Srimad Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5, Verse 2

śhrī bhagavān uvācha sannyāsaḥ karma-yogaśh cha niḥśhreyasa-karāvubhau tayos tu karma-sannyāsāt karma-yogo viśhiṣhyate

Meaning: The Supreme Lord said: Both the path of karma sannyās (renunciation of actions) and karma yoga (working in devotion) lead to the supreme goal. But karma yoga is superior to karma sannyās.

My question: why does Lord Krishna say that karma yoga is superior to karma sannyās?

  • Renunciation of worldy actions is encouraged, it is observed that one can't do comeplete karm sanyas Oct 2, 2022 at 2:42
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    In BG 2.5 Arjuna says he would rather beg for livelihood, rather than fighting the war. Here Arjuna derilicts his duty , not becos he has risen above all the worldly needs ,but to escape from his current predicament. Lord in BG 5.6, says Karm yog is the stepping stone. If karm yog is transgressed , then sanyaas will not fructify (the person can't resort/fallback to earning for livelihood, rather has to live with what he gets by patronage,while still attached to worldly needs , thus becomes a hypocrite)
    – Athrey
    Oct 2, 2022 at 16:35
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    But a karma yogi does not quit his duties but performs it (devoted to Lord) without much attachment to it's benifit. Only upon culmination of Vairagya ,BrahmaNishta , known by self introspection, one ever comes to the conclusion that sanyaasa is what is true to their nature. Lord Krishna exalts karma yoga in several verses through out BG till 18.9,18.11,18.12,18.23,18.56 etc.
    – Athrey
    Oct 2, 2022 at 16:36
  • Recommend checking-out Gitasupersite, a much better reference for a vast collection of translations and commentaries by scholars and revered authors
    – solyarist
    Nov 4, 2022 at 11:00

1 Answer 1


The Supreme Lord Shri Krishna Explains the meaning of his words in the subsequent verses of the same Chapter.....

Shri Adi Shankaracharya Commentary on Bhagavad Gita translated by Swami Gambhirananda

File is in Epub version which you can open online using this

Instead of me giving you directly the answer, I would recommend you yourself to read the entire introduction to Chapter 5(which is a commentary itself on verse 2) along with Chapter 5, Verse 5 for a better understanding. Acharya Shankar has given a really exhaustive, crystal clear answer for your question through his BG commentary.

(A humble Advise to you would be to not read BG online as often it is incomplete without proper explanation of many verses.Instead Download commentaries written by bonafide acharyas of various sampradyas like Shri Adi Shankaracharya/Gita Bhasya by Shri Ramanujacharya.

Traditionally scriptures are meant to be read under proper guidance of a guru because incomplete knowledge of the non-dual Brahman can cause much more harm than benefit.Commentaries make it an easy task for us to read and understand scriptures in the proper sense as they were meant to be!)

  • A better answer is found with Shankara's commentary at the start of Chapter 5 in the very edition (Gambhirananda) you reference. The entire introduction to the Chapter is a commentary on verse 2. Oct 4, 2022 at 6:07
  • Really sorry Swamiji i missed that part,The one i quoted was like a direct Answer while the introduction provides a much bigger picture and is much better and easier to understand!Edited My Answer accordingly. Oct 4, 2022 at 6:21

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