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Chapter 18 Moksha Sanyas Yoga Verse 1

Arjuna Uvaacha:

Sannyaasasya mahaabaaho tattwamicchaami veditum;
Tyaagasya cha hrisheekesha prithak keshinishoodana.

Arjuna said:

I desire to know severally, O mighty-armed, the essence or truth of renunciation, OH rishikesa, as also of abandonment, O slayer of Kesi!


After listening to the nature of Tamas, Rajas and Sattwa and also the secret of “Om Tat Sat”, Arjuna asks a question to Lord Krishna and this starts the last and the 18th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita called “Moksha Sanyas Yoga” or “Yoga of liberation by renunciation”. This is the longest of all the Chapters in Gita and deals extensively with the concept of Moksha through various means. The Yoga starts with Arjuna asking Lord to explain to him about the nature of Sanyas or renunciation and also explain in detail what actually is renunciation and the importance of it. He now addresses Lord as Rishikesha and also as the killer of Kesi. Kesi is a demon who Lord Krishna kills during his Childhood days at Vrindavan.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

This last chapter of Moksha Sanyas Yoga is a lengthy one and covers many areas. It starts with Arjuna raising the topic of renunciation where he brings in two forms of renunciation called Sanyas and Tyaga. Sanyas is a renunciation of actions where the person abandons all his actions by cutting off relationships with everyone. A sanyasi leaves all the relationships in this world and completely withdraws himself from the family and society and seeks isolation for the practice of Sadhana which is also called as a spiritual discipline. Spiritual discipline demands a person not to look at anything in this world, including his food, water etc while he is concentrating on himself and the Paramatma inside him. To know about the paramatma who occupies the tiniest space in one’s body, we need a concentration which can see the minutest thing inside us. 

Another form of renunciation which we all know is Tyaga. Tyaga means giving up and giving up of anything and everything that comes in our way to salvation. It starts from giving up the desire to enjoy the fruits of action, giving up expecting things from people, giving up attachments, and also includes giving up passion. Passion is something which is basic to any knowledge and the same passion after a while stops us from attaining spiritual discipline. Passion prevents compassion and without compassion, one can never walk the path of spirituality. This Chapter is the beginning of the wealth of higher order wisdom and we all await the wisdom that Lord Krishna is about to bestow onto us through Arjuna.