1. I desire to know severally, O mighty-armed, the truth of Sanyasa [one who has renounced the order of life], O Hrishikesa, as also of Tyaga [purpose of renunciation], O slayer of Kesi.
kamyanam karmanam nyasam
The Blessed Lord said:
2. The renunciation of kamya karma [activities based on desire], the sages understand as Sanyasa [renounced order of life]; the wise declare the abandonment of the fruits of all works as Tyaga [renunciation].
tyajyam dosa-vad ity eke
3. Some sages declare that all action should be relinquished as evil, while others say that Yajna, [sacrifice] charity and austerity should not be relinquished [abandoned].
niscayam srnu me tatra
4. Learn from Me the truth about this abandonment, O best of the Bharatas; abandonment, verily, O best of men, has been declared to be of three kinds.
5. Acts of Yajna [sacrifice], charity and austerity should not be given up, but should be performed; Yajna, gift and austerity are purifying to the wise.
etany api tu karmani
6. But even these actions should be performed giving up attachment and the fruits, O Partha; this is My certain and best belief.
niyatasya tu sannyasah
7. Verily, the abandonment of any obligatory duty is not proper; such abandonment out of ignorance is declared to be Tamasika.
duhkham ity eva yat karma
8. He who from fear of bodily trouble abandons action, because it is painful, thus performing Rajasika abandonment, obtains not the fruit thereof.
karyam ity eva yat karma
9. Whatever obligatory work is done, O Arjuna, merely because it ought to be done, abandoning attachment and also fruit, that abandonment is deemed to be Sattvika.
na dvesty akusalam karma
10. The relinquisher [intelligent renouncer] imbued with Sattva and a steady understanding and with his doubts dispelled, hates not a disagreeable work nor is he attached to an agreeable one.
na hi deha-bhrta sakyam
11. It is indeed impossible for an embodied being to renounce action entirely. But he who renounces the fruit of action is regarded as one who has renounced.
anistam istam misram ca
12. The threefold fruit of action - evil, good and mixed - accrues after death to one who does not relinquish but there is none ever for the one who renounces.
13. Learn from Me, O mighty-armed, these five factors in the accomplishment of all actions, as taught in the Samkhya [Vedanta] which is the end of action.
adhisthanam tatha karta
14. The body, the agent, the various senses, the different functions of various sorts, and the presiding deity also, are the five factors of action.
15. Whatever action a man performs with his body, speech or mind, whether right or wrong - these five are its causes.
tatraivam sati kartaram
16. That being so, the man of perverse mind, who, on account of his imperfect understanding looks upon the Self, the Absolute, as the agent - he does not see at all.
yasya nahankrto bhavo
17. He who is free from the notion of egoism and who's understanding is not tainted - though he kills these people, he kills not, nor is he bound.
jnanam jneyam parijnata
18. Knowledge, the object of knowledge and the knower form the threefold incitement to action; and the instrument, the object and the agent are the threefold constituents of action.
jnanam karma ca karta ca
19. Knowledge, action and actor [performer of action] are declared in the science of Gunas to be of three kinds only, according to the distinction of Gunas; hear of them also as they are.
20. The knowledge by which the one Imperishable Being is seen in all existences, undivided in the divided, know that that knowledge is Sattvika.
prthaktvena tu yaj jnanam
21. But that knowledge by which one sees in all beings manifold entities of different kinds as varying from one another - know that that knowledge is Rajasika.
yat tu krtsna-vad ekasmin
22. And the knowledge that clings to one single effect as if it was the whole, and is without reason, without foundation in truth, and trivial - that knowledge is declared to be Tamasika.
23. An action, which is ordained, which is free from attachment, which is done without love or hatred by one, not desirous of the fruit, that action is declared to be Sattvika.
yat tu kamepsuna karma
24. But that action which is done by one craving for desires, or again with egoism, or with much effort that is declared to be Rajasika.
anubandham ksayam himsam
25. That action which is undertaken from delusion, without heed to the consequences, loss, injury and ability that is declared to be Tamasika.
26. An agent who is free from attachment, non-egoistic, endued with firmness and zeal and unaffected by success or failure, is called Sattvika.
