17ChapterBG

CHAPTER XVII

The Three Modes Applied to Religious Phenomena

Three Kinds of Faith

Translation and Comment by Dr. Radhakrishnan

Sanskrit Text, transliteration and word translation by

Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

 अर्जुन उवाच

ये शास्त्रविधिमुत्सृज्य यजन्ते श्रद्धयान्विताः ।

तेषां निष्ठा तु का कृष्ण सत्त्वमाहो रजस्तमः ॥१७- १॥

arjuna uvāca
ye śāstravidhim utsṛjya yajante śraddhayānvitāḥ
teṣāṁ niṣṭhā tu kṛṣṇa sattvam āho rajas tamaḥ 17.1

arjuna uvāca
ye1 śāstra-vidhim2 utsṛjya3 yajante4 śraddhayā5 anvitāḥ6
teṣām7 niṣṭhā8 tu910 kṛṣṇa11 sattvam12 āho13 raja14 tamaḥ15 17.1

 

arjuna uvāca  = Arjuna said: ye1 = those who; utsṛjya3 = give up; śāstra-vidhim2  = Scriptural injunctions; [and yet] anvitāḥ6 = are endowed; śraddhayā5 = with faith; [and] yajante4 = worship; tu9 = but; kā10 = what; [is] niṣṭhā8 = the status;  teṣām7 = of them; kṛṣṇa11 = O Krishna; [Is it] sattvam12 = virtue; raja14 = passion; āho13 = or; tamaḥ15 = darkness. 17.1

Arjuna said:

(17.1) Those who, neglecting the ordinances of scriptures, offer sacrifices filled with faith-what is their position, O Kṛṣṇa? Is it one of goodness or of passion or of dullness? These do not wilfully defy the rules of scripture but are ignorant of them.

á S. argues that the nature of one's faith does not depend upon conformity to scriptural injunctions but on his character and the worship he adopts.

á R. adopts a less liberal view and thinks that those who violate the Śāstras out of ignorance or wilful neglect, whether with faith or without faith, are to be condemned.

 

श्रीभगवानुवाच 

त्रिविधा भवति श्रद्धा देहिनां सा स्वभावजा ।

सात्त्विकी राजसी चैव तामसी चेति तां शृणु ॥१७- २॥

śrībhagavān uvāca
trividhā bhavati śraddhā dehināṁ svabhāvajā
sāttvikī rājasī caiva tāmasī ceti tāṁ śṛṇu 17.2

śrībhagavān uvāca
trividhā1 bhavati2 śraddhā3 dehinām45 svabhāvajā6
sāttvikī7 rājasī8 ca9 eva10 tāmasī11 ca12 iti13 tām14 śṛṇu15 17.2

 

śrībhagavān uvāca = Sri Bhagavan said: 5 = that; śraddhā3 = faith; dehinām4 = of the embodied; bhavati2 = becomes; trividhā1 = threefold; svabhāvajā6 = born of their own nature; sāttvikī7 = born of goodness; rājasī8 = born of passion; ca9 = and; eva10 = indeed; tāmasī11 = born of darkness; ca12 = and; iti13 = thus; śṛṇu15 = hear; tām14 = that [from Me]. 17.2

 

The Blessed Lord said:

(17.2) The faith of the embodied is of three kinds, born of their nature, good, passionate and dull. Hear now about it.

 

सत्त्वानुरूपा सर्वस्य श्रद्धा भवति भारत ।

श्रद्धामयोऽयं पुरुषो यो यच्छ्रद्धः स एव सः ॥१७- ३॥

sattvānurūpā sarvasya śraddhā bhavati bhārata
śraddhāmayoyaṁ puruṣo yo yacchraddhaḥ sa eva saḥ 17.3

sattva-anurūpā1 sarvasya2 śraddhā3 bhavati4 bhārata5
śraddhā6 maya7 ayam8 puruṣa9 ya10 yat11 śraddhaḥ12 sa13 eva14 saḥ15 17.3

 

śraddhā3 = Faith; sarvasya2 = of all beings; bhavati4 = becomes [is]; sattva-anurūpā1 = according to their own nature;  bhārata5 = O Scion of Bharata clan; ayam8 = this; puruṣa9 = person; [is] śraddhā6 maya7 = faith incarnate; ya10 = that person; yat11 = whichever/whatever; [his] śraddhaḥ12 = faith [is]; sa13 eva14 = that indeed; saḥ15 = he [is]. 17.3
 

(17.3) The faith of every individual, O Bharata (Arjuna), is in accordance with his nature. Man is of the nature of his faith: what his faith is, that, verily, he is.

