Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 239

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan


Renunciation is to be practised not towards Work but to the
Fruits of Work
arjuna uvaca
1. saritnyasasya mandbaho
tattvam icchami veditum
tyagasya ca hrsikesa
Prthak kesinisüdana
Arjuna said
(1) I desire, 0 Mighty-armed (Krsna), to know the true nature of renunciation and of relinquishment, 0 Hrsikeea (Ka), severally, 0 Kesinisildana (Krsna)
The Gita insists not on renunciation of action but on action with renunciation of desire. This is true samnyasa. In this verse, samnyasa is used for the renunciation of all works and tyaga for the renunciation of the fruits of all works. Not by karma, not by progeny or wealth but by tyaga or relinquishment is release obtained.[1] The Gita urges that the liberated soul can remain in service even after liberation and is opposed to the view which holds that, as all action springs from ignorance, when wisdom arises, action ceases. The teacher of the Gita considers the view, that he who acts is in bondage and he who is free cannot act, to be incorrect.

sribhagavan uvaca
2. kamyanam karmanam
nyasam samnyasam kavayo
viduh sarvakarmaphalatyagam
prahus tyagam vicaksanah
The Blessed Lord said :
(2) The wise understand by "renunciation" the giving up of works prompted by desire : the abandonment of the fruits of all works, the learned declare, is relinquishment
Inertia or non-action is not the ideal. Action without any selfish desire or expectation of gain, performed in the spirit that "I am not the doer, I am surrendering myself to the Universal Self" is the ideal set before us. The Gitii does not teach the complete renunciation of works but the conversion of all works into niskama karma or desireless action.
S, however, contends that tyaga as taught here is applicable only to karmayogins, while for jnanins complete abandonment of works is imperative. He holds that knowledge is incompatible with work.

3. tyajyam dosavad ity eke
karma prahur manisinah
na tyajyam iti ca 'pare
(3) `Action should be given up as an evil,' say some learned men others declare that `acts of sacrifice, gift and penance are not to be given up '

4. niscayam srnu me tatra
tyage bharatasattama
tyago hi purusavyaghra
trividha,i samprakirtitah
(4) Hear now from Me, 0 Best of the Bharatas (Arjuna), the truth about relinquishment : relinquishment, 0 Best of men (Arjuna), has been explained as threefold
R. divides relinquishment into (i) relinquishment of fruit, (2) relinquishment of the idea that the self is the agent and so of attachment also, and (3) relinquishment of all idea of agency with the realization that the Lord is the author of all action.

5. yajnadanatapahkarma
na tyajyam karyam eva tat
yajno danam tapas` cai
'va pavanani mamsinam
(5) Acts of sacrifice, gift and penance are not to be relinquished but should be performed For sacrifice, gift and penance are purifiers of the wise.
Against the view that all action should be abandoned, since it leads to bondage, the Gita asserts that sacrifice, gift and penance [2]should not be abandoned


References and Context

  1. na harmana na pralaya dhanena tycagenaikena, amnrtatvam anasuh. Taittiriya Aranyaka X. 1o, 3.
  2. Cp. trayo dharrzaskandha yapias taco danam iti