Art of Renunciation:

Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 5

Continued from "Practical Wisdom": Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 4

This chapter of 29 slokas, known as karma sanyaasa yoga, Renunciation of Action, is in response to Arjuna’s plea at the beginning of the chapter, 

‘Pray be clear, as Thee aver
Act ’n give up in selfsame breath’ 

Lord Krishna sets the tone for self-help in this chapter with the opening statement, 

‘Give up all ’n thou be freed
So’s the case with selfless work
But know latter scores much better’.   

S18 avers the Omnipresence of the Supreme in Brahmans, cows, elephants, dogs and dog eaters. This tasteless description could be but an interpolation as it is so ill behoves the Lord’s eloquence and sophistication of expression seen throughout. Incidentally, the succeeding s19 makes it clear that whoever recognizes Him in all beings attains the Supreme State in life itself. It may be noted that s29 and s30 of next chapter also run along the same lines. S27-s28 that deal with yogic practices and s29, which asserts the Supreme as the beneficiary of sacrificial rituals, are but interpolation for reasons that bear no repetition.  

Thus spoke Arjuna:
Pray be clear, as Thee aver
Act ’n give up in selfsame breath.   

Thus spoke the Lord:
Give up all ’n thou be freed
So is the case with selfless work
But know latter scores much better.

Wise neither want, nor they shun
That’s how they give up ever engaged.

Way action ’n path learning 
Know not ignorant not different.

Work highway ’n lane freedom
Know the learned are the same.

What thou forego if thee cease
Deeds selfless make acts forsake.

Such one realized
Self-willed, dutiful
Within self remains
Without ever engaged.

Privy to this will realize
On his body as it works
Say hath he none to name one.  

Wise do realize needs physical
Urges are they driven by genes.  

Spreads on lotus leaves as water
Sticks none sin of deeds duteous. 

Wise in selfless work engage
Forego while they self-purify.  

Wise ever stay cool never in want
Bog down but naive ever in want.

Covetous not ’n ever laid back
Wise in tune with Supreme lay.  

It’s his nature, not the Spirit 
Makes man act by wants induced.

Takes not Supreme credit or fault 
Grasp none have of this uncouth.

He that keeps his bias at bay 
Sun-like he shines being wise.

In clear conscience ’n fairness
Gives man freedom faith in Him 

Keeps who equity ever in thought  
Faultless being attains he Brahman.

In state Brahman,
Gloats never man as smiles fortune  
Nor loses heart when things go wrong.

Joys induced all tire one soon 
Stay self-joyous all blissful souls.

End as in grief joys of flesh
Go not wise for pleasures such brief.

Subdue lust ’n rein in wrath
Leads that to thy state of joy.  

Live in ease the true knowing
Enjoy they all within themselves.

With pure intent sans ill-will
Realized all reach State Supreme.    

Unmoved by his mind subdued
Stays ever free the self-realized.

Ends thus:
Art of Renunciation,
The Fifth Chapter 
Of Bhagavad-Gita,
Treatise of self-help.

Continued to "Practice of Restraint": Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 6  


More by :  BS Murthy

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