14ChapterBG CHAPTER XIV
The Mystical Father of All Beings
The Highest Knowledge
Translation and Comment by Dr. Radhakrishnan
Sanskrit Text, Transliteration, Word Translation by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj
परं भूयः प्रवक्ष्यामि ज्ञानानां ज्ञानमुत्तमम् ।
यज्ज्ञात्वा मुनयः सर्वे परां सिद्धिमितो गताः ॥१४- १॥
śrībhagavān uvāca = Sri Bhagavan said: pravakṣyāmi3 = I shall declare; bhūyaḥ2 = again; param1 = supreme; jñānam5 = knowledge; uttamam6 = the highest; jñānānām4 = of all knowledge; jñātvā8 = knowing; yat7 = which; sarve10 = all; munayaḥ9 = sages; gatāḥ14 = attained; itaḥ13 = from here [this world]; parām11 = supreme; siddhim12 = perfection. 14.1
The Blessed Lord said:
14.1) I shall again declare that supreme wisdom, of all wisdom the best, by knowing which all sages have passed from this world to the highest perfection.
इदं ज्ञानमुपाश्रित्य मम साधर्म्यमागताः ।
सर्गेऽपि नोपजायन्ते प्रलये न व्यथन्ति च ॥१४- २॥
idaṁ jñānam upāśritya mama sādharmyam
upāśritya3 = Taking refuge in; idam1 = this; jñānam2 = knowledge; [and] āgatāḥ6 = attaining; mama4 = My; sādharmyam5 = Nature [same identity]; [they] na upajāyante9 = are neither born; sarge7 = during creation; na vyathanti11ca12 = nor suffer pain; api8 = even; pralaye10 = at dissolution.14.2
(14.2) Having resorted to this wisdom and become of like nature to Me, they are not born at the time of creation; nor are they disturbed at the time of dissolution.
■ Life eternal is not dissolution into the indefinable Absolute but attainment of a universality and freedom of spirit, which is lifted above the empirical movement. Its status is unaffected by the cyclic processes of creation and dissolution, being superior to all manifestations. The saved soul grows into the likeness of the Divine and assumes an unchangeable being, eternally conscious of the Supreme Lord who assumes varied cosmic forms. It is not svarūpatā or identity but only samānadharmatā or similarity of quality. He becomes one in nature with what he seeks, attains sādṛśyamukti. He realizes the divine in his outer consciousness and life. Cp. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect:' Matthew v, 48. S.'s view is different from this. He holds that sādharmya means identity of nature and not equality of attributes.1
1mama parameśvarasya sādharmyaṁ mat svarūpataāṁ na tu
samānadharmatāṁ sādharmyam kṣetrajneśvarayor bhedān abhyupagamāt gītāśāstre. Śaṁkara.
mama Īśvarasya sādharmyaṁ sarvātmatvaṁ sarvaniyantṛtvaṁ, ityādidharmasāmyaṁ sādharmyam. Nīlakaṇṭha.
mamasādharmyam madrūpatvam. Śrīdhara.
मम योनिर्महद्ब्रह्म तस्मिन्गर्भं दधाम्यहम् ।
संभवः सर्वभूतानां ततो भवति भारत ॥१४- ३॥
mama yonir mahad brahma tasmin garbhaṁ dadhāmy aham
· mahat brahma3 = The Great Brahman; [is] mama1 = My; yoniḥ2 = Womb; tasmin4 = in it [in the Womb]; aham7= I; dadhāmi6 = induce [place]; garbham5 = pregnancy; tataḥ10 = thereafter; sambhavaḥ8 = birth; sarva-bhūtānām9 = of all beings;bhavati11 = occurs; bhārata12 O Scion of Bharata. 14.3
(14.3) Great brahma (prakṛti) is My womb: in that I cast the seed and from it is the birth of all beings, O Bharata (Arjuna).
