Bhagavad Gita English 5

कर्मसन्यास योगः

Karma Sanyasa Yoga (Renunciation of Actions)


The main topics of this chapter are:





Karma Yoga



Sankhya yoga



Charecteristics of a jnyana yogi



Verse 5: 01

Arjuna asks, “Which is better, karma sanyasa or karma yoga?””’अथ पञ्चमोऽध्यायः”’

कर्म सन्यास योगः

karma sanyāsa yōga

 अर्जुन उवाच संन्यासं कर्मणां कृष्ण पुनर्योगं च शंससि ।यच्छ्रेय एतयोरेकं तन्मे ब्रूहि सुनिश्चितम् ॥५:१॥

arjuna uvāca

saṁnyāsaṁ karmaṇāṁ kr̥ṣṇa punaryōgaṁ ca śaṁsasi |

yacchrēya ētayōrēkaṁ tanmē brūhi suniścitam ||5:1||


संन्यासम् कर्मणाम् कृष्ण पुनः योगम्  च शंससि यत् श्रेयम् एतयोः एकम्  तत् मे  ब्रूहि सुनिश्चितम् 

saṁnyāsam karmaṇām kr̥ṣṇa punaḥ yōgam  ca śaṁsasi yat śrēyam ētayōḥ ēkam  tat mē  brūhi suniścitam 


संन्यासम्-renunciation कर्मणाम्- of action कृष्ण-O Krsihna पुनः-again योगम्-path of action  च- and शंससि-you are extoling यत्- whichever श्रेयम्-is good to me एतयोः-in these two एकम्-one  तत्-that  मे- to me  ब्रूहि-advice, tell सुनिश्चितम्- in clear words


There was an element of confusion in Arjuna’s mind.

Nowhere in Gita, renunciation of action is advocated. On the contrary Krishna has exhorted Arjuna to engage in action or karma at several places in the last four chapters.


Perform your duty without any expectation or  personal

reward. (kāryaṁ karma samācāra 3:19) Dedicate all your actions to me and become free from expectation and egoism and engage in the battle of activity. (nirāśīrnirmamō bhūtvā yudhyasva vigatajvaraḥ 3 :30). Dutiful actions were performed by your ancient seekers; so you too emulate their dutiful  actions (kuru karma ēva tasmāt  tvam pūrvaiḥ pūrvataram kr̥tam 4:15).


However he has also eulogised Karmayoga or path of self-knowledge at several places.”Sacrifice through knowledge is superior to material rituals”. All actions in its entirity end up in jnyana or wisdom (śrēyān dravyamayāt yajñāt jñānayajñaḥ parantapa , sarvam karma akhilam pārtha jñānē parisamāpyatē) 4:33

Arjuna thought that Krishna wanted to say  that jnyana  is better than karma. Therefore he asks the first question in verse 1

Arjuna said –

O Krishna, you speak of renunciation of action and at the same time you advise their performance. Of these two, tell me for sure which is the better path?


sanyāsam karmaṇām –you extol renunciation of action on the one hand

puna yōgam  ca śasasi – on the other hand you praise yoga of action

yat śrēyam ētayōḥ ēkam –of these two pray tell me decidedly

tat mē  brūhi suniścitam –which is more conductve for my good.


Explanation to Arjuna’s doubt


sanyāsam karmaṇām is  renunciation of action. Renunciation comes from forsaking ownership, selfish motive behind the action and rewad for the action. It does not mean renunciation or abandonment of duty. Karma sanyasa comes from self- knowledge. It involves giving up ownership of

action, possession and the fruit of action at the feet of the Lord. Therefore the words renunciatioin and self-knowldge are used interchangably. Karma sanyasa is also known by other names of Karmayoga. In the second chapter it was called as Buddhi yoga.

So it becomes clear that Krsihna exhorted Arjuna not to give up his fight in the battle field (action) but to take up arms as his duty and service to God.

In the very first verse Arjuna uses controversial words of,  karma sanyāsa,  karma yōga  and the Lord too uses the same terminology in answering his question in verse 2. But in order to avoid erroneous interpretation to mean renunciation of action, the Lord uses the words Sankhya and yoga. Sankhya is the yoga of self-knowledge and  karmayoga or Nishkama karma yoga is selfless action.


Verse 5: 02

Krishna says,” Karma yoga is better than Karma sayasa”.श्रीभगवानुवाच संन्यासः कर्मयोगश्च निःश्रेयसकरावुभौ ।तयोस्तु कर्मसंन्यासात्कर्मयोगो विशिष्यते ॥५:२॥


saṁnyāsaḥ karmayōgaśca niḥśrēyasakarāvubhau |

tayōstu karmasaṁnyāsātkarmayōgō viśiṣyatē ||5:2||



संन्यासः कर्मयोगः च  निःश्रेयसकरौ उभौ  तयोः तु  कर्मसंन्यासात्  कर्मयोगः  विशिष्यते



saṁnyāsaḥ karmayōgaḥ ca  niḥśrēyasakarau ubhau   tayōḥ tu  karmasaṁnyāsāt  karmayōgaḥ   viśiṣyatē


संन्यासः- renunciation of work; the yoga of knowledge, the path of self knowledge (कर्म सन्यास  karma sanyāsa) कर्मयोगः-the yoga of action (निष्काम कर्म योग niṣkāma karma yōga) the path of selfless action  च-and निःश्रेयसकरौ-are conductive to the highest good उभौ-both तयोः-of the two तु-however कर्मसंन्यासात्-the yoga of knowledge कर्मयोगः-the yoga of action विशिष्यते-is superior


The blessed Lord said:

The yoga of knowledge or the path of self-knowledge as well as the yoga of action, the path of selfless action, both  are good for liberation. Of the two, however, the yoga of action is superior to yoga of  knowledge because it is easier to practice.


sanyāsaḥ –means कर्म सन्यास , abandoning of ownership of work done by body, mind and intellect. wherever sanyasa is mentioned, it should be taken as karma sanyasa meaning renunciation of work through knowledge. Actually work is not to be abandoned, but ownership and doership of action and result is to be  abandoned. Karma sanyasa is the same as jnyana yoga, and Sankhya yoga, the path of knowledge.  A karma sanyasi or Sankhya yogi renounces the sense of doership in respect of all actions done by his body, mind and speech. In his opinion he does not undertake any work. It is the gunas born of māya (the sense organs) that are moving among the gunas (the sense objects) which performes the work. He has no role to play , he is only a tool in the work even as he remains established always in in the all pervading truth, knowledge and bliss.

karmayōgaḥ ca –the yoga of action.  Karma yoga means niṣkāma karma yōga  (निष्काम कर्म योग) work done without self-interest. He knows that he is the doer but dedicates all actions and result to God. Whatever result comes by his sincere endeavour, he takes it as a Prasad of God. This has been explained in Verse 3:30. Here is the verse

mayi sarvāṇi karmāṇi saṁnyasyādhyātmacētasā

nirāśīrnirmamō bhūtvā yudhyasva vigatajvaraḥ ||3 -30||


Dedicate all your actions to me, focussed on me, be engaged in the battle of activity without any expectation of result  and from feverish tension and worry.


niḥśrēyasakarau ubhau – Both Karma sanyasa and karma yoga  lead to liberation. In between them, the latter is on any day better than the farmer. Both action and non-action lead to salvation. It must be understood that non-action is different from inaction. A yogi may sit for long hours in silent meditation -in some cases, even for days or months at a time. A deeply meditating yogi is certainly active. He may be

expiating the karmas of the past incarnations or at least in most cases directing his inner energy to union with God.


These two desciplines cannot be fallowed simultaneously becasue both of them are different.  A niṣkāma karma yōgi  treats  himself and God as separate entities and does everything as an offering to God. He renounces the fruit and attachement for the action.

Where as  karma yogi feels that he is the doer of acion, a jnyana yogi fells that he has no role in action. It is the guna acting on themselves. Karma yogi views God as separate from himself the karma sanyasi (also called as Sankhya yogi) finds no distiniction between him and God.


Many words have been used as synonyms in different chapters or at times within the same chapter. One should carefully study and understand them before going further in this chapter.

  1. karma sanyāsa (कर्म सन्यास) renunciation of selfish action. sanyāsa, karma sanyāsa,  jñāna yōga, samatva buddhi yōga, सन्यास,  कर्म सन्यास,  ज्ञान योग, समत्व बुद्धि योग
  2. कर्म योग yoga of action (निष्काम कर्म योग)

Karma sanyasa or jnani:

sarvabhūtēṣu yēnaikaṁ bhāvamavyayamīkṣatē |

avibhaktaṁ vibhaktēṣu tajjñānaṁ viddhi sāttvikam ||18:20||

That by which man perceives one imperishable devine existenceas undevided and equally present in all individual beings, please know that knowledge to be sattvika.


Nishkama karma yogi:

ye tu sarvani karmani mayi sannyasya mat -parah
ananyenaiva yogena mam dhyayanta upasate 12: 06
 On the other hand, those who venerate me offering all actions to me, regarding me as their supreme goal, and meditate on my personal form with unswerving devotion


tayōḥ tu  karmasaṁnyāsāt karmayōgaḥ  viśiṣyatē  –among the two, nishkama karma yoga is superior to karma sanyasa. Yoga of action is superior to yoga of knowledge because it is easier to practice.

Why the path of action is easier?

A kama yogi although always engaged in action is not bound by bondage because he has no selfish interest in the action and result. He gets free from bondage of birth and death

easily as mentioned in  the next verse. He constantly enjoys protection of the Lord (verse 9:22).

ananyāścintayantō māṁ yē janāḥ paryupāsatē |

tēṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yōgakṣēmaṁ vahāmyaham |9:22||


The devotees who constantly think of me and worship me in a disinterested spirit I personally attend to their needs and protect their needs.


Verse 5: 03

The Lord continues to praise a karmayogiज्ञेयः स नित्यसंन्यासी यो न द्वेष्टि न काङ्क्षति ।निर्द्वन्द्वो हि महाबाहो सुखं बन्धात्प्रमुच्यते ॥५ :३॥

jneyah sa nitya -sannyasi yo na dveshti na kankhsati
nirdvandvo hi maha -baho sukham bandhat pramuchyate


ज्ञेयः सः नित्यसंन्यासी यः न द्वेष्टि न काङ्क्षति निर्द्वन्द्वः  हि महाबाहो सुखम् बन्धात् प्रमुच्यते  


jñēyaḥ saḥ nityasaṁnyāsī yaḥ na dvēṣṭi na kāṅkṣati nirdvandvaḥ  hi mahābāhō sukham bandhāt pramucyatē  


ज्ञेयः-should be considered  सः-he नित्यसंन्यासी-as ever renounced यः-who न-not द्वेष्टि-hates न-not काङ्क्षति-desires निर्द्वन्द्वःone who is free from pairs of opposites हि-indeed महाबाहो-O mighty armed Arjuna सुखम्-easily बन्धात्-from bondage प्रमुच्यते-is freed  

O mighty armed Arjuna, a karma yogi (Nishkama karma yogi, yogi of action) who neither hates nor desires the fruits of his activities is called a constant renunciant. Such a person easily overcomes karmic bondage and is completely liberated  because he is free from dualities of attachment and aversion.


