The Bhagavad Gita translated by Antonio T. De Nicolas
The Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 5
The Yoga of Renunciation of Actions
1. Krsna, you praise the renunciation of actions,
And then again, their disciplined undertaking.
Which one of these is the better one:
Tell me quite decisively.
The Blessed One said:
2. The renunciation and the yoga of action
Both bring the ultimate good,
But of the two, the yoga of action is better
Than the renunciation of action.
3. He who neither hates nor desires,
Is to be known as one who constantly renounces.
For free from dualities, O Strong-Armed,
He is easily released from bondage.
4. It is the childish, not the men of learning,
Who declare Sāmkhya and Yoga to be diverse.
He who takes his stand in either one properly,
Obtains the fruit of both.
5. That place and standing
Which is attained by (the men of) Sāmkhya,
Is reached also by Yoga.
Sāmkhya and Yoga are one:
He who sees this sees truly.
6. Renunciation, O Strong-Armed,
Is difficult to attain without yoga.
The sage who is disciplined in yoga
Attains to Brahman quickly.
7. Committed to yoga, himself pure in mind,
His senses conquered, his self conquered
And his self having become the self of all beings,
He is not polluted even when he acts.
8. “Ί am doing nothing at all.”
So the disciplined one who knows the truth thinks:
Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting,
Walking, sleeping, breathing,
9. Talking, grasping and letting go,
Opening and closing his eyes,
He keeps present that in these,
Only the senses are active among sense-objects.
10. Having placed his actions in Brahman,
Having relinquished attachment,
One who acts is not touched by sin,
Just as the lotus leaf is not wet by water.
11. For self-purification, men of disciplined effort (yogins)
Are active only by way of the body, mind,
Understanding or the senses,
12. The disciplined man, having relinquished the fruit of action,
Attains perfect peace.
The undisciplined man, impelled by desire,
Is attached to the fruit and is bound.
13. Having renounced with his mind all actions,
The embodied one sits at ease,
In the city of nine gates (the body),
Neither acting nor causing action.
14. That one stands over what is born,
Neither creates agency of the world, nor actions,
Nor the conjunction of action with the fruit
Rather, this is a natural power (svabhāvah).
15. This pervasive one does not take on anyone’s sin
Nor his good deeds either.
Knowledge is concealed by ignorance:
With this, creatures are deluded.
16. But for those in whom ignorance
Is destroyed by knowledge,
For them knowledge brightens
The highest (in them) like the sun.
17. Fixed on that (highest vision), the self open to that,
With commitment to that,
They attain a condition from where there is no return;
Their sins removed by knowledge.
18. Men of learning view with equal eye
A Brāhman of knowledge and good learning,
A cow, an elephant, and even a dog and an outcaste.
19. Creation is overcome, even here on earth,
By those whose minds are established in equality.
For Brahman is the same, without defect to all.
Therefore they are firm and abiding in Brahman.
20. One should not exult on gaining the pleasant,
Nor should one be dismayed on meeting the unpleasant.
His understanding steady, undeluded,
The knower of Brahman is centered on Brahman.
21. The self which is unattached to external contacts
Finds happiness in himself.
Being joined by yoga to
Brahman He obtains undecaying happiness.
22. For those pleasures which are born of contact
Are merely sources of sorrow,
Possessing a beginning and an end.
The man who is awake takes no delight in them, O Son of Kuntī.
23. The man who here on earth, before giving up his body,
Is able to hold out against the force
Born of desire and anger,
He is disciplined, he is happy.
24. He who is happy within, whose joy is within,
And whose light is within,
He becomes Brahman and goes on to
The happiness of Brahman.
25. Those sages whose sins are destroyed,
Whose indecisions are dispelled,
Whose selves are disciplined,
And who rejoice in the welfare of every being,
Attain to the happiness of Brahman.
26. To those wise men who have destroyed desire and anger,
Who have controlled their minds, and realized the self,
The happiness of Brahman is near.
27. Having shut out external contacts
And fixed the eye in the middle between the two brows,
Having equalized the two breaths moving within the nostrils,
28. Having controlled the senses, mind and intelligence,
The sage who has freedom as his goal,
Who has cast away desire, fear and anger, Is freed forever.
29. Knowing me as the enjoyer of sacrifices and austerities,
As the great lord of all the worlds,
A friend of all beings,
One attains peace.
This is the end of the fifth chapter, entitled
“The Yoga of Renunciation of Action”