27. Passionate, desiring to obtain the fruit of action, greedy, cruel, impure, moved by joy and sorrow - such an agent is said to be Rajasika.
ayuktah prakrtah stabdhah
28. Unsteady, vulgar, stubborn, deceitful, malicious, indolent, despondent, procrastinating - such an agent is called Tamasika.
buddher bhedam dhrtes caiva
29. Hear the threefold distinction of understanding and firmness, according to the Gunas, as I explain them exhaustively and severally, O Dhananjaya.
pravrttim ca nivrttim ca
30. The intellect, which knows the paths of work and renunciation, right and wrong action, fear and fearlessness, bondage and liberation - that intellect, O Partha, is Sattvika.
yaya dharmam adharmam ca
31. The intellect that makes a distorted grasp of dharma [religion] and adharma [irreligion], of what ought to be done, and what ought not to be done - that, O Partha, is Rajasika.
adharmam dharmam iti ya
32. That which, enveloped in darkness, regards adharma as dharma and views all things in a perverted way, that intellect, O Partha, is Tamasika.
dhrtya yaya dharayate
33. The unswerving determination by which, through yoga, the functions of the mind, the Prana [life] and the senses are regulated, that determination, O Partha, is Sattvika.
yaya tu dharma-kamarthan
34. But the determination, O Arjuna, by which one holds fast to Dharma [religion], Kama [sense gratification] and Artha [economic development], desirous of the fruit of each from attachment, that determination, O Partha, is Rajasika.
yaya svapnam bhayam sokam
35. That by which a stupid man does not give up sleep, fear, grief, despair and also conceit, that determination, O Partha, is Tamasika.
sukham tv idanim tri-vidham
36. And now hear from Me, O chief of the Bharatas, the three kinds of happiness. That in which a man comes to rejoice by long practice and in which he reaches the end of his sorrow.
yat tad agre visam iva
37. That which is like poison at first, but like nectar at the end; that happiness is said to be Sattvika, born of the translucence of intellect due to Self-realization.
38. That happiness which arises from the contact of the senses and their objects and which like nectar at first but like poison at the end - it is held to be Rajasika.
yad agre canubandhe ca
39. That happiness which deludes the self both at the beginning and at the end and which arises from sleep, sloth [laziness] and illusion - that is declared to be Tamasika.
na tad asti prthivyam va
40. There is no being on earth, or again in heaven among the Devas [demigods], that is liberated from the three Gunas, born of Prakriti [material nature].
41. The duties of Brahmanas, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas, as also of Sudras, O scorcher of foes, are distributed according to the Gunas born of their own nature.
samo damas tapah saucam
42. Serenity, self-restraint, austerity, purity, forgiveness, and also uprightness, knowledge, realization, and belief in a hereafter - these are the duties of the Brahmanas, born of their own nature.
sauryam tejo dhrtir daksyam
43. Heroism, vigor, determination, resourcefulness, not flying from battle, generosity and leadership are the duties of the Kshatriyas born of their own nature.
44. Agriculture, cattle rearing and trade are the duties of the Vaisyas, born of their own nature; and action consisting of service is the duty of the Sudras born of their own nature.
sve sve karmany abhiratah
45. Devoted each to his own duty, man attains the highest perfection. How engaged in his own duty, he attains perfection, that do you hear.
yatah pravrttir bhutanam
46. He from whom is the evolution of all beings, by which all this is pervaded, worshipping Him with his own duty, man attains perfection.
sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah
47. Better is one's own dharma, though imperfect, than the dharma of another well performed. He who does the duty ordained by his own nature incurs no sin.
saha-jam karma kaunteya
48. One should not abandon, O Kaunteya [son of Kunti], the duty to which one is born, though it is attended with evil; for all undertakings are enveloped by evil, as fire by smoke.
49. He whose intellect is unattached everywhere, who has subdued his self, from whom desire has disappeared, he by renunciation attains the supreme state of freedom from action.
siddhim prapto yatha brahma
50. Learn from Me in brief, O Kaunteya [son of Kunti], how reaching such perfection, he attains to Brahman, that supreme consummation of knowledge.
buddhya visuddhaya yukto
51. Endowed with pure understanding, restraining the self with determination, turning away form sound and other objects, and abandoning attraction and aversion;
52. Dwelling in solitude, eating but little, speech, body and mind subdued, always engaged in meditation and concentration, endued with dispassion;
ahankaram balam darpam
53. Having abandoned egoism, violence, arrogance, desire, enmity, property, free from the notion of "mine" and peaceful, he is fit for becoming Brahman.
