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Chapter 18: The way to renunciation and relinquishment

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Life is a dream
Staff member
Arjuna asked:-

Oh Krishna, oh great warrior, Oh killer of Kesi,
I would like to understand distinctly,
The true import of renunciation and relinquishment.

The Lord said:-

The great sages have termed giving up actions,
Those lead to fulfillment of desires as renunciation,
And the learned told that completely abandoning,
The fruits of all actions as the act of relinquishment.

Some scholars have told that actions,
Should be given up as being evil,
And others are of the opinion,
That sacrifices, charity and austerity,
Should never be relinquished.

Oh great one of Bharatha clan,
Oh greatest among men,
Please hear my decision,
Regarding relinquishment,
Which is of three types.

Sacrifices, charity and austerity,
Should never be relinquished,
For they indeed should be performed,
Since they sanctify the wise.

I am of the firm opinion that,
These acts as well as others,
Which are similar to them?
Should be performed but giving up,
Attachment and the fruits thereof.

It is not proper to renounce,
Obligatory daily duties, for,
Forsaking such work,
Has been classified as Thamasic.

If someone, leaves out his duties,
Considering them as a bother,
And leading to trouble,
He is doing a relinquishment,
Which is Rajasic and will not,
Obtain the fruits of renunciation.

Oh Arjuna, doing ones daily duties,
Without attachment and without,
Any attachment to fruits from it,
Is termed as Sathwic relinquishment.

That man who relinquishes, endued,
With wisdom and without doubt in his mind,
Does not hate disagreeable duties
And also does not prefer agreeable duties.

Any being with a body can at no time,
Relinquish all actions, but he can,
Relinquish attachment to its fruits,
And he is called as the one who relinquishes.

Those who do not relinquish the fruits of attachment,
After death undergo agreeable, disagreeable and mixed,
Results for action performed by them but such a result,
Never occurs to the one who relinquishes.

Oh mighty armed one, learn from me,
The five causes for carrying out the work,
Which has been declared in that wisdom,
Which is the end of all action.

They are the body, which is the seat of action,
The agent, who carries out the actions,
The different organs of sense gratification and wisdom.
The highly varied type of actions that are being carried out,
And fifthly, the God who is presiding over them.

When a man does any action by his body,
Or words or mind, justly or unjustly,
They are caused by these five only.

Such being the case, the one with bad understanding,
Who looks upon the soul as the agent of all action?
Is of perverted mind and does not realize the truth

But the one who does not feel that he does it,
And who’s self is not attached to what he does,
Does not kill any beings even if he kills them.

He who tries to gain knowledge, the knowledge itself,
And what he understands are the,
Three reasons for carrying out any actions,
And the action, the doer and the reason for the action,
Are the three bases for all such actions?

The knowledge, the action and the doer,
Have been mentioned as three separate forms,
In the science of the study of properties ,
And be pleased to hear about them also.

That wisdom by which one sees,
The same undivided and perennial object,
In all the objects of varied forms and hues that he sees,
Is termed as the Sathwic wisdom.

That wisdom which makes one sees,
Different and distinct beings.
In the different bodies of different types,
Is termed as the Rajhasic wisdom.

That wisdom which is irrational,
And not based on truth which,
Leads one to believe any chosen single object,
Is the only thing and is the whole,
Is termed as Thamasic wisdom.

That action performed without,
Attachment to the fruits thereof,
Which is ordained as the one that needs to be done,
And done without attachment or repulsion,
Is termed as the action which is Sathwic.

That action performed with,
A view to attain the fruits thereof,
Which is performed with conceit,
And done after much effort and trouble,
Is termed as the action which is Rajhasic.

That action performed without any thought,
About the good or results of such action,
The problems it is likely to cause to others,
Done without gauging ones capacity to do it,
And done in the state of delusion,
Is termed as the action which is Thamasic.

That doer who is unattached, not egoistic,
Endued with pep and vigor in doing action,
And who is unaffected by success of failure,
Is termed as the doer who is Sathwic.

That doer, who is attached, looks forward,
To the fruits of the actions performed,
And is violent, greedy and not clean,
And is elated or dejected by the results of the action,
Is termed as the doer who is Rajhasic.

That doer who does not have a stable mind,
Who is vulgar, arrogant and a cheat,
Who is lazy and only does bad actions,
Who is not confidant about himself?
And who keeps on stalling for long,
Is termed as the doer who is Thamasic.

Oh Arjuna, now please here from me,
Completely and individually
The three fold distinction between,
The intelligence and courage.

Oh Arjuna, that intellect which is aware,
Of what is renunciation?
Right and wrong action,
Fear and fearlessness and
Bondage and liberation,
Is termed as Sathwika intellect.

Oh Arjuna that intellect which knows and,
Which views in a distorted way.
Just action and wrong action,
Dharma and Adharma,
Is termed as Rajhasic intellect.

Oh Partha, that intellect, which is darkness,
And regards Adharma as Dharma,
And also views everything in a perverted way,
Is termed as the Thamasic intellect.

Oh Arjuna, that courage which regulates
Functions of the mind, the senses and self,
In an unswerving fashion by Yoga,
Is termed as the Sathwic courage.

Oh Arjuna, that courage which regulates,
Dharma, desire and wealth to achieve,
The desire to the fruits of action, that one performs,
Is termed as the Rajhasic courage.

Oh Arjuna, that courage which does not,
Make a stupid man give up sleep, fear.
Grief, worry, and the feeling of conceit,
Is termed as Thamasic courage.

Oh courageous one, of the Bharatha clan,
Now hear from me about the three fold definition,
Of happiness, which one enjoys by getting used to it,
And by which one gets to the end of sorrow.

