Arjuna said: O Mighty-armed one, O Hrishikesha, O Killer of the Keshi demon – I wish to understand the true meaning of renunciation (sannyasa) and detachment (tyaga) as well as the difference between them.
Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 18 - Moksha Yoga - The Yoga of Supreme Perfection
Bhagavan Shri Krishna replied: Those who are intelligent realize that sannyasa means the renunciation of activities performed for personal benefit. Tyaga refers to the renunciation of all activities.
Some scholars claim that all actions should be rejected because they are inherently imperfect. Others maintain that actions such as sacrifice, charity and austerity should never be given up.
O best of the Bharata Dynasty, O tiger amongst men, please listen to My conclusion concerning the three kinds of renunciation.
The three types of renunciation – sacrifice, charity and austerity should never be given up. Sacrifice, charity and austerity purify even the wise.
However, even these activities must be performed without attachment to the results. This is My definite and supreme conclusion on this matter.
The renunciation of one’s prescribed duties is improper. Giving them up out of bewilderment is said to be in the mode of ignorance.
Those who give up prescribed duties because they are difficult, or through fear that they may be physically taxing, engage in renunciation in the mode of passion. Such persons never attain the benefits of true detachment.
O Arjuna, when prescribed activities are performed out of duty, while abandoning attachment to the results, such renunciation is considered to be in the mode of goodness.
The wise tyagi, who is absorbed in the mode of goodness, having destroyed all doubts, neither resents difficult duties nor becomes attached to pleasant ones.