BhagavadGita: Week 8 — Reflections

Sriram Subramanian
Apr 9, 2020 · 2 min read
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Verses Discussed

संन्यासस्तु महाबाहो दुःखमाप्तुमयोगतः।

योगयुक्तो मुनिर्ब्रह्म नचिरेणाधिगच्छति।।5.6।।

सर्वकर्माणि मनसा संन्यस्यास्ते सुखं वशी।

नवद्वारे पुरे देही नैव कुर्वन्न कारयन्।।5.13।।

Key Points

We discussed the following concepts this week.

1) What is sanyasa?

Sanyasa refers to the renunciation of actions. This is different from the common understanding of sanyasa (renunciation of relationships).

2) Types of Sanyasa

Vidwat Sanyasa (renunciation arising from knowledge), vividisa sanyasa (renunciation arising after a life of karma yoga), and apat-sanyasa (renunciation arising out of emergency)

3) How karma yoga prepares one for sanyasa?

One is ready for true renunciation of action after purification through antah-karana-shuddhi, gaining equanimity, and prasada-buddhi through disciplined life of karma yoga. At this point, one does only the actions needed for sustenance and without any attachments to the results of those actions. Without this type of detachment, renunciation is just ritual/ external and could even be harder for one to follow.

4) How Knowledge is the only means for liberation?

I consider this part the most significant part of the course for me. That only knowledge of the non-duality is the only means for liberation. Karma yoga prepares one to acquire that knowledge, and by itself is not the means for liberation.

5) Karma yoga — Sanyasa yoga — Knowledge connection

This connection kind of makes sense but needs more reading/ understanding.


1) I am not clear on the difference between the states one’s mental readiness between vidwat-sanyasa and vividisa sanyasa?

2) I am not clear on apat-sanyasa. How is it different from last-minute confession? There is saying in Tamil that roughly translates to ‘uttering Sankara Sankara at the time of death’, or even the proverb that translates to ‘doing surya namasakara after the eyesight is degraded’. Need to think.

Sriram Subramanian

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