Chapter 6: Sankhya-yoga
karyam karma karoti yah
sa sannyasi ca yogi ca
na niragnir na cakriyah
sri bhagavan uvaca—the Lord said; anasritah—without shelter; karma-phalam—the result of work; karyam—obligatory; karma—work; karoti—performs; yah—one who; sah—he; sannyasi—in the renounced order; ca—also; yogi—mystic; ca—also; na—not; nir—without; agnih—fire; na—nor; ca—also; akriyah—without duty.
The Blessed Lord said: One who is unattached to the fruits of his work and who works as he is obligated is in the renounced order of life, and he is the true mystic: not he who lights no fire and performs no work.
In this chapter the Lord explains that the process of the eightfold yoga system is a means to control the mind and the senses. However, this is very difficult for people in general to perform, especially in the age of Kali. Although the eightfold yoga system is recommended in this chapter, the Lord emphasizes that the process of karma-yoga, or acting in Krsna consciousness, is better. Everyone acts in this world to maintain his family and their paraphernalia, but no one is working without some self-interest, some personal gratification, be it concentrated or extended. The criterion of perfection is to act in Krsna consciousness, and not with a view to enjoying the fruits of work. To act in Krsna consciousness is the duty of every living entity because all are constitutionally parts and parcels of the Supreme. The parts of the body work for the satisfaction of the whole body. The limbs of the body do not act for self-satisfaction but for the satisfaction of the complete whole. Similarly, the living entity who acts for satisfaction of the supreme whole and not for personal satisfaction is the perfect sannyasi, the perfect yogi.
The sannyasis sometimes artificially think that they have become liberated from all material duties, and therefore they cease to perform agnihotra yajnas (fire sacrifices), but actually they are self-interested because their goal is becoming one with the impersonal Brahman. Such a desire is greater than any material desire, but it is not without self-interest. Similarly, the mystic yogi who practices the yoga system with half-open eyes, ceasing all material activities, desires some satisfaction for his personal self. But a person acting in Krsna consciousness works for the satisfaction of the whole, without self-interest. A Krsna conscious person has no desire for self-satisfaction. His criterion of success is the satisfaction of Krsna, and thus he is the perfect sannyasi, or perfect yogi. Lord Caitanya, the highest perfectional symbol of renunciation, prays in this way:
na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagadisa kamaye.
mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi.
"O Almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor to enjoy beautiful women. Nor do I want any number of followers. What I want only is the causeless mercy of Your devotional service in my life, birth after birth."