á The author here takes up for consideration a number of questions which probably aroused interest at the time, about faith, diet, sacrifice, asceticism, almsgiving, renunciation and relinquishment.

á sattva: svabhāva, nature.

á śraddhā or faith, is not acceptance of a belief. It is striving after self-realization by concentrating the powers of the mind on a given ideal.

á Faith is the pressure of the Spirit on humanity, the force that urges humanity towards what is better, not only in the order of knowledge but in the whole order of spiritual life. Faith, as the inward sense of truth, points to the object over which fuller light is shed later.

á After all, the ultimate and incontrovertible evidence of any religious faith is the evidence of the believer's heart.

á A popular verse makes out that the aims which religion offers prove effective according to one's faith in them.1 Bhagavata says that the fruit of worship follows the faith of the doer.2 We are what we are on account of our past and we can create our future. Cp. Plato: "Such as are the trend of our desires and the nature of our souls, just such each of us becomes.3 Cp. Goethe: "Earnestness alone makes life eternity."

1 mantre, tīrthe, dvije, deve, ddivaj˝e, bheṣaje, gurau

yādṛṣī bhāvanā yasya siddhir bhavati tādṛśī.

2 sraddhānūrupa phalahetukatvāt. VIII, I7.

3 Laws, 904-C.

 

यजन्ते सात्त्विका देवान्यक्षरक्षांसि राजसाः ।

प्रेतान्भूतगणांश्चान्ये यजन्ते तामसा जनाः ॥१७- ४॥

yajante sāttvikā devān yakṣarakṣāṁsi rājasāḥ
pretān bhūtagaṇā˝ś cānye yajante tāmasā janāḥ 17.4

yajante1 sāttvikā2 devān3 yakṣa-rakṣāṁsi4 rājasāḥ5
pretān
6 bhūta-gaṇā˝7 ca8 anye9 yajante10 tāmasā11 janāḥ12 17.4

 

sāttvikā2 = Virtuous people; yajante1 = worship; devān3 = the gods; rājasāḥ5 = the passionate; yakṣa-rakṣāṁsi4 = Yaksas and Raksasas; ca8 = and; anye9 = others; tāmasā11 = the ignorant; janāḥ12 = people; yajante10 = worship; pretān6 = ghosts; [&] bhūta-gaṇā˝7 = spirits.17.4 

 

(17.4) Good men worship the gods, the passionate worship the demigods and the demons and the others (who are) the dull, worship the spirits and ghosts.

á Men of darkness are they who make a cult of the departed and of spirits.

 

अशास्त्रविहितं घोरं तप्यन्ते ये तपो जनाः ।

दम्भाहंकारसंयुक्ताः कामरागबलान्विताः ॥१७- ५॥

aśāstravihitaṁ ghoraṁ tapyante ye tapo janāḥ
dambhāhaṁkārasaṁyuktāḥ kāmarāgabalānvitāḥ 17.5

aśāstra-vihitam1 ghoram2 tapyante3 ye4 tapa5 janāḥ6
dambha-aha˝kāra-saṁyuktāḥ7 kāma-rāga-bala-anvitāḥ8 17.5

 

ye4 janāḥ6 = Those persons who; tapyante3 = perform; ghoram2 = terrible; tapa5 = austerities; aśāstra-vihitam1 = not ordained in scriptures; dambha7A-aha˝kāra7B-saṁyuktāḥ7C = engaged in7C hypocrisy7A and ego7B; kāma-rāga-bala-anvitāḥ8 = possessing8D lust8A, desire8B, strength8C...  17.5 continued
 

(17.5) Those men, vain and conceited and impelled by the force of lust and passion, who perform violent austerities, which are not ordained by the scriptures.