■ If we were merely products of nature, we could not attain life eternal. This verse affirms that all existence is a manifestation of the Divine. He is the cosmic seed. With reference to this world, He becomes Hiraṇyagarbha, the cosmic soul. S. says: "1 unite the Kṣetra with the Kṣetrajña, giving birth to Hiraṇyagarbha, hence to all beings." The Lord is the Father who deposits in the womb which is not-self, the seed which is essential life, thus causing the birth of every individual. The world is the play of the Infinite on the finite. See note on II, I2. The author here adopts the theory of creation as the development of form from non-being, chaos or night. The forms of all things which arise out of the abysmal void are derived from God. They are the seeds He casts into non-being.
सर्वयोनिषु कौन्तेय मूर्तयः संभवन्ति याः ।
तासां ब्रह्म महद्योनिरहं बीजप्रदः पिता ॥१४- ४॥
sarvayoniṣu kaunteya mūrtayaḥ
yāḥ5 = Whatever; mūrtayaḥ3 = forms; sambhavanti4 = appear/are born; sarva-yoniṣu1 = from all wombs; kaunteya2 = O son of Kunti; mahat8 = the Great; brahma7 = Brahman; [is] yoniḥ9 = the Womb; aham10 = I; [am] bīja-pradaḥ11= the seed giving; pitā12 = father tāsām6 = of them. 14.4
(4.4) Whatever forms are produced in any wombs whatsoever, o Son of Kuntī (Arjuna), great brahma is their womb and I am the Father who casts the seed.
■ Prakṛti is the mother and God is the father of all living forms. As prakṛti is also of the nature of God, God is the father and mother of the universe. He is the seed and the womb of the universe. This conception is utilized in certain forms of worship which are developed out of what some modem puritans deride
as obscene phallicism. The Spirit of God fertilizes our lives and makes them what God wants them to be.
■ The Supreme is the Seminal Reason of the world. All beings result from the impregnation of matter through logoi spermatikoi or animating souls. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationes_seminales. Through them God carries out His work in the world. These seeds of the Logos are the ideal forms which mould the gross world of matter into beings. The ideas, the patterns of things to be, are all in God. Every possibility of manifestation has its root in a corresponding possibility in the unmanifest, wherein it subsists as in its eternal cause, of which the manifestation is an explicit affirmation. God has an eternal vision of creation in all its details. Whereas in Socrates and Plato, ideas and matter are conceived as a dualism, where the relation between the subtle world of ideas and the gross world of matter is difficult to understand, in the Gītā the two are said to belong to the Divine. God Himself incarnates the seminal ideas in the forms of the gross world. These seminal ideas which have a divine origin, which belong to the causal Logos are the explanation of our love for God. While God is in one sense transcendent to human nature, there is also in the soul a direct expression of the Divine. The cosmic process continues until the causal origin, alpha and the final consummation omega, coincide.
Goodness, Passion and Dullness
सत्त्वं रजस्तम इति गुणाः प्रकृतिसंभवाः ।
निबध्नन्ति महाबाहो देहे देहिनमव्ययम् ॥१४- ५॥
sattvaṁ rajas tama iti guṇāḥ
tamaḥ3 iti4 guṇāḥ5
Sattva/goodness; rajas2 =
Rajas/passion; tamaḥ3 =
Tamas/darkness; iti4 = thus; guṇāḥ5 = the Gunas or qualities; prakṛti-sambhavāḥ6
are born of nature; [and] nibadhnanti7 = bind down; avyayam11 = the
imperishable; dehinam10 = living being
[soul]; dehe9 = to the body; mahābāho8 = O
Mighty-armed Arjuna. 14.5
(14.5) The three modes (guṇas) goodness (sattva), passion (rajas), and dullness (tamas) born of nature (prakṛti) bind down in the body, O Mighty-armed (Arjuna), the imperishable dweller in the body.
■ What leads to the appearance of the immortal soul in the cycle of birth and death is the power of the guṇas or modes. They are "the primary constituents of nature and are the bases of all substances. They cannot therefore be said to be qualities inhering in these substances." Ᾱnandagiri. They are called guṇas, because their emergence is ever dependent on the puruṣa of the Sāṁkhya or the Kṣetrajña of the Gītā. The guṇas are the three tendencies of prakṛti or the three strands making up the twisted rope of nature. Sattva reflects the light of consciousness and is irradiated by it, and so has the quality of radiance (prakāśa). Rajas has an outward movement (pravṛtti) and tamas is characterized by inertia (apravṛtti) and heedless indifference (pramāda),1 It is difficult to have adequate English equivalents for the three words, sattva, rajas and tamas. Sattva is perfect purity and luminosity while rajas is impurity which leads to activity and tamas is darkness and inertia. As the main application of the guṇas in the Gītā is ethical, we use goodness for sattva, passion for rajas and dullness for tamas.
