Legacy YM

Series 3, Chapter 17 - Gita Translation - Faith and The Three Gunas


1. Arjuna said: When men sacrifice to God or the gods with faith, but abandon the rule of the Shastra. what is that concentrated will of devotion in them, nishtha, which gives them this faith and moves them to this kind of action. O Krishna? Is it sattwa, rajas or tamas?

2. The Blessed Lord said: The faith in embodied beings is of a triple kind like all things in Nature and varies according to the dominating quality of their nature, sattwa. rajas or tamas. Hear thou of these.

3. The faith of each man takes the shape given to it by his stuff of being, O Bharata. This Purusha, this soul in man, is, as it were, made of shraddha, a faith, a will to be a belief in itself and existence, and whatever is that will, faith or constituting belief in him, he is that and that is he.

4. Sattwic men offer sacrifice to the gods, the rajasic to the Yakshas (the keepers of wealth) and the Rakshasic forces, the others, the tamasic, offer their sacrifice to elemental powers and grosser spirits.

5-6. The men who perform violent austerities, contrary to the Shastra, with arrogance and egoism, impelled by the force of their desires and passions, men of unripe minds tormenting the aggregated elements forming the body and troubling Me also, seated in the body, know these to be Asuric in their resolves.

7. The food also which is dear to each is of triple character, as also sacrifice, askesis and giving. Hear thou the distinction of these.

8. The sattwic temperament in the mental and physical body turns naturally to the things that increase the life, increase the inner and outer strength, nourish at once the mental, vital and physical force and increase the pleasure and satisfaction and happy condition of mind and life and body, all that is succulent and soft and firm and satisfying.

9. The rajasic temperament prefers naturally food that is violently sour, pungent, hot, acrid, rough and strong and burning, the aliments that increase ill-health and the distempers of the mind and body.

10. The tamasic temperament takes a perverse pleasure in cold, impure, stale, rotten or tasteless food or even accepts like the animals the remnants half-eaten by others.

11. The sacrifice which is offered by men without desire for the personal fruit, which is executed according to the right principle, and with a mind concentrated on the idea of the thing to be done as a sacrifice, that is sattwic.

12. The sacrifice offered with a view to the personal fruit, and also for ostentation, O best of the Bharatas, know thou that to be of a rajasic nature.

13. The sacrifice not performed according to the right rule of the Shastra, without giving of food, without the mantra, without gifts, empty of faith, is said to be tamasic.

14. Worship given to the godhead, to the twice-born, to the spiritual guide, to the wise, cleanness, candid dealing, sexual purity and avoidance of killing and injury to others, are called the askesis of the body.

15. Speech causing no trouble to others, true, kind and beneficial, the study of Scripture, are called the askesis of speech.

16. A clear and calm gladness of mind, gentleness, silence, self-control, the purifying of the whole temperament - this is called the askesis of the mind.

17. This threefold askesis, done with a highest enlightened faith, with no desire for fruit, harmonised, is said to be sattwic.

18. The askesis which is undertaken to get honour and worship from men, for the sake of outward glory and greatness and for ostentation is said to be rajasic, unstable and fleeting.

19. That askesis which is pursued under a clouded and deluded idea, performed with effort and suffering imposed on oneself or else with a concentration of the energy in a will to do hurt to others, that is said to be tamasic.

20. The sattwic way of giving is to do it for the sake of the giving and the beneficence and to one who does no benefit in return; and it is to bestow in the right conditions of time and place and on the right recipient (who is worthy or to whom the gift can be really helpful).

21. The rajasic kind of giving is that which is done with unwillingness or violence to oneself or with a personal and egoistic object or in the hope of a return of some kind.

22. The tamasic gift is offered with no consideration of the right conditions of time, place and object; it is offered without regard for the feelings of the recipient and despised by him even in the acceptance.

23. The formula OM, Tat, Sat, is the triple definition of the Brahman, by whom the Brahmanas, the Vedas and sacrifices were created of old.

24. Therefore with the pronunciation of OM the acts of sacrifice, giving and askesis as laid down in the rules are always commenced by the knowers of the Brahman.

25. With the pronunciation of Tat and without desire of fruit are performed the various acts of sacrifice, askesis and giving by the seekers of liberation.

26. Sat means good and it means existence; likewise, O Partha, the word Sat is used in the sense of a good work (for all good works prepare the soul for the higher reality of our being).

27. All firm abiding in sacrifice, giving and askesis and all works done with that central view, as sacrifice, as giving, as askesis, are Sat (for they build the basis for the highest truth of our spirit).

28. Whatever is wrought without faith, oblation, giving, askesis or other work, Asat it is called, O Partha; it is nought, here or hereafter.

