Fourteenth discourse





*Knowledge of the origin of the universe is necessary for Salvation


The Blessed Lord said:


I shall again declare that sublime knowledge, the best of all knowledge’s; which having learnt, all the sages have passed to high perfection from here.



They who, having resorted to this knowledge, have attained to unity with Me, are neither born in the creation, nor disturbed in the dissolution.


*Evolution of the universe from the union of Spirit and Matter



My womb is the great Brahman; in that I place the germ; thence, O Bharata, is the birth of all beings.



Whatever forms are produced, O son of Kunti, in any wombs whatsoever, the Great Brahman is their womb, I the seed-giving Father.


*The gunas bind the soul



Sattva, Rajas, Tamas, — these gunas, O mighty-armed, born of Prakriti, bind fast in the body the embodied, the indestructible.


*The nature and functions of the gunas



Of these, Sattva, which, from its stainlessness, is lucid and healthy, binds by attachment to happiness and by attachment to knowledge, O sinless one.



Know thou Rajas (to be) of the nature of passion, the source of thirst and attachment; it binds fast, O son of Kunti, the embodied one by attachment to action.



But, know thou Tamas to be born of un-wisdom, deluding all embodied beings; by heedlessness, indolence and sloth, it binds fast, O Bharata.



Sattva attaches to happiness, Rajas to action, O Bharata, while Tamas, enshrouding wisdom, attaches, on the contrary, to heedlessness.


*The mutual action of the gunas



Sattva arises, O Bharata, predominating over Rajas and Tamas; and Rajas, over Sattva and Tamas; so Tamas, over Sattva and Rajas.


*How to know when a particular guna is predominant



When at every gate in this body there shoots up wisdom-light, then it may be known that Sattva is predominant.



Greed, activity, the undertaking of works, unrest, desire,—these arise when Rajas is predominant, O lord of the Bharatas.



Darkness, heedlessness, inertness, and error, —these arise when Tamas is predominant, O descendant of Kuru.


*Life after death as governed by the gunas



If the embodied one meets death when Sattva is predominant, then he attains to the spotless regions of the knowers of the Highest.



Meeting death in Rajas, he is born among those attached to action; and, dying in Tamas, he is born in the wombs of the irrational.



The fruit of good action, they say, is Sattvic and pure; while the fruit of Rajas is pain, and ignorance is the fruit of Tamas.


*The functions of the gunas summed up



From Sattva arises wisdom, and greed from Rajas; heedlessness and error arise from Tamas, and also ignorance.



Those who follow Sattva go upwards; the Rajasic remain in the middle; and the Tamasic, who follow in the course of the lowest guna, go downwards.


*Realization of the Self beyond the gunas leads to immortality



When the seer beholds not an agent other than the gunas and knows Him who is higher than the gunas, he attains to My being.



Having crossed beyond these three gunas, which are the source of the body, the embodied one is freed from birth, death, decay and pain, and attains the immortal.


*The marks of a liberated soul


Arjuna said:


By what marks, O Lord, is he known who has crossed beyond those three gunas? What is his conduct, and how does he pass beyond those three gunas?


The Blessed Lord said:


Light and activity and delusion present, O Pandava, he hates not, nor longs for them absent.


*The conduct in life of the Liberated one



He who, seated as a neutral, is not moved by gunas; who, thinking that gunas act, is firm and moves not;




He to whom pain and pleasure are alike, who dwells in the Self, to whom a clod of earth and stone and gold are alike, to whom the dear and the undear are alike, who is a man of wisdom, to whom censure and praise are same;




The same in honor and disgrace, the same towards friends and enemies, abandoning all undertakings,—he is said to have crossed beyond the gunas.


*Devotion to the Lord leads to liberation



And he who serves Me with unfailing Devotion of Love, he, crossing beyond those three gunas, is fitted for becoming Brahman.


*Unity of Atman


How can it be so? –Listen:


For I am the abode of Brahman, the Immortal and the Immutable, the Eternal Dharma, and the unfailing Bliss.





Index    Top of page