त्याज्यं दोषवदित्येके कर्म प्राहुर्मनीषिणः |
यज्ञदानतपःकर्म न त्याज्यमिति चापरे ||१८-३||


tyājyaṃ doṣavadityeke karma prāhurmanīṣiṇaḥ .
yajñadānatapaḥkarma na tyājyamiti cāpare ||18-3||



18.3. Certain wise men delcare that the harmful action is to be relinished while others say that the actions of performing sacrifices, giving gifts and observing austerities should not be relinished.

Shri Purohit Swami

18.3 Some philosophers say that all action is evil and should be abandoned. Others that acts of sacrifice, benevolence and austerity should not be given up.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

18.3 Tyajyam etc. The harmful : that which is connected with sin, becuase it consists of act of injury etc. Such an action must be relinished and not all aciton that has auspicious result. In this way certain persons-as if they are attached (as domesticated animals do ) to the house of the Sankhyas - think of a distinction is relinishing. But there are other learned persons who put on the coat of the Mimamsakas and who, basing exclusively the scriptures, classify what action to be performed and what action not to be performed . They opine : The act of killing that constitutes the technical aspect of execution of a sacrifice is [in fact] not an act of injury at all in view of the principles, like

‘The action intended for sacrifice is indeed known from the scripture only’ - (SB, IV, i, 2) and
‘Therefore the act of injury known from the Vedas’ etc. - (SV, I, i, 2.23)

For, the general rule ‘Don’t injure’ is annulled in this case. But, at the same time the Syena-sacrifice etc., is an act of killing. Becuase,

‘The injunctive suffix does not prescribe what falls within the purveiw of fruit of an action of the injunction.’ [SV, I, i, 2.222).

Therefore other [Vedic] sacrifices one should not relinish eventhough they are connected with an act of injury.

Sri Ramanuja

18.3 Some sages, viz., the adherents of Kapila and those Vaidikas who agree with his creed, contend that all acts such as sacrifices etc., should be renounced by aspirants for release, as they bind even as desires and other similar defects tend to bind. Other learned men say that acts like sacrifices etc., should not be renounced.

