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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 Verse 1

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 5 श्लोक 1

अर्जुन उवाच
संन्यासं कर्मणां कृष्ण पुनर्योगं च शंससि।
यच्छ्रेय एतयोरेकं तन्मे ब्रूहि सुनिश्िचतम्।।5.1।।

English Translation - Swami Gambirananda

5.1 Arjuna said O Krsna, You praise renunciation of actions, and again, (Karma-) yoga. Tell me for certain that one which is better between these two.

English Translation - Swami Sivananda

5.1 Arjuna said Renunciation of actions, O Krishna, Thou praisest, and again Yoga. Tell me conclusively that which is the better of the two.

English Translation - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

5.1. Arjuna said O krsna, you commend renunciation of action and again the Yoga of action; which one of these two is superior [to the other] ? Please tell me that for certain.

English Commentary - Swami Sivananda

5.1 संन्यासम् renunciation? कर्मणाम् of actions? कृष्ण O Krishna? पुनः again? योगम् Yoga? च and? शंससि (Thou) praisest? यत् which? श्रेयः better? एतयोः of these two? एकम् one? तत् that? मे to me? ब्रूहि tell? सुनिश्चितम् conclusively.Commentary Thou teachest renunciation of actions and also their performance. This has confused me. Tell decisively now which is better. It is not possible for a man to resort to both of them at the same time. Yoga here means Karma Yoga. (Cf.III.2)

English Translation of Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya's

5.1 (O Krsna,) samsasi, You praise, i.e. speak of; sannyasam, renunciation; karmanam, of actions, of performance of various kinds of rites enjoined by the scriptures; punah ca, and again; You praise yogam, yoga, the obligatory performance of those very rites! Therefore I have a doubt as to which is better-Is the performance of actions better, or their rejection? And that which is better should be undertaken. And hence, bruhi, tell; mam, me; suniscitam, for certain, as the one intended by You; tat ekam, that one-one of the two, since performance of the two together by the same person is impossible; yat, which; is sreyah, better, more commendable; etayoh, between these two, between the renunciation of actions and the performance of actions [Ast. reads karma-yoga-anusthana (performance of Karma-yoga) in place of karma-anusthana (performance of actions).-Tr.], by undertaking which you think I shall acire what is beneficial. While stating His own opinion in order to arrive at a conclusion-

English Translation of Commentary - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

5.1 Samnyasam etc. Is renunciation superior or Yoga ? this is the estion of the doubting person (Arjuna).

English Translation of Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary

5.1 Arjuna said You praise the renunciation of actions, i.e., Jnana Yoga at one time, and next Karma Yoga. This is what is objected to: In the second chapter, you have said that Karma Yoga alone should be practised first by an aspirant for release; and that the vision of the self should be achieved by means of Jnana Yoga by one whose mind has its blemishes washed away by Karma Yoga. Again, in the third and fourth chapters, you have praised Karma Yoga or devotion to Karma as better than Jnana Yoga even for one who has attained the stage of Jnana Yoga, and that, as a means of attaining the self, it (Karma Yoga) is independent of Jnana Yoga. Therefore, of these two, Jnana Yoga and Karma Yoga - tell me precisely which by itself is superior, i.e., most excellent, being more easy to practise, and icker to confer the vision of the self.

Commentary - Chakravarthi Ji

Having spoken of karma as superior to jnana, in order to strengthen this idea in this chapter, jnana is said to be equivalent to karma. Being worried about the contradiction of the two statements at the end of the previous chapter, he asks a question. In verse 41 of the last chapter you spoke of renouncing karma by jnana arising from karma yoga (yoga-sannyasta-karmanam) but in verse 42 you again spoke of taking up karma yoga (yogam atisthottistha bharata). It is not possible to perform both renunciation of action and karma yoga at once because there is essential contradiction of the two as there is contradiction in remaining stationary and moving. Therefore the man of knowledge should either renounce karma or perform karma yoga. As I do not understand your intention, I am asking. Among these two, which one is better? Please tell that definitely to me.

Rudra Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

In this chapter Lord Krishna is removing all doubts regarding the application of action and the renunciation of action. He is declaring that moksa or liberation from the material existence is attained by the renunciants who has by virtue of their austerities have conquered the influences of the senses. In the previous chapter Lord Krishna instructed to destroy all doubts by the sword of knowledge taking to the path of karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities. But previous to this Lord Krishna had instructed that renunciation of actions was more appropriate for one following the path of jnana yoga or cultivation of Vedic knowledge. Then again Lord Krishna instructed that the person delighting in their atma or eternal soul needs not to perform either karma yoga or jnana yoga. Now it needs to be determined is it possible for a person to simultaneously perform the renunciation of actions while at the same time performing actions and if not what is the superior path for one to embark upon. All these questions will be answered.

