Significance Of 5th Chapter Of Srimad Bhagavad Gita- Karma Sanyaas Yog


The fifth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, known as the "Karma Yoga" or the "Path of Action," is of great importance as it explains the significance of performing one's duties without attachment to the fruits of one's actions.

The chapter emphasizes the concept of "Nishkama Karma," which means performing actions without any expectation of reward or benefit. This idea is essential for individuals to cultivate a sense of detachment from the results of their actions and to focus on the action itself. It teaches individuals to act selflessly and to let go of their desires and ego, which helps them to attain inner peace and harmony.

The chapter also highlights the importance of a balanced approach to life, which involves not just the physical and mental aspects but also the spiritual aspect. It teaches individuals to balance their activities in a way that promotes physical and mental well-being and spiritual growth.

Furthermore, the chapter discusses the significance of renunciation and detachment, which are essential for individuals to attain spiritual enlightenment. It explains how one can attain detachment from material possessions, desires, and emotions to attain spiritual liberation.

Below are some important verses of 5th chapter of Bhagavad Gita, which summarises the teachings of this chapter.

3rd Shloka

ज्ञेय: स नित्यसंन्यासी यो न द्वेष्टि न काङ्क्षति। 
निर्द्वन्द्वो हि महाबाहो सुखं बन्धात्प्रमुच्यते।।

jñeyaḥ sa nitya-sannyāsī yo na dveṣhṭi na kāṅkṣhati  
nirdvandvo hi mahā-bāho sukhaṁ bandhāt pramuchyate


The karma yogis, who neither desire nor hate anything, should be considered always renounced. Free from all dualities, they are easily liberated from the bonds of material energy.


In simple terms, this verse means that by performing actions without attachment to their results, a person can attain a state of non-attachment and achieve freedom from karma.

A genuine Karmayogi is one who:
1. does not hate any living being, material, principle, etc.,
2. does selfless service to all, impart happiness and
3. does not have any type of craving or longing for anything.

To understand this better, let's break down the verse. "Karmayogena karmani sanyasya" means performing actions while following the principles of Karma Yoga, which involves performing actions without attachment to their results. "Naishkarmyam ashnute" means attaining a state of non-attachment.
The second part of the verse, "Ayam sannyasayogabhihi yoga sa karmasu kausalam," means that by practicing the principles of Sannyasa (renunciation) and Yoga (union with the divine), a person can become skillful in their actions.

So, the verse is suggesting that if a person performs their actions without attachment to their results and follows the principles of Karma Yoga, they can attain a state of non-attachment and freedom from the cycle of karma. Additionally, by practicing Sannyasa and Yoga, they can become skillful in their actions.

We have to give up pride and arrogance. 'I have done good' - this egotism is more frightful than evil.

The renunciation of desire is linked to promoting benefit to others. Sakaam-bhav is abolished only when one does not do any work for himself, instead, he does all the work only for the benefit of others. 

Overall, this verse is emphasizing the importance of performing actions without attachment to their results and practicing renunciation and union with the divine to attain spiritual growth and freedom from karma. On one side, human beings have a craving or desire for worldly things, on the other side also have an interest or passion for God. 

This divergence of hunger and interest strengthens man's bondage with the world. But when there is no attachment and aversion, his curiosity is fulfilled and desire disappears, that is, he becomes liberated. One who is free from all dualities and has developed equanimity and purity of mind is easily free from samsara or the cycle of birth and death in material existence.

13th  Shloka

सर्वकर्माणि मनसा सन्यस्यास्ते सुखं वशी
नवद्वारे पुरे देही नैव कुर्वन्न कार्यन|| 

sarva-karmāṇi manasā sannyasyāste sukhaṁ vaśhī 
nava-dvāre pure dehī naiva kurvan na kārayan


The embodied beings who are self-controlled and detatched reside happily in the city of nine gates (in the form of the body), free from thoughts that they are the doers or the cause of anything.


In simple terms, this verse means that by renouncing all actions in the mind, one can attain supreme peace and liberation.

To understand this better, let's break down the verse. "Sarva-karmani manasa sannyasya" means renouncing all actions in the mind. "Te sukham vashyamnaiva va" means that by doing so, one attains supreme happiness or peace. "Nivadniti manaha shantim" means that the mind becomes calm and peaceful. "Nirvana-paramam matam" means that this state of renunciation leads to liberation or enlightenment.