■ The cosmic trinity reflects the dominance of one of the three modes, sattva in Viṣṇu, the preserver, rajas in Brahma, the creator and tamas in Śiva, the destroyer. Sattva contributes to the stability of the universe, rajas to its creative movement and tamas represents the tendency of things to decay and die. They are responsible for the maintenance, origin and dissolution of the world. The application of the guṇas to the three aspects of the Personal Lord shows that the latter belongs to the objective or the manifested world. God is struggling in humanity to redeem it and the godlike souls co-operate with Him in this work of redemption.2
■ When the soul identifies itself with the modes of nature, it forgets its own eternity and uses mind, life and body for egoistic satisfaction. To rise above bondage, we must rise above the modes of nature, become triguṇātīta; then we put on the free and
incorruptible nature of spirit. Sattva is sublimated into the light of consciousness, jyoti, rajas into austerity, tapas and tamas into tranquillity or rest, śānti.
1 II and 22, 12 and 22, 13.
2 Cp, Isaiah who speaks of the Messiah these words: "He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes we are healed" (liii, 45).
तत्र सत्त्वं निर्मलत्वात्प्रकाशकमनामयम् ।
सुखसङ्गेन बध्नाति ज्ञानसङ्गेन चानघ ॥१४- ६॥
tatra sattvaṁ nirmalatvāt prakāśakam
tatra1 sattvam2 nirmalatvāt3 prakāśakam4 anāmayam5
tatra1 = Therefore; sattvam2 = Sattva; nirmalatvāt3 = being pure; [is] prakāśakam4 = shining; [and] anāmayam5 = free of sickness; [ but] badhnāti7 = binds; sukhasaṅgena6 = because of connection to happiness; ca9 = and; jñāna-saṅgena8 = connection to knowledge; anagha10 = O sinless one.14.6
(14.6) Of these, goodness (sattva) being pure, causes illumination and health. It binds, O blameless one, by attachment to happiness and by attachment to knowledge.
■ Knowledge here means lower intellectual knowledge. Sattva does not rid us of the ego-sense. It also causes desire though for noble objects. The self which is free from all attachment is here attached to happiness and knowledge. Unless we cease to think and will with the ego-sense, we are not liberated. Jñāna or knowledge relates to buddhi which is a product of prakṛti and is to be distinguished from the pure consciousness which is the essence of atman.
रजो रागात्मकं विद्धि तृष्णासङ्गसमुद्भवम् ।
तन्निबध्नाति कौन्तेय कर्मसङ्गेन देहिनम् ॥१४- ७॥
rajo rāgātmakaṁ viddhi tṛṣṇāsaṅgasamudbhavam
kaunteya7 = O son of Kunti; viddhi3 = know; rajaḥ1 = Rajas/passion; [is] rāgātmakam2 = of the form of desire; tṛṣṇā-asaṅga-samudbhavam4 = born of avidity and attachment [avidity-attachment-born of]; tat5 = that; nibadhnāti6 = binds; dehinam9 = the embodied self; karma-saṅgena8 = by its attachment to actions. 14.7
(14.7) Passion (rajas), know thou, is of the nature of attraction, springing from craving and attachment. It binds fast, O Son of Kuntī (Arjuna), the embodied one by attachment to action.
■ Though the self is not the agent, rajas makes him act with the idea ''Ī am the doer." Ᾱnandagiri.
