|Arjuna said," O mighty armed one, I wish to understand the purpose of renunciation [tyaga] and of the renounced order of life [sannyasa], O killer of the Kesi demon, Hrisikesa."|
The Supreme Lord said, "To give up the results of all activities is called renunciation [tyaga] by the wise. And that state is called the renounced order of life [sannyasa] by great learned men.
Some learned men declare that all kinds of fruitive activities should be given up, but there are yet other sages who maintain that acts of sacrifice, charity and penance should never be abandoned.
O best of the Bharatas, hear from me now about renunciation. O tiger among men, there are three kinds of renunciation declared in the scriptures.
Acts of sacrifice, charity and penance are not to be given up but should be performed. Indeed, sacrifice charity and penance purify even the great souls.
All these activities should be performed without any expectation of result. They should be performed as a matter of duty, O Partha. That is my final opinion.
Prescribed duties should never be renounced. If, by illusion, one gives up his prescribed duties, such renunciation is said to be in the mode of ignorance.
Anyone who gives up prescribed duties as troublesome, or out of fear, is said to be in the mode of passion. Such action never leads to the elevation of renunciation.
But he who performs his prescribed duty only because it ought to be done, and renounces all attachment to the fruit-his renunciation is of the nature of goodness, O Arjuna.
Those who are situated in the mode of goodness, who neither hate inauspicious work nor are attached to auspicious work, have no doubts about work.
It is indeed impossible for an embodied being to give up all activities. Therefore it is said that he who renounces the fruits of action is one who has truly renounced.
For one who is not renounced, the threefold fruits of action-desirable, undesirable and mixed-accrue after death. But those who are in the renounced order of life have no such results to suffer or enjoy.
Of mighty-armed Arjuna, learn from me of the five factors, which bring about the accomplishment of all action. These are declared in Sankhya philosophy to be the place of action, the performer, the senses, the endeavor, and ultimately the Supersoul.