 

कर्षयन्तः शरीरस्थं भूतग्राममचेतसः ।

मां चैवान्तःशरीरस्थं तान्विद्ध्यासुरनिश्चयान् ॥१७- ६॥

karṣayantaḥ śarīrasthaṁ bhūtagrāmam acetasaḥ
māṁ caivāntaḥśarīrasthaṁ tān viddhy āsuraniścayān 17.6

karṣayantaḥ1 śarīrastham2 bhūta-grāmam3 acetasaḥ4
mām5 ca6 eva7 antaḥ-śarīra-stham8 tān9 viddhi10 āsura-niścayān11 17.6

 

acetasaḥ4 = mindlessly; karṣayantaḥ1 = torturing; bhūta-grāmam3  = aggregate of elements; śarīrastham2 = in the body; ca6 = and; eva7 = indeed; mām5 = Me;  ntaḥ-śarīra-stham8  = who dwells inside the body [as a Witness]; viddhi10 = know; tān9 = them;  āsura-niścayān11  = as of the nature of demons. 17.6

 

(17.6) Being foolish oppress the group of elements in their body and Me also dwelling in the body. Know these to be demoniac in their resolves.

á The methods of self-torture undertaken by some for purposes of display such as wearing hair-shirts, or piercing the body with sharp spikes, are here condemned. Bodily weakness sometimes produces hallucinations which are mistaken for spiritual visions. Self-discipline is not to be confused with bodily torture. Cp. with this, Gautama the Buddha's admonition: "The habitual practice of asceticism or self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable, ought not to be followed.1The true discipline of the body by the practice of cleanliness, etc., is given in verse I4.

1 Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta.

 

आहारस्त्वपि सर्वस्य त्रिविधो भवति प्रियः ।

यज्ञस्तपस्तथा दानं तेषां भेदमिमं शृणु ॥१७- ७॥
āhāras tv api sarvasya trividho bhavati priyaḥ
yaj˝as tapas tathā dānaṁ teṣāṁ bhedam imaṁ śṛṇu 17.7

āhāra1 tu2 api3 sarvasya4 trividha5 bhavati6 priyaḥ7
yaj˝a8 tapa9 tathā10 dānam11 teṣām12 bhedam13 imam14 śṛṇu15 17.7

 

āhāra1 = Food; priyaḥ7 = dear;  tu2 = indeed; sarvasya4 = to all; api3 = also; bhavati6 = is [becomes]; trividha5 = threefold; tathā10 = so also; yaj˝a8 = sacrifice; tapa9 = austerity; dānam11 = charity; śṛṇu15 = hear;  imam14 = these; bhedam13 = differences; teṣām12 = among them.  17.7
 

(17.7) Even the food which is dear to all is of three kinds. So are the sacrifices, austerities and gifts. Hear thou the distinction of these.

 

आयुःसत्त्वबलारोग्यसुखप्रीतिविवर्धनाः ।

रस्याः स्निग्धाः स्थिरा हृद्या आहाराः सात्त्विकप्रियाः ॥१७- ८॥

āyuḥsattvabalārogyasukhaprītivivardhanāḥ
rasyāḥ snigdhāḥ sthirā hṛdyā āhārāḥ sāttvikapriyāḥ 17.8

āyuḥ-sattva-bala-ārogya-sukha-prīti1 vivardhanāḥ2
rasyāḥ3 snigdhāḥ4 sthirā5 hṛdyā6 āhārāḥ7 sāttvika-priyāḥ8 17.8

 

āhārāḥ7 = Foods; vivardhanāḥ2 = that promote; āyuḥ-sattva-bala-ārogya-sukha-prīti2 = life, existence, strength, health, happiness,  [and] pleasure; [are]  rasyāḥ4 = juicy; snigdhāḥ5 = smooth; sthirā6 = firm; hṛdyā7 = hearty; sāttvika-priyāḥ9 = dear to Sattvic persons. 17.8
 

(17.8) The foods which promote life, vitality, strength, health, joy and cheerfulness, which are sweet, soft, nourishing andá agreeable are dear to the "good."

 

कट्‌वम्ललवणात्युष्णतीक्ष्णरूक्षविदाहिनः ।

आहारा राजसस्येष्टा दुःखशोकामयप्रदाः ॥१७- ९॥

kaṭvamlalavaṇātyuṣṇatīkṣṇarūkṣavidāhinaḥ
āhārā rājasasyeṣṭā duḥkhaśokāmayapradāḥ 17.9

kaṭu-amla-lavaṇa-atyuṣṇa-tīkṣṇa-rūkṣa-vidāhinaḥ1
āhārā2 rājasasya3 iṣṭā4 duḥkha-śoka-āmaya5 pradāḥ6 17.9