तमस्त्वज्ञानजं विद्धि मोहनं सर्वदेहिनाम् ।
प्रमादालस्यनिद्राभिस्तन्निबध्नाति भारत ॥१४- ८॥
tamas tv ajñānajaṁ viddhi mohanaṁ sarvadehinām
tu2 = But; viddhi4 = know; tamaḥ1 = Tamas/darkness; ajñānajam3 = is born of ignorance; [causing] mohanam5 = delusion; sarva-dehinām6 = to all embodied selves; tat8 = that; nibadhnāti9 = binds; pramāda-ālasya-nidrābhiḥ7 = by negligence, laziness, and sleep; bhārata10 = O son of Bharata.14.8
(14.8) But dullness (tamas), know thou, is born of ignorance and deludes all embodied beings. It binds, O Bharata (Arjuna), by (developing the qualities of) negligence, indolence and sleep.
सत्त्वं सुखे संजयति रजः कर्मणि भारत ।
ज्ञानमावृत्य तु तमः प्रमादे संजयत्युत ॥१४- ९॥
sattvaṁ sukhe saṁjayati
sattvam1 = Sattvam/goodness; sañjayati3 = attaches a person; sukhe2 = to happiness; rajaḥ4 = rajas/passion; karmaṇi5 = to action; bhārata6 = O Bharata; tu9 = but; tamaḥ10 = tamas/darkness; sañjayati12 = attaches; pramāde11 = to negligence; uta13 = also āvṛtya8 = by hiding; jñānam7 = wisdom.14.9
(14.9) Goodness attaches one to happiness, passion to action, o Bharata (Arjuna), but dullness, veiling wisdom, attaches to negligence.
रजस्तमश्चाभिभूय सत्त्वं भवति भारत ।
रजः सत्त्वं तमश्चैव तमः सत्त्वं रजस्तथा ॥१४- १०॥
rajas tamaś cābhibhūya
sattvaṁ bhavati bhārata
Sattva/virtue; bhavati6 = becomes; abhibhūya4 = superior; [by
subduing] rajaḥ1 =
Rajas/passion; ca3 = and; tamaḥ2 =
Tamas/darkness; bhārata7 = O Scion of
Bharata Clan. rajaḥ8 = Rajas;
[augments by subduing] sattvam9 = Sattva; ca11 = and; tamaḥ10 = Tamas; eva12 = indeed. tamaḥ13 = Tamas; tathā16 = thus;
[augments by subduing] sattvam14 = Sattva; [and]
rajaḥ15 = Rajas. 14.10
(14.10) Goodness prevails, overpowering passion and dullness, o Bharata (Arjuna). Passion prevails, (overpowering) goodness and dullness and even so dullness prevails (overpowering) goodness and passion.
■ The three modes are present in all human beings, though in different degrees. No one is free from them and in each soul one or the other predominates. Men are said to be sattvika, rajasa or tamasa according to the mode which prevails. When the theory of the "humours" of the body dominated physiology, men were divided into the sanguine, the bilious, the lymphatic and the nervous, according to the predominance of one or the other of the four humours. In the Hindu classification, the psychic characteristics are taken into account. The sattvika nature aims at light and knowledge: the rajasa nature is restless, full of desires for things outward. While the activities of a sattvika temperament are free, calm and selfless, the rajasa nature wishes to be always active and cannot sit still and its activities are tainted by selfish desires. The tamasa nature is dull and inert, its mind is dark and confused and its whole life is one continuous submission to environment.
सर्वद्वारेषु देहेऽस्मिन्प्रकाश उपजायते ।
ज्ञानं यदा तदा विद्याद्विवृद्धं सत्त्वमित्युत ॥१४- ११॥
yadā7 = When; prakāśa4 = light; [of] jñānam6 = knowledge; upajāyate5 = manifests [shines]; sarva-dvāreṣu1 = from all gates; asmin3 = in this; dehe2 = body; tadā8 = then; vidyāt9 = know; sattvam11 = Sattva; iti12 = thus; uta13 = indeed; vivṛddham10 = has augmented.14.11
(14.11) When the light of knowledge streams forth in all the gates of the body, then it may be known that goodness has increased.
■ sarva-dvāreṣu1 dehe2 asmin3: all the gates of the body. The light of knowledge can have a full physical manifestation. The truth of consciousness is not opposed to expression in matter. The Divine can be realized on the physical plane. To divinize the human consciousness, to bring the light into the physical, to transfigure our whole life is the aim of yoga.
■ When our minds are illumined and senses quickened, then sattva predominates.
