free from lust and anger, who have subdued their mind and have realized God, Brahma, the abode of eternal peace, is present all round.

27               Shutting out the thoughts of external sense-enjoyments, with the eyes fixed on the space between the eye-brows, having equalized the Prana and Apana breaths (outward and inward breaths) flowing within the nostrils, he who has brought his senses,

28               Mind and reason under control, -- such a contemplative soul intent on liberation and free from desire, fear and anger, is ever liberated.

29               Having known Me in reality as the enjoyer of sacrifices and austerities, the supreme Lord of all the worlds, and the disinterested friend of all beings, my devotee attains peace.


Thus, in the Upanisad sung by the Lord, the science of Brahma, the scripture on Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krsna and Arjuna, ends the fifth chapter entitled “The Yoga of Action and Knowledge”