The Hindu, FAITH, April 27, 2016
After elaborating on Karma yoga in chapter five of the Gita, Lord Krishna talks about what is needed to understand the atma in chapter six. If one is a householder, he has certain mandatory duties. But he must not do his duties with the expectation of rewards such as svarga (heaven).
Such people may be householders, married and with a family, and yet they are sanyasis! So what Krishna is saying here is that sanyasis are not necessarily those who have renounced the world, elaborated Valayapet Ramachariar in a discourse.
Sanyasa is, in a sense, an attitude. And in the first verse of chapter six of the Gita, this is what Krishna points out.
There are do’s and don’ts for a sanyasi. He must have renounced worldly ties; he must not perform yagas. He must not touch metals. He must use only wooden receptacles. But one doesn’t become a sanyasi simply by adhering to these rules. A sanyasi must have jnana over and above all this.
And what is that jnana? He must know that the atma is different from the body, that the atma is His chetana, that we human beings are not anybody’s refuge, and that we cannot seek refuge from anyone but Him. He who has this jnana is a sanyasi and a yogi.
So in the first verse* of chapter six, Krishna clarifies who is a yogi and who is a sanyasi and therefore, by implication, who is not a sanyasi or a yogi.
A yogi or a sanyasi is one who has total control over his indriyas.
He is therefore beyond joy or sorrow, for joy and sorrow are not emotions that a man who has conquered his senses ever experiences. All worldly experiences are one and the same to him.
*anashritah karmaphalam kaaryam karma karoti yah
sa sanyaasee cha yogee cha na niragnirna chaakriyah
M G Warrier