In the previous shloka the lord declared that karmayogi is superior to jnyana yogi. In this verse he further praises karma yogi


jñēyaḥ saḥ nityasaṁnyāsī yaḥ na dvēṣṭi na kāṅkṣati – he should be considered as a perpetual sanyasi (renunciant) who does not hate or desire. Attraction and repulsion  are the two most formidable enemies retarding the spiritual growth of man. They throw him into bondage of Karma. –Goyandka. One who has overcome these limitations is freed from bondage of action. One who has not overcome the dvandva shoud therefore be considered as anitya (tempoary)  sanyasi.

nirdvandvaḥ  hi mahābāhō sukham bandhāt pramucyatē –  one who is free from pairs of opposites is easily freed from karmic bondage. dwandva or dualities in life are pain and pleasure, attration and replulsion, which subverts the mind of man;  nirdvandvaḥ  is one who has transcended the dvandva or opposites. O Arjuna such a person is easily freed from karmic bondage.

Swami Muktananda:

Karma yogis continue to discharge their worldly duties while internally practicing detachment.  Hence, they accept both positive and negative outcomes with equanimity, as the grace of God.  The Lord has designed this world so beautifully that it makes us experience both happiness and distress for our gradual elevation.  If we continue to lead our regular lives and tolerate whatever comes our way, while happily doing our duty, the world naturally pushes us toward gradual spiritual elevation. 

 There is a sweet story that illustrates this concept.  There was once a piece of wood.  It went to a sculptor and said, “Can you please make me beautiful?”  The sculptor said, “I am ready to do that.  But are you ready for it?”  The wood replied, “Yes, I am also ready.”  The sculptor took out his tools and began hammering and chiseling.  The wood screamed, “What are you doing?  Please stop!  This is so painful.”  The sculptor replied wisely, “If you wish to become beautiful, you will have to bear the pain.”  “All right,” said the wood, “Go ahead and do it.  But please be gentle and considerate.”  The sculptor continued his work again.  The wood kept screaming, “Enough for today; I can’t bear it any further.  Please do it tomorrow.”  The sculptor was undeterred in his task, and in a few days, the wood was transformed into a beautiful deity, fit to sit on the altar of the temple. 

In the same way, our hearts are rough and unfinished because of endless lifetimes of attachment in the world.  If we wish to become internally beautiful, we must be willing to tolerate pain and let the world do its job of purifying us.  So karm yogis work with devotion, are equipoised in the results, and practice attaching their mind to God. 


VERSE 5: 04

The outcome of the path of knowledge and path of action is not divergentसांख्ययोगौ पृथग्बालाः प्रवदन्ति न पण्डिताः ।एकमप्यास्थितः सम्यगुभयोर्विन्दते फलम् ॥५ – ४॥

sāṁkhyayōgau pr̥thagbālāḥ pravadanti na paṇḍitāḥ |

ēkamapyāsthitaḥ samyagubhayōrvindatē phalam ||5 – 4||


सांख्ययोगौ पृथक्  बालाः प्रवदन्ति न पण्डिताः  एकम् अपि आस्थितः सम्यक् उभयोः विन्दते फलम्  


sāṁkhyayōgau pr̥thak  bālāḥ pravadanti na paṇḍitāḥ  ēkam api āsthitaḥ samyak ubhayōḥ vindatē phalam  


सांख्ययोगौ-the path of Sankhya or self-knowledge and the path of selfless action  पृथक्- different (yeild different results) बालाः-childish (ignorant , men of unripe intellect) प्रवदन्ति-declare न-not  पण्डिताः-the wise  एकम्-in one अपि-even सम्यक् – firmly आस्थितः- established  उभयोःof both विन्दते-obtains फलम्-fruit (God –realization)  


It is the ignorant, not wise who declare that Sankhya yoga and karma yoga yield divergent results. One who is firmly established in either gets the fruit of both (i.e. realiztion)


sāṁkhyayōgau –among Sankhya and yoga. sāṁkhyayōgau is a compound word having two members; sāṁkhya and yōgau. sāṁkhya refers to self-knowledge or jnyana. This is the same as jnyana yoga or path of self-knowledge. Yoga or Nishkama karma yoga is selfless action. Yōgau is a dual case. which means two yogas, the path of self-knowledge and the path of selfless action. Sankhya yoga and karma yoga both are conductive to realization.

pthak  bālāḥ pravadanti na paṇḍitāḥ  –the childish or men of unripened mind opine that both give divergent results. But the Panditas do not say so. Although both desciplines are separate and their method of practice are separate, they lead to the same goal of God Realization. The Lord says that :


na hi jñānēna sadr̥śaṁ pavitramiha vidyatē|

tatsvayaṁ yōgasaṁsiddhaḥ kālēnātmani vindati||4:38||


Certainly there is nothing in this world which is as sanctifying as knowledge. in course of time a devotee who is successful in karmayoga will spontaneously realize this within himself.


It should be noted that knowledge of the supreme truth or jnyana is not the same as jyana yoga. The latter is the name of the path of action leading to self-knowledge. By performing the discipline of jnyana yoga (performing actions for the sake of God without claiming authorship and accepting whatever result God deems to give as his Prasad)  one gets the ultimate knowlede.

paṇḍitāḥ  : wise men. This is a plural case of the word panḍā (पण्डा) which means the knowledge of the supreme reality and one who is endowed with such a knowledge is called

paṇḍitā. So the men who have knowledge of reality do not say that both the paths give different results.

ēkam api āsthitaḥ samyak ubhayōḥ vindatē phalam-

although one is perfect or well versed in one discipline he automatically obtains the fruit of both. Both the desciplines although independent of each oher lead to the same goal.


VERSE 5: 05

यत्सांख्यैः प्राप्यते स्थानं तद्योगैरपि गम्यते ।एकं सांख्यं च योगं च यः पश्यति स पश्यति ॥५: ५॥ 

yatsāṁkhyaiḥ prāpyatē sthānaṁ tadyōgairapi gamyatē |

ēkaṁ sāṁkhyaṁ ca yōgaṁ ca yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati ||5: 5||


यत् साख्यैः प्राप्यते स्थानम् तत् योगैः अपि  गम्यते एकम्  सांख्यम्  च योगम्  च यः पश्यति सः पश्यति   

yat sākhyaiḥ prāpyatē sthānam tat yōgaiḥ api  gamyatē ēkam  sāṁkhyam  ca yōgam  ca yaḥ paśyati saḥ paśyati  


यत् -that  साख्यैः-by Sankhya yoga  प्राप्यते-is attained स्थानम्-state तत्-that योगैः-by Nishkama karma yogis as well (plural) अपि-also  गम्यते-is reached  एकम्-as one सांख्यम्-sankhya yoga च-and योगम्-karma yoga च-and यः-who पश्यति-seesसः-he पश्यति -sees 


The supreme state which is reached by Sankhya yogis (self-knowledge, a renunciant of action by dedication to God) is also attained by a karma yogis  (yoga of selfless service). So he alone who sees the results of Sankhya yoga and  karma yoga are indeed the same,  sees the truth


yat sākhyaiḥ prāpyatē sthānam – that stage which is attained by the discipline of Sankhya yoga or renunciation of fruits of action. Which state is attained?, the state of truth, consciousness and bliss (sat cit ānanda). One who has taken up the path of karma yoga should not feel that his method is inferior and one who has adopted jnyana yoga should not feel superior. The Lord says both the paths lead to the same goal.

tat yōgaiḥ api  gamyatē – that state is also attained by a practitioners of yoga. Here yoga means nishkama karma yoga.

ēkam  sāṁkhyam  ca yōgam  ca yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati – one who sees that sankhya yoga and karma yoga are the same so far as their goal is concerned, is ineed the seer of truth. Others are blinds with eyes.


VERSE 5: 06

 संन्यासस्तु महाबाहो दुःखमाप्तुमयोगतः ।योगयुक्तो मुनिर्ब्रह्म नचिरेणाधिगच्छति ॥५ – ६॥

saṁnyāsastu mahābāhō duḥkhamāptumayōgataḥ |

yōgayuktō munirbrahma nacirēṇādhigacchati ||5 – 6||


संन्यासः तु  महाबाहो दुःखम् आप्तुम् अयोगतः  योगयुक्तः  मुनिः र्ब्रह्म न चिरेण अधिगच्छति  

saṁnyāsaḥ tu  mahābāhō duḥkham āptum ayōgataḥ  yōgayuktaḥ  muniḥ rbrahma na cirēṇa adhigacchati  


संन्यासः-perfection in karma sanyasa or sankhyayoga or path of knowledge  तु-however महाबाहो-mighty armed Arjuna दुःखम्-difficult आप्तुम्-to attain अयोगतः-by one is not adept in nishkama karma yoga योगयुक्तः-one who has attained perfection by nishkama karma yoga मुनिः-the one who contemplates on God र्ब्रह्म-the supreme reality, Brahman न चिरेण-without delay, quickly अधिगच्छति-reaches Brahman.


O Arjuna, true renunciation (renunciation of doerhip and ownership-karma sanyasa of Sankhya yogi ) is difficult to attain without karmayoga. A sage equipped with karmayoga quickly attains the supreme state of Mokhsa.


 In this verse the Lord declares that without obtaining purification of mind (cittaśuddhi) by selfless actions, one cannot obtain perfection in jnyana yoga.


tu (तु) – the indeclinable tu emphasises that although both the practices have identical result there is clear difference in their methodology and both are independent of each other. They are to be practiced serially but not simultaneously. Karma yoga or the path of selfless action is easy to practice whereas jnyana yoga or the path  self-knowledge is beset with many difficulties.

sanyāsa tu  mahābāhō duḥkham āptum ayōgataḥ –however Arjuna, sanyasa (karma sanyasa, renunciation of fruit of action done by body, senses and mind) is difficult to practice by one who has no experience in ‘yoga’ that is karma yoga. Selfless action is the basic step for a yogi who wants to attain liberation. By continuous practice of karma yoga one has to purge his mind of impurities of likes and dislikes,

attachment to agreeable  and repulsion to disagreeable. This process in Sanskrit is called aṁtaḥkaraṇa śuddhi (अंतःकरण शुद्धि).

yōgayuktaḥ  muniḥ brahma na cirēṇa adhigacchati –the muni who is an adept in karma yoga quickly attains Brahman. yōgayuktaḥ ‘one who has mastered nishkama karma yoga’ (selfless actions). The word yōgayuktaḥ is antonym (opposite of) the word ayōgataḥ stated in the first line. Where as an  ayōgataḥ, one who is not proficient in the path of karmayoga finds it difficult to practice karma sanyasa, one who is has

attained proficiency in karma yoga  finds it easy to take up karma sanyasa yoga and attains soul perception.

The word  muniḥ means a sage. Muni means one who practices mananam or contemplation. So it becomes clear that along with selfless service one has to contemplate on the nature of Brahman in whose image every one is born.

This is a confirmation by the lord of his statent in the first verse of this chapter when he says,” tayōstu karmasaṁnyāsātkarmayōgō viśiṣyatē” ||5:2||


VERSE 5: 07

 योगयुक्तो विशुद्धात्मा विजितात्मा जितेन्द्रियः ।सर्वभूतात्मभूतात्मा कुर्वन्नपि न लिप्यते ॥५- ७॥


yōgayuktō viśuddhātmā vijitātmā jitēndriyaḥ |

sarvabhūtātmabhūtātmā kurvannapi na lipyatē ||5 – 7||


योगयुक्तः  विशुद्धात्मा विजितात्मा जितेन्द्रियः  सर्वभूतात्मभूतात्मा कुर्वन् अपि न लिप्यते   


yōgayuktaḥ  viśuddhātmā vijitātmā jitēndriyaḥ  sarvabhūtātmabhūtātmā kurvan api na lipyatē   


योगयुक्तः – proficient in the path of action  विशुद्धात्मा –a man of purified mind विजितात्मा –one who has conquered the mind  जितेन्द्रियः –one who has mastered the senses सर्वभूतात्मभूतात्मा – one who realizes his self as the self of all beings  कुर्वन् –performing action अपि –although न-  not  लिप्यते – is tainted  


The karma yogi who has subdued his mind, mastered his senses, endowed with pure mind,  and who sees the one and the same spirit in all beings is not bound by karma, although he engages in activities.


