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Gita Shloka of the Day – Chapter 6, Shlokas 1-3

Sri Bhagavaan uvaacha anaashritaH karma-phalaM kaaryaM karma karoti yaH | sa saMnyaasee ca yogee ca na niragnir na c’aakriyaH || 1 || yaM saMnyaasam iti praahur yogaM taM viddhi paaNdava | na hy asaMnyasta-saNkalpo yogee bhavati kashcana || 2 || aarurukshor muner yogaM karma kaaraNaM ucyate | yog’aaroodhasya tasy’aiva shamaH kaaraNam ucyate || 3 || Word meanings: karmaphalam – The fruits of action; anaashritaH – without dependence on; kaaryaM karma – work that ought to be done or duty; yaH – who; karoti – performs; saH – he; saMnyaasee ca, yogee ca – both Sannyaasi and Yogi; na niragniH – not one without fire; akriyaH – one who avoids work; na ca – not. yam – What; saMnyaasam – renunciation; iti praahuh – is called as; tam – that; yogam – communion through action; viddhi – know; paaNdava – son of Paandu; hi – For; asaMnyastasaNkalpaH – one who has not abandoned subtle hankerings; kashcana – any one; yogee – a practitioner of spiritual communion through work; na bhavati – cannot become. yogam – spiritual communion; aarurukshoH – of one wishing to ascend; muneH – for the sage; karma – work; kaaraNam – means; ucyate – is said to be; yogaaroodhasya – Of one who has ascended to Yoga; tasya – his; shamaH – quiescence; eva – verily; kaaraNam – cause; ucyate – is said. Meanings: The Blessed Lord said: It is the man who performs his duties without dependence on the fruits that deserves to be called a Sannyaasin (renouncer) and a Yogin, not the one who keeps no fire or avoids works. O Son of Pandu! What is called Sannyaasa or renunciation, know that to be identical with yoga or discipline of selfless action. For, whoever has not abandoned subtle hankerings and self-centered objectives, can ever become a Yogi, or a practitioner of spiritual communion through works. For one who desires to ascend the path leading to the heights of spiritual communion (Yoga), detached work is the means. For one who has ascended it, quiescence is verily the means. Notes: One point these shlokas assert is that actions/duties need to be done without self-centered objectives. As one keeps doing such detached actions, the person will eventually reach a state (Yogaaroodha) where in work ceases. At this state one will not even need to take a decision whether to work or not. The concept of work itself will not be relevant. The work/duties just drop off. From Gospel: “You don’t have to perform duties all your life. As you develop unalloyed love and longing for God, your duties become fewer and fewer. After the realization of God they completely drop away. When the young daughter-in-law is pregnant, her mother-in-law lessens her duties. After the birth of the child she doesn’t have to do any household work.” It is also said that by doing such detached actions one would purify their mind and be eligible to practice this “Yoga through Meditation” which this chapter talks about.