लोभः प्रवृत्तिरारम्भः कर्मणामशमः स्पृहा ।
रजस्येतानि जायन्ते विवृद्धे भरतर्षभ ॥१४- १२॥
lobhaḥ pravṛttir ārambhaḥ karmaṇām
lobhaḥ1 = Greed; pravṛttiḥ2 = activity; ārambhaḥ3 = beginning; karmaṇām4 = of actions; aśamaḥ5 = unrest; [and] spṛhā6 = desire: etāni8 = these; jāyante9 = manifest; [when] rajasi7 = Rajas quality; vivṛddhe10 = becomes dominant; bharata-rṣabha11 = O the best of Bharatas. 14.12
(14.12) Greed, activity, the undertaking of actions, unrest and craving: these spring up, O Best of the Bharatas (Arjuna), when rajas increases.
The passionate seeking of life and its pleasures arises from the dominance of rajas.
अप्रकाशोऽप्रवृत्तिश्च प्रमादो मोह एव च ।
तमस्येतानि जायन्ते विवृद्धे कुरुनन्दन ॥१४- १३॥
aprakāśopravṛttiś ca pramādo moha eva ca
mohaḥ5 eva6 ca7
aprakāśaḥ1 = Darkness; apravṛttiḥ2 =
stagnation/inactivity; pramādaḥ4 =
negligence; ca3 = and; mohaḥ5 ca7 = also delusion:
etāni9 = these; eva6 = indeed; jāyante10 = come forth;
[when] tamasi8 = Tamas
quality; vivṛddhe11 = increases; kuru-nandana12 = O son
(14.I3) Unillumination, inactivity, negligence and mere delusion: these arise, O Joy of the Kurus (Arjuna), when dullness increases.
■ While prakāśa or illumination is the effect of sattva, aprakāśa or non-illumination is the result of tamas. Error, misunderstanding, negligence and inaction are the characteristic marks of a tāmasa temperament.
यदा सत्त्वे प्रवृद्धे तु प्रलयं याति देहभृत् ।
तदोत्तमविदां लोकानमलान्प्रतिपद्यते ॥१४- १४॥
yadā sattve pravṛddhe
tu pralayaṁ yāti
yadā1 = When; deha-bhṛt7 = the
embodied; yāti6 = proceeds to; pralayam5 =
dissolution/death; [and] sattve2 =
Sattva/virtue; pravṛddhe3 = is on the
ascent/ dominant; tu4 = certainly; tadā8 = then; pratipadyate12 = he attains; amalān11 = the pure; lokān10 = world; uttamavidām9 = of knowers of
the highest. 14.14
(14.14) When the embodied soul meets with dissolution, when goodness prevails, then it attains to the pure worlds of those who know the Highest.
They do not obtain release but birth in brahmaloka. Nistraiguṇya or the transcendence of the three guṇas is the condition of release.
रजसि प्रलयं गत्वा कर्मसङ्गिषु जायते ।
तथा प्रलीनस्तमसि मूढयोनिषु जायते ॥१४- १५॥
rajasi pralayaṁ gatvā karmasaṅgiṣu
gatvā3 = Attaining
death [ death-attain]; rajasi1 = in Rajas
quality; jāyate5 = he takes
birth; karma-saṅgiṣu4 = [among
people] attached to action; tathā6 = likewise; pralīnaḥ7 = when one
dies; tamasi8 = in Tamas; jāyate10 = he takes
= in ignorant wombs [in animal wombs]. 14.15
(14.15) Meeting with dissolution when passion prevails, it is born among those attached to action; and if it is dissolved when dullness prevails, it is born in the wombs of the deluded.
कर्मणः सुकृतस्याहुः सात्त्विकं निर्मलं फलम् ।
रजसस्तु फलं दुःखमज्ञानं तमसः फलम् ॥१४- १६॥
phalam6 = The fruit; sukṛtasya2 = of good/pious; karmaṇaḥ1 = action; āhuḥ3 = is said to be; nirmalam5 = pure; sāttvikam4 = virtue; tu8 = but; phalam9 = fruit; rajasaḥ7 = of passion; [is] duḥkham10 = sorrow; phalam13 = the fruit; [of] ajñānam11 = ignorance; [ is] tamasaḥ12 = Tamas. 14.16
(14.16) The fruit of good action is said to be of the nature of "goodness" and pure; while the fruit of passion is pain, the fruit of dullness is ignorance.
