Srimad Bhagavad Gita -Ramanujacharya 164

Srimad Bhagavad Gita -Ramanujacharya

Chapter-5 Karma Sanyāsa Yogaḥ

Communion through Renunciation

Summary of the Teaching


In the third Chapter it was taught that even one who qualifies for Wisdom Yoga, should rather practice Action Yoga because it includes Self-awareness and in addition, it is free from liability to lapses. It is therefore easier to practice as well as being an independent means. In the fourth chapter, the wisdom aspect of Action Yoga, and its importance has been discussed. Now, it will be shown that Action Yoga is a far quicker means of attaining Self-realization than Wisdom Yoga. Thereafter the method of contemplating upon the Self as a non-agent which is a feature of Action Yoga is described. This knowledge founded in Action Yoga is then investigated.

arjuna uvāca

saṃnyāsaṃ karmaṇāṃ kṛṣṇa punar-yogaṃ ca śaṃsasi |
yac-chreya etayor-ekaṃ tan-me brūhi suniścitam || 1 ||

Arjuna said:

1. You commend, O Krishna, the renunciation of actions and then again commend Karma Yoga.
Tell me conclusively that which is the better of the two.


The objection raised [by Arjuna] is this:— “in the second chapter, you said that Action Yoga alone should be practiced first, by one aspiring for liberation, and that the vision of the ātman should be achieved through meditation after the mind has been purified by Action Yoga. Again, in the third and fourth chapters, you praised Action Yoga as being better than Meditation (Wisdom Yoga) even for one who has attained the level of competency for meditation. And that, as a means of attaining the Self, Action Yoga is independent of Wisdom Yoga. Therefore, of these two, Wisdom Yoga and Action Yoga — tell me precisely which single method is superior, and easier to practice, and quicker to confer Self-realization.”


References and Context