Chapter 5 Sanyasa Yoga Verse 5

Shloka

Yatsaankhyaih praapyate sthaanam tad yogair api gamyate;
Ekam saankhyam cha yogam cha yah pashyati sa pashyati.

Translation

That place which is reached by the Samkhyas or the Jnanis is reached by the Karma Yogis.
He sees who sees knowledge and the performance of action as one.

Interpretation

Lord Krishna continues his explanation about the superiority of knowledge over renunciation in this sloka also. He says that those who do karma or actions reach the same place that is reached by the people who have a lot of knowledge and perform actions through that knowledge. So Lord Krishna here equates the knowledge and action and says that a person who sees knowledge and the performance of action sees both of them as one. And that person is actually called as Karma yogi. This is a level above of what we had learnt in Samkhya yoga and karma yoga and this sloka integrates the both.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

This is a brilliant sloka that connects a jnani and a karma yogi. Jnani is a person with wisdom. And karma yogi is the one who does his work without any attachment. In a way, this sloka merges wisdom with work without getting attached to it. Knowledge gives you wisdom and as you grow wiser and wiser you start seeing things in a more connected way and thus you will integrate many things. That brings a change in the thinking and results in the person doing actions in a detached way. He now sees his work connected more to the cosmos than to him and which brings a sense of detachment in him.

This is a bit complicated and requires some explanation. Let us take an example of a child. A child is not very educated or wise. Every action he does is for himself. He demands attention and cries when he doesnt get it. As he grows into an adult he stops demanding attention for every small thing but he does become selfish and works only for his welfare. But when he acquires knowledge and becomes wise his approach changes. He starts to think that there is nothing called “I” and everything is a part of the Universe created by the Almighty. He then starts thinking about the welfare of humanity and sacrifices his own needs and wants for the sake of humanity. All his actions are detached. Now have you observed here, that this is also one form of renunciation.

Yes, that is the beauty of this sloka. Even in the actions performed by acquiring knowledge there is renunciation hidden in it. This renunciation is the renunciation of personal desires with the increase in knowledge. How different is this renunciation from the other renunciation that Lord Krishna is speaking about. Let’s wait till the next sloka!