Sri Shankaracharya

18.3 Eke, some; manisinah, learned ones, subscribing to the views of the Sankhyas and others; prahuh, say; that dosavat, beset with evil (as it is);-What is it?- karma, action, all actions, becuase they are the cause of bondage; tyajyam, should be given up even by those who are eligible for actions (rites and duties). Or, it (action) is to be given up dosavat, just as defects such as attachment etc. are renounced. Ca and, in that very context; apare, others; (say) that yajana-dana-tapah-karma, the practice of sacrifice, charity and auterity; na tyajyam, should not be given up. These alternatives are with regard to only those who are alified for action, but not with regard to the monks who are steadfast in Knowledge and have gone beyond the stages of life. This discussion is not concerned with those who are held to be outside the scope of eligibility for action in the assertion (by the Lord), ‘The steadfastness in the Yoga of Knowledge by men of realization was spoken of by Me in the days of yore’ (see 3.3). Objection: Well, just as those who are alified for rites and duties and who have their distinct steadfastness are being considered here in the chapter summarizing the entire scripture, though they have been dealt with earlier in ‘৷৷.through the Yoga of Action for the yogis’ (3.3), similarly, let even the men of realization who are steadfast in Knowledge be considered here. Reply: No, because it is not logical that their renunciation should result from delusion and sorrow (cf. 7 and 8). The men of realization do not perceive in the Self the sorrows arising from physical torment; for it has been shown that desire etc. are attributes only of the field (body) (see 13.6). Therefore, they do not renounce action but of fear for physical trouble and pain. Nor do they perceive actions in the Self, on account of which they should give up obligatory duties out of delusion. In fact, they renounce with the conviction that ‘action belongs to the organs’ (see 3.28); ‘I certainly do not do anything’ (see 5.8); for, the mode of renunciation of an enlightened person was shown in, ‘৷৷.having given up all actions mentally’ (5.13). Therefore, those others who are alified for rites and duties, who are unelightened about the Self, and for whom renunciation is possible out of delusion and from fear of physical trouble, are alone condemned as persons who, being possessed of tamas and rajas, resort to renunciation. And this is done with a veiw to eulogizing the renunciation of the results of rites and duties by the unenlightened men of action. Besides, the men of renunciation in the real sense have been particularly pointed out in, ‘who has renounced ever undertaking,’ ‘who is silent, content with anything, homeless, steadyminded’ (12.16, 19), and also (while determining) the characteristics of one who has transcended the gunas (Chapter 14). The Lord will further say, ‘৷৷.which is the supreme consummation of Knowledge’ (50). Therefore the monks steadfast in Knowledge are not intended to be spoken of here. It is only the abandoning of the results of action which, by virtue of its being imbued with the ality of sattva, is spoken of as sannyasa in contrast to the renunciation of actions which is possessed of tamas etc.; it is not sannyasa in the primary-sense-the renunciation of all actions. Objection: According to the reason shown in the text, ‘Since it is not possible for one who holds on to a body to give up actions entirely’ (11), may it not be argued that the actions entirely’ (11), may it not be argued that the word sannyasa is certainly used in the primary sense because it is impossible to abandon all works? Reply: No, for the next adducing the reason is meant for eulogy. Just as, ‘From renunciation immediately (follows) Peace’ (12.12), is a mere eulogy of renunciation of the fruits of action, it having been enjoined on Arjuna who was unenlightened and incapable of undertaking the various alternatives (paths) as stated earlier, so also is this sentence, ‘Since it is not possible for one who holds on to a body to give up actions entirely’ (11), meant for eulogizing the renunciation of the resorts of all actions. No one can point an exception to the proposition that ‘having given up all actions mentally, (the embodied man of self-control) continues happily৷৷.without doing or causing (others) to do anything at all’ (see 5.13). Therefore these alternative veiws regarding sannyasa and tyaga are concerned only with those who are alified for rites and duties. But the enlightened ones who have realized the supreme Truth are competent only for steadfastness in Knowledge, which is characterized by renunciation of all actions; not for anything else. Hence, they do not come within the purview of the alternative veiws. Thus has this been pointed out by us in connection with the text, ‘৷৷.he who knows this One as indestructible৷৷.’ (2.21) as also in the beginning of the third chapter.

Swami Adidevananda

18.3 Some sages say that all actions should be given up as evil; others declare that works such as sacrifices, gifts and austerities should not be given up.

Swami Gambirananda

18.3 Some learned persons say that action, beset with evil (as it is), should be given up, and others (say) that the practice of sacrifice, charity and austertiy should not be given up.

Swami Sivananda

18.3 Some philosophers declare that actions should be abandoned as an evil; while others (declare) that acts of sacrifice, gift and austerity should not be relinished.


Swami Sivananda

18.3 त्याज्यम् should be abandoned? दोषवत् (full of) as an evil? इति thus? एके some? कर्म action? प्राहुः declare? मनीषिणः philosophers? यज्ञदानतपःकर्म acts of sacrifice? gift and austerity? न not? त्याज्यम् should be relinished? इति thus? च and? अपरे others.Commentary Some philosophers who follow the doctrine of the Sankhyas declare that all actions,should be abandoned as evil? even by those who are fit for Karma Yoga.Doshavat As an evil All Karmas should be abandoned as involving evil because they cause bondage or that they should be relinished like passion and other such evil tendencies.Others declare that the acts of sacrifice? gifts and austerities should not be given up by those who are fit for Karma Yoga. These are the opinions of some? who are of great understanding.Now listen to Me. I will settle this matter and will tell thee how renunciation should be practised.The subject of the discourse here is about the Karma Yogins only and not about those persons who have gone beyond the path of Karma. It is with reference to the Karma Yogins that these conflicting opinions are held and not with reference to the Jnana Yogins or the Sannyasins who have risen above all worldly concerns.