Total abandonment is renunciation,
a state in which even will and merits of action cease to be,
and prior to which there is only endless giving up of attachment
for fulfillment of the spiritual quest.
There are two questions here:
Arjun wants to know the essence of renunciation
as well as
the essence of relinquishment.
He desires to be enlightened on the different forms of
Yogeshwar Krishn sings:
“Whereas numerous scholars use renunciation
for the giving up of covered deeds,
many others of mature judgement use relinquishment
to name the abnegation of the fruits of all action.”
“While many erudite men insist that
since all actions are vile they ought to be forsaken,
other scholars proclaim that deeds such as yagya, charity, and penance
ought not to be forsaken.”
After thus submitting varied opinions on the problem,
the Yogeshwar advances his own definitive view.
“Listen, O the best of Bharat,
to my notion of renunciation and of how, O the unmatched among men,
this renunciation is said to be of three kinds.”
Lord Krishn adds:
“Rather than forsaking them,
deeds such as yagya, charity, and penance ought certainly
to be undertaken as a duty,
for yagya, charity, and penance are deeds
that redeem men of wisdom.”
Lord Krishn has thus submitted four prevalent thoughts.
First, that coveted deeds should be forsworn.
Second, that the fruits of all action should be given up.
Third, that all actions should be relinquished, for they are all blemished.
And fourth, that it is wrong to forego yagya, charity, and penance.
Expressing his accord with one of these thoughts,
Lord Krishn says that it is also his conclusive view
yagya, charity and penance are not to be forsaken.
This illustrates how divergent views on the question were current
Lord Krishn’s time, too, out of which, one was true.
Even today there are many views.
When a sage makes his advent in the world
he isolates and puts forward that which is the most salutary
among the many varying doctrines.
All great Souls have done this and Lord Krishn has done the same.
Instead of advocating a new way he only supports and expounds
which is true among many accepted views.
He sings further:
“It is my considered belief, O Parth,
that these deeds as also all others ought certainly to be accomplished
after forsaking attachment and desire for the fruits of labour.”
“And, since the requisite action ought not to be abandoned,
forsaking it out of some misconception is deemed
as renunciation of the nature of ignorance (tamas).”
According to Lord Krishn the ordained,
essential action is only one-the performance of yagya.
The Yogeshwar has reverted to and stressed the ordained mode time
again, lest the seeker should deviate from the right path.
And now he declares that it is improper to abandon this ordained action.
Forsaking it out of some delusion is thus said
relinquishment of the diabolical kind (that is, of the nature of tamas).
The deed that ought to be done and the ordained action are the same,
giving it up out of involvement
in objects of sensual pleasure is morally, improper.
The man who abandons such action is doomed to rebirth in low forms,
for he has suppressed the impulse for divine adoration.
Lord Krishn next speaks about relinquishment
that is tainted by passion
moral blindness (rajas).
“He who rashly foregoes action under the assumption
that all of it is grievous, or out of fear of physical suffering,
is deprived of the merits of his relinquishment.”
One who is incapable of worship
who casts off action
because of his apprehension of physical pain
reckless and morally in error,
his relinquishment-of the nature of passion (rajas)-fails to bring him
the ultimate repose of mind
should be the end of relinquishment.
“Only that relinquishment is esteemed righteous,
O Arjun, which is ordained and practiced with the conviction
doing it after having forsaken attachment
fruits of labour is a moral commitment.”
So only the ordained deed is to be done and all else has to be discarded.
However, shall we go on doing it endlessly
will there be a point when it too is given up?
Speaking of this,
Lord Krishn now points out the way of relinquishment
that is good and worthwhile.
“Gifted with flawless moral excellence and freedom from doubt,
one who neither abhors deeds that are unpropitious
nor is enamoured of those that are propitious
wise and self-denying.”
Only the action prescribed by scripture is auspicious
all that is opposed to it is mere bondage of this mortal world
The person of equanimity,
neither loathes what is inauspicious
nor is attached to that which is auspicious,
because for such a person
even that which had to be done has at last come
to an end, is imbued with righteousness,
emancipated from doubt, and discerning.
So such a person is enabled to disown all.
This total relinquishment,
coming along with accomplishment,
Is there, we might be tempted to ask, any easier way?
Lord Krishn categorically denies the possibility.
“Since the abandonment of all action
by an embodied being is impossible,
the one who has given up the fruits of action is credited
with having practiced relinquishment.”
“Embodied beings” does not imply only gross, visible bodies.
According to Lord Krishn the three properties
virtue (sattwa), passion (rajas), and ignorance (tamas),
born out of nature, imprison the Soul within the body.
The Soul is embodied only as long as these properties remain.
So long he will have to pass from one body to another,
for the properties that beget the body are still in existence.
Since an embodied Soul cannot eschew all action,
it is said that one who has given up
the fruits of action has mastered renunciation.
Hence it is that it is imperative to do the prescribed deed
renounce its fruits so long as the properties that make the body remain.
If, on the other hand, actions are undertaken
with some desire or the other,
they do bear fruits.
“Whereas the triple returns-good, bad, and mixed
-of covetous people’s actions, issue forth even after death,
the actions of people who have renounced all,
do not ever bear any fruits.”
The deeds of avaricious men produce consequences
that arise even after death.
These consequences indeed persist through endless births.
But the actions of those who have relinquished all-of true sanyasi
(so called because they have given up all their possessions)-do not bear fruits at any time.
This is complete renunciation the highest stage of spiritual seeking.
The examination of the outcome of good and bad deeds,
and of their ceasing at the point where all desire is annihilated,
~Revered Gurudev Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans~