न हि देहभृता शक्यं त्यक्तुं कर्माण्यशेषतः |
यस्तु कर्मफलत्यागी स त्यागीत्यभिधीयते ||१८-११||


na hi dehabhṛtā śakyaṃ tyaktuṃ karmāṇyaśeṣataḥ .
yastu karmaphalatyāgī sa tyāgītyabhidhīyate ||18-11||



18.11. Indeed, to relinish actions entirely is not possible for a body-bearing one; but whosoever relinishes the fruits of actions, he is said to be a man of [true] relinishment.

Shri Purohit Swami

18.11 But since those still in the body cannot entirely avoid action, in their case abandonment of the fruit of action is considered as complete renunciation.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

18.4-11 Niscayam etc. upto abhidhiyate. The conclusion here is this : Due to the manifoldness of the nature of the Strands, that have been defined earlier, the act of relinishment itself is performed with a certain mental disposition which is a modification of the Sattva, the Rajas and the Tamas (the Strands). Because it reflects (is contaminated by) the nature of the person having the same (the said mental dispositon), what is called the real (unalloyed) relinishment is the performance of the actions by the knowers of the Supreme Brahman by giving up desire to achieve fruits and by avoiding the craving and hatred on account of their eanimity to [the pairs of opposites like] success and failure etc. That is why [the Bhagavat] says : ‘By the act of relinishment born of the Rajas or of the Tamas (Strands), no connection with the fruit [of relinishment] is attained’. However, for an act of relinishing, born of the Sattva (Strand), there is the fruit in the form of honouring the purport of the scriptures. The application of the term ‘relinishment’ stands to reason, in fact, only in the case of a sage who has relinished his holding on the multitude of the Strands.

Sri Ramanuja

18.11 It is impossible for one who has a body and has to nourish it. ’to abandon action entirely’; for eating, drinking etc., reired for nourshing the body and other acts connected therewith are unavoidable. And for the same reason the five great sacrifices etc., are also indispensable. He who has given up the fruits of the five great sacrifices, is said to have renounced; this is referred to in the Srutis such as: ‘Only through renunciation do some obtain immortality’ (Ma. Na., 8.14). Renunciation of fruits of actions is illustrative; it implies much more. It implies one who has renounced the fruits, agency and attachment to works, as the topic has been begun with the declaration: ‘For abandonment (Tyaga) is declard to be of three kinds’ (18.4).

This statement may be estioned in the following manner: ‘Agnihotra, the full moon and new moon sacrifices, Jyotistoma etc., and also the five great sacrifices are enjoined by the Sastras only for the attainment of their results like heaven. They are not purposeless. Even the injunction with regard to obligatory and occasional ceremonies is enjoined because they yield results, as implied in the following passage: “For householders, Prajapatya ceremony” (V.P., 1.6.37). Therefore, as the performance of actions has to be understood as a means for attaining their respective results, the accruing of agreeable and disagreeable results is inevitable, even though they are performed without any desire for fruits, just as a seed sown must grow into a tree and bear fruit. Hence, actions ought not to be performed by an aspirant for release, because the results are incompatible with release. Sri Krsna answers such objections:

Sri Shankaracharya

18.11 Deha-bhrta, for one who holds on to a body-one who maintains (bibharti) a body (deha) is called a deha-bhrt. One who has self-indentification with the body is called a deha-bhrt, but not a so a man of discrimination; for he has been excluded from the eligibility for agentship by such texts as, ‘He who knows this One is indestructible৷৷.’ etc. Hence, for that unenlightened person who holds on to the body, he, since; it is na, not; sakyam, possible; tyaktum, to give up, renounce; karmani, actions; asesatah, entirely, totally; therefore the ignorant person who is competent (for rites and duties), yah, who; tu, on the other hand; karma-phala-tyagi, renounces results of actions, relinishes only the hankering for the results of actions while performing the nityakarmas; sah, he; is abhidhiyate, called; tyagi iti, a man of renunciation-even though he continues to be a man of rites and duties. This is said by way of eulogy. Therefore total renunciation of actions is possible only for one who has realized the supreme Truth, who does not hold on to the body, and who is devoid of the idea that the body is the Self. Again, what is that purpose which is accomplished through renunciation of all actions? This is being stated:

Swami Adidevananda

18.11 For, it is impossible for one who bears a body to abandon actions entirely. But he who gives up the fruits of works, is called the abandoner.

Swami Gambirananda

18.11 Since it is not possible for one who holds on to a body to give up actions entirely, therefore he, on the other hand, who renounces results on actions is called a man of renunciation.

Swami Sivananda

18.11 Verily, it is not possible for an embodied being to abandon actions entirely; but he who relinishes the rewards of actions is verily called a man of renunciation.


Swami Sivananda

18.11 न not? हि verily? देहभृता by an embodied being? शक्यम् possible? त्यक्तुम् to abandon? कर्माणि actions? अशेषतः entirely? यः who? तु but? कर्मफलत्यागी relinisher of the fruits of actions? सः he? त्यागी relinisher? इति thus? अभिधीयते is called.Commentary He who has assumed a human body and yet grumbles at having to perform actions is verily a fool. Can fire that is endowed with heat as its natural property ever think of getting rid of it So long as you are living in this body you cannot entirely relinish action. Lord Krishna says to Arjuna Nor can anyone? even for an instant remain actionless for helplessly is everyone driven to action by the alities born of Nature (Cf.III.5). Nature (and your own nature? too) will urge you to do actions. You will have to abandon the idea of agency and the fruits of actions. Then you are ite safe. No action will bind you.The ignorant man who identifies himself with the body and who thinks that he is himself the doer of all actions should not abandon actions. It is impossible for him to relinish actions. He will have to perform all the prescribed duties while relinishing their fruits.Dehabhrita A wearer of the body An embodied being? i.e.? he who identifies himself with the body. A man who has discrimination between the Real and the unreal? the Eternal and the transient? cannot be called a bodywearer? because he does not think that he is the doer of actions – vide chapter II.21 (He who knows Him Who is indestructible? eternal? unborn? undiminishing – how can that man slay? O Arjuna? or cause to be slain).When the ignorant man who is alified for action does the prescribed duties? relinishing the desire for the fruits of his actions? he is called a Tyagi? although he is active. This title Tyagi is given to him for the sake of courtesy.The relinishment of all actions is possible only for him who has attained Selfrealisation and who is? therefore? not a wearer of the body? i.e.? does not hink that the body is the Self. (Cf.III.5)