That happiness which is like poison at first,
And becomes like a nectar in due time,
Which is born out of the intellect,
Which in turn is born out of self realization
Is termed as Sathvika happiness.

That happiness which arises due to senses,
Which is like nectar at the beginning,
And slowly turns in to poison,
Is termed as the Rajhasika happiness.

That happiness arising from sleep, laziness,
Miscomprehension and results in delusion,
Is termed as the Thamasic happiness.

There are no beings in earth or heaven,
Who are devoid of these three types of qualities?
Which are born out of the nature?

Oh scorcher of enemies, these duties are distributed,
Among the Brahmins, kings, merchants and workers,
According to the qualities, which are natural to them?

The qualities which are natural to the Brahmins are,
Control of mind and the senses, austerity,
Purity, forgiving nature, uprightness, knowledge,
Quality of searching and belief in the life after death.

The qualities which are natural to the kingly class are,
Bravery, boldness, fortitude, Cunning in the war,
Generosity and feeling that they can achieve.

Interest in cultivation, cattle rearing and trade.
Are the qualities natural to the merchant class?
And actions which are service to others,
Is the quality natural to the working class?

The man who is busy with his duty,
Attains the perfection which is the highest,
And please here from me how while doing his duty.
He manages to attain that perfection.

He who pervades everywhere,
Helps in the evolution of all beings,
And the one who worships him.
By doing his duty, attains perfection.

It is better to perform one’s dharma,
In a manner considered as imperfect,
Than performing another man’s dharma,
In a manner that is considered perfect,
For one who does his duty, attracts no bad effects.

Oh son of Kunti, One should not,
Relinquish one’s own Dharma,
Even if it is imperfect, for all.
Actions are imperfect in some way
And are unclear like fire covered with smoke.

With unattached intellect, subdued heart,
And not having any desire at all,
And by renunciation, one attains,
Freedom from action and Supreme perfection.

Oh son of Kunti, learn from me now,
How by reaching such supreme perfection,
One attains the everlasting goal,
Which is the supreme consummation.

He is fit to attain the everlasting goal,
Who has pure intellect, has fortitude,
Has controlled his body and senses,
Subdued sound and other senses,
Has abandoned hatred and attraction,
Has retired to a very lonely spot,
Eats little, has controlled body, speech and mind,
Is engaged in meditation and Yoga,
Is dispassionate, has forsaken egoism,
Pride, power, lust, wealth and property,
Is peaceful and is free from me and mine.

Attaining the supreme goal,
He becomes peaceful,
Neither desires nor grieves,
And is same to everyone,
And has great devotion to me.

By devotion he really understands me,
As to who and what I am,
And having thus known me,
He enters and merges with me.

Even after doing all actions.
But by taking refuge in me,
By my grace, he will attain,
My feet which is eternal and stable.

Mentally surrender all actions to me,
Have me as your highest goal,
Resort to the path of intellect
And fix your mind on me always.

By fixing your mind on me,
You would get my grace,
And overcome all roadblocks,
But because of conceit,
If you would not follow what I say,
You would certainly perish.

If you depend only on your pride,
If you decide not to fight this war,
That decision is in vain,
For your nature would oppress you.

Oh son of Kunti, you are already bound,
By your own nature, and if by delusion.,
You decide not to fight in this war,
You will be forced to do it, in spite of yourself.

Oh Arjuna, God lives in the mind of everyone,
And causes all of them to revolve like a robot.

Oh Arjuna, take refuge on that God with sincerity,
And you will attain the supreme peace of his eternal abode.

This great wisdom, which is the secret of the secrets,
Has been told by me to you and now do according to your desire.

Please hear again my advice,
Which is the greatest of all,
For you are dearly beloved to me,
And you know that I would speak,
Only that which is for your good,
Let your mind be full of me,
Let you be fully devoted to me,
Surrender and bow down to me,
And then I will reach you,
And I promise you this,
As you are very dear to me.

Give up all Dharma and take refuge in me alone,
And grieve not, for I would liberate you from all sins.

All these should not be told by you,
To one who lacks devotion and austerity?
Nor to one who does not serve me,
And nor to one who despises me.

He who will teach this to my devotes,
With devotion to me, would reach me at the end,
And no one will be doing dearer service than him to me,
And no one will be dearer than him to me...

And I believe steadfastly that the one,
Who reads this conversation between us,
Would have be worshipped me,
By performing the wisdom sacrifice.

The one who just hears this with attention,
And free from malice, would be liberated,
And attain the holy world of the righteous.

Oh Arjuna, have you heard what I told you,
With an attentive mind and has your ignorance,
Caused the great net of delusion to be destroyed?

Arjuna told:-

My delusion is completely destroyed,
And by your grace, I have regained my wisdom,
And Oh Achyutha, since my doubts are gone,
I will be firm and do as you told me.

Sanjaya told:-

Thus I have heard the wonderful conversation,
Between Lord Krishna and the great Arjuna,
Causing my hairs to stand at an end

By the blessing of Sage Vyasa, I have heard,
This most secret and supreme Yoga,
Which was being taught by Lord Krishna,
Who himself is the supreme lord of Yoga.

Oh king, remembering and recalling,
This wonderful conversation between,
Lord Kesava and Lord Arjuna,
I am rejoicing and rejoicing again.

Oh King, when I recall and recall,
That wonderful form of Lord Vishnu,
I rejoice again and again.

My firm conviction is that, wherever there is Krishna,
Who is the Lord of Yoga and wherever there is Arjuna,
The great wielder of the bow, there is prosperity and victory.

Thus ends the eighteenth chapter of Bhagwad Gita,
Which is the essence of all Upanishads,
Which is the science of the eternal and yoga,
And the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna,
Which is called “The way to renunciation and relinquishment...”
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