In this verse the Lord sescribes the marks of a karma yogi.


yōgayukta  viśuddhātmā vijitātmā jitēndriyaThe lord mentions five prerequisites for a man to obtain amnesty from bondage of karma. Four have been stated in the first line and one more in the second line. yōgayuktaḥ  one who is engaged in right action (yōga – karma yoga selfless service, yuktaḥ – endowed with), viśuddhātmā one whose mind has become pure (viśuddh-pure ātmā –mind ) by selfless service,  vijitātmā one who has controlled the mind (vijita ātmā triumph over mind), jitēndriyaḥ  (jit indriya) one who has control over senses.    

sarvabhūtātmabhūtātmā kurvan api na lipyatēwho has identified himself with the self of all beings. This is the fifth qualification of a yogi who has immunity from karmic bondage.  kurvan api na lipyatē –although he performs all actions, they do not bind him and create vasanas. Actions could be performed by body, mind and intellect. The reason for not creating vsanas is that a Jnyana yogi does not consider that he is the doer and enjoyer. So he does not claim  ownership over his actions and their results. In his opinion  all actions are done by the Prakrati and he has nohing to do, no role wih them.    

A very interesting point has been mentioned by Goyandka. It is understandable that a jnyana yogi is not bound by actions. But a karma yogi too is granted freedom from bondage for his actions because he perporms them for the sake of God. The indeclinable ‘api’ has been used to reveal the speciality of karma yogi.


VERSE 5: 08- 09

Sankhya yogi is a non-doerनैव किंचित्करोमीति युक्तो मन्येत तत्त्ववित् ।पश्यञ्श्रृण्वन्स्पृशञ्जिघ्रन्नश्नन्‌गच्छन्स्वपञ्श्वसन् ॥५ – ८॥

naiva kiṁcitkarōmīti yuktō manyēta tattvavit |

paśyañśrr̥ṇvanspr̥śañjighrannaśnan–gacchansvapañśvasan ||5 – 8||



न एव किंचित् करोमि इति   युक्तः मन्येत तत्त्ववित्  पश्यन्  श्रृण्वन् स्पर्शन् जिघ्नन् अश्नन् गच्छन् स्वपन्  श्वसन्   प्रलपन्विसृजन्गृह्णन्नुन्मिषन्निमिषन्नपि ।


na ēva kiṁcit karōmi iti   yuktaḥ manyēta tattvavit  paśyan  śrr̥ṇvan  sparśan jighnan aśnan gacchan svapan  śvasan       


न -not एव- even किंचित्- anything करोमि- I do इति- thus  युक्तः-  Sankhya yogi  मन्येत- thinks तत्त्ववित्-one who knows reality  पश्यन्- seeing श्रृण्वन् – hearing  स्पर्शन्- touching जिघ्नन्-smelling अश्नन्-eating  गच्छन्-going  स्वपन्-sleeping  श्वसन्-breathing       


इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेषु वर्तन्त इति धारयन् ॥५ – ९॥

pralapanvisr̥jangr̥hṇannunmiṣannimiṣannapi |

indriyāṇīndriyārthēṣu vartanta iti dhārayan ||5 – 9||


प्रलपन् विस्रजन् ग्रह्णन्  उन्मिषन्  निमिषन् अपि  इन्द्रियाणि इन्द्रियार्थेषु वर्तन्त इति धारयन्  


pralapan visrajan grahṇan  unmiṣan  nimiṣan api  indriyāṇi indriyārthēṣu vartanta iti dhārayan  


प्रलपन् -speaking  विस्रजन्-answering calls of naure  ग्रह्णन्-grasping  उन्मिषन्- opening the eyes  निमिषन्-closing the eyes अपि-even इन्द्रियाणि- organs of sense and action इन्द्रियार्थेषु-amongst sense objects वर्तन्त-are moving इति-thus धारयन्- holding a view 


The Sankhya yogi however who knows the truth  perceives that “ I do nothing at all”—eventhough he sees, hears, touches, smells, eats, moves, sleeps, breaths, answers calls of nature, grasps, opens and closes his eyes. He realizes that it is the senses (activated by nature) that work amidst the sense objects.


na ēva kicit karōmi iti  yuktaḥ manyēta tattvavit  – Yukta or a jnyana yogi thinks, “I do not do anything at all”.

yukta ‘one who is connected,’ refers to yogayukta or one who performs Nishkama karma yoga. He performs all actions of the body and mind without body consciousness or ego. He realizes that the body is activated by 24  cosmic principles of nature. It is that principle which is doing all the activity and that he is only an instrument.  tattvavit is one who knows the essence of reality,  is a yogi.

Krishna has listed 13 sample activiies normally performed by a man everyday. This includes five activities of organ of perception (jñānēndriya ज्ञानेन्द्रिय) viz. eye, ear, skin, nose and tongue. Organs of execution (karmēndriya कर्मेन्द्रिय)  are represented by walking, grasping, speaking and attending to calls of nature.  Breathing points to the five vital airs (paṅcavāyavaḥ पङ्चवायवः ). Sleeping denotes function of inner sense or mind.

Paramahansa Yogananda points out that this verse reveals one of the most effective ways by which a man can free himself from the shakles of good and bad karma. When we eat we should enjoy the food as a pleasusrable duty to preserve the temple of God. When we sleep we should think that body is being quieted so that we may subconsciously enjoy the restful presence of God. Whe we meditate we shoud feel that God is revealing as joy. When we perceive the working of life energy we should feel that God is charging the battery. When we are thinking, willing, or feeling we should remember that God is employing his faculties. God is working through the ten sense organs.

इन्द्रियाणि इन्द्रियार्थेषु वर्तन्त इति धारयन्  the senses are moving among their objects. This subject has been dealt with in Verse 28 of Chapter 3. Here is the verse.


tattvavittu mahābāhō guṇakarmavibhāgayōḥ guṇā guṇēṣu vartanta iti matvā na sajjatē ||3 -28||


O mighty armed one! (Arjuna) He who knows the truth about the role of Gunas and their actions does not become attached to work. Because such a person knows that the gunas in the form of  sense attributes are attahched to gunas as sense objects. However he remains unattached to them.


The senses and the sense objects are the products of three gunas of Prakrati and they are moving amongst themselves resulting in performance of activity.

Swami Chinmayanda says” “When I am typing I watch my fingers are typing” I say to myself “Hey it is not me who is typing”. Similarly an ocean tells itself, “Look, all these waves which are rising above, mixing and falling down are not me”


VERSE 5:10

 Having described the desciplines followed by jnyanayogi or sankhya yogi the Lord now  In the next two verses discusses the discipline of Karma yoga.  ब्रह्मण्याधाय कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा करोति यः ।लिप्यते न स पापेन पद्मपत्रमिवाम्भसा ॥५ – १०॥

brahmaṇyādhāya karmāṇi saṅgaṁ tyaktvā karōti yaḥ |

lipyatē na sa pāpēna padmapatramivāmbhasā ||5 – 10||


ब्रह्मणि आधाय कर्माणि सङ्गम्  त्यक्त्वा करोति यः  लिप्यते न सः पापेन पद्मपत्रम्  इव  अम्भसा

brahmaṇi ādhāya karmāṇi saṅgam  tyaktvā karōti yaḥ   lipyatē na saḥ pāpēna padmapatram  iva  ambhasā


ब्रह्मणि- in Brahman आधाय – offering कर्माणि- all actions सङ्गम्-attachment त्यक्त्वा-having abandoned करोति-performs यः-who लिप्यते-remains untouched न-not सः-he पापेन-by sin  पद्मपत्रम्-lotus leaf  इव-like  अम्भसा –by water


One who does all work as an offering to God, abandoning attachment to results remains unsullied by karmic reaction or sin, just as a lotus leaf never gets wet by water.


brahmai ādhāya karmāṇi – offering all actions to God. karmāṇi – all actions. Actions are done by body, mind and intellect. Which are the actions a devotee does? A devotee does all actions of a normal good person such as service to poor and society, religious rites, japa, tapa, meditation, his personal avocation, and his routine bodily functions such as eating, seeing etc. Then what is the difference? He does all the activities as a service to God free from attachment to their results. He does not claim owenership for actions because he knows that it is the 24-principles of nature that is performing all actions. He is only an instrument but not doer. He performs to his best because it is God’s work. 

sagam  tyaktvā karōti yaḥ –one who persorms the actions free fom attachment. There is no bar for perfrming actions. A yogi performs all actions offering them to God. He gives his best performance and at the same time he is not attached  to its fruit.

lipyatē na saḥ pāpēna padmapatram  iva  ambhasā – he does not get sin, just as a lotus leaf growing in muddy water does not get wet or polluted.  Here the meaning of sin is vasanaas  which is the consequence of work.


VERSE 5:11

Karma yogi gets immunity from karmic bondage by giving up attachmentकायेन मनसा बुद्ध्या केवलैरिन्द्रियैरपि ।योगिनः कर्म कुर्वन्ति सङ्गं त्यक्त्वात्मशुद्धये ॥५ – ११॥

kāyēna manasā buddhyā kēvalairindriyairapi |

yōginaḥ karma kurvanti saṅgaṁ tyaktvātmaśuddhayē ||5 – 11||



कायेन मनसा बुद्ध्या केवलैः इन्द्रियैः अपि  योगिनः कर्म कुर्वन्ति सङ्गम् त्यक्त्वा आत्मशुद्धये   

kāyēna manasā buddhyā kēvalaiḥ indriyaiḥ api  yōginaḥ karma kurvanti saṅgam tyaktvā ātmaśuddhayē   


कायेन- by body मनसा–by mind बुद्ध्या-by intellect केवलैः-merely  इन्द्रियैः-by the senses अपि-also योगिनः-the karmayogis कर्म-action कुर्वन्ति-perform  सङ्गम्-attachment त्यक्त्वा- having abandoned आत्मशुद्धये-for self-purification


The karmayogis perform actions with their body mind and intelellect and senses without any selfish attachment, simply for the purpose of self-purification. 


kāyēna manasā buddhyā kēvalaiḥ indriyaiḥ api – a karmayogi performs all actions of the body, mind and intellect renouncing all attachments. The word kēvalaiḥ is used in this verse as an adjuctive to indriyaiḥ api (indriyas also), but in this context the adjective kēvalaiḥ should also apply to kāyēna manasā buddhyā (by body, mind and intellect). The word kēvalaiḥ (merely) denotes absence of feeling of ‘me’ and ‘mine’ in the work or for its reward. He does all the work as a service to God, as God’s work in a disinterested spirit just as an instrument guided by God.


 yōginaḥ karma kurvanti saṅgam tyaktvā ātmaśuddhayē  – the karmayogis perform action by their body (kaya), speech (vacha), and mind as well as intellect (Manasa),  free of attachment for the purpose of purification of ego. This is the purpose of actions by karmayogis. The objective is to purify the mind and intellect by continuous selfless actions.

The yogi remains unattached to all the activities.  He dosn’t shirk any activity. He remains a detached observer of all that he is doing, happening around him, or within himself. Why does he so? The lord says atmashuddhaye – for the purification of the ego.


