sannyasyāste sukhaḿ vaśī
nava-dvāre pure dehī
naiva kurvan na kārayan
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 5.13
When the embodied living being controls his nature and mentally renounces all actions, he resides happily in the city of nine gates [the material body], neither working nor causing work to be done.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The embodied soul lives in the city of nine gates. The activities of the body, or the figurative city of body, are conducted automatically by its particular modes of nature. The soul, although subjecting himself to the conditions of the body, can be beyond those conditions, if he so desires. Owing only to forgetfulness of his superior nature, he identifies with the material body, and therefore suffers. By Krishna consciousness, he can revive his real position and thus come out of his embodiment. Therefore, when one takes to Krishna consciousness, one at once becomes completely aloof from bodily activities. In such a controlled life, in which his deliberations are changed, he lives happily within the city of nine gates. The nine gates are mentioned as follows:
nava-dvare pure dehi
hamso lelayate bahih
vasi sarvasya lokasya
sthavarasya carasya ca
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is living within the body of a living entity, is the controller of all living entities all over the universe. The body consists of nine gates [two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, the anus and the genitals]. The living entity in his conditioned stage identifies himself with the body, but when he identifies himself with the Lord within himself, he becomes just as free as the Lord, even while in the body.” (Shvetasvatara Upanishad 3.18)
Therefore, a Krishna conscious person is free from both the outer and inner activities of the material body.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
If one performs actions without attachment, as previously stated, he is the real sannyasi. If one performs actions with the external body, but renounces in the mind, one resides happily, controlling the senses (vasi). Where? In the city of nine gates, in the body devoid of the misconception of “this is me,” the dweller in the body, the jiva (dehi), having attained knowledge, does nothing at all, knowing that he is not the cause of happiness through his actions and that he is not the cause of others doing actions.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
5.13 The embodied self who is self-controlled, renounces all actions to the city of nine gates, i.e., the body with its sensory and motor functions which are nine in number. He discriminates that all actions are due to conjunction of the self with the body which is rooted in previous Karmas, and is not by Its own nature. [It means that the self merely rests in the body, without any identification with bodily activities.] Sri Krsna now teaches the natural condition of the self as It is:
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna has expounded previously that for one who has not purified their mind karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities without desire for rewards was best. This is because without a purified mind it is not possible to renounce actions internally as well and actions without desire are superior to renunciation of actions with internal desires. But the person who is self controlled and has purified their mind by discrimination, renouncing all thoughts and actions that distracts one atma tattva or realisation of the soul, such an embodied being completely free from false ego, devotes themselves to Vedic knowledge contentedly residing in the city of nine gates consisting of the seven gates in the head being two ears, two eyes, two nostrils, one mouth and the two gates below the navel being the organs of generation and excretion which comprise the nine gates of the physical body which is just like a city and which the self controlled person does not identify with. Merely by the absence of identifying oneself as the physical body one neither acts through their body or causes their body to act having no conception of proprietorship over it. Hence this is the differentiation from one who is an uncontrolled, impure minded person who always fails attempting to renounce, thwarted by their desires and harassed by their hankerings.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Again Lord Krishna emphasises renunciation of all actions by the mind especially the relinquishing of pride.
Now begins the summation.