Series1 Chapter1 - Series 1 - Our Demand and Need from the Gita
Series1 Chapter2 - Series 1 - The Divine Teacher
Series1 Chapter3 - Series 1 - The Human Disciple
Series1 Chapter4 - Series 1 - The Core of the Teaching
Series1 Chapter5 - Series 1 - Kurukshetra
Series1 Chapter6 - Series 1 - Man and the Battle of Life
Series1 Chapter7 - Series 1 - The Creed of the Aryan Fighter
Series1 Chapter8 - Series 1 - Sankhya and Yoga
Series1 Chapter9 - Series 1 - Sankhya, Yoga and Vedanta
Series1 Chapter10 - Series 1 - The Yoga of the Intelligent Will
Series1 Chapter11 - Series 1 - Works and Sacrifice
Series1 Chapter12 - Series 1 - The Significance of Sacrifice
Series1 Chapter13 - Series 1 - The Lord of the Sacrifice
Series1 Chapter14 - Series 1 - The Principle of Divine Works
Series1 Chapter15 - Series 1 - The Possibility and Purpose of Avatarhood
Series1 Chapter16 - Series 1 - The Process of Avatarhood
Series1 Chapter17 - Series 1 - The Divine Birth and Divine Works
Series1 Chapter18 - Series 1 - The Divine Worker
Series1 Chapter19 - Series 1 - Equality
Series1 Chapter20 - Series 1 - Equality and Knowledge
Series1 Chapter21 - Series 1 - The Determinism of Nature
Series1 Chapter22 - Series 1 - Beyond the Modes of Nature
Series1 Chapter23 - Series 1 - Nirvana and Works in the World
Series1 Chapter24 - Series 1 - The Gist of the Karmayoga
Series2 Chapter1 - Series 2 - The Two Natures
Series2 Chapter2 - Series 2 - The Synthesis of Devotion and Knowledge
Series2 Chapter3 - Series 2 - The Supreme Divine
Series2 Chapter4 - Series 2 - The Secret of Secrets
Series2 Chapter5 - Series 2 - The Divine Truth and Way
Series2 Chapter6 - Series 2 - Works, Devotion and Knowledge
Series2 Chapter7 - Series 2 - The Supreme Word of the Gita
Series2 Chapter8 - Series 2 - God in Power of Becoming
Series2 Chapter9 - Series 2 - The Theory of the Vibhuti
Series2 Chapter10 - Series 2 - The Vision of the World-Spirit - Time the Destroyer
Series2 Chapter11 - Series 2 - The Vision of the World-Spirit - The Double Aspect
Series2 Chapter12 - Series 2 - The Way and the Bhakta
Series2 Chapter13 - Series 2 - The Field and its Knower
Series2 Chapter14 - Series 2 - Above the Gunas
Series2 Chapter15 - Series 2 - The Three Purushas
Series2 Chapter16 - Series 2 - The Fullness of Spiritual Action
Series2 Chapter17 - Series 2 - Deva and Asura
Series2 Chapter18 - Series 2 - The Gunas, Faith and Works
Series2 Chapter19 - Series 2 - The Gunas, Mind and Works
Series2 Chapter20 - Series 2 - Swabhava and Swadharma
Series2 Chapter21 - Series 2 - Towards the Supreme Secret
Series2 Chapter22 - Series 2 - The Supreme Secret
Series2 Chapter23 - Series 2 - The Core of the Gita's Meaning
Series2 Chapter24 - Series 2 - The Message of the Gita
Series3 Chapter1 - Gita Translation - The Dejection of Arjuna
Series3 Chapter2 - Gita Translation - Sankhyayoga
Series3 Chapter3 - Gita Translation - Karmayoga
Series3 Chapter4 - Gita Translation - Towards The Yoga of Knowledge
Series3 Chapter5 - Gita Translation - The Yoga of Renunciation
Series3 Chapter6 - Gita Translation - The Yoga of The Supreme Spirit
Series3 Chapter7 - Gita Translation - The Yoga of Knowledge
Series3 Chapter8 - Gita Translation - The Immutable Brahman
Series3 Chapter9 - Gita Translation - The King-Knowledge or The King-Secret
Series3 Chapter10 - Gita Translation - God in Power of Becoming
Series3 Chapter11 - Gita Translation - The Vision of The World-Spirit
Series3 Chapter12 - Gita Translation - Bhaktiyoga
Series3 Chapter13 - Gita Translation - The Field and Its Knower
Series3 Chapter14 - Gita Translation - The Three Gunas
Series3 Chapter15 - Gita Translation - The Supreme Divine
Series3 Chapter16 - Gita Translation - Deva and Asura
Series3 Chapter17 - Gita Translation - Faith and The Three Gunas
Series3 Chapter18 - Gita Translation - Renunciation and Moksha

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