18.2 kAmyAnAm karmaNAm nyAsam

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Chapter 18

<< Chapter 18 Verse 1

SlOkam – Original

SrI bhagavAn uvAcha
kAmyAnAm karmaNAm nyAsam sanyAsam kavayO vidhu: |
sarvakarmapalathyAgam prAhus thyAgam vichakshaNA: ||

word-by-word meaning

kavaya: – (Some) learned persons
kAmyAnAm karmaNAm – of kAmya karmas which are done expecting certain results
nyAsam – total abandonment
sanyAsam vidhu: – say it to be known as sanyAsam.
vichakshaNA: – Some other learned persons
sarva karma pala thyAgam – abandonment of results of all karmas
thyAgam prAhu: say it to be known as thyAgam.

Simple Translation

(Some) Learned persons say that the total abandonment of kAmya karmas which are done expecting certain results, is known as sanyAsam. Some other learned persons say that the abandonment of results of all karmas, is known as thyAgam.

Rendering based on ALkoNdavilli gOvindhAchArya swAmy’s English translation of gIthA bhAshyam

‘Learned men understand by Sannyāsa, the abandonment of kāmya-works; (others) the wise, declare that Tyāga is the fruit-abandonment of all works.’

Some learned men understand that Sannyāsa is the abandonment of —or abstention from— doing frugiferous (=kāmya) actions. And some other wise men assert that in the authoritative works treating of Moksha, Tyāga means the resignation of the fruits attached to all actions, whether they be of the kind of nitya (daily duties), naimittika (casual duties) or kāmya (specific acts prescribed for specific objects). The contention here is whether the tone of the Śāstras (Authoritative Works) is for the abandonment of kāmya works alone or whether it is for the resignation of the fruits of all kinds of works (nitya, etc). In the former sense, the term Sannyāsa was used, and in the latter Tyāga. In both cases what is common is ‘renunciation,’ (of something or other). In this sense both Tyāga and Sannyāsa are identical. That they are used synonymously and to signify the same sense is evident from such passages also such as:

‘Hear from Me, O Best of Bharatas! the truth about this Tyāga’ (Gi: XVIII-4), —where Tyāga ultimately decides the question as meaning Renunciation (i.e., not abandonment of works, but doing them as duty and therefore abandoning fruits or returns therefor only); —and other passages also such as:

‘The abandonment of obligatory work is improper. Its abandonment from misconception is declared to be Tāmasa.’ (Gi: XVIII-7).

‘Three-fold is the fruit of work, undesirable, desirable and mixed, which non-renouncers reap hereafter, and never the renouncers’. (Gi: XVIII-12).

>> Chapter 18 Verse 3

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