Bhagavad-Gita Summary, Chapter XIV

[For the Disciple—A Guide]

"Devotion by means of Separation from the Three Qualities."

Krishna, proceeding further, explains that sublime spiritual knowledge which has enabled all Sages to attain to ultimate perfection. He states:

"The great Brahma (Brahma is to be taken as prakriti or nature) is my womb in which I place the seed; from the production of all existing things. This great Brahma is the womb for all those various forms which are produced from any womb, and I am the Father who provideth the seed. (Gita, p. 100)

All forms and the three great qualities produced from that womb are:

  • Sattva: light or truth. It entwineth the soul through lucidity, peacefulness, happiness, attachment to knowledge and that which is pleasant. When wisdom is evident in a man, this quality prevails. It produces, as Karma, the fruit of righteous acts. Such persons, in whom it shines, achieve renoun.

  • Rajas: passion or desire. It is of the nature of desire and produces thirst and propensity, and it is action and the consequences produced from action. This quality is marked by the love of gain, activity and the initiating of works. Its karmic fruit of its working is gathered in pain. Those who manifest this quality remain in the middle sphere of works.

  • Tamas: indifference or darkness. It surrounds the power of judgment with indifference, and deludes all creatures, imprisoning the Ego in a body through idleness, folly, sleep, and heedlessness. It is marked by absence of illumination. Its karmic fruit is marked by ignorance, delusion and folly. Those afflicted with this gloomy quality sink into obscurity.
  • [See WQJ Letters, p. 27], (Gita, pp. 101-3, 115-8)

    The Wise, perceiving that the embodied Self surpasses these qualities of goodness, action and indifference, which co-exist with the body, are released from the bonds of rebirth, death, old age, and pain, and drink of the waters of immortality. (Gita, p. 124)

    Arjuna aks: What are the charactiristic marks by which the man may be known, O Master, who hath surpassed the three qualities?

    "He...who doth not hate these qualities—illumination, action, and delusion—when they appear, nor longeth for them when they disappear; who like one who is of no party, sitteth as one unconcerned...and undisturbed by them; who is of equal mind in pain and pleasure, self-centered, to whom a lump of earth, a stone, or gold are as one; who is of equal mind with those who love or dislike, constant, the same whether blamed or praised; equally minded in honor and disgrace, and the same toward friendly or unfriendly side, engaging only in necessary actions, such an one hath surmounted the qualities...I am the embodiment of the Supreme ruler, and of the incorruptible, of the unmodifying, and of the eternal law, and of endless bliss." (Gita, pp. 103-4)

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