सत्त्वात्संजायते ज्ञानं रजसो लोभ एव च ।
प्रमादमोहौ तमसो भवतोऽज्ञानमेव च ॥१४- १७॥
sattvāt saṁjāyate jñānaṁ rajaso lobha eva ca
lobha5 eva6 ca7
sattvāt1 = From virtue; sañjāyate2 = arises; jñānam3 = knowledge; rajasaḥ4 = from passion;
lobha5 = greed; eva6 = indeed; ca7 = and; tamasaḥ9 = from
darkness; bhavataḥ10 = comes; pramāda-mohau8 = madness and
delusion; ca13 = and; ajñānam11 = ignorance; eva12 = indeed.14.17
(14.I7) From goodness arises knowledge and from passion greed, negligence and error arise from dullness, as also ignorance.
■ The psychological effects of the three modes are here set forth.
ऊर्ध्वं गच्छन्ति सत्त्वस्था मध्ये तिष्ठन्ति राजसाः ।
जघन्यगुणवृत्तिस्था अधो गच्छन्ति तामसाः ॥१४- १८॥
sattvasthā madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ
sattvasthāḥ3 = They who are steadfast in Sattva; gacchanti2 = go; ūrdhvam1 = higher [in the realm of gods]; rājasāḥ6 = the Rajasic; tiṣṭhanti5 = stay/remain; madhye4 = in the middle; tāmasāḥ10 = the Tamasic; jaghanya-guṇa-vṛttisthāḥ7 = immersed in lowest quality, [the lowest-quality-being in any state or condition or employment]; gacchhanti9 = go; adhaḥ8 = low [born as worms, birds, animals]. 14.18
(14.18) Those who are established in goodness rise upwards; the passionate remain in the middle (regions); the dull steeped in the lower occurrences of the modes sink downwards.
The soul evolves through these three stages; it rises from dull inertia and subjection to ignorance, through the struggle for material enjoyments to the pursuit of knowledge and happiness. But so long as we are attached, even though it may be to very noble objects, we are limited and there is always a sense of insecurity since rajas and tamas may overcome the sattva in us. The highest ideal is to transcend the ethical level and rise to the spiritual. The good man (sāttvika) should become a saint (triguṇātīta). Until we reach this stage, we are only in the making; our evolution is incomplete. triguṇātīta = Transcending the three guṇas.
नान्यं गुणेभ्यः कर्तारं यदा द्रष्टानुपश्यति ।
गुणेभ्यश्च परं वेत्ति मद्भावं सोऽधिगच्छति ॥१४- १९॥
nānyaṁ guṇebhyaḥ kartāraṁ yadā draṣṭānupaśyati
na anyam guṇebhyaḥ1
yadā3 = When; draṣṭā4 = a Seer; anupaśyati5 = sees; na anyam guṇebhyaḥ1 = none other
than the three Gunas; [as] kartāram2 = the
agent; ca7 = and; vetti9 = knows; [that
which is] param8 = Supreme; guṇebhyaḥ6
= to the Gunas/qualities; saḥ11 = he; adhigacchhati12 = attains; madbhāvam10 = My State.14.19
(14.19) When the seer perceives no agent other than the modes, and knows also that which is beyond the modes, he attains to My being.
■ "Then his identity with Brahman becomes manifest." Ᾱnandagiri.
गुणानेतानतीत्य त्रीन्देही देहसमुद्भवान् ।
जन्ममृत्युजरादुःखैर्विमुक्तोऽमृतमश्नुते ॥१४- २०॥
guṇān etān atītya trīn dehī dehasamudbhavān
atītya3 = Transcending;
etān2 = these; trīn4 = three; guṇān1 = Gunas; [which] deha-samudbhavān6 = give
rise to the body [body-giving birth to]; dehī5 = the embodied
[soul]; vimuktaḥ8 = having become
free; janma-mṛtyu-jarā-duḥkhaiḥ7 = from birth,
death, old age, and sorrow; aśnute10 =
attains/experiences; amṛtam9 = immortality.14.20
(14.20) When the embodied soul rises above these three modes that spring from the body, it is freed from birth, death, old age and pain and attains life eternal.