Brahma Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Hari OM! Because the Supreme Lord Krishna performs such wonderfully phenomenal activities known as lilas or pastimes, He attracts all the worlds. Thus He is know as Krishna the all attractive one. The Kurma Purana states: Oh Lord since You attract all the worlds by your extraordinary activities, enlightened beings who have realised the Brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence call you Krishna the all attracting one. In this chapter Lord Krishna explains the equanimity of actions further expounding upon the themes from chapter four, verse 24: being content with what has naturally been ordained and chapter four, verse 15: performing actions in renunciation. The word sannnyasa or renunciation is being explained to answer the question if sannyasa is more propitious then the act of war is contrary to renunciation. Now begins the summation. Hari OM! In this chapter the attributes of renunciation and performance of actions are delineated. The compound words sannyasyam karmanam meaning renunciation of all actions significantly contains the word nyaasa denoting equanimity. Thus all actions are recommended to be renounced with equanimity inferring that both karma or performance of prescribed Vedic activities and sannyasa or renunciation of the rewards of prescribed Vedic activities can be performed simultaneously and hence the question to Lord Krishna for clarification. Arjuna was a prince of the highest royal order that ruled India and the entire Earth as well. He was raised meticulously and comprehensively in the science of sanatan dharma or the principles of eternal righteousness as well as all matters regarding governance and diplomacy, war and conciliation. Due to this he was an adhikari or very qualified being. If the divine discourse of the Bhagavad-Gita was meant only for Lord Krishna to remove the lamentation of Arjuna then there world have been no need for Vedavyasa to record it in the Mahabharata. But in chapter four, verse two Lord Krishna reveals that although it was transmitted by parampara or disciplic succession it was lost on the Earth over the millenniums. Therefore Lord Krishna caused Arjuna to have lamentation as a pretext to reveal the Bhagavad-Gita to the world again and He made Arjuna the symbol of the individual consciousness of everyone to achieve knowledge of the ultimate reality on their quest of attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness and thereby realising the ultimate supreme personality.

Shri Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

In the fourth chapter karma yoga or the performance of prescribed Vedic activities was delineated by Lord Krishna with special emphasis of it containing spiritual intelligence. In the third chapter it was shown that even those who follow the path of jnana yoga or the cultivation of Vedic knowledge that karma yoga when performed as a matter of duty without attachment was preferable. This is because in jnana yoga the level of atma tattva or soul realisation contained within each action determines individual success; whereas karma yoga is easy to perform and does not depend on atma tattva for success. In this chapter karma yoga is examined in its efficacy of expeditiousness in achieving atma tattva in comparison to jnana yoga. Also will be illustrated how this should be performed and the eliminating the conception that one is the performer along with how jnana yoga is perceived from this standpoint. Renunciation and the cultivation of Vedic knowledge is jnana yoga. The performance of prescribed Vedic activities is karma yoga. In chapter two Lord Krishna declared that karma yoga was worthy to be followed by those seeking moksa or liberation from the cycle of birth and death in the material existence and as the mind was subsequently purified of all dross then jnana yoga would naturally be embarked upon bringing about atma tattva. But in chapters three and four Lord Krishna explained that karma yoga was preferable to even for onme qualified to perform jnana yoga and futhermore that karma yoga was sufficient in and of itself to achieve atma tattva without the help of jnana yoga. So the conclusion to be given is which of the two is absolutely superior and the best means to achieve atma tattva.

Kumara Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

In the fourth chapter karma yoga or the performance of prescribed Vedic activities was delineated by Lord Krishna with special emphasis of it containing spiritual intelligence. In the third chapter it was shown that even those who follow the path of jnana yoga or the cultivation of Vedic knowledge that karma yoga when performed as a matter of duty without attachment was preferable. This is because in jnana yoga the level of atma tattva or soul realisation contained within each action determines individual success; whereas karma yoga is easy to perform and does not depend on atma tattva for success. In this chapter karma yoga is examined in its efficacy of expeditiousness in achieving atma tattva in comparison to jnana yoga. Also will be illustrated how this should be performed and the eliminating the conception that one is the performer along with how jnana yoga is perceived from this standpoint. Renunciation and the cultivation of Vedic knowledge is jnana yoga. The performance of prescribed Vedic activities is karma yoga. In chapter two Lord Krishna declared that karma yoga was worthy to be followed by those seeking moksa or liberation from the cycle of birth and death in the material existence and as the mind was subsequently purified of all dross then jnana yoga would naturally be embarked upon bringing about atma tattva. But in chapters three and four Lord Krishna explained that karma yoga was preferable to even for onme qualified to perform jnana yoga and futhermore that karma yoga was sufficient in and of itself to achieve atma tattva without the help of jnana yoga. So the conclusion to be given is which of the two is absolutely superior and the best means to achieve atma tattva.

Transliteration Bhagavad Gita 5.1

Arjuna Uvaacha: Sannyaasam karmanaam krishna punar yogam cha shamsasi; Yacchreya etayorekam tanme broohi sunishchitam.

Word Meanings Bhagavad Gita 5.1

arjunaḥ uvācha—Arjun said; sanyāsam—renunciation; karmaṇām—of actions; kṛiṣhṇa—Shree Krishna; punaḥ—again; yogam—about karm yog; cha—also; śhansasi—You praise; yat—which; śhreyaḥ—more beneficial; etayoḥ—of the two; ekam—one; tat—that; me—unto me; brūhi—please tell; su-niśhchitam—conclusively