This chapter compares the path of karm sanyās (renunciation of actions) with the path of karm yog (work in devotion). Shree Krishna explains that both lead to the same goal, and we can choose either of them. However, renunciation of actions cannot be done perfectly until the mind is sufficiently pure, and the purification of the mind is achieved by work in devotion. Hence, karm yog is the appropriate option for the majority of humankind. Karm yogis do their worldly duties with purified intellect, abandoning attachment to the fruits of their works, and dedicating them to God. Thus, they remain unaffected by sin, just as a lotus leaf remains untouched by the water on which it floats. With the light of knowledge, they realize the body to be like a city of nine gates within which the soul resides. Thus, they neither consider themselves as the doers nor the enjoyers of their actions. They are endowed with equality of vision and see a Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater equally. Such truly learned people develop the flawless qualities of God and become seated in the Absolute Truth. Worldly people strive to relish the pleasures that arise from the sense objects, without realizing that they are verily the source of misery. But the karm yogis do not delight in them; instead they relish the bliss of God within.
The chapter then goes on to describe the path of renunciation. The karm sanyasis perform austerities to control their senses, mind, and intellect. They shut out all thoughts of external
To the soul who is aspiring for perfection in Yog, work without attachment is said to be the means; to the sage who is already elevated in Yog, tranquility in meditation is said to be the means.Of all yogis, those whose minds are always absorbed in me, and who engage in devotion to me with great faith, them I consider to be the highest of all.