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Chapter 5: The renunciation of action

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Life is a dream
Staff member
(Arjuna wants clarification as to the need for practice of action , when one is not interested in its results .Lord Krishna tells him that nobody can remain without doing any action and also that the ultimate self does not participate in the performance of action.. He reemphasizes the importance of renouncing results of action.)

Arjuna asked:-

You praise renunciation of action,
As well as the practice of the path of action,
Please take a decision yourself,
And tell me which of them is better?

The Lord answered:-

Renunciation as well as path of action,
Will both take you to the higher state in life?
But among them path of positive action,
Is better than renunciation of action.

The one who does not hate or desire is a hermit,
And so the one who gets freedom from,
Plurality of action easily gets freedom,
From the ties of day to day life.

Ignorant children would say that knowledge,
Is very different from action with renouncement,
But the learned would not agree with them,
For anyone who concentrates on any of these,
Would get the results from what he chose...

That state which is attained by discriminative logic,
Is also attained by the practice of positive action,
He who sees discriminative logic and positive action,
As the same is the one who really sees.

Oh heroic one, renunciation of action is very difficult,
Without first performing selfless positive action,
And it is also true that one who is wedded to action,
Attains the ultimate more quickly and speedily.

He who is engaged in selfless action,
Who has a very clean and clear mind?
Who has won over the hankerings of the body?
Who has total control over his senses?
And who sees himself in all beings,
Is not tainted by action even if he does it.

The man who is a true practitioner,
Of the path of selfless action,
Feels that he is not doing any action,
Even during the time he sees, he hears,
He touches, he smells, he eats,
He walks, he sleeps or even when he breaths.

When one talks or leaves what he holds,
Or holds on tightly, or opens his eyes,
Or closes his eyes, he determines,
That these are because senses are
Performing the job towards the sense objects,
And not because he has done any of them.

He who does all his actions, sacrificing them,
To the godhead and without any desires,
Is not affected by it, similar to the fact,
That lotus leaf does not become wet because of water.

The learned and wise men forsake all attachment,
And carry out actions with body or mind or brain,
Or senses without the sense of the feeling of “I”,
For purifying their mind and soul.

He who does positive action, leaves out,
The fruits of his action and attains,
Mental stability and peace by practice of such action,
But the one who does actions for achieving results,
Is bound by the expectations of the results that he wishes.

The one who has mastered control over his senses,
Does renunciation of all actions and exists peacefully,
And happily in the city with nine holes*,
Doing nothing and getting done nothing.
*the body

The God was never an actor, nor did he create persons,
Nor did he create actions, nor unification of actions with results,
And all these are controlled only by universal ignorance

The god does not receive the sins of any one,
Nor does he accept good deeds done by people,
And this knowledge is hidden by ignorance,
And because of it, beings get under delusion

In those whom ignorance is destroyed,
Due to the knowledge of the soul,
Their wisdom shines like a bright sun,
And throws light on the highest being.

Those whose mind is set on God,
Those who think God is their soul,
Those who remain in the concept of God,
And those who consider God as their refuge,
Attain the state of no return,
With their sins being winnowed off by wisdom.

The learned view with equanimity,
The humble or a wise Brahmin,
Or a cow, or an elephant or a dog,
Or the one who eats a dog.

Those whose mind stands with equanimity,
Have won over re birth here in this world itself,
For the ultimate truth is equal and faultless,
And due to that they stay with the ultimate truth.

He who realizes the ultimate truth,
Would have a very stable mind,
Would be devoid of any desires,
Would attain the life he likes,
Would not get elated with joy,
Or get sorry when he gets what he dislikes.

He who does not have attachment,
To the pleasure provided by the external,
Realizes the pleasure given by the soul,
And with his mind standing with ultimate truth,
He realizes the bliss, which never decays.

Oh son of Kunthi, those pleasures from the external,
Are really the birthplaces of all sorrows?
For they have a beginning and an end,
And so the wise man will not derive joy from them.

He who has strength to control emotions,
Caused due to passion and anger,
Even before he leaves his own body,
Is the one, who is steadfast in yoga,
And he is the only human being who enjoys.

He who has well being within him,
He who has joy within himself,
He who is enlightened within himself,
That Yogi is the Brhamam even when he is alive,
And would get salvation by becoming absolutely free.

Those sages within whom, sins erode,
Within whom doubts fade away,
Within whom senses are under control,
And who wants only to do well to all others,
Would get salvation with absolute freedom.

Those sages who get freedom from desire and anger,
Who have mind which is peaceful and contended,
And who are able to realize their souls,
Would get salvation within this and in other worlds.

He who is able to keep, external pleasures outside,
Concentrate his gaze in between the eyebrows,
Keep the airs of inhalation and exhalation equally within his nose,
Controls his mind, senses and thought completely,
Desires nothing except the true and ultimate salvation,
Is bereft of desire, fear and anger always,
And tries to engage himself in meditation,
Is always free from everything.

Thus ends the fifth 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 renunciation of action.”
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