VERSE 5:12

Karmayoga leads to realization abandonment of desire where as a karmi becomes bonded to actionयुक्तः कर्मफलं त्यक्त्वा शान्तिमाप्नोति नैष्ठिकीम् ।अयुक्तः कामकारेण फले सक्तो निबध्यते ॥५ – १२॥

yuktaḥ karmaphalaṁ tyaktvā śāntimāpnōti naiṣṭhikīm |

ayuktaḥ kāmakārēṇa phalē saktō nibadhyatē ||5 – 12||

युक्तः कर्मफलम् त्यक्त्वा शान्तिम् आप्नोति नैष्ठिकीम्  अयुक्तः कामकारेण फले सक्तः निबध्यते  

yuktaḥ karmaphalam tyaktvā śāntim āpnōti naiṣṭhikīm  ayuktaḥ kāmakārēṇa phalē saktaḥ nibadhyatē  


युक्तः-God-united yogi (refers to Karmayogi)  कर्मफलम्-the fruit of action  त्यक्त्वा- resigned to offering to God शान्तिम्-peace in the shape of God-realization आप्नोति-obtians नैष्ठिकीम्-eternal अयुक्तः-the man who is not united to God, who works with selfish motive कामकारेण-impelled by desire फले- to the fruits of action सक्तः-attached  निबध्यते-gets bogged down.    


The karmayogi attains eternal peace of realization by abandoning attachment to the fruits of work. Whereas others who are attached to the fruits of work become bound by  selfish work.


yuktaḥ karmaphalam tyaktvā śāntim āpnōti naiṣṭhikīm – A man of God consciousness abandones desires for rewards and obtains eternal peace. The word yukta is derived from the root yuj (युज्) which means to join; therefore the meaning of the word is one who is united with God.  For this reason the word yuktaḥ has been employed to mean sankhyayogi as well as karmayogi (nishkama karma yogi). The verse 8 of this chapter says a  yukta absolves himself of ownership of the activities because he thinks it is the nature which is performing but not him (naiva kicitkarōmīti yuktō manyēta tattvavit).  So the word was interpreted to mean a nishkama karma yogi also called Sankhya yogi. In the present verse the word God-united or yukta has been used  to refer to one who gives up fruits of all actions. So the meaning of the word yukta in this verse is karmayogi. In Gita, this word has been used in different contexts to mean multiple meanings like one who is of composed mind (2:61), one who knows the truth of God (6:8), one who is of regulated diet and life habits (6:17) –Goyandka

Here is the verse:

 yuktāhāravihārasya  yuktacēṣṭasya karmasu yuktasvapnāvabōdhasya yōgō bhavati duḥkhahā ||6:17||


naiṣṭhikīm śāntim The word naiṣṭhikīm  is derived from the word niṣṭhā (निष्ठा)

which means founded on, engaged in, and devoted to and also the perfection by such attitude. Its adjective is naiṣṭhikīm meaning born of niṣṭhā. So the phrase naiṣṭhikīm śāntim means perfect peace born out of faith. –Goyandka

ayuktaḥ kāmakārēṇa phalē saktaḥ nibadhyatē  – One who performs desire-promted activities being attached to fruits of action gets bogged down; meaning has to suffer the cycles of birth and death. So desire for reward is the fulcrum which decides whether you attain freedom or become a prey to bondage.

Amrita bindu Upnishad verse 2 says:

mana eva manuṣyāṇāṁ kāraṇaṁ bandhamokṣayoḥ |bandhāya piṣyāsaktaṁ muktaṁ nirviṣayaṁ smṛtam || 2||

मन एव मनुष्याणां कारणं बन्धमोक्षयोः।बन्धाय विषयासक्तं मुक्तं निर्विषयं स्मृतम्‌॥ २॥

Mind is the cause of bondage and liberation. Mind occupied by desire causes bondage and free from desire causes liberation.

ayuktaḥ –  ordinary meaning of this is an idler, or careless person. But in this verse the word has been used as opposite of yukta, or one who is always attached to God and works free from desire and so remains untainted. Hence the word ayukta is interpreted as one who is attached to body consciusness and works for fulfillment of desires. Such a person has to enter the cycle of birth and death.

VERSE 5:13

A yukta yogi who is in control of the mind,  reelegates all activities and lives in the city of nine gates blissfullyसर्वकर्माणि मनसा संन्यस्यास्ते सुखं वशी ।नवद्वारे पुरे देही नैव कुर्वन्न कारयन् ॥५ – १३॥

sarvakarmāṇi manasā saṁnyasyāstē sukhaṁ vaśī |

navadvārē purē dēhī naiva kurvanna kārayan ||5 – 13||


सर्वकर्माणि मनसा संन्यस्य आस्ते सुखम् वशी नवद्वारे पुरे देही न एव कुर्वन् न  कारयन् 


sarvakarmāṇi manasā saṁnyasya āstē sukham vaśī navadvārē purē dēhī na ēva kurvan na  kārayan 


सर्वकर्माणि- all actions मनसा-by the mind  संन्यस्य-having renounced आस्ते-rests (in God the abosulte truth) सुखम्-happily  वशी-the self-controlled, Sankhya yogi नवद्वारे-in the nine-gated पुरे-city देही-man, Sankhya yogi  न-neither एव-even कुर्वन्-by doing न-nor कारयन्- by getting done by others. 


The self-controlled Sankhya yogi having mentally relegated all activities, remains blissful in the bodily city of nine gates, neither acting nor causing others to act.  


In the previous verse it was mentioned that a yukta yogi remains untainted by karma whereas an ayukta yogi bogs down in samsara. In this verse the Lord explains what happens to a yukta yogi in respect of karma.


sarvakarmāṇi manasā saṁnyasya āstē sukham vaśī – having mentally given up all activities of the body and mind as not belonging to him,  the self-controlled sankhya yogi lives happily in the body. He knows that all activities of he body are automativally done as per three gunas. In the state of inner ecstacy he remains an aloof witness of the activities performed by the body.

navadvārē purē dēhī na ēva kurvan na  kārayan – in the bodily city of nine gates .  The human body is compared to a city of nine gates. The gates refer to the openings in the body.

वाक् पाणि पाद पायू उपस्थानि

These are a pair of eyes, a pair of ears, a pair of nostrils, organ of excretion, and organ of procreation and mouth.

Actually It is not possible to stop from doing any activity for activity is the signature of life.  A sankhya yogi renounces all activities manasā  or metally  although he continues to put in his best performance. He renounces ownership and result of the activities because in his view  the gunas are the doers and he is only a medium. Hence he remains aloof from result.

Dēhī – one who lies in the body. This can be interpreted as the soul or jiva because he dwells  in the body. In this verse he word Dēhī should be referred to the self-controlled sankhya yogi which is under discussion. The Sankhya yogi happily lives in the body of nine openings relegating all activities to the body and senses and he rests aloof.


VERSE 5:14

The lord does not create doership or enjoyership of actions. It is the nature which is the performer of all these actionsन कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभुः ।न कर्मफलसंयोगं स्वभावस्तु प्रवर्तते ॥५ – १४॥

na kartr̥tvaṁ na karmāṇi lōkasya sr̥jati prabhuḥ |

na karmaphalasaṁyōgaṁ svabhāvastu pravartatē ||5 – 14||


न कर्तृत्वम् न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभुः न कर्मफलसंयोगम् स्वभावः तु प्रवर्तते 


na kartr̥tvam na karmāṇi lōkasya sr̥jati prabhuḥ na karmaphalasaṁyōgam svabhāvaḥ tu pravartatē  

 न-not कर्तृत्वम्-doership न-not कर्माणिactions लोकस्य-of men सृजति-creates प्रभुः-the Lord न-not कर्मफलसंयोगम्-contact with the fruit of action  स्वभावः-nature तु-but प्रवर्तते-leads to action.   


The Lord does not create the urge for doing action nor feeling of doership of action, or the attachment to the results of action of the people. The cosmic nature is the performer of all these.


na karttvam – neither doership

na karmāṇi – nor the urge for doing

na karmaphalasayōgam – nor even contat with the fruit of action.  God does not entangle them in karmic consequences of their actions.

lōkasya sjati prabhuḥ- The Lord does not create for the men. The word prabhu in this verse denotes almighty Lord, the creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe. The scriptures, whenever they speak of God as responsible for creation and destruction of the universe, refer only to God with attributes. –Goyandka

svabhāva tu pravartatē  –  it is the prakruti or nature that alone acts. The Lord does not create kartr̥tvaṁ (कर्तृत्वं), doership or ownership of action,  bhōktrr̥tvam (भोक्त्रृत्वम्), enjoyership of the fruits of action or karmaphalasaṁyōgam (कर्मफलसंयोगम्), contact with the fruits of action. Creation and destruction of the world is the work of prakruti or nature. It acts by its three Gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas with morbid feelings of likes and dislikes, desire and attachment. Krsihna says in 3:27 that under the spell of egotism the ignorant regards  himself as doer of action where as it is indeed the job of prakruti .  Here is the shloka.


prakr̥tēḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ ahankāravimūḍhātmā kartāhamiti manyatē ||3 -27||

As a universal law, all actions are performed by the forces of gunas of prakruti. The fool, whose mind is deluded by egotism, assumes “I am indeed the doer”


If God had predetminded them, it would be impossible for men to get redemption. Man has a free will. He can chose the devine or Prakrati.

VERSE 5:15

God is not esponsible for the merit or demerit of men. Men are deluded because their free will is enveleoped by ignoranceनादत्ते कस्यचित्पापं न चैव सुकृतं विभुः ।अज्ञानेनावृतं ज्ञानं तेन मुह्यन्ति जन्तवः ॥५ – १५॥

nādattē kasyacitpāpaṁ na caiva sukr̥taṁ vibhuḥ |

ajñānēnāvr̥taṁ jñānaṁ tēna muhyanti jantavaḥ ||5 – 15||



न आदत्ते कस्यचित् पापम् न च एव सुकृतम् विभुः अज्ञानेन आवृतम् ज्ञानम् तेन मुह्यन्ति जन्तवः  


na ādattē kasyacit pāpam na ca ēva sukr̥tam vibhuḥ ajñānēna āvr̥tam jñānam tēna muhyanti jantavaḥ  


न-not आदत्ते-receives  कस्यचित्-of any one पापम्-demerit  न-not च-and एव-also  सुकृतम्-merit  विभुः-the omnipresent Lord अज्ञानेन-by ignorance आवृतम्-enveloped ज्ञानम्-knowledge तेन-by this  मुह्यन्ति-are deluded जन्तवः-beings.     


The  all-pervading Lord does not take responsibility for the good and evil deeds of anyone.  The veil of ignorance covers self-knowledge; thereby  people become deluded and do evil deeds.


na ādattē kasyacit pāpam  – the omnipresent Lord is not responsibe for the evil deeds and their consequences of karma.

na ca ēva sukr̥tam vibhuḥ – the omnipresent Lord is not responsibe for the good deeds and their consequences of karma. He is just a witness to all actions. Men perform all actions with energy, intelligence, and senses granted by the Lord. He has given us a free will to do good or bad. It is our responsibility to move away from evil and go towards God. Vibhu like Prabhu represents God with attributes.

ajñānēna āvr̥tam jñānam tēna muhyanti jantavaḥ – people are deluded  because the self-knowledge is enveloped by

ignorance. Every being is born as sat-chit-ananda (existence-knowledge and bliss).  He is the real self. Man forgets his real nature and identifies with the body and mind. The jiva is also deluded being attached to the body and its cravings. This is the reason man commits evil deeds and thinks that God has directed him to evil or good. The fact is God is unattached to any happenings in the world. He is just a witness. But he has given us discrimination to do good or evil. It is for us to select what we want.


swami Mukundanada says:

God is not responsible either for anyone’s virtuous deeds or sinful actions.  God’s work in this regard is threefold:  1) He provides the soul with the power to act.  2) Once we have performed actions with the power supplied to us, He notes our actions.  3) He gives us the results of our karmas.

