Arjuna is very much a human – like all of us. In fact, he pretty much represents us, in this role play between the Lord and Arjuna. All his questions, are natural questions we would get, as we read through this book.
Towards the end of previous chapter, the lord explained a variety of Yajnas. These were aimed to curb the never ending chain of desires to consume from external world. To gradually shift the focus towards inner being. To renounce the dependency on external world.
In the concluding remarks, the Lord tells Arjuna, one who renounces even actions (karma sanyāsa), thus has no more doubts about the eternal truth – he is no longer bound by the cycle of actions. Here, the remark about renouncing actions is confusing. So the natural question of Arjuna (or the reader) is – 

What is a right approach – renouncing actions (karma sanyāsa), or path of actions (karma)?

This is probably only one question that the Lord answers in a single line – not because there’s nothing much to say, but because it is so significant for any seeker to know. Lord clearly states, path of action is better than path of renunciation.
The intent of renunciation is to experience the knowledge, the path of actions too, leads to the same knowledge. So to consider these two as different, is foolishness! As the end goal is the same in both approaches, taking up either of them with complete dedication, will have the same result. 

What follows from here is an elaboration of what exactly this ’sanyāsa’ means. 

Who is a Sanyāsi?

Lord Krishna explains Sanyāsi as the one who neither hates nor desires for anything, is beyond all dualities (contrasting perceptions like pleasure or pain, honour or dishonour and so on), and one who can easily stay away from any kind of attachment / longing.
The Lord states, to achieve this state is very difficult without being engaged in karma yoga, and for one who is engaged in karma yoga – it is much easier.
The raw diamond dug out of earth, will remain the same if you keep it in a cupboard – just as a lump of mud. To make it worthy of a jewel, it has to necessarily go through the process of purification – actions of rubbing away the impurities, cutting it enough to shine! The process is certainly a bunch of hard, sometimes painful actions! Ah, what is pain after all? Isn’t it our reaction, to come out of our comfort zones?! Such pain, is a positive change catalyst – we should adopt them to shine like a diamond. 

How to achieve sanyāsa, while on path of actions?

In Karma Yoga (path of actions), the advice is to learn to give up sense of entitlement of results. Accept the result the way it is. 

In a way, Sanyāsa Yoga, is ‘graduation’ from Karma Yoga. Thus, it usually happens in the same order – one first learns to do karma yoga in the prescribed way – with Yajna spirit. 

Over a period of time, this enables the practitioner to curb the desires that drive his actions. If no desires, then no actions? NO! Lord has already explained non performance of actions is not an option at all. So then what actions does he perform, who no longer has desires of self gratification?
This is where, one truly learns to live. To use the body only as an instrument, to perform actions – where the result of it is dedicated to the Lord. Idea behind offering to lord is, giving it away to others / society / Prakriti – aimed at larger good. How noble!

Now this can potentially have an adverse affect on our ego. Here the lord explains, how to handle this –

By adopting the mindset of “Naiva kinchit karomi iti” (I am not the doer). Essentially, learn to give up sense of pride of doing.
Here, the examples given by the lord are intriguing – the lord asks one to adopt this mind set even with the trivial actions of our daily existence – be it seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling, sleeping, breathing, speaking, letting go, grasping, opening/closing eyes. The moment we associate ‘I’ to these actions, we either want more of it, or less of it based on our likes/dislikes.
One can develop this mindset (“Naiva kinchit karomi iti”) only when he has the conviction that these sense organs are simply going after sense objects, and does NOT have ANY affect on the inner being! What the mind perceives stays only in the ego centered mind, does not percolate to the inner divinity. 

Giving up sense of doership – what is it? Is it possible at all?

Simple example – new born babies! For first few months, they are always in this state! It does not ever seek more of anything. With its eyes open, it sees, but nothing in particular. When fed milk, it drinks only to quench hunger. It certainly doesn’t go on a rampage asking for Badam Milk. The baby doesn’t tell it has peed, and it’s unable to bear the smell! Nor does it smile because you’ve put on some expensive perfume! It doesn’t matter whether you’re dark or fair complexioned, it gives the same innocent, beautiful smile!

Essentially, babies does not associate ego with all these perceptions “Naiva kinchit karomi iti”.
Is this why we call the babies as representation gods!? By the way, when we refer to babies, it’s not only human babies, even piglets have exact same qualities!
It is only as they grow up, they start engaging the ego, to perform actions, and then we’re blinded with the ego alone – making us believe ego is everlasting.
When we, grown ups have babies, I guess that should serve us a reminder of how to adopt the “Naiva kinchit karomi iti” mindset! 

Babies serve as a good example, but is it practical for adults?

Sanyāsa is a difficult path, no doubt. If you practice Karma Yoga (performing actions with Yajna spirit), then the sanyāsa attitude will naturally evolve.

Although “giving up result of action” may seem unrealistic, it is not uncommon. We can see it being applied in varied degrees in many places. For example, for any team work to be successful, the team members necessarily give up personal aspirations to a certain degree. When one works purely for the purpose, sharing results with others – they inspire others, they turn out to be the leaders. Such true leaders, necessarily have the qualities of a Sanyāsi to a certain degree. Think of Swami Vivekananda, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam as examples – they truly lived these values!

In the context of seeking the divine truth, this is the phase where one learns to engage his intellect, mind, faith entirely, always, on the lord. They are never agitated by either positive or negative situations, or swayed by desires and it’s allied emotions. The lord states, such a person can certainly achieve liberation, right in this life time.
Liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
Birth and death of what?
Thoughts leading to desires?
Desires leading to actions?
Actions leading to emotions?
Emotions leading to further thoughts/desires? 

Is that the real liberation? Won’t you see divinity every where, if you are able to break free from these? Does bodily existence or non-existence matter?

Liberation – moksha – is for you to seek, what you want freedom from!

DISCLAIMER: This our sincere attempt to summarise the Gitōpadesha, via a series of short blogs. This is NOT the whole translation, or commentary of the divine book. We seek forgiveness of reader and the lord, for omissions which is inevitable to keep the blog short. The write-ups include both, writer’s personal opinion and summarised version of many shlokas from the Bhagavad Gita. Intent of blog was never to be a commentary of Bhagavad Gita, but simply inspire the reader to read Bhagavad Gita in it’s entirety. The writer is neither a scholar, nor a bummer, somewhere in between, with a firm belief that the lord gets him to do all the things he does. Being human, he still keeps erring. Forgive him for all such mistakes.

Sarvam Krishnarpanamasthu!