The body consists of nine gates—two ears, one mouth, two nostrils, and two eyes - these seven gates are in the upper part of the body; anus and genitals- these two gates are in the lower part of the body.  
Just as the city and the human beings living in it are different, same way, both this body and the soul are different. 

The significance of this verse lies in its emphasis on the importance of mental renunciation. It suggests that true renunciation does not merely involve giving up external actions but also involves renouncing all actions in the mind. By doing so, one can attain supreme peace and liberation.

The verse also highlights the power of the mind in determining our state of being. By renouncing all actions in the mind, one can attain a state of calmness and peace, which is essential for spiritual growth.

18th Shloka

विद्याविनयसम्पन्ने ब्रह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि। 
शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिताः समदर्शिनः||

vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini 
śhuni chaiva śhva-pāke cha paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśhinaḥ


The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater ( an outcaste).


The Vedas do not support the view that the Brahmins (priestly class) are of higher caste, while the Shudras are of lower caste. The perspective of knowledge is that even though the Brahmins conduct worship ceremonies, the Kṣhatriyas administer society, the Vaiśhyas conduct business, and the Shudras engage in labor, yet they are all eternal souls, who are tiny parts of God, and hence alike.

Bhagavan here says that even though they do not have similar behavior, the Supreme Personality of the Godhead is one, perfect. There is no inequality in this.

Here a doubt arises- how is it possible to have one vision in all while keeping lop-sidedness in behavior? In our day-to-day life, there must be unevenness in all of these. For example: Only Cow’s milk could be consumed as food, not that of the bitch. The ride can be over an elephant only, not over a dog or cow.

The solution to this is that all the parts of our body I.e. brain, hands, feet, anus, etc. have the same feeling of usefulness and belonging, yet they differ in their behavior; For example, if someone touches, even innocently, his feet to the body of someone else, then he prays for clemency, but do not do so if hands are touched to the another’s body. Pranams are done with the head and hands but not with the feet. We wash hands when touched with the anus, but not when touching hands.

This verse is significant because it emphasizes the concept of samadarshana, or equal vision. It teaches that a wise person sees beyond the external differences of caste, species, or social status and recognizes the underlying spiritual essence that exists in all living beings. 

This verse thus promotes the values of compassion, humility, and respect for all life, regardless of their outward appearances. It also emphasizes the importance of true knowledge as a means to attain this vision of unity and oneness.

20th Shloka

न प्रहृष्येत्प्रियं प्राप्य नोद्विजेत्प्राप्य चाप्रियम् | 
स्थिरबुद्धिरसम्मूढो ब्रह्मविद् ब्रह्मणि स्थित: ||

na prahṛiṣhyet priyaṁ prāpya nodvijet prāpya chāpriyam 
sthira-buddhir asammūḍho brahma-vid brahmaṇi sthitaḥ


One who neither rejoices in getting something pleasant nor grieves on experiencing the unpleasant, one who sees the Supreme Lord dwelling equally in all beings, the Imperishable amidst the perishable, truly sees.


This verse sheds light on the concept of self-realization and the path to achieving it. In this verse, Lord Krishna is emphasizing the importance of seeing the divine presence in all beings, whether they are high or low, virtuous or sinful, friend or foe. He is urging us to transcend the limitations of our ego and see the unity in diversity. By seeing the Supreme Lord in everyone, we develop a sense of compassion, empathy, and love towards all beings.

Moreover, the verse highlights the concept of the imperishable amidst the perishable. It means that everything in this world is temporary and subject to change, but the Supreme Lord is eternal and unchanging. By realizing this truth, we can transcend the material world and attain self-realization.

In essence, the 20th verse of chapter 5 of the Bhagavad Gita is a powerful reminder of the need to see the divinity in all beings and to strive towards self-realization by transcending the limitations of our ego and recognizing the eternal nature of the Supreme Lord.