The individual soul has the freedom to perform good or bad actions by the exercise of its own free will.  That free will is the basis of the play of creation and it accounts for the varieties of consciousness amongst the souls in existence.  God’s work is like that of an umpire in a cricket match.  He keeps giving the results, “Four runs!”  “Six runs!”  “He’s out!”  The umpire cannot be blamed for the decision, for it was based upon the way the player performed. 

One may ask why God granted free will to the soul.  It is because the soul is a tiny part of God and it possesses His qualities to a minuscule extent.  God is abhijña swarā (supremely independent), and so the soul also possesses a tiny amount of independence to utilize its senses, mind, and intellect in the manner it wishes. 

Also, without free will there can be no love.  A machine cannot love since it has no independence to choose.  Only a personality that has the ability to choose possesses the option to love.  Since God has created us to love Him, He has endowed us with free will.  The exercise of our own free will results in good and bad deeds, and we must not blame God for them. 

In ignorance, some souls do not even realize that they possess the freedom to choose their actions and hold God responsible for their mistakes.  Others realize they possess a free will, but they harbor the pride of doership in the egoistic notion of being the body.  This is again a sign of ignorance.  Shree Krishna explains next how such ignorance can be dispelled.


VERSE 5:16

If the ignorance is desgroyed, wisdom shining like sun reveals himselfज्ञानेन तु तदज्ञानं येषां नाशितमात्मनः ।तेषामादित्यवज्ज्ञानं प्रकाशयति तत्परम् ॥५ – १६॥

jñānēna tu tadajñānaṁ yēṣāṁ nāśitamātmanaḥ |

tēṣāmādityavajjñānaṁ prakāśayati tatparam ||5 – 16||



ज्ञानेन तु तत् अज्ञानम्  येषाम् नाशितम् आत्मनः तेषाम् आदित्यवत् ज्ञानम् प्रकाशयति तत्परम्  


jñānēna tu tat ajñānam  yēṣām nāśitam ātmanaḥ tēṣām ādityavat jñānam prakāśayati tatparam  


ज्ञानेन-by wisdom तु-but तत्-that अज्ञानम्-ignorance येषाम्-whose नाशितम्-is destroyed  आत्मनः-of the self तेषाम्-their आदित्यवत्-like the sun ज्ञानम्-knowledge प्रकाशयति-reveals  तत्परम्-that highest    


But in the case however, of those who have banished ignorance of self by transcendental knowledge, the wisdom shining like the sun reveals the supreme.


Tu- however. After having said in the previous verse that the lord is not responsible for the good and bad deeds of men, because these deeds are committed, since knowledge of the self is blinded by ignorance and the man has lost his power of decision.  Now the Lord explains what happens to a person whose ignorance is destroyed.

yēṣām – whosoever. This is the assurance of the Lord.

Redemption from sin is not the exclusive property of any one. It is available to all who try to remove their ignorance by the practice of Sankhya yoga.

jñānēna tu tat ajñānam  yēṣām nāśitam ātmanaḥ- in the case of those whose ignorance is destroyed by the knowledge of self hrough the practice of Sankhya yoga. What is knowledge? Eternally we have been with God immersed in nothing but God. We are enclosed by several veils thin at first, followed by shawls, then by heavy curtains, and finally heavy solid armour of egotism. The viel which seperates us from the real is removed by ātmanaḥ-  purified mind and intellect. –Unknown author

tēṣām ādityavat jñānam prakāśayati tatparam  –  For the them true knowledge shines out like an effulgent sun. When the ego has ended, the knowledge becomes self evident. Swami Chinmayananda says that the dualists -dwaitins are at a loss to understand how the self can be experienced when the ego and the instruments of experiencing have all ended. That is why Krishna says knowledge becomes evident like the sun. When the sun is blocked by thick sheets of clouds there is no sunlight; when the clouds disappear the sun shines again. The sun was there all the time. He was stonewalled by the clouds which are compared to ajnana or ignorance.

As long as one is dreaming he is a dreamer. Once the session of dream ends, he becomes a waker. These two are not different entities. The dreamer himself becomes a waker. Similarly when the deluded ego walks out of ignorance and enters the realm of pure consciousness, he becomes nothing but consciousness. 

VERSE 5:17

A jnyanaa yogi attains the state eternal relity and does not return to material worldतद्‌बुद्धयस्तदात्मानस्तन्निष्ठास्तत्परायणाः ।गच्छन्त्यपुनरावृत्तिं ज्ञाननिर्धूतकल्मषाः ॥५ – १७॥

tad–buddhayastadātmānastanniṣṭhāstatparāyaṇāḥ |

gacchantyapunarāvr̥ttiṁ jñānanirdhūtakalmaṣāḥ ||5 – 17||


तद्‌बुद्धयः तदात्मानः तन्निष्ठाः तत्परायणाः  गच्छति अपुनरावृत्ति्म् ज्ञाननिर्धूतकल्मषाः  


tad–buddhayaḥ tadātmānaḥ tanniṣṭhāḥ tatparāyaṇāḥ  gacchati apunarāvr̥ttim jñānanirdhūtakalmaṣāḥ  


तद्‌बुद्धयः-whose intellect is wholly merged in Him तदात्मानः-whose mind is merged in Him  तन्निष्ठाः-who are constantly established in identity with Him तत्परायणाः-who have Him, the supreme as their goal of life गच्छति-attain अपुनरावृत्ति्म्-the state from where there is no return ज्ञाननिर्धूतकल्मषाः- whose sins have been wiped out by knowledge  


Persons  whose mind and intelellect are wholly merged in the Eternal Being, who are firmly devoted to the Supeme, who have the supreme as their goal of life, their sins being wiped out by knowledge attain the state from where there is no return.


The lord explains in this verse the method of obtaining self knowledge (ātmajñāna – आत्मज्ञान) . Liberaion or Moksha is not an inellectual endeavor. By constant practice of mediation and imbibing the truth about infinity are the necessary steps to achieve this. The Lord has said that ignorance can be removed only by knowledge. Then the veiled self reveals himself as the sun covered by clouds. Then how to obtain this self-knowledge? Here is the way.


tat (तत्) – The previous verse used the word तत्परम्-that highest.     

tad–buddhayaḥ – one whose mind or thought is wholly immersed in Tat (him).

tadātmānaḥ – one whose intellect is wholly immersed in Tat (him). Unless the mind and thought are immersed in him one cannot avoid a feeling of seperateness after iIdentity with Tat is established.

tanniṣṭhāḥ – Firm faith in God

tatparāyaṇāḥ – when the separate identity of Jiva and Ishwara is removed, there remains in the consciousness of Sankhya yogi nothing but God. His mind, intellect, vital air and indeed the subtle body also become one with God. Such a person becomes tatparāyaṇāḥ. His supreme goal is God.

jñānanirdhūtakalmaṣāḥ –  the true knowledge of reality (jñāna) removes ( nirdhūta) all sins (kalmaṣāḥ) in the form of good and evil vasanas. Ignorance, and sin. Vasanas are

responsible for the jiva to come to this world again and again.   True knowledge of reality has been explained above as the desciplines of ‘tad–buddhayaḥ tadātmānaḥ tanniṣṭhāḥ’.

gacchati apunarāvttim – the nishkama karma yogi  (jnyana yogi) reaches the state of no return. That means he attains liberation. punarāvr̥tti is coming back again and again that is rebirth. apunarāvr̥tti means eternal freedom. This is a state where one’s thoughts are immersed in “That one”(tat); his soul united with it, his entire devotion and alligience absorbed in it, his refuge fixed in it, he being purged of sins  by the antidote of knowledge; such a liberated soul reaches the state of no return.


VERSE 5:18

The self-realized person has an equal vision in different beings and sees God in all.विद्याविनयसंपन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि ।शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिताः समदर्शिनः ॥५ – १८॥

vidyāvinayasaṁpannē brāhmaṇē gavi hastini |

śuni caiva śvapākē ca paṇḍitāḥ samadarśinaḥ ||5 – 18||


विद्याविनयसंपन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि शुनि च एव  श्वपाके च पण्डिताः समदर्शिनः  

vidyāvinayasaṁpannē brāhmaṇē gavi hastini śuni ca ēva a śvapākē ca paṇḍitāḥ samadarśinaḥ  


विद्याविनयसंपन्ने-upon one endowed with learning and humilty ब्राह्मणे-on a Brahman  गवि-on a cow  हस्तिनि-on an elephant शुनि-on a dog च-and एव-too  श्वपाके-on an outcast च- and पण्डिताः-sages  समदर्शिनः-look with the equal eye


The self-realized persons by perceiving God in all, look at a learned and humble  Brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and an outcast with an equal eye.


vidyāvinayasapannē brāhmaṇē gavi hastini – In a learned man in scriptures who is.  very humble, in a cow, in an elephant and

śuni ca ēva va śvapākē ca paṇḍitāḥ samadarśinaḥ –  in a dog as well as a dog eater , a pandit has equal eye. He does not make any difference in them because of their status but sees the substratum of Brahman in all.

Here five examples have been given. Brahmajnyani and a dog eater represent top and bottom lines of men. A gentle Brahmain is respected most and an outcast is looked down upon in the society.  Similarly cow and dog represent the higest and lowest of animals. A pandit has equal respect for the highest and lowly of  men and animals because they are all made in the images of Brahman. Just as a person does not a part of the body as different from him, a self-realized person does ot consider any living entity as different rom the all pervading Brhaman.

A man in need of money for his living wanted to sell a golden statue of Hanuman. He went to a goldsmith and asked for quotation. The staute weighed 100 gms. The goldsmith deducted wastage from it and quoted the price. No the man wanted doubl the price because it was a statue of Lord Hanuman. The goldsmith replied, “Sir I can pay you for the gold cost but not for its emotional value”. Similary a pandit will respect everyone for their substratum value of Brahman but not for their social and educational value. 


VERSE 5:19

A sankhya yogi becomes  liberated in life by equanimity of mind  and equality in all beingsइहैव तैर्जितः सर्गो येषां साम्ये स्थितं मनः ।निर्दोषं हि समं ब्रह्म तस्माद्ब्रह्मणि ते स्थिताः ॥ – -१९॥


ihaiva tairjitaḥ sargō yēṣāṁ sāmyē sthitaṁ manaḥ |

nirdōṣaṁ hi samaṁ brahma tasmādbrahmaṇi tē sthitāḥ || – -19||

इह एव् तैः जितः सर्गः येषाम् साम्ये स्थितम्  मनः निर्दोषम् हि समम् ब्रह्म तस्मात् ब्रह्मणि ते स्थिताः   

iha ēv taiḥ jitaḥ sargaḥ yēṣām sāmyē sthitam  manaḥ nirdōṣam hi samam brahma tasmāt brahmaṇi tē sthitāḥ   


इह-here एव्-only, in this very life तैः-by those जितः-conquered सर्गः- creation येषाम्-whose साम्ये-in equality स्थितम्-is established मनः-the mind निर्दोषम्-untouched by evil हि-indeed समम्-equal (knows no distinction) ब्रह्म-Brahman तस्मात्-therefore ब्रह्मणि-in Brahman ते-they स्थिताः- are established  


He, whose mind is established in equality and equanimity, has conquered the samsara of birth and death right in this world. Such a yogi is flawless like Brahman and therefore he is  established in Brahman.


iha ēv tai jitaḥ sargaḥ yēṣām sāmyē sthitam manaḥ-right in this wold he conquers the world meaning birth and death. He becomes immortal. This can happen  right in his life. The mortal world is conquered by one whose mind is sāmyē sthitam, rests in equality of all beings. So long as we think of ourselves as the body, we cannot attain this equality of vision because we will experience continued desires and aversions for bodily pleasures and discomforts.  Saints rise above bodily consciousness and absorb their minds in God, giving up all worldly attachments

When we think of ourselves as the all-pervading consciousness, every being in he world appears to me as a part of my body. I am the universal purusha all material and beings are a part of my body but not different from me. When I am elevated to the state of equanimity, through realization of self I see see myself in every one and every one in me.


nirdōṣam hi samam brahma tasmāt brahmaṇi tē sthitāḥ –

2 qualificationsa are given to Brahman. निर्दोषम् and समम् . निर्दोषम् means unoched by evil, immaculate. His mind is purified by karmayoga समम् means equal vision, equanimity.


