Srimad Bhagavat Geetha – ध्यान योगा – Yoga of Meditation
The last three verses of the last chapter are the basic aphorisms of this Yoga of Meditation or the direct means of right perception.
What is the preliminary accessory of the Yoga of Meditation? Of Course we do know it as karma, the work.
By performing निष्काम कर्म the mind gets cleansed and becomes receptive to receive knowledge.
So this chapter commences with two verses eulogizing Karma-yoga so there would be no need to think that karma is inferior.
अनाश्रितः कर्मफलं कार्यं कर्म करोति यः ।
स संन्यासी च योगी च न निरग्निर्न चाक्रियः ॥ १ ॥
He who performs the obligatory actions without depending on the results of actions is a sanyasi and a yogi, but not so is he who does not keep a fire and is actionless.
य:, he who; अनाश्रितः, without dependending on the results of actions, becoming free from selfish hankering for the fruits of actions;
करोति, performs; कर्म, actions, the नित्य कर्म such as अग्निहोत्र etc. कार्यम् , that are obligatory, that are enjoined as duties by the scriptures;
सः, he, though a performer of actions; is a सन्यासी, a saint and a योगि, a yogi. Thus he is eulogized.
सन्यास verily means renunciation, and yoga means the absence of विक्षेप or distraction or inattention in the mind.
And those two exist in him becase of the renunciation of fruits and absence of mental distractions in the form of hankering for results.
In order to state his pre-eminence in relation to persons full of desire, renunciation of the hankering for the results of actions is itself referred to the words सन्यास and योग through a figure of speech.
सन्यास and योग in the primary sense are indeed inevitable for one who performs actions without selfish motives.
Therefore this person should be considered to be a a सन्यासी and a योगि though he is न निरग्नि:, not a renouncer of fire, not one who has given up actions that are to be performed in a fire as enjoined by the Srutis; न अक्रिय:, not a renouncer of actions, not one who has given up that do not require a Vedic fire and are prescribed by the Smritis.
Or, another construction is, ‘It is not न not to be considered; that निरग्नि:, one who does not keep a fire;
and is अक्रिय:, actionless; is a सन्यासी and a योगि.
On the other hand, it is to be considered that one who undertakes works without selfish motives, and keep a fire and perform duties, is a सन्यासी and a योगि. Thus he is eulogized.
Since in this interpretation the sense of ‘one who has renounced all actions’ is derived from the word अक्रिय:, actionless, itself, and hence the word निरग्नि:, one who does not keep a fire, become redundant, therefore–taking the word, अग्नि, fire, as implying all actions–by निरग्नि: is meant a सन्यासी; and taking the word क्रिया, action, as implying modifications of the mind, by अक्रिय is meant a योगि, one who has completely restrained the modifications of his mind.
Hence, neither is a person who does not keep a fire to be considered a monk, nor is one who is actionless to be considered a yogi.
In this way the exclusion of both is to be understood seriatim.
It is to be noted that, if this be so, then both the negatives (न) become justifiable.