Chapter 5 Sanyasa Yoga Verse 10

Shloka

Brahmanyaadhaaya karmaani sangam tyaktwaa karoti yah;
Lipyate na sa paapena padmapatram ivaambhasaa.

Translation

He who performs actions, offering them to Brahman and abandoning attachment,
is not tainted by sin as a lotus leaf by water.

Interpretation

In this sloka Lord Krishna is talking about an important aspect of renunciation which is attachment. Not having attachment with anything is the most important attribute to achieve renunciation. Here Lord Krishna also links this renunciation to actions, like how we have seen in the previous slokas. He says that a person should perform all his actions and perform them only in the name of God by practicing total detachment. Without the detachment that person can never do the work in the name of God. Only such people, according to Lord Krishna are free from sin, like how lotus leaf is free from water drops.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Here the point that we need to look at is how a person who is unattached is like a water drop on lotus leaf. This is a very apt comparison because look at the lotus leaf and how it treats water. When rain drops fall on any other leaves they leave traces of water drops on those leaves. But if rain drops falls on the lotus leaf all the water smoothly slides down without leaving even a slightest trace of water on the leaf. This can be directly compared to the behaviour of the person who does his work unattached to it.

Here the person looks at the nature of the work and what he needs to do. He then starts working on it and while doing that work, he never gets attached to it.

Attachment here means, expecting the result, expecting a financial reward or expecting a praise which can satisfy the ego or rewarding him through any other form. He is cut off from all, like lotus leaf. He just does his work keeping in mind only the person that work is directed at, and does that in the name of God. Such person can never be blamed for any kind of sin arising of that work. As he doesn’t receive any praise and as he expects no praise, he is also not attached by any sin, if that work produces any negative results.

That is because as he is not held accountable for any positive results of the work, he is also not accountable to any negative results of that work. That work is the will and wish of the Almighty and it is happening only in His name. The doer of the work has no credit in it. Such a kind of thought automatically creates a sense of detachment in that work and this detachment is necessary for renunciation.