By performing yagna or offerings of worship in propitiation to the Supreme Lord and meditation on the Brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence and other such prescribed Vedic activities merit is acquired. Since in reality the atma or soul is not independent as such all actions performed are factually non-action. Just as respect to the father and mother is the duty of the children in the same way the living entities are subservient to the Supreme Lord through the propitiation to the atma is the duty of all humans. This is given in a treatise known as Pravritti. Thus it can be understood by one who comprehends their intrinsic dependence on the Supreme Lord is that it is solely by the mind that renunciation of desire for rewards duly manifests in one’s actions.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Persons full of selfish desires hankering for the rewards of their actions are tightly bound to the material existence by the actions of their bodies and senses impelled by the very desires they seek to gratify. While the aspirant for atma tattva or realisation of the soul although also involved in activities of the physical body realise they are undoubtedly different from the actions of the body and the senses. Such a person of controlled mind and sense organs is well aware that the ego and ideas of I-ness and my- ness revolve around the bodily conception so they never ignorantly think that the physical body is who they really are and hence understand that any doership is not of the nature of the atma or soul. So abandoning all fruitive and frivolous actions and residing contentedly in the city of nine gates known as the physical body which also has no ego sense possessed of two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth, one generating organ and one organ for excretion totalling nine an embodied being is not bound to material existence by actions.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
5.13 Aste, he continues; sukham, happily; sannyasya, having given up; sarva-karmani, all actions-nitya, naimittika, kamya and nisiddha (prohibited actions); [See note on p. 128.-Tr.] manasa, mentally, through discriminating wisdom-i.e. having given up (all actions) by seeing inaction in action, etc. Freed from the activities of speech, mind and body, effortles, placid in mind, and devoid of all external wants which are different from the Self, he continues happily. This is what has been said. Where and how does the vasi, man of self-control, i.e. one who has his organs under control, remain? This is being answered: Nava-dvare pure, in the town with nine gates, of which seven [Two ears, two eyes nostrils, and mouth.] are in the head for one’s own experiences, and two are below for urination and defecation. As possessed of those gates, it is called the ‘town with nine gates’. Being like a town, the body is called a town with the Self as its only master. And it is inhabited by the organs, mind, intellect and objects, like citizens, as it were, which serve its needs and which are productive of many results and experience. Renouncing all actions, the dehi, embodied one, resides in that town with nine gates. Objection: What is the need of this specification? For all embodied beings, be they monks or not, reside in bodies to be sure! That being so, the specification is needless. The answer is: The embodied one, however, who is unenlightened, who perceives merely the aggregate of the body and organs as the Self, he, in his totality, thinks, ‘I am in a house, on the ground, or on the seat.’ For one who experiences the body alone as the Self, there can certainly be no such conviction as, ‘I am in the body, like one’s being in a house.’ But, for one who realizes the Self as distinct from the aggregate of body etc. it becomes reasonable to have the conviction, ‘I am in the bdoy. It is reasonable that as a result of knowledge in the form of discriminating wisdom, there can be a mental renunciation of the actions of others, which have been ignorantly superimposed on the supreme Self. Even in the case of one in whom has arisen discriminating wisdom and who has renounced all actions, there can be, like staying in a house, the continuance in the body itself-the town with nine gates-as a consequence of the persistence of the remnants of the results of past actions which have started bearing fruit, because the awareness of being distinct (from the body) arises while one is in the body itself. Form the point of veiw of the difference between the convictions of the enlightened and the unenlightened persons, the qualifying words, ‘He continues in the body itself’, do have a purpose to serve. Although it has been stated that one continues (in the body) by relinquishing actions of the body and organs ignorantly superimposed on the Self, still there may be the apprehesion that direct or indirect agentship inheres in the Self. Anticipating this, the Lord says: na eva kurvan, without himself doing anything at all; and na karayan, not causing (others) to do, (not) inducing the body and organs to activity. Objection: Is it that the direct or indirect agentship of the embodied one inheres in the Self and ceases to be after renunciation, as the movement of a traveller ceases with the stoppage of his movement? Or, is it that they do not exist owing to the very nature of the Self? As to this, the answer is: The Self by Its nature has neither direct nor indirect agentship. For it was stated, ‘It is said that…This (Self) is unchangeable’ (2.25). ‘O son of Kunti, although existing in the body, It does not act, nor is It affected’ (13.31). And it is also stated in the Upanisad, ‘It seems to meditate, as it were; It seems to move, as it were’ (Br. 4.3.7).
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
5.13 Sarva – etc. [He would view as] : ‘Just as for a person within a house there is no connection with dilapidation etc., that are found in the house, in the same way for me too residing in the body-house beautified with nine windows in the form of openings like the eyes etc., there is no connection with its attributes.’ For –
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
sannyasyaste sukham vasi
nava-dvare pure dehi
naiva kurvan na karayan
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
sarva — all; karmāṇi — activities; manasā — by the mind; sannyasya — giving up; āste — remains; sukham — in happiness; vaśī — one who is controlled; nava-dvāre — in the place where there are nine gates; pure — in the city; dehī — the embodied soul; na — never; eva — certainly; kurvan — doing anything; na — not; kārayan — causing to be done.