Therefore a  yogi who rests in equality and equinamity he also becomes Brhaman. Such a yogi is free from likes and dislikes, has no attachment to body and its possessions, his, he has equality in all beings which are the qualities of Brhaman. He is a jivanmukta. He has therefore become Brahman-like and merges into Brahman. He continues to live in his world doing all his activities as long as his prarabhda remains. Once the prarabdha is exhausted he breaths his last.   He has no rebirth. 


VERSE 5:20

A realized person does not rejoice on obtaining a pleasant thing

or grieve when he obtains unpleased thing.

Marks of one who has identified with  Brahman

न प्रहृष्येत्प्रियं प्राप्य नोद्विजेत्प्राप्य चाप्रियम् ।स्थिरबुद्धिरसंमूढो ब्रह्मविद्ब्रह्मणि स्थितः ॥५ – २०॥

na prahr̥ṣyētpriyaṁ prāpya nōdvijētprāpya cāpriyam |

sthirabuddhirasaṁmūḍhō brahmavidbrahmaṇi sthitaḥ ||5 – 20||



न प्रहृष्येत् प्रियम् प्राप्य न उद्विजेत् प्राप्य च अप्रियम्  स्थिरबुद्धिः असंमूढः ब्रह्मवित् ब्रह्मणि स्थितः  

na prahr̥ṣyēt priyam prāpya na udvijēt prāpya ca apriyam  sthirabuddhiḥ asaṁmūḍhaḥ brahmavit brahmaṇi sthitaḥ  


न-not प्रहृष्येत्-rejoices प्रियम्-what is pleasant प्राप्य-having obtained न-not उद्विजेत्-perturbed प्राप्य-having obtained च-and अप्रियम्-unpleasant स्थिरबुद्धिः-steady mind असंमूढः-undeluded ब्रह्मवित्-knower of Brahman ब्रह्मणि-in Brahman स्थितः-lives in eternal identity with Brahman  


In this verse the Lord describes the characteristics of a

person who has attained the Absolute and formless Brahman (brahma sākṣātkāra  ब्रह्म साक्षात्कार)


One who neither rejoices on obtaining what is pleasant nor grieves on obtaining the unpleasant, who has a steady mind, who is undeluded, and who is a knower of the Supreme Being ¾ such a person eternally abides with the Supreme Being.


na prahr̥ṣyēt priyam prāpya –he does not rejoice on obtaining what is pleasant. For all of us a pleasant happening elevates us we become jubilant. We go on celebrating.

 na udvijēt prāpya ca apriyam – he does not get miserable on  unpleasant experiences . For all of us an unpleasant event downcasts, us we become miserable. Swami Chinmayananda has given an illustration. Supose a person unrelated to us dies we only feel sorry for him or do not bother about it. But if some one in the family dies we grieve it. It is not the death that is responsible for the grief but our attachment to the mind and body. A realized person who has abdicated all attachments, remains the same in such cases. He has ceased to identify himself with the body and possessions. So things which are agreeable or disagreeable to the body and mind, do not make any difference to him. He always lives 7×24 hours in Brhaman. He is just a witness to all that happens before him.

sthirabuddhi asamūḍha brahmavit brahmai sthitaḥ – he has firm mind, not deluded and the knower of Brahman abides in Brahman. He has an unwavering mind, steadfast mind. He is therefore never bewildered or disillusioned by mistaking the gross body as the soul. He accepts the gross body as finite and the soul as permanent. A steady intellect from which all delustions have dropped becomes the knower of Brahman (Brahmavit). He thereupon remains for ever established in Brahmi consciousness. One who  knows Brahman becomes Brahman. 


VERSE 5:21

One who is unattached to sense pleasures, and who is in communion with God,  obtains unlimited joy in his mind.बाह्यस्पर्शेष्वसक्तात्मा विन्दत्यात्मनि यत् सुखम् ।स ब्रह्मयोगयुक्तात्मा सुखमक्षयमश्नुते ॥५ – २१॥

bāhyasparśēṣvasaktātmā vindatyātmani yat sukham |

sa brahmayōgayuktātmā sukhamakṣayamaśnutē ||5 – 21||


बाह्यस्पर्शेषु असक्तात्मा विन्दति आत्मनि यत् सुखम् सः ब्रह्मयोगयुक्तात्मा सुखम् अक्षयम् अश्नुते   

bāhyasparśēṣu asaktātmā vindati ātmani yat sukham saḥ brahmayōgayuktātmā sukham akṣayam aśnutē   


बाह्यस्पर्शेषु-external contacts meaning enjoyments असक्तात्मा-one whose mind is unattached विन्दति-derives (through meditation) आत्मनि- in the mind यत्-that सुखम्-happiness सः- he ब्रह्मयोगयुक्तात्मा-one who has united the mind with Brahman सुखम्-happiness अक्षयम्-eternal अश्नुते-obtains   


He whose mind remains unattached to sense pleasures, discovers the joy of self through meditation with his mind united with Brahman and enjoys the transcendental bliss.


bāhyasparśēṣu asaktātmā vindati ātmani yat sukham –  one who is detached from external sense objects obtains endless happiness. Bāhyasparsa (बाह्य स्पर्श)  refers to external contacs or sense objecs. There are five sense objects śrōtraṁ tvak cakṣuh rasanā ghrāṇam iti paṁca jñānēndriyāṇi (श्रोत्रं त्वक् चक्षु: रसना घ्राणम् इति पंच ज्ञानेन्द्रियाणि). These are ear, skin, eyes, tongue and nose. There are five sense objects which are the feeding service for sense organs. These are: sound, touch, colour, taste and smell (शब्द स्पर्श रूप रस गन्ध).  The senses desire to enjoy the happiness given by these objects. This is called vishaya bhoga. Mastery over the sense objects is called damā (दमा). For this the mind is restrained and the sense organs obey it.

Vedanta describes some techniques to master damā. These are


  1. dukha dōṣānudarśanam दुख दोषानुदर्शनम्. Dwelling on the limits and faults of the happiness given by objects. This joy of the external objects is only a semblance of joy and of the nature of coming and going.
  2. Knowledge tht unless the petty happiness is rejected and one works for the permanent happiness one cannot get it. Enjoying the petty joy of external objects is like a dog enjoying the blood coming out of its own mouth by chewing a bone.

Asaktātmā the mind which is indifferent  to such petty happiness.  

Sukham the happiness. There are two types of happiness ephemeral  and eternal (kṣaya  and akṣaya (अक्षय क्षय). Ephemeral or akṣaya sukha is borne out of contact with sense objects. (बाह्य स्पर्श) .  It lasts only for some time and does not give same happiness all the time to all the people. Eternal or akṣaya sukha is not available in the external world. One who internalizes the mind and is devoted to God and meditates upon him rejecting the external happiness only obtains it.


saḥ brahmayōgayuktātmā sukham akṣayam aśnutē  – such a yogi who is always in communion with God obains endless bliss. No other joy can stand in comparison with this joy. The joy derived from quititude of the mind an account of medition is also good type of joy but nevertheless not permanent. It stays for more time than the object-derived joy. But the joy obtained with the union with God is the supreme joy and has no limits and no faults. Krishna calls this joy akṣaya sukha, endeless happiness. Tattiriyopanishad  calls it as brahmānanda (ब्रह्मानन्द).


VERSE 5:22

The sensual pleasures are the source of misery and the wise do not rejoice in itये हि संस्पर्शजा भोगा दुःखयोनय एव ते ।आद्यन्तवन्तः कौन्तेय न तेषु रमते बुधः ॥५ – २२॥

yē hi saṁsparśajā bhōgā duḥkhayōnaya ēva tē |

ādyantavantaḥ kauntēya na tēṣu ramatē budhaḥ ||5 – 22||


ये हि संस्पर्शजाः भोगाः दुःखयोनयः एव ते

आद्यन्तवन्तः कौन्तेय न तेषु रमते बुधः 

yē hi saṁsparśajāḥ bhōgāḥ duḥkhayōnayaḥ ēva tē ādyantavantaḥ kauntēya na tēṣu ramatē budhaḥ 


ये-which हि-verily संस्पर्शजाः-bon of sense-contacts भोगाः- pleaures दुःखयोनयः-sourse of suffering एव-only ते-they आद्यन्तवन्तः-having a begining and an end कौन्तेय-O son of Kunti, Arjuna न-not तेषु-in them रमते-indulge बुधः-the wise man 


Sensual pleasures born of contact of sense organs with sense objects, are in fact, the source of misery and have a beginning and end. Therefore the wise O Arjuna, do not rejoice in sensual pleasures.

In the previous verse the Lord declared that renunciation of  attachment as the stepping stone for God-realization. In this verse the lord calls upon Arjuna to practice it.


yē hi saṁsparśajāḥ bhōgāḥ duḥkhayōnayaḥ ēva tē – these pleasures born out of contact of sense organs with sense objects are nothing but the source of suffering.  They appear as enjoyable in the beginning but in the long run they are they cause of misery.  They cause attachment and breed lust and anger. Extreme craving debases our thought and action. If some one else has more possessions It causes in us jealousy and if we are not able to fulfill the craving it causes frustration. Seductive sense pleasure is like a fish-bait. Attracted by the bait, the fish goes to eat it and gets cought and emperils its life.

स्पर्श Sparsha means touch or contact. You experience the knowledge of a thing by touching it.

ādyantavantaḥ kauntēya na tēṣu ramatē budhaḥ  – They are of the nature of beginning and end. Therefore the realized wise man does not indulge in them. The temporal enjoyments have a beginning and end, meaning they last for a shot time. The fleeting joy canno give a permanent happiness. The lord calls them as āgamāpāyinaḥ anityāḥ meaning transient in verse 14 of this chapter The wise do not indulge in them. The wise constantly reflect on the futility of sensual pleasures that inevitably become the cause of misery; therefore, they do not become victims of sensual cravings.


VERSE 5:23

One who is able to withstand the impulses of lust and anger is a yogi and happy manशक्नोतीहैव यः सोढुं प्राक्शरीरविमोक्षणात् ।कामक्रोधोद्भवं वेगं स युक्तः स सुखी नरः ॥५ – -२३॥

śaknōtīhaiva yaḥ sōḍhuṁ prākśarīravimōkṣaṇāt |

kāmakrōdhōdbhavaṁ vēgaṁ sa yuktaḥ sa sukhī naraḥ ||5 – -23||


शक्नोती इह एव् यः सोढुम् प्राक् शरीरविमोक्षणात्  कामक्रोधोद्भवम् वेगम् सः युक्तः सः सुखी नरः  

śaknōtī iha ēva yaḥ sōḍhum prāk śarīravimōkṣaṇāt  kāmakrōdhōdbhavam vēgam saḥ yuktaḥ saḥ sukhī naraḥ  


शक्नोती-is able इह-here in this wold एव्-even यः-who सोढुम्-to bear, to withstand प्राक्-before शरीरविमोक्षणात्-casting off the body कामक्रोधोद्भवम्-born of desire and anger वेगम्-urges,

impulse सः-he युक्तः-united सः-he सुखी-happy नरः- man 

One who is able to withstand the impulses of lust and anger before death is indeed a yogi and a happy man


In the previous verse the Lord declared that sense pleasures are a source of suffering because they beget lust and anger. In this verse he praises the man who conquers these emotions.


