yaḿ sannyāsam iti prāhur
yogaḿ taḿ viddhi pāṇḍava
na hy asannyasta-sańkalpo
yogī bhavati kaścana
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 6.2
What is called renunciation you should know to be the same as yoga, or linking oneself with the Supreme, O son of Pandu, for one can never become a yogi unless he renounces the desire for sense gratification.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Real sannyasa-yoga or bhakti means that one should know his constitutional position as the living entity, and act accordingly. The living entity has no separate independent identity. He is the marginal energy of the Supreme. When he is entrapped by material energy, he is conditioned, and when he is Krishna conscious, or aware of the spiritual energy, then he is in his real and natural state of life. Therefore, when one is in complete knowledge, one ceases all material sense gratification, or renounces all kinds of sense gratificatory activities. This is practiced by the yogis who restrain the senses from material attachment. But a person in Krishna consciousness has no opportunity to engage his senses in anything which is not for the purpose of Krishna. Therefore, a Krishna conscious person is simultaneously a sannyasi and a yogi. The purpose of knowledge and of restraining the senses, as prescribed in the jnana and yoga processes, is automatically served in Krishna consciousness. If one is unable to give up the activities of his selfish nature, then jnana and yoga are of no avail. The real aim is for a living entity to give up all selfish satisfaction and to be prepared to satisfy the Supreme. A Krishna conscious person has no desire for any kind of self-enjoyment. He is always engaged for the enjoyment of the Supreme. One who has no information of the Supreme must therefore be engaged in self-satisfaction, because no one can stand on the platform of inactivity. All purposes are perfectly served by the practice of Krishna consciousness.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Sannyasa means to renounce the results of one’s actions. Yoga means to have a mind which is not agitated by the desire to enjoy sense objects. Therefore, it should be understood that both words mean the same thing. He who has not given up the desire to enjoy objects (asannyasta sankalpah) is not called a yogi.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
6.2 Know Karma Yoga only to be that which they call as Sannyasa i.e., as Jnana Yoga or knowledge of the real nature of the self. Sri Krsna substantiates this by the words, ‘For no one whose delusive identification of the body with the self is not abandoned, becomes a true Karma Yogin.’ ‘One whose delusion is abandoned is one by whom the delusion of identifying the self with Prakrti (body), which is in reality distinct from the self, is not rejected by the contemplation of the real nature of the self. One who is not of this kind is one whose delusion is not abandoned. One who is not of this kind cannot become a Karma Yogin of the type described here. It has already been said: ‘He whose every undertaking is free from desire for fruits and delusive identification of the body with the self …’ (4.19). Sri Krsna now teaches that by Karma Yoga alone one succeeds in Yoga without the risk of fall.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Exactly what is a sannyasa or renunciation in abnegation and what is a yogi or one who is perfecting the science of the individual consciousness to attain the ultimate consciousness? To answer this Lord Krishna establishes that karma yoga or the performance of prescribed Vedic activities when matured into egoless actions is the same as renunciation. The Narayana Purana and other Vedic scriptures have extolled the virtues of sannyasa with statements like: Sannyasa alone excels everything and Sannyasa is to be yoga itself. But the question may be raised that if sannyasa is merely the renunciation of the rewards of action which is found also in the mature stages of karma yoga by not hankering for rewards then why should sannyasa be so glorified? It is because with sannyasa one renounces the desire for rewards for action as well as the action itself, whereas in karma yoga one renounces only the desire for reward of the action. As no one can be a renunciate or yogi without first relinquishing the desire to enjoy the rewards of action there is a common factor with both and so either can be considered a renunciate or a yogi by the cessation of craving for results and rewards. According to Pantajali all mental fluctuations become dormant as there is no reason to strive for obtaining anything.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Renunciation is also included within the developed stages of karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities for as Lord Krishna states if desires and cravings are not abandoned then how is equanumity of actions possible? This is the underlying meaning of this verse.
Now begins the summation.
An advanced special attribute of karma yoga is verily the attribute of renunciation of the rewards of action. This is the purport.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
The discussion of the previous verse is augmented here by the statement yogam tam viddhi meaning know that yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness, which means performing karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities selflessly without any sense of ego for rewards is the same as sannyasa or renunciation in abnegation. In the Vedic scriptures are seen passages like: Thus go beyond even sannyasa by performing all actions in this manner. This is designated as true renunciation. Why? Because one may not be considered doing yoga without the cessation of desires for reward.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
6.2 Yam, that which is characterized by the giving up of all actions and their results; which prahuh, they, the knowers of the Vedas and the Smrtis, call; sannyasam iti, monasticism, in the real sense; viddhi, known; tam, that monasticism in the real sense; to be yogam, Yoga, consisting in the performance of actions, O Pandava. Accepting what kind of similarity between Karma-yoga, which is characterized by engagement (in actions), and its opposite, renunciation in the real sense, which is characterized by cessation from work, has their equation been stated? When such an apprehension arises, the answer is this; From the point of view of the agent, there does exist a simialrity of Karma-yoga with real renunciation. For he who is a monk in the real sense, from the very fact of his having given up all the means needed for accomplishing actions, gives up the thought of all actions and their results-the source of desire that leads to engagement in work. [Thoughts about an object lead to the desire for it, which in turn leads to actions for getting it. (Also see note under 4.19)] also, even while performing actions, gives up the thought for results. Pointing out this idea, the Lord says: Hi, for; kascit, nobody, no man of action whosoever; asannyasta-sankalpah, who has not given up expactaions-one by whom has not been renounced expectation, anticipation, of results;bhavati, becomes, i.e. can become; yogi, a yogi, a man of concentration, because thought of results is the cause of the disturbance of mind. Therefore, any man of action who gives up the thought of results would become a yogi, a man of concentration with an unperturbed mind, because of his having given up thought of results which is the cause of mental distractions. This is the purport. Thus, because of the similarity of real monasticism with Karma-yoga from the point of veiw of giving up by the agent, Karma-yoga is extolled as monasticism in, ‘That which they call monasticism, know that to be Yoga, O Pandava.’ Since Karma-yoga, which is independent of results, is the remote help to Dhyana-yoga, therefore it has been praised as monasticism. Thereafter, now the Lord shows how Karma-yoga is helpful to Dhyana-yoga:
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
6.1-2 The subject matter that has been thus established in the series of the preceding chapters is summarised by a couple of verses. Anasritah etc. Yam etc. Bounden : Ordained [in the law books] according to one’s caste etc. [Thus] man-lf-renunciation and man-of-Yoga are synonyms. That is why [the Lord] says, ‘what [the learned] call renunciation’ etc. Therefore, without Yoga no renunciation is possible. Similarly Yoga is not possible without renouncing the intention [for fruit]. Consequently, the Yoga and renunciation are ever interlinked. The idea, suggested by ‘not he who remains [simply] without his fires etc.’ is this : He remains neither without fires, nor without actions and yet he is man of renunciation, Hence this is strange. Of course, following the principle [involved in the statement] ‘Playing dice is the kingship, without throne’, and following logic it has been asserted already that renunciation is not possible for a person who remains simply without actions. Yet-
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
yam sannyasam iti prahur
yogam tam viddhi pandava
na hy asannyasta-sankalpo
yogi bhavati kascana
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
yam — what; sannyāsam — renunciation; iti — thus; prāhuḥ — they say; yogam — linking with the Supreme; tam — that; viddhi — you must know; pāṇḍava — O son of Pāṇḍu; na — never; hi — certainly; asannyasta — without giving up; sańkalpaḥ — desire for self-satisfaction; yogī — a mystic transcendentalist; bhavati — becomes; kaścana — anyone.