Chapter 5Action and RenunciationVerse 5


Sanskrit Vocal





Commentaries of the Four Authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

as confirmed in the Garga Samhita Canto 10, Chapter 61, Verses 23, 24, 25, 26
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Sridhara Swami's Commentary

Lord Krishna now clarifies specifically that atma tattva or realisation of the soul is the result and that persons who practice renunciation of actions attains this same result as those that practice prescribed Vedic activities without desire for reward and thus for one who sees this similarity of result sees that both paths are actually one. The word yoga meaning the science if the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness denotes by the suffix api meaning also of one who is a practitioner of yoga

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

Both invariably lead to the same result because due to performing actions with spiritual intelligence one achieves the same goal of atma tattva or realisation of the soul. Therefore even renunciates with spiritual wisdom should perform prescribed Vedic activities and grihastas or householders should cultivate knowledge of the resplendent Supreme Lord. Without spiritual intelligence one's actions can never be properly established. Whereas performance of activities in spiritual intelligence without desire of rewards automatically leads one to renunciation. The person who performs actions with renunciation offering the results to the Supreme Lord attains the eternal Brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence. This blessed person should propitiate the Brahman in its more advanced and personal avatar manifestaion or incarnations such as Rama or Buddha and expansions such as Vishnu or Vasudeva; both categories which emanate from the Supreme Lord Krishna. The renunciate should offer propitiation by manasa or mentally offering flowers and meditating on the pranava or the primordial mantra OM. Moksa or liberation is assured for the desire free performers of prescribed Vedic activities, those firmly established in renunciation and those cognisant of the eternal Brahman. But even among these there is more bliss and satisfaction for those who perform actions to please the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His Vedic authorised avatar incarnations and expansions. Performance of prescribed Vedic activities without knowledge of Lord Krishna and His avatars is not laudable or commendable. Therefore only those actions performed in knowledge of Him are known to be actions performed in renunciation. Such actions as are performed by renunciates is called karma or actions based on spiritual intelligence. Kar is understood as action and ma is understood as wisdom. Thus even the grihastas or householders with wives and children and responsibility can also perform actions in renunciation if they possess this wisdom or spiritual intelligence. Thus there is no difference between renunciation and karma yoga or performing prescribed Vedic activities, if the actions are performed as a matter of duty with no desire for the rewards of the action. In the Vyasa Smriti it states that the distinction between a grihasta following karma yoga without desires and an ascetic renunciate without desire except for the regulations and constraints on the activities accepted by each.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

The renunciates are followers of jnana yoga or the cultivation of Vedic knowledge but the same goal is achieved by them upon realisation as the goal achieved by the followers of karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities upon realisation. Lord Krishna is stating that one who comprehends that either of the methods leads to the same result is one who is in correct knowledge and such a person has spiritual intelligence.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

The same result stated in the previous verse is atma tattva or realisation of the soul. This is achieved by both the follower of karma yoga or the performers of prescribed Vedic activities without attachment to the rewards as well as the follower who performs renunciation of actions to the Supreme Lord both attain the result of atma tattva. Thus one who sees by careful analysis that because both paths yield the same fruit they are actually the same is situated in true knowledge.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 5, verse 5 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 5

Copyright © Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998-2015