Arjuna said: O Krishna, You talk of the renunciation of action (sannyasa) but then again, You also speak of karma-yoga (the way of selfless action). Please tell me clearly, which of the two is best?
Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 5 - Karma-Sannyasa Yoga - The Yoga of the Renunciation of Action
Bhagavan Shri Krishna replied: Both renunciation of action (sannyasa) and the performance of selfless action (karmayoga) give the highest benefit. Yet, of the two, the path of selfless action is higher than the renunciation of action.
O mighty-armed one, you should understand that one who is free of hatred and material desires is a true renunciate (sannyasi). He is beyond duality and is easily liberated from material bondage.
Those who are immature and devoid of knowledge state that the path of renunciation and the path of karma-yoga are different. However, one who follows either of these paths perfectly achieves the results of both.
That state which is achieved by renunciation is also attained by karma-yoga. One who sees these two systems as one and the same actually sees things as they are.
O mighty-armed one, without karma-yoga, renunciation is a cause for misery. However, that wise man that performs karma-yoga quickly attains the Absolute Truth.
One who is pure engages in karma-yoga and controls the mind and senses. Although he engages in action, he is never contaminated and he is filled with love for all living beings.
One who is a knower of the truth, although he is engaged in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, talking, evacuating, accepting objects and blinking the eyes, realizes that all his sense-functions are interacting with the respective sense-objects. Therefore, he thinks, “I am not doing anything.”
One who gives up all attachments and acts by offering all his actions unto the Supreme is never contaminated by any impiety, just as a lotus leaf is never touched by water.
By giving up all attachments, the karma-yogi performs actions though the medium of the body, mind, intelligence and senses simply for the purpose of self-purification.