Out of ignorance, one tends to grab material possessions thereby leading to the bondage of action to accumulate. When the first ray of awareness sets in, one starts thinking of renunciation like Arjun is trying here. The confusion lies in what to renounce. The usual tendency is to renounce all karmas or actions, as we label them as good or bad by our ever judging mind and in this scheme of things, want to drop undesirable karmas.

On the other hand, Krishna presents a complete paradigm shift regarding renunciation and says that one should always be a nitya sanyasi (perpetual renunciant), i.e. one who neither hates nor desires; is free from the pairs of opposites (dwandwa-ateeth) and is easily liberated from all entanglements (5.3). The first thing that we should renounce is hatred. This could be towards anything that goes against our beliefs like religion, caste or nationality. Hatred could be towards our profession, people or way of things around us. It is important to see the oneness in apparent contradictions. A Nitya Sanyasi renounces desire along with hatred.

Krishna advises us to renounce qualities like hatred and desires. In fact, there is no real renunciation of karmas as we renounce one to end up doing another under the influence of our gunas . Essentially, we should renounce labelling residing in us rather than our external karmas.

Krishna further says, "That state which is reached by the sankhya is also reached by the yogi. He has truth who beholds as one both sankhya (awareness) and yoga (5.5). But renunciation is hard to attain without actions (yoga); a sage, well established in yoga quickly attains Brahman ." (5.6)

Karmas are like barometers to help us gauge how much hatred and desires we carry. Hence, Krishna encourages to perform unmotivated karmas than renouncing them.

Source - Daily World

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