śaknōtī iha ēva yaḥ sōḍhum prāk śarīravimōkṣaṇāt – He is able to withstand the urges of lust and rage before he gives up his body. He is able to achieve this success iha ēva here in this mortal world only. His assurance is not an empty promise to be fulfilled in heaven. Right now in this world, before his death he will achieve this feat. The lord uses these two words in verse 5:19 also (ihaiva tairjitaḥ sargō yēṣāṁ sāmyē sthitaṁ manaḥ) to emphasize that one can reach this goal in this life only. Moreover human body is the only medium available to us to taper off our karma.

prāk śarīravimōkṣaṇāt- Before casting off the body. the yogi has to master every impulse of lust and anger upto the end of  his life. One does not know when these emotions pay a ’surprise visit’and pull him down to baser actions. There are six enemies of a seeker of truth. In echnical language it is called ariṣaḍvarga (अरिषड्वर्ग) which means a group of six foes. The foes of a sadhaka are kāma krōdha lōbha mōha mada mātsarya  (काम क्रोध लोभ मोह मद मात्सर्य desire, anger, delusion, arrogance and hatred). The lord has mentioned only first two and we have to supply the rest.

kāmakrōdhōdbhavam vēgam – The erratic urges of desire and anger. The desire to indulge in sensory temptations is called kama. If your desire is not fulfilled you get angry.

Uncontrolled rage causes destruction. The lord advises the seeker to combat the onslaught these two enemies by the practices of meditation and disciplines of detachment and samtavam. These ‘vegas’ or sensual paroxysms make the yogi forget the superior pleasure of the spirit and accept the transient external sensual pleasures. 

We try to control desire for two reasons. One, due to the fear of its consequences or 2, due to your innate conviction that the sensual pleasure is a source of misery and the wise do not succumb to it. Suppose you are sitting in a waiting lounge in the airport and beautiful lady comes and sits next to you. You are tempted by her beauty and want to put your arm around around her. You are afraid that she may slap you and expose you in public. You put a stop to your desire because of the fear and embarrassment.  But the wise man has a storn will power and he does not succumb to the beuty of the lady. He has enjoyed the sopul bliss and such temporal body-bliss is insignificant to him.

saḥ yuktaḥ saḥ sukhī naraḥ – such a yogi is a happy man. The yogi who does not succumb to the temptations of external pleasures but remains in constant union with God is indeed a ‘yukta’ (joined with) and happy man. naraḥ:  man.  A man who has realized God is the real man, all others are two

legged animals. The object of life in this world is realization. He is the man who has achieved his object.


VERSE 5:24

A realised yogi is happy within himself by the self- blessedness becomes Brahman himself योऽन्तःसुखोऽन्तरारामस्तथान्तर्ज्योतिरेव यः ।स योगी ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं ब्रह्मभूतोऽधिगच्छति ॥५ – २४॥

yō:’ntaḥsukhō:’ntarārāmastathāntarjyōtirēva yaḥ |

sa yōgī brahmanirvāṇaṁ brahmabhūtō:’dhigacchati ||5 – 24||


यः अन्तःसुखः अन्तरारामः तथा अन्तर्ज्योतिः एव यः सः योगी ब्रह्मनिर्वाणम् ब्रह्मभूतः अधिगच्छति   

yaḥ antaḥsukhaḥ antarārāmaḥ tathā antarjyōtiḥ ēva yaḥ saḥ yōgī brahmanirvāṇam brahmabhūtaḥ adhigacchati   


यः-who अन्तःसुखः- happy within himself अन्तरारामः-who rejoices within himself (the soul-blessedness) तथा- also अन्तर्ज्योतिः-illuminated by the inner light (of the soul) एव-verily यः-who सः-he योगी-sankhya yogi ब्रह्मनिर्वाणम्-absolute freedom or moksha ब्रह्मभूतः-becoming Brahman अधिगच्छति -attains    


The yogi who posseess the inner bliss,  who rejoices within himself the delight of the soul, and who glows by the inner light  (of the soul); such a yogi obains absolute freedom or moksha, himself becoming one with Brahman.


The Lord describes in the following verses the fruis obtained by a Sankhya yogi who has succeeded in conquering lust and anger and renouncing attachment


ya antasukhaḥ – one who is happy within by the glory of soul. He finds no joy in the objects of the external world

because having tasted the super joy of God, the worldy

material joy appears before him as a peanut. He enjoys the ecstacy of inner bliss.

antarārāmaḥ – one who sports within himself the delight of soul. He is constantly absorbed in meditation.

tathā antarjyōti and who glows by the inner light of the soul. God is the supreme light of all lights. The Shruti says: tasya bhāsā sarvamidam vibhāti (तस्य भासा सर्वमिदम् विभाति) –

the whole world is illuminated by his effulgence.  The natural lights of sun, moon, stars and lightening are lended lights from the supeme light of the self. That light is all pervading . The yogi enjoys the light which is always available day and night within himself.

ēva ya only he. The indeclinable ēva qualifies to all the three prerequisites mentioned above viz., only one who is happy within, only one who  sports within and only one who glows by the inner light of the soul. Only such a yogi attains freedom.

sa yōgī brahmanirvāṇam brahmabhūtaḥ adhigacchati- that yogi being absorbed in Brhaman obtains nirvana or moksha. He becomes one with the spirit after attaining freedom from karma connected with gross, subtle and causal bodies, -Yogananda. Even as he is living he is merged in Brhaman but

continues to exist in this world as long as his prarabdha subsisists . Shriti says, “brahmaiva sat brahmāpyēti (ब्रह्मैव सत् ब्रह्माप्येति)”, becoming one with the absolute, he becomes

absolute. The river water enters the ocean and becomes ocean.   


VERSE 5:25

The holy persons get ultimate liberationलभन्ते ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृषयः क्षीणकल्मषाः ।छिन्नद्वैधा यतात्मानः सर्वभूतहिते रताः ॥५ – २५॥

labhantē brahmanirvāṇamr̥ṣayaḥ kṣīṇakalmaṣāḥ |

chinnadvaidhā yatātmānaḥ sarvabhūtahitē ratāḥ ||5 – 25||


लभन्ते ब्रह्मनिर्वाणम् ऋषयः क्षीणकल्मषाः छिन्नद्वैधाः यतात्मानः सर्वभूतहिते रताः  


labhantē brahmanirvāṇam r̥ṣayaḥ kṣīṇakalmaṣāḥ chinnadvaidhāḥ yatātmānaḥ sarvabhūtahitē ratāḥ  


लभन्ते-obtain ब्रह्मनिर्वाणम्-absolute freedom ऋषयः-the sages क्षीणकल्मषाः-whose sins are destroyed छिन्नद्वैधाः-whose dualities have been torn apart (छिन्न-cut  द्वैधाः- doubts)

यतात्मानः-whose mind is controlled and rests in God सर्वभूतहिते- in the active service of all beings रताः-engaged 


Those holy persons, whose sins have been purged, whose dualities has been put an end to, whose minds are disciplined, and who are devoted to the welfare of all beings, attain God and are liberated from material existence.


r̥ṣayaḥ –This is the plural of the noun Rrushi, the sages who have realized God. They are not the people with long beard  who come in outlandish attire. They are not the mendicants who roam about in the forest. The word r̥ṣīka (ऋषीक) refers to Indriya or senses. One who has vanquished them is called a Rrushi. He has realized God.

In his verse the Lord lists four qualifictions for one to become a Rrushi. These are: 1. obliteration of sin. 2. Removal of douts and dualty. 3. Control of senses and mind. 4. Kindlness to all beings.

kṣīṇakalmaṣāḥ – The rrushis whose sins have been mitigated. This is the first step in realization. Sins are the hurdles in the way of realization. Sins or vasanas of good and bad karmas over several births are stored in the subtle body of man and at the time of birth, he carries this baggage into the new body. The sins can be attennuated by several desciplines such as good deeds for the public, selfless  activities of

nishkama karma yoga, devotion, meditation etc,. Like laundering the cloath, the mind is also cleaned.

chinnadvaidhāḥ- Whose doubts and hesitations are removed.  The lord says in Gita: saṁśayātmā vinaśyati (संशयात्मा विनश्यति).  The upanishad says: chidyantē sarva saṁśayāḥ (छिद्यन्ते सर्व संशयाः)  A doubting Thomas dies every moment; he has no peace of mind.  So with Viveka or discriminative mind a seeker shoud cross the dualities of life like happiness and grief, and  good and bad situations. This is the second prerequisite of a person who wants to realize God. The doubt is with regard to real and unreal. The things like “Am I superior to others? Difference between species and non living objects, is the material happiness better than self happiness? When one progresses in the path of spirituality he gets many doubts about his determination and destination.

yatātmānaḥ- one who has subdued the mind and senses. This discipline is called saṁyama  (संयम) or shama and dama. The nature of the senses is to flow towards objects dear to them and to seduce the mind to enjoy the pleasure. If the mind is fikle it follows the commands of the senses instead of commanding the senses to obey its orders. Vedanta prescribes certain desciplines called shama and dama, Viveka (descrition) and vairagya (renunciation) to make the mind the master of senses. Swami Paramarthananda calls this as 4 D’s. They are Disrimiation, dispassion, Disciplines and Deliverence. A seeker should exercise conrol over the mind and senses if he wants to reach his goal. This is the third prerequisite.

 sarvabhūtahitē ratāḥ – taking care of welfare of all beings in the world. This quality is an extension of mahavakya ‘svarvam khalvidam bahma’ (स्वर्वम् खल्विदम् बह्म) everything indeed is Brahman. If everything is God one cannot be biased against any being, whether rich or poor man, a beast or a worm.

Because they are all made in the image of God. The Lord says in Gita 12:13:

अद्वेष्टा सर्वभूतानां मैत्रः करुण एव च।

निर्ममो निरहंकारः समदुःखसुखः क्षमी ॥१२- १३॥

labhantē brahmanirvāṇam –attains eternal peace. He becomes one with God. Nirvana or Moksha is the final goal and destination of man. It is the state reaching which there is no return. full Stop. Mission accomplished. Ther river has reached the ocean. There is nothng more for it to do. 


VERSE 5:26

The yogi gets liberation from material exisence for everकामक्रोधवियुक्तानां यतीनां यतचेतसाम् ।अभितो ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं वर्तते विदितात्मनाम् ॥५ – -२६॥

kāmakrōdhaviyuktānāṁ yatīnāṁ yatacētasām |

abhitō brahmanirvāṇaṁ vartatē viditātmanām ||5 – -26||


कामक्रोधवियुक्तानाम् यतीनाम् यतचेतसाम् अभितः ब्रह्मनिर्वाणम् वर्तते विदितात्मनाम्  

kāmakrōdhaviyuktānām yatīnām yatacētasām abhitaḥ brahmanirvāṇam vartatē viditātmanām  


कामक्रोधवियुक्तानाम्– to those who are free from desire and anger यतीनाम्- to the wise men यतचेतसाम्-who have subdued their mind अभितः-thoroughly, on all sidesl ब्रह्मनिर्वाणम्- parabrahma, the abode of peace वर्तते-is present विदितात्मनाम्-to those who have realized God.  


