duhkhamityeva yatkarma kaayakleshabhayaattyajet |
sa kritvaa raajasam tyaagam naiva tyaagaphalam labhet || 8 ||

 
Whatever action is given up because it is quite sorrowful, from fear of bodily distress, he performs that giving up which is raajasic, and does not even obtain the reward of giving up.
 
duhkham : sorrowful
iti : in this manner
eva : quite
yat : whatever
karma : action
kaayakleshabhayaat : fear of bodily distress
tyajet : given up
saha : that
kritvaa : performs
raajasam : raajasic
tyaagam : giving up
na : not
eva : even
tyaagaphalam : reward of giving up
labhet : he obtains
 
A little knowledge of the scriptures can prove to be dangerous. Earlier, we came across some people who claim to be performing spiritual renunciation of action, or the giving up of action, when in reality they are lazy, idle or careless in performing their obligatory duties. Now Shri Krishna describes another misinterpretation of tyaaga or giving up. He says that those who give up their duties simply because they will cause sorrow or distress to their body are practising tyaaga that is raajasic.
 
Many times we may shirk from performing our job at work, or perform a job half heartedly, because we think it will cause us pain or sorrow. We may have to give some bad news to a client. We may have to fire an underperforming employee. We may procrastinate starting a project because we may have to put in some extra hours. Such behaviour could come into our family lives as well. We may hesitate in helping out a relative because we may have to expend some of our money and energy.
 
Why do we fear pain or sorrow? We tend to forget many of the teachings of the second chapter. We are not the body, our true nature is the eternal essence. But we have a strong sense of attachment to the body and the mind. We are advised to patiently develop titkshaa, the quality of forbearance, towards pain and sorrow while discharging our duties. Instead, we fall back into our old ways of thinking and run away from our duties. Shri Krishna says that people who abandon their duties out of fear of pain and sorrow will not get the fruit of giving up actions, which is purity and peace of mind.

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