5.1 sannyāsaṁ karmaṇāṁ kṛṣṇa (Original)

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Chapter 5

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arjuna uvāca
sannyāsaṁ karmaṇāṁ kṛṣṇa
punar yogaṁ ca śaṁsasi
yac chreya etayor ekaṁ
tan me brūhi su-niścitam

Questions Arjuna:—

‘On renouncal[2. On ‘renouncal’ (sanyāsa), vide XVIII-1.] of work, Kṛishṇa! and again on doing of works (yoga), dost Thou descant. Which of the two is better, conclusively tell me.’


The renunciation of works is Jñāna-Yoga. Yoga is Karma-Yoga, the prosecution of works. Once, thou dost extol the former, once the latter! Here is a summary of Thy teachings:—

In Lecture Two, Thou didst declare that Karma-Yoga was worthy to be followed by the moksha-aspirant, and that as soon as the inner organ (antaḥkaraṇa=mind) became purified of taints, it was then time to embark on Jñāna-Yoga, which would bring about ātma-vision (i.e., soul-consciousness).

But in Lectures Three and Four, Thou didst maintain that Karma-Yoga was preferable even in the case of him who is qualified for Jñāna-Yoga; that Karma-Yoga was alone sufficient, —without the aid of Jñāna-Yoga —as a Means to ātma-attainment.

As between these two then, viz: Karma-Yoga and Jñāna-Yoga, wilt thou tell me truly, which of them is the superior, the ready, the easy, means to attain to ātma?

Śrī Bhagavān responds thus:—

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