Shree Bhagavaan uvaacha:
anaashritaha karmaphalam kaaryam karma karoti yaha |
sa sannyaasi cha yogi cha na niragnirana chaakriyaha || 1 ||

One who performs obligatory action, without reliance upon results of action, that person is a monk as well as a yogi; not one who has renounced fire or action.

anaashritaha : without reliance upon
karmaphalam : results of action
kaaryam : obligatory
karma : actions
karoti : performing
yaha : one who
saha : that person
sannyaasi : is a monk
cha : and
yogi : is a yogi
cha : also
na : not
niragnirana : one who has renounced fire
cha : and
akriyaha : one who has renounced action

Shri Krishna begins the sixth chapter titled “Dhyaana Yoga” or yoga of meditation by redefining what is meant by a monk and a dhyaana yogi or meditator. He says that one who performs actions in the spirit of karmayoga, per his definition, is both a monk and a meditator. The meditator is not one who has given up his duties or actions, who has run away from the world.

Meditation is a topic that fascinates everyone. We like the idea of going to a retreat, away from all our troubles, and sit in a tranquil place to meditate. But as we shall see in the rest of this chapter, Shri Krishna has a unique viewpoint about the process of meditation, and of who is qualified to become a meditator. He first says that only one who is engaged in the expression of his desires through karmayoga, through the performance of svadharma, is a good meditator.

As long as our vaasanaas or our impressions exist, they will continue to generate desires that will propel us away from the inner self and out into the world. They will make us restless and agitated. So the karmayogi intelligently channels these desires and expresses these desires. The key point is that the results of actions generated by these desires are submitted to a higher ideal, so that the results lose their power to create further selfish desires. As our attachment to results drops, the mental restlessness and agitations diminish, making us fit to pursue meditation.

Shri Krishna drives home the point with two examples. First, he says that one does not have to renounce fire in order to perform meditation. In the olden days, householders would maintain a sacrificial fire in their homes. Absence of the fire indicated renouncing the duties of a householder. In other words, Shri Krishna says that one does not have to give up their household duties for pursuing meditation. Second, one does not have to physically renounce action and retire to a monastery to meditate. The culmination of karmayoga is the loss of sense of doership. This is the qualification of a meditator.