Shree Bhagavaan uvaacha:
kaamyaanaam karmanaaam nyaasam sannyaasam kavayo viduhu |
sarvakarmaphalatyaagam praahustyaagam vichakshanaahaa || 2 ||

 
Shree Bhagavaan said:
Sages understand sannyaasa to be the giving up of desire prompted actions. Giving up the rewards of all actions is tyaaga, the learned ones declare.

 
kaamyaanaam : desire prompted
karmanaaam : of actions
nyaasam : giving up
sannyaasam : sannyaasa
kavayaha : sages
viduhu : understand
sarvakarmaphalatyaagam : giving up rewards of all actions
praahuhu : declare
tyaagam : tyaaga
vichakshanaahaa : learned ones
 
Arjuna wanted to know the difference between sanyaasa and tyaaga. Shri Krishna did not answer this question directly. He wanted to answer the question in such a way that Arjuna would be able to put the answer into practical use, and not get caught in complicated semantics, something that has only academic value. It was almost as though he said – Arjuna, you don’t worry about the difference in meaning of sanyaasa and tyaaga for now. You are a warrior, a kshatriya. I will tell you what is appropriate for you such that you can advance spiritually.
 
Before we analyze Shri Krishna’s answer, let us revisit the classifications of karmas or actions. Our actions are determined by two factors: our varna or profession, and our ashrama or stage in life. Based on these two factors, we can classify our actions broadly into three types: obligatory duties or nitya karmas, desire prompted actions or kaamya karmas and prohibited actions or nishiddha karmas. Raising a family is a duty for a householder, whereas it is prohibited for a brahmachaari or student, for instance. Reckless accumulation of wealth, beyond that which is needed to support a family, is desire prompted action.
 
Now let us look at Shri Krishna’s answer. Looking at the way he answers the question, we can infer that initially, he is less concerned with the precise meaning of sanyaasa versus tyaaga, and more concerned with listing the various views on the topic of karma yoga, of how to perform actions correctly. He gives two prevailing views on the subject. The first view is that one should give up all kaamya karmas, all desire prompted actions. The second view is that one should give up the rewards of all types of actions, including kaamya karmas and nitya karmas or duties. He gives two more views on the topic in the next shloka.

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