Seventeenth discourse





* The ignorant, but faithful


Arjuna said:


Whoso worship, setting aside the ordinance of the scripture, endued with faith,—what faith is theirs? Is it Sattva, or Rajas, or Tamas?


* The three kinds of Faith


The Blessed Lord said:


Threefold is that faith born of the individual nature of the embodied,—Sattvic, Rajasic, and Tamasic. Do thou hear of it.



The faith of each is in accordance with his nature, O Bharata. The man is made up of his | faith; as a man's faith is, so is he.



Sattvic men worship the Gods; Rajasic, the Yakshas and the Rakshasas; the others, Tamasic men,—the Pretas and the hosts of Bhutas.


* Men of Rajasic and Tamasic Faiths



Those men who practice terrific austerities not enjoined by the scripture, given to hypocrisy and egotism, endued with the strength of lust and passion;



Weakening all the elements in the body—fools they are—and Me who dwell in the body within: know thou these to be of demoniac resolves.


* Threefold Food, Worship, Austerity and Gift



The food also which is dear to each is threefold, as also worship, austerity and gift. Do thou hear of this, their distinction.


* The three kinds of Food



The foods which increase life, energy, strength, health, joy and cheerfulness, which are savoury and oleaginous, substantial and agreeable, are dear to the Sattvic.



The foods that are bitter, sour, saline, excessively hot, pungent, dry and burning, are liked by the Rajasic; causing pain, grief and disease.



The food which is stale, tasteless, putrid and rotten, refuse and impure, is dear to the Tamasic.


* The three kinds of Worship



That worship is Sattvic which is offered by men desiring no fruit, as enjoined in the Law, with a fixed resolve in the mind that they should merely worship.



That which is offered, O best of the Bharatas, with a view to reward and for ostentation, know it to be Rajasic worship.



They declare that worship to be Tamasic which is contrary to the ordinances, in which no food is distributed, which is devoid of mantras and gifts, and which is devoid of faith.


* Physical Austerity



Worshipping the Gods, the twice-born, teachers and wise men,—purity, straightforwardness, continence, and abstinence from injury are termed the bodily austerity.


* Austerity in Speech



The speech which causes no excitement and is true, as also pleasant and beneficial, and also the practice of sacred recitation, are said to form the austerity of speech.


* Mental Austerity



Serenity of mind, good-heartedness, silence, self-control, purity of nature,—this is called the mental austerity.


* The three kinds of Austerity according: to Gunas



This threefold austerity, practiced by devout men with utmost faith, desiring no fruit, they call Sattvic.



That austerity which is practiced with the object of gaining good reception, honour and worship, and with hypocrisy, is said to be of this world, to be Rajasic, unstable and uncertain.



That austerity which is practiced out of a foolish notion, with self-tortures, or for the purpose of ruining another, is declared to be Tamasic.


* The three kinds of Gift



That gift which is given—knowing it to be a duty to give—to one who does no service, in place and in time, and to a worthy person, that gift is held Sattvic.



And that gift which is given with a view to a return of the good, or looking for the fruit, or reluctantly, that gift is held to be Rajasic.



The gift which is given at a wrong place or time, to unworthy persons, without respect or with insult, that is declared to be Tamasic.


* How to perfect the defective acts



" OM,TAT, SAT ": this has been taught to be the triple designation of Brahman. By that were created of old the, brahmanas and the Vedas and the sacrifices.



Therefore, with the utterance of '0M,' are the acts of sacrifice, gift and austerity, as enjoined in the scriptures, always begun by the students of Brahman.



With ' TAT, ' without aiming at the fruits, are the acts of sacrifice and austerity and the various acts of gift performed by the seekers of moksha.



The word ' SAT ' is used in the sense of reality and of goodness; and so also, O Partha, the word ' SAT ' is used in the sense of an auspicious act.



Devotion to sacrifice, austerity and gift is also spoken of as ' SAT '; and even action in connection with these is called ' SAT.'


* Works without faith are fruitless



Whatever is sacrificed, given, or done, and whatever austerity is practiced, without faith, it is called ' ASAT,' O Partha; it is naught here or hereafter.





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