18.1 sannyāsasya mahā-bāho (Original)

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Chapter 18

<< Chapter 18 Proem

Simple

arjuna uvāca
sannyāsasya mahā-bāho
tattvam icchāmi veditum
tyāgasya ca hṛṣīkeśa
pṛthak keśi-niṣūdana

‘Of Sannyāsa1, Strong-armed! and of Tyāga2, Hṛishīkeśa!, I would fain distinctly know the truth, O Keśi-Slayer.’

Notably, Tyāga (renunciation)3 and Sannyāsa (resignation)4 were dictated as the Means to Moksha, according to the Śrutis, for example:

‘Some by Tyāga (renunciation) achieve Immortality, not by action, not by (means of) progeny, nor money, (=property).’5

‘Those Yatis (or Sannyāsins) all, who ascertaining to themselves of what is good, from the knowledge acquired from the Vedāntas; and made pure of heart by means of Sannyāsa-yoga(=resignation), are delivered (from bondage) by reaching the Immortal (=God) in the Brahma-loka at the close of mortal life (=parānta-kāle = at the dissolution of the last karma-body, vide., Ranga Rāmānuja’s Commentary on Taittiriya-Upanishat, Nārāyaṇam)’6

Distinctly do I desire to know the truth regarding Sannyāsa and Tyāga. The import is this: Do these two terms mean different things, or do they mean the same thing? If they mean different, I wish to learn in what does the difference consist; if not, what is the unic sense conveyed by both?

In order to prove that the nature of both is identical and to show what that nature is, Śrī Bhagavān first exhibits the error of an objector. He says:

>> Chapter 18 Verse 2

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  1. Surrendering oneself to action-less contemplation (=Jñāna-yoga or Sannyāsa in the sense employed in
    Sts: 1, 2 and 3., Lec:5) = Positive side of Renunciation.
  2. Abandonment of action = Negative side of Renunciation.
  3. Abandonment of action = Negative side of Renunciation.
  4. Surrendering oneself to action-less contemplation (=Jñāna-yoga or Sannyāsa in the sense employed in Sts: 1, 2 and 3., Lec:5) = Positive side of Renunciation.
  5. Tait: Up°: Nārā: X-21. ‘Na karmaṇā &c.’ Ranga Rāmānuja quotes the authority ‘Sannyāsas tyāga ity uktaś śaraṇāgatir ity api’ according to which Sannyāsa and Tyāga mean one and mean seeking the Lord as the One Refuge. Tyāga here is the negative side of Renunciation.
  6. Tait: Up°: Nārā: X-22; also Mund: Up: III-2-6. ‘Vedānta vijñāna &c.’. Ranga Rāmānuja explains Sannyasa in this passage to mean Prapadana or unconditional surrender (to the Deity) = the positive side of Renunciation.

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