dehasamudbhavān: this implies that the modes are caused by the body. "Which are the seed out of which the body is evolved." S.1 Even sāttvika goodness is imperfect since this goodness has for its condition the struggle with its opposite. The moment the struggle ceases and the goodness becomes absolute, it ceases to be goodness and goes beyond all ethical compulsion. By developing the nature of sattva, we rise beyond it and obtain transcendent wisdom.2
2 Just as we pull out a thorn by a thorn, so renouncing worldly things we must renounce renunciation. kāṇtakaṁ kāṇtakaneva yena tyajasi taṁ tyaja. By means of sattva we overcome rajas and tamas and then get beyond sattva itself.
The Character of Him Who is Beyond the Three Modes
कैर्लिङ्गैस्त्रीन्गुणानेतानतीतो भवति प्रभो ।
किमाचारः कथं चैतांस्त्रीन्गुणानतिवर्तते ॥१४- २१॥
arjuna uvāca = Arjuna said: kaiḥ1 = by what; liṅgaiḥ2 = marks/signs; [one is said to] atītaḥ6 = transcend; etān5 = these; trīn3 = three; guṇān4 = Gunas/qualities? kim9 = What; bhavati7 = is; [his] ācāraḥ10 = conduct; prabho8 = O Lord; ca12 = and; katham11 = how; [does he] ativartate16 = transcend; etān13 = these; trīn14 = three; guṇān15 = Gunas? 14.21
(14.2I) By what marks is he, O Lord, who has risen above the three modes characterized? What is his way of life? How does he get beyond the three modes?
■ What are the marks of the jīvanmukta, of him who achieves perfection in the present life? The characteristics are more or less the same as those of the sthitaprajña (II, 55 ff.) of the bhaktimān, devotee (XII, I3 ff.). From this it is evident that the marks of perfection are the same, however it may be reached.
प्रकाशं च प्रवृत्तिं च मोहमेव च पाण्डव ।
न द्वेष्टि संप्रवृत्तानि न निवृत्तानि काङ्क्षति ॥१४- २२॥
śrībhagavān uvāca = Sri bhagavan
said; pāṇḍava8 = O Pandava; [he] na9 = neither; dveṣṭi10 = hates; prakāśam1 = Light
[knowledge]; ca2 = and; pravṛttim3 = activity; ca4 = and; moham5 = delusion; eva6 = indeed; sampravṛttāni11 = when they
arise; ca7 = and; na12 = nor; kāṅkṣati14 = desires; [for
them, when they] nivṛttāni13 = disappear or
cease to exist; 14.22
(14.22) He, O Paṇḍava (Arjuna), who does not abhor illumination, activity and delusion when they arise nor longs for them when they cease.
उदासीनवदासीनो गुणैर्यो न विचाल्यते ।
गुणा वर्तन्त इत्येव योऽवतिष्ठति नेङ्गते ॥१४- २३॥
guṇair yo na vicālyate
āsīnaḥ2 guṇaiḥ3 yaḥ4 na
yaḥ4 = He who; āsīnaḥ2 = is sitting; udāsīnavat1 = indifferent to; guṇaiḥ3 = Gunas; na vicālyate5 = not perturbed; [knowing] guṇāḥ6 = Gunas; vartante7 = act; iti8 = thus; eva9 = surely; yaḥ10 = he; avatiṣṭhati11 = remains firm; [and] na iṅgate12 = does not waver... 14.23
(14.23) He who is seated like one unconcerned, unperturbed by the modes, who stands apart, without wavering, knowing that it is only the modes that act.
■ He sees the mutations of nature but is not entangled in them. The modes or guṇas are lifted up into pure illumination, divine activity and perfect calm.