For those yogis, who have broken out of anger and lust through constant effort, who have subdued their mind, and are self-realized, liberation from material existence is both here and hereafter.


Kāmakrōdhaviyuktānām –for those who are free from desire and anger. When a sincere seeker through his own effort becomes immune to tantalizing sense attractions like desire, and lust, emotions like anger, greed, delusion, egotism, and hatred and thus completely mastered all the threats of progress; he realizes Brahman and indeed becomes Brahman.

A mind dipped in kama and krodha is like a wet match box. However times you may strike the match it does not light.

yatacētasām –who have mastered the mind. When the mind is in full control one is free from the evils and hurdles to spiritual progress. 

viditātmanām – those who have realized God.

brahmanirvāṇam –freedom from material existence

yatīnām –the wise men who have practised the three desciplines mentioned in this verse leading to Moksha. The word yati literally means a striver, one who endeavours. Mokhsa is available only to those who strive to get it but not to those who just wish for it. Shankaranada ji says that udyōginam upaiti lakṣmī  उद्योगिनम् उपैति लक्ष्मी, the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi blesses only the the active and industrious people.

धनलक्ष्मी, राजलक्ष्मी , मोक्षलक्ष्मी (dhanalakṣmī, rājalakṣmī , mōkṣalakṣmī) all of them bless oly who strive for it.

abhitaḥ vartatē –when a man has realized Brhaman there exists for him nothing but Brahman. He sees Brahman  here, there and everywhere; Brahman in the bodies of all living and non-living beings; Brahman above, Brahman below, inside and outsie. abhitaḥ  means thoroughly, from all sides. He sees Brahman and lives in Brahman everywhere.


VERSE 5:27/28


Method of meditation , and realization of God.

In the verses 27 to  29 of 5th chapter, the lord gives a gist of what he is going to explaine in 6th chapter.

 स्पर्शान्कृत्वा बहिर्बाह्यांश्चक्षुश्चैवान्तरे भ्रुवोः ।प्राणापानौ समौ कृत्वा नासाभ्यन्तरचारिणौ ॥५ – २७॥

sparśānkr̥tvā bahirbāhyāṁścakṣuścaivāntarē bhruvōḥ |

prāṇāpānau samau kr̥tvā nāsābhyantaracāriṇau ||5 – 27||



स्पर्शान् कृत्वा बहिः बाह्यान् चक्षुः च एव अन्तरे भ्रुवोः

प्राणापानौ समौ कृत्वा नासाभ्यन्तरचारिणौ 


sparśān kr̥tvā bahiḥ bāhyān cakṣuḥ ca ēva antarē bhruvōḥ prāṇāpānau samau kr̥tvā nāsābhyantaracāriṇau 


स्पर्शान्- contact with he sense objects-that is sense enjoyments कृत्वा-having made बहिः-outside बाह्यान्-external चक्षुः-eye gaze च-and एव-even अन्तरे-in between भ्रुवोः-two eye brows प्राणापानौ- prana and apana the outgoing and incoming breaths समौ-equal कृत्वा-having made नासाभ्यन्तरचारिणौ-flowing inside the nostrils    


Shutting out all thoughts of external enjoyments, fixing the eyes and mind midway beweenthe two eye brows, equalizing the incoming and outgoing breath moving through the nostrils …….

So  far in this chapter the Lord explained the yoga of self-knowledge and the yoga of selfless action. He said although their approach is divergent, their goal is same that is God realization. In this verse he describes the characteristics of a yogi who has attained perfection.


sparśān ktvā bahi bāhyān shutting out all thoughts of

enjoyment. Sparśān is plural of sparśa which means touch or any stimuli which is perceptible by touching an object. So the word refers to external sense objects of sound, touch, form, taste, and smell (śabda sparśa rūpa rasa gandha -शब्द स्पर्श रूप रस गन्ध). When the sense organ comes in contct with any object in its domain, it sends out stimuli to the mind. The mind has previous experience of the object as enjoyable, delightful or detesting. This is how the external object seduces the mind. The objects themselves are not responsible.  It is the mind or the owner of the mind who succumbs to temptations. So the seeker has to be vigilant and stonewall the Sparśān (external sense objecs) from entering his mind, and  intellect (aṁtaḥkaraṇa – अंतःकरण).  He has to put a “no entry” signboard at he door of his mind. He has to turn his mind to brahmākāra vritti (ब्रह्माकार व्रुत्ति,) and away from viṣayākara vrutti (विषयाकर व्रुत्ति). This discipline is technically called śamaḥ,  manōnigrahaḥ (शमः- मनोनिग्रहः)


caku ca ēva antarē bhruvōḥ –fixing the gaze in between the eye brows. The lord refers to the discipline of meditation when the practitioner closes his eyes and fixes his gaze in between the eye brows. This is called nidhidhyasana. There is one school of thought who say that the eyes should be half closed as the practitioner focuses in between he eye brows. All the thoughts of sense objects and body are kept at bay and one focuses on the point in between the eye brows.   

prāṇāpānau samau ktvā nāsābhyantaracāriau  –regulating the flow of outgoing and incoming breath. This is the method of meditation. There is a relationship between the breathing and mind. Norml breathing rate in men is 8 to 12 breaths per minute.The more agitated the mind, the speedier is rate of breathing. Conversly the the calmer the mind lesser is speed of breathing. When the breathing is slowed down at the level of nostrils, mind naturally becomes cool and composed. These are the instructions by the Lord controlling the mind at a physical level.


यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिर्मुनिर्मोक्षपरायणः ।विगतेच्छाभयक्रोधो यः सदा मुक्त एव सः ॥५ – २८॥

yatēndriyamanōbuddhirmunirmōkṣaparāyaṇaḥ |

vigatēcchābhayakrōdhō yaḥ sadā mukta ēva saḥ ||5 – 28||


यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिः मुनिः मोक्षपरायणः

विगतेच्छाभयक्रोधः यः सदा मुक्तः एव सः 

yatēndriyamanōbuddhiḥ muniḥ mōkṣaparāyaṇaḥ  vigatēcchābhayakrōdhaḥ yaḥ sadā muktaḥ ēva saḥ 


यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिः-one who has brought his senses, mind, and intellect under control मुनिः-the contemplative sage मोक्षपरायणः-having liberation as his supreme goal विगतेच्छाभयक्रोधः- free from longing, fear and anger यः-who सदा-for ever मुक्तः- liberated एव-verily सः-he 


‘’he who has bought his senses, mind and intellct under control; having liberation as his supreme goal, free from desire, fear and anger; verily he attains liberation.


यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिः one who has won over senses, mind and intellect. In spiritual enlightenment this is the first step. The senses like wild horses run after objects of their liking. The mind is too fickle and unsteady and refuses to give up its old habits. The intellect does not firmly adhere to is conviction. In such a situation, the mind instead of commanding the senses organs, obeyes the command of sense organs. As a

result the sadhaka cannot progress in his goal. So the mind and the senses have to be tamed from their waywardness.

मोक्षपरायणःone whose goal in moksha or liberation. He overcomes all obstacles in his way and tries to acheive his goal.

विगतेच्छाभयक्रोधः free from desire, fear and anger. Such a seeker who practices meditation as above becomes free from desire, fear and anger. By this way of  taming the mind, the  inner growth is possible. There is an intimate relationship

between desire, fear and anger. Desire is that pattern of thought where the mind contstanlty runs towards a given

object in order to procure it and preserve it. Fear is casualty of desire. We desire a thing so much that we live in the fear of losing it. Extreme anger and distructive instinct is the natural result when you fear to lose the object, or a thing does not go according to your desire. When these three emotions are controlled, then we have almost tamed the mind.


To sum up the lord reveals four keys for self -upliftement.

  1. externalize the sense objects from the mind; not even think about them or their happiness.
  2. Be a driver not a pillon rider of your life. For this one’s body actions, mind and intellect should be fully in one’s control.
  3. Our goal should be nothing less than realization.
  4. One has to be free from desire, fear and anger. These are three gates to hell. In this way one who works up for the self -liberation deeply meditating with his gaze fixed in the centre of the forehead, breath under control, and such an individual would remain in contemplation of truth without any external help. Such a man of meditation is verily is free for ever.


यः मुनिः सदा मुक्तः एव सः such a perfect person is ever liberated. The Lord says he is ever liberated. That means we need not go to another world to achieve liberation. One who has the above qualifications obtains liberation in this life itself.  He he need not take another birth for it.


VERSE 5:29

 भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् ।सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति ॥५ – २९॥

bhōktāraṁ yajñatapasāṁ sarvalōkamahēśvaram |

suhr̥daṁ sarvabhūtānāṁ jñātvā māṁ śāntimr̥cchati ||5 – 29||



भोक्तारम् यज्ञतपसाम्  सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम्

सुहृदम् सर्वभूतानाम् ज्ञात्वा माम् शान्तिम्  ऋच्छति    

bhōktāram yajñatapasām  sarvalōkamahēśvaram  suhr̥dam sarvabhūtānām jñātvā mām śāntim  r̥cchati    


भोक्तारम्-the enjoyer यज्ञतपसाम्-of sacrifices and austerities सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम्-the great lord of all worlds  सुहृदम्-friend without any expectation of return help सर्वभूतानाम्-of all beings ज्ञात्वा-having known माम्-me शान्तिम्-peace  ऋच्छति-attains    


My devotee attains everlasting peace by knowing me as the supreme being, as the enjoyer of sacrifices and austerities, as the supreme Lord of entire universe, and a friend of all beings.

The Lord explains here the method of obtaining lasting peace.Three prequistes have been mentioned. 1. He is the beneficienty of all sacrifices and austerities. 2. He is the Lord of all worlds. 3. He is the friend of all.


bhōktāram yajñatapasām I am the beneficiary of (bhoktaram) of yajna of the karma yogis, and austerities of  (tapasam) of jnanis. Here the lord is speaking not as the son of Vasudeva Krishna. He refers to his formless nature of the truth, consciousness and Bliss. That means I am the object of worship of karma yogis and jnana yogis. All works are done as a worship of the God by the karma yogis. The results are given up unto him. Yagna means self -dedicted work which one performs in any field of activity. Tapas means self denial and practices of self control undertaken by the jnyana yogis with view to seeking integration with God.

sarvalōkamahēśvaram The infinite Lord of creation.  Maheshwara means the God of all Gods He is to be understood as the controller of all activities of perception and expression. Thre are five sensory faculties each of which is controlled by devas meaning illuminators. For example the faculty of seeing illumines the eyes and thus gives knowledge of forms and colours. The faculty of speaking illumines the mouth and thus gives power to speak and express. These devas, illuminators are considered demigods. Therefore Maheshwara or supreme consciousness is the lord of all gods.


suhdam sarvabhūtānām The friend of all beings. Suhrud is no ordinary friend. He is suhrudayi, kind hearted who gives mercy to all, friendship to all and no ill will to any.  He

expects nothing from us for giving everything.


jñātvā mām śāntim r̥cchati He attains peace on knowing me. Jnatva – knowing me. Knowing is realizing. Spiritual realization is is understaning that the self is the great ruler within, who presides over all activities of the body and mind.

This chapter explains that the jnani and yogi, by persuing egoless activities can attain liberation.


ॐ तत्सदिति श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रे

श्रीकृष्णार्जुनसंवादे कर्मसंन्यासयोगो नाम पञ्चमोऽध्यायः ॥ ५ ॥


Thus ends in the upanishad of the glorious Bhagawad Geeta; in the Science of the Eternal, in the Scripture of yoga, in the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, the fifth discourse entitled – The YOGA OF TRUE RENUNCIATION.