Chapter 5 Sanyasa Yoga Verse 6

Shloka

Sannyaasastu mahaabaaho duhkham aaptuma yogatah;
Yogayukto munir brahma na chirenaadhigacchati.

Translation

But renunciation, O mighty-armed Arjuna, is hard to attain without Yoga;
the Yoga-harmonised sage proceeds quickly to Brahman!

Interpretation

After talking about the knowledge in this sloka Lord Krishna shifts his attention to renunciation. In the previous sloka we have stopped at a point where we talked about renunciation as a part of action. In this sloka Lord Krishna says that renunciation cannot be achieved by anyone that easily. He says that renunciation is possible only with yoga. So the bottom-line of this sloka is that a person who harmonizes himself in the yoga, be it a karma yoga or a gnana yoga by integrating renunciation in it can only proceed to attaining salvation by merging his soul with Brahman.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Here we talk about renunciation happening through yoga. Now the question here is what is yoga? In sanskrit Yoga means “Union”. It is the union of body with soul and the union of soul with Brahman. This union has different steps. When knowledge unites with wisdom it results in an action. This is the point that one needs to understand here. Why is this renunciation so important here? It is because renunciation is also a part of attaining moksha. If renunciation is connected to moksha then can action alone can bring moksha? This we have answered in yesterday’s sloka that action also involves renunciation.

Then why are we talking about renunciation separately? It is to bring out the point of renunciation having an undeniable link to Yoga or union. Let us take the example of union of body with soul. Union of body with soul means a person discovering his soul and its importance in his body. For that to happen he needs to understand that soul is superior to body and has to renounce the bodily urges. Only is he renounces the senses and their dominance he can feel the presence of soul in his body and only when he feels the soul in his body he will be able to complete the union. In that way renunciation plays a very important role in the union of body with the soul.

The next step is the union of soul with Brahman. That is a very difficult thing and it involves a person who renounce many things. Once the person discovers the soul in him, he will work towards adding spirituality to his soul. If he has to add spirituality, he needs to renounce ego. That renunciation is very crucial because with ego a person can never attain higher levels of spirituality. So here also renunciation is involved. Thus in the union of body and soul renunciation is involved and it is also involved in the union of Soul with Brahman. Thus a yoga or union harmonized person can quickly attain moksha.