समदुःखसुखः स्वस्थः समलोष्टाश्मकाञ्चनः ।
तुल्यप्रियाप्रियो धीरस्तुल्यनिन्दात्मसंस्तुतिः ॥१४- २४॥
samaduḥkhasukhaḥ svasthaḥ samaloṣṭāśmakāñcanaḥ
sama-duḥkha-sukhaḥ1 = equal in sorrow and happiness; svasthaḥ2 = abiding in his self; sama-loṣṭa-aśma-kāñcanaḥ3 = equal in regarding a clod, a stone and gold [= equal-clod-stone-gold]; tulya-priya-apriyaḥ4 = equal in regarding the desirable and the undesirable [equal-desirable-undesirable]; dhīraḥ5 = wise; tulya-nindā-ātma-saṁstutiḥ6 = equal in blame, and praise of him [equal-blame-self-praise]... 14.24
(14.24) He who regards pain and pleasure alike, who dwells in his own self, who looks upon a clod, a stone, a piece of gold as of equal worth, who remains the same amidst the pleasant and the unpleasant things, who is firm of mind, who regards both blame and praise as one.
मानापमानयोस्तुल्यस्तुल्यो मित्रारिपक्षयोः ।
सर्वारम्भपरित्यागी गुणातीतः स उच्यते ॥१४- २५॥
mānāpamānayos tulyas tulyo mitrāripakṣayoḥ
[who is] tulyaḥ2 = equal; māna-apamānayoḥ1 = in honor and dishonor; tulyaḥ3 = equal; mitra-ari-pakṣayoḥ4 = to friends and foes; arva-ārambha-parityāgī5 = who has renounced all initiatives; saḥ7 = he; ucyate8 = is said to; guṇa-atītaḥ6 = transcend the Gunas. 14.25
(14.25) He who is the same in honour and dishonour and the same to friends and foes, and who has given up all initiative of action, he is said to have risen above the modes.
मां च योऽव्यभिचारेण भक्तियोगेन सेवते ।
स गुणान्समतीत्यैतान्ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते ॥१४- २६॥
māṁ ca yovyabhicāreṇa bhaktiyogena sevate
mām1 ca2 yah3
yah3 = Whoever; sevate6 = renders service; mām1 = to Me; avyabhicāreṇa4 = with unswerving; bhakti-yogena5 = devotional service; ca2 = and; samatītya9 = transcends completely; etān10 = these; guṇān8 = Gunas [qualities]; saḥ7 = he; kalpate12 = is fit; brahma-bhūyāya11 = to become Brahman. 14.26
(14.26) He who serves Me with unfailing devotion of love, rises above the three modes, he too is fit for becoming Brahman.
■ He is fit for liberation.
ब्रह्मणो हि प्रतिष्ठाहममृतस्याव्ययस्य च ।
शाश्वतस्य च धर्मस्य सुखस्यैकान्तिकस्य च ॥१४- २७॥
brahmaṇo hi pratiṣṭhāham
aham4 = I; [am] pratiṣṭhā3 = the abode; brahmaṇaḥ1 = of Brahman; hi2 = indeed; amṛtasya5 = of the immortal; avyayasya6 = of the imperishable/ the immutable; ca7 = and; śāśvatasya8 = of the eternal; ca9 = and; dharmasya10 = of Dharma/ righteousness; ca13 = and; aikāntikasya12 = of absolute; sukhasya11 = happiness or Bliss.14.27
(14.27) For I am the abode of Brahman, the Immortal and the Imperishable, of eternal law and of absolute bliss.
■ Here the personal Lord is said to be the foundation of the Absolute Brahman. Saṁkara (S) makes out that the Supreme Lord is Brahman in the sense that He is the manifestation of Brahman. Brahman shows His grace to His devotees through Īśvaraśakti and He is that power in manifestation and therefore Brahman Himself. S. gives an alternative explanation. Brahman is the personal Lord and the verse means "I, the unconditioned and the unutterable, am the abode of the conditioned Brahman who is immortal and indestructible." Nīlakaṇṭha takes Brahma to mean Veda. R. interprets it as the emancipated soul and Madhva as māyā. Madhusūdana takes it for the personal Lord. Kṛṣṇa identifies Himself with the absolute unconditioned Brahman.
iti . . . guṇatrayavibhāgayogo nāma caturdaśo 'dhyāyaḥ.
This is the fourteenth chapter entitled The Yoga of the Differentiation of the Three Modes.