Chapter 5 Sanyasa Yoga Verse 8

Shloka

Naiva kinchit karomeeti yukto manyeta tattwavit;
Pashyan shrunvan sprishan jighran nashnan gacchan swapan shwasan.

Translation

“I do nothing at all”—thus will the harmonised knower of Truth think;
seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, going, sleeping, breathing.

Interpretation

In this sloka Lord Krishna talks about the thought process of a person who knows the truth. He says that the knower of the truth, that is a person who know the truth of all living beings will think that nothing is done by him. This is a phrase which indicates the renunciation of the person and also the kind of knowledge that the person has. He says that everything happens on its own and that everything includes seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, going, sleeping and breathing. All these things are not done by him is what the knower of the truth will think.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Think for a second, are you breathing or are YOU breathing? If YOU are breathing which means that if the breathing is under your control then can you stop breathing? Try that for a minute, you will feel suffocated unable to hold the breath and you will breathe again. Only the Almighty can stop your breath. This simple example will help you to understand that you are just acting on the wishes of the Almighty and everything is in His hands. Like that if you take any senses nothing is in your hand. If there is a foul smell, you have to smell it, you cannot remove the bad smell and breathe only the fresh air. So, all this proves that its the Almighty who decides what we can do and what we cannot do.

So it is futile to think that everything is under your control. So, a person who is a knower of truth will say “I do nothing at all”. He says like that because he knows very well that the basic things like smelling, breathing hearing, seeing etc are not in your hands then how can you think that you do everything and control everything? It is the God who blesses us with what we deserve, since Almighty is invisible we all live under the illusion that we have only done everything. Another point to understand here is “I do nothing at all” is the combination of knowledge and renunciation. A person who has the knowledge about all his actions and the person who renounces the ego can only say “I do nothing at all”.