25th  Shloka

लभन्ते ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृषय: क्षीणकल्मषा:| 
छिन्नद्वैधा यतात्मान: सर्वभूतहिते रता: ||

labhante brahma-nirvāṇam ṛiṣhayaḥ kṣhīṇa-kalmaṣhāḥ 
chhinna-dvaidhā yatātmānaḥ sarva-bhūta-hite ratāḥ


Person whose body is under control along with the mind-intellect-senses, who are devoted to the welfare of all beings offering all actions to the Supreme, whose all doubts are exterminated, whose sins have been purged, attain purity of the heart and liberation from material bondage.


This verse emphasizes the role of detachment in spiritual progress. In this verse, Lord Krishna is urging us to practice detachment from the material world and focus on spiritual progress through the practice of yoga, control of the senses and the mind. He stresses the importance of offering all our actions to the Supreme, as this helps us to cultivate a sense of detachment and surrender to the divine will.

Furthermore, Lord Krishna explains that by practicing these disciplines, we can attain purity of heart and liberation from material bondage. This purity of heart allows us to develop a deeper connection with the divine and experience true inner peace and happiness.

The verse teaches us that detachment is an essential element of the spiritual path. By cultivating detachment, we can break free from the cycle of material attachment, overcome the obstacles to spiritual progress, and ultimately attain liberation from the material world.

27th  and 28th  Shlokas:

स्पर्शान्कृत्वा बहिर्बाह्यांश्चक्षुश्चैवान्तरे भ्रुवो: | 
प्राणापानौ समौ कृत्वा नासाभ्यन्तरचारिणौ || 

sparśhān kṛitvā bahir bāhyānśh chakṣhuśh chaivāntare bhruvoḥ 
prāṇāpānau samau kṛitvā nāsābhyantara-chāriṇau

यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिर्मुनिर्मोक्षपरायण: | 
विगतेच्छाभयक्रोधो य: सदा मुक्त एव स: || 

yatendriya-mano-buddhir munir mokṣha-parāyaṇaḥ 
vigatechchhā-bhaya-krodho yaḥ sadā mukta eva saḥ

Meaning :

Shutting out all thoughts of external enjoyment, with the gaze fixed on the space between the eye-brows, equalizing the flow of the incoming and outgoing breath in the nostrils, and thus controlling the senses, mind, and intellect, the sage who becomes free from desire and fear, always lives in freedom.


Here, Lord Krishna emphasizes on the importance of controlling the senses and the mind. He advises that one should withdraw the senses from their external objects, close the eyes, and focus the mind on the breath. This is the practice of pranayama, which is an essential part of yoga. By practicing pranayama, one can control the mind and the senses and attain a state of inner peace.

Shree Krishna here describes the path that the ascetics intend to take. During meditation, If the eyes are fully closed, there is always a possibility of falling asleep; and if they are wide open, he might get distracted by the objects all around. To avoid both these defects, the ascetics have been advised to establish the sight of half-shaved eyes between the two eyebrows or the tip of the nose. 

They also balance the ‘prāṇ’ (outgoing breath) with the ‘apān’ (incoming breath), until both become suspended in a yogic trance. The speed of Pranavayu is fast whereas that of Apanvayu is slow. Pranayama is done to balance these two. By practicing in this way, the movement of both the Vayus becomes smooth, calm, and subtle.
When there is no feeling of any kind of Vayu touching the outside or inside nostrils and any throat area etc., then it should be implied that the balance between pran-apan has been attained.

In verse 28 Lord Krishna explains that a person who is disciplined in their eating, recreation, and work, and who is dedicated to their duties, attains the state of yoga, where all sorrows are destroyed.

This means that by living a balanced and disciplined life, one can attain a state of inner peace and happiness, free from the sufferings caused by material desires.

If there is no desire for things then life becomes blissful and if there is no desire to live then death also becomes heavenly.

To leave or shut all external thoughts means- to separate oneself from his body that – ‘I am not the body’; ‘the body is not mine’; and ‘body is not for me’. Every seeker will have to accept these three facts. If you don't accept any relation with your body, then liberation is automatically accomplished.

Overall, these verses teach the importance of controlling the mind and senses, and living a disciplined life in order to attain the state of yoga, where one can experience inner peace and happiness.

In summary, the fifth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita is important as it offers practical advice on how to lead a balanced life while pursuing spiritual growth. It teaches individuals to focus on their actions and not the results, to balance their physical, mental, and spiritual aspects, and to attain detachment from material desires to attain spiritual enlightenment.

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