54. Becoming Brahman, serene-minded, he neither grieves nor desires; the same to all beings, he obtains supreme devotion to Me.
bhaktya mam abhijanati
55. By devotion he knows Me in truth, what and who I am; then having known Me in truth, he forthwith enters into Me.
sarva-karmany api sada
56. Doing continually all actions whatsoever, taking refuge in Me, by My grace he reaches the eternal undecaying Abode.
57. Mentally resigning all deeds to Me, having Me as the highest goal, resorting to Buddhi-yoga, do ever fix your mind on Me.
58. Fixing your mind on Me, you will by My grace, overcome all obstacles; but if from egoism you will not hear Me, you will perish.
yad ahankaram asritya
59. If filled with egoism, you think, "I will not fight," vain is this, your resolve; your nature will compel you.
60. Bound by your own karma born of your nature, that which from delusion you wish not to do, even that you shall do helplessly against your will, O Kaunteya [son of Kunti].
61. The Lord dwells in the hearts of all beings, O Arjuna, and by His Maya [material energy] causes all beings to revolve as though mounted on a machine.
tam eva saranam gaccha
62. Seek refuge in Him alone with all your heart, O Bharata. By His grace you will gain Supreme Peace and the Eternal Abode.
iti te jnanam akhyatam
63. Thus have I declared wisdom more profound than all profundities to you. Reflect upon it fully and act as you choose.
64. Listen again to My supreme word, the profoundest of all. You are My very dear friend and steadfast of heart; therefore I shall tell what is for your good.
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
65. Fix your mind on Me; be devoted to Me; sacrifice to Me; prostrate before Me; so shall you come to Me. This is My pledge to you, for you are dear to Me.
66. Renounce all dharmas [religion] and take refuge in Me alone. I shall liberate you from all sins; grieve not.
idam te natapaskaya
67. This is never to be spoken by you to one who is devoid of austerities, nor to one who is not devoted, nor to one who does not do service, nor to one who speaks ill of Me.
ya idam paramam guhyam
68. He, who with supreme devotion to Me will teach this immensely profound philosophy to My devotees, shall doubtless come to Me alone.
na ca tasman manusyesu
69. Nor is there any among men who renders dearer service to Me than he; nor shall there be another on earth dearer to Me than he.
adhyesyate ca ya imam
70. And he who will study this sacred dialogue of ours, by him I shall have been worshipped by Jnana Yajna [intelligence]; such is My conviction.
sraddhavan anasuyas ca
71. And the man who hears this, full of faith and free from scoff - even he, liberated from evil, shall attain the auspicious regions of the righteous.
kaccid etac chrutam partha
72. Has this been heard by you, O Partha, with an attentive mind? Has the delusion of your ignorance been destroyed, O Dhananjaya?
nasto mohah smrtir labdha
73. My delusion is destroyed. I have regained my memory through Your grace, O Achyuta [Krishna]. I am firm; I am free from doubt. I shall act according to Your word.
ity aham vasudevasya
74. Thus have I heard this wonderful dialogue between Vasudeva and the high-souled Partha, causing my hair to stand on end.
75. Through the grace of Vyasa have I heard the supreme and most profound yoga direct from Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, Himself declaring it.
rajan samsmrtya samsmrtya
76. O king, as I recall again and again this wonderful and holy dialogue between Kesava and Arjuna I rejoice again and again.
tac ca samsmrtya samsmrtya
77. And as often as I recall that most wondrous form of Hari, great is my astonishment, O king, and I rejoice again and again.
yatra yogesvarah krsno
78. Wherever is Krishna, the Lord of Yoga [master of all mystics], wherever is Partha, the wielder of the bow, there are prosperity, victory, extraordinary power, and morality; such is my conviction [opinion].
In Sri Mahabharata consisting of a lakh of stanzas composed by Vyasa, in the section called Bhishma Parva, in the Upanishad of the Bhagavad Gita, the knowledge of Brahman, the Supreme, the science of Yoga and the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, this is the eighteenth discourse designated:
THE YOGA OF LIBERATION BY RENUNCIATION