Gita chapter 5 verse 11

kāyena manasā buddhyā kevalair indriyair api yoginaḥ karma kurvanti saṅgaṁ tyaktvātma-śhuddhaye

Meaning: The yogis, while giving up attachment, perform actions with their body, senses, mind, and intellect, only for the purpose of self-purification.

My question : Here im not getting the meaning of attachment i mean what type of attachment ?

2 Answers 2


Attachment also occurs in the preceding verse.

He who works, having given up attachment, resigning his actions to God, is not touched by sin, even as a lotus leaf (is untouched) by water.

Gita 5.10

The Gita requires us, not to renounce works but to do them, offering them to the Supreme in which alone is immortality. When we renounce our attachment to the finite ego and its likes and dislikes and place our actions in the Eternal, we acquire the true renunciation which is consistent with free activity in the world. Such a renouncer acts not for his fleeting finite self but for the Self which is in us all.

Commentary of Gita 5.10 by S. Radhakrishnan

'Giving up attachment' in both verses means giving up the pursuit of selfish interests and stop hankering for powers, name and fame. All the effort of Yogi should be focused on attaining chittasudhhi or mental purification and not on any other thing.

  • Pradip Ji As Chapter 5 of BG deals with Karmasanyas yog so shouldn't attachment here mean renouncing attachment regarding results of the action performed??(I referred Sripad Adi Shankaracharya's and Sripad Ramanujacharya's Gita Bhasya for this conclusion).Your answer is a general explanation of attachment acc to me.What is your take on this?? Oct 27, 2022 at 5:21
  • Should i write a seperate answer elucidating my take on this?? Oct 27, 2022 at 5:22
  • @Rāmachandra you should write a separate answer and present your point of view. Oct 27, 2022 at 5:25

According to me, it's the attachment to results and fruits of action specifically, that is being talked about here. The explicit focus of Ch-5 is on Karma Yoga, as we know.

I will state the commentaries of Śaṅkara, Madhusūdana Sarasvatī, Rāmānuja and Abhinavagupta on the śloka, to offer their points of view. These 4 offer recognized traditional commentaries on Bhagavad Gītā among many others.

kāyena manasā buddhyā kevalair |
indriyair api yoginaḥ karma kurvanti saṅgaṁ tyaktvātmaśhuddhaye ||
By giving up attachment the yogis undertake work through mere body, mind, intellect and even the organs, for the purification (of their) minds. (trans. by Gambhirananda)

  • Madhusūdana Sarasvatī's Gūḍhārtha Dīpikā on V.11

tyaktvā, by giving up; saṅgam, attachment to results; yoginaḥ, the yogis, the men of actions; kurvanti, undertake; karma, work; kāyena, through (kevalaiḥ, mere) body; manasā, through mind; buddhyā, through intellect; api indriyaiḥ, and even through organs. The word kevalaiḥ qualifies all the nouns beginning from body. The meaning is, '....(through body etc.) which are bereft of (the idea of)' "me" and "mine", under the idea, "I work for God alone, not for any fruit for myself"; ātma-śuddhaye, for the purification of (their) minds.

(Arjuna's doubt:) Although the idea of agentship is equally present, yet someone becomes liberated through that very work, whereas someone becomes bound. What is the reason for this disparity?

In answer Kr̥ṣṇa says: V.12...

  • Śaṅkara's Bhagavad Gītā Bhāṣya on V.11 is exactly similar as that of Madhusūdana, it just doesn't mention Arjuna's doubt at the end.
  • Rāmānuja's Bhagavad Gītā Bhāṣya on V.11

Renouncing attachment to heaven etc., the yogis perform actions accomplishable by the body, the mind and the intellect for the purification of themselves, i.e., for annulling the bonds of their previous karrma which have affected the Self and bound the Self to saṁsāra.

  • Abhinavagupta's Gītārtha Saṅgraha on V.11

Yogins perform action free from attachment (kevalaiḥ), with their bodies and minds, etc., functioning independently from each other because they remain untouched by their results.

So, as we clearly see in the commentaries of Śaṅkara, Madhusūdana, and Abhinavagupta, the attachment being talked about is specifically the attachment to the fruits of actions. Rāmānuja is also saying the same in a different way, because fruits of actions are always linked to puṇya and pāpa, puṇya leading one to heaven (svarga), that is why he mentions attachment to heaven etc., according to me. Furthermore, in V.10 and V.12 attachment to actions is explicitly made clear, resolving any doubt about it totally.


  • Madhusūdana Sarasvatī & Gambhirananda. (1998). Bhagavad Gītā with the annotation Gūḍhārtha Dīpikā (Gambhirananda, Trans.). Advaita Ashrama
  • Śaṅkarācārya & Gambhirananda.(1991). Bhagavad Gīṭā with the commentary of Śaṅkarācārya. (Gambhirananda,Trans., 2nd ed.). Advaita Ashrama
  • Rāmānuja & Ādidevānanda (1991). Śrī Rāmānuja Gītā Bhāṣya. (Ādidevānanda, Trans.). Sri Ramakrishna Math
  • Abhinavagupta, & Marjanovic, B. (2002). Abhinavagupta’s commentary on the Bhagavad Gita- Gītārtha-saṁgraha (B. Marjanovic, Trans.). Indica Books.
  • 1
    @Rāmachandra I have added your point which you made in the comments in my answer, along with the views of 4 traditional commentaries.
    – Bingming
    Dec 24, 2022 at 7:49
  • Thank you @Bingming JI ! Excellent Answer that summarizes my point! Dec 26, 2022 at 11:21

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