 

kaṭu-amla-lavaṇa-atyuṣṇa-tīkṣṇa-rūkṣa-vidāhinaḥ1 = Bitter, sour, salty, very hot, pungent, dry, fiery; āhārā2 = foods;  iṣṭā4 = dear;  rājasasya3 = to Rajasic people; pradāḥ6 = give; duḥkha-śoka-āmaya5  = pain, sorrow, disease.  17.9
 

(17.9) The foods that are bitter, sour, saltish, very hot, pungent, harsh and burning, producing pain, grief and disease are liked by the ' 'passionate. "

 

यातयामं गतरसं पूति पर्युषितं च यत् ।

उच्छिष्टमपि चामेध्यं भोजनं तामसप्रियम् ॥१७- १०॥

yātayāmaṁ gatarasaṁ pūti paryuṣitaṁ ca yat
ucchiṣṭam api cāmedhyaṁ bhojanaṁ tāmasapriyam 17.10
yāta-yāmam
1 gata-rasam2 pūti3 paryuṣitam4 ca5 yat6
ucchiṣṭam7 api8 ca9 amedhyam10 bhojanam11 tāmasa priyam12 17.10

 

bhojanam11 = Foods; yat6 = which; [are] yāta-yāmam1 = improperly cooked; gata-rasam2  = wanting in flavor; pūti3 = putrid; paryuṣitam4 = stale; ca5 = and;  ucchiṣṭam7 = left-over; ca9 = and; api8 = also; amedhyam10 = unfit for sacrifice; [are]  tāmasa priyam12 = dear to the Tamasic person.  17.10
 

(17.10) That which is spoiled, tasteless, putrid, stale, refuse and unclean is the food dear to the "dull."

á As the body is built up of the food taken, the quality of food is important.1

1 Chāndogya Up., VIl, 26, 2, āhāra śuddhau sattvasuddhiḥ where sattva means antaḥkaraṇa.

The kind of diet we take has its influence on our power of selfşcontrol.

Cp. visvāmitra-parāṣara-prabhṛtayaḥ vātāmbuparṇāśanāḥ

tepi strīmukhapankajaṁ sulalitaṁ dṛṣṭvaiva mohaṁ gatāḥ

śālyānna dadhidugdhagoghṛtayutaṁ ye bhu˝jate mānavāḥ

teṣām indriyanigraho yadi bhavet, vindhyas taret sāgaram.

 

अफलाकाङ्क्षिभिर्यज्ञो विधिदृष्टो य इज्यते ।

यष्टव्यमेवेति मनः समाधाय स सात्त्विकः ॥१७- ११॥

aphalāṅkṣibhir yaj˝o vidhidṛṣṭo ya ijyate
yaṣṭavyam eveti manaḥ samādhāya sa sāttvikaḥ 17.11

aphala-āṅkṣibhi1 yaj˝a2 vidhi-dṛṣṭa3 ya4 ijyate5
yaṣṭavyam eva6 iti7 manaḥ samādhāya8 sa9 sāttvikaḥ10 17.11

 

yaj˝a2 = Sacrifice; ya4 = which;  ijyate5 = was performed; vidhi-dṛṣṭa3 = according to injunctions; [by] aphala-āṅkṣibhi1 = those who have no desire for fruits of their labor; manaḥ samādhāya8  = with fixed mind; [knowing it is]  yaṣṭavyam eva6 = expected performance of duty; sa9 = that;  iti7 = thus; [is] sāttvikaḥ10 = sattvika mode. 17.11
 

(17.11) That sacrifice which is offered, according to the scriptural law, by those who expect no reward and believe firmly that it is their duty to offer the sacrifice, is "good."

á The yaj˝a of the Gītā is not the same as the ceremonial sacrifice of the Veda. It is sacrificial action in general by which man dedicates his wealth and deeds to the service of the One Life in all. People with such a sacrificial spirit will accept even death gladly, though unjustly meted out to them, so that the world may grow through their sacrifice. Sāvitrī tells Yama that good people maintain the world through their suffering and sacrifice. santo bhūmi tapasā dhārayanti.

á aphalāṅkṣibhiḥ: those who expect no reward. They do the right but are indifferent to the consequences. A Socrates or a Gandhi is concerned only whether he is doing right or wrong, acting the part of a good man or of a bad, and not whether he has a chance of living or dying.

 

अभिसंधाय तु फलं दम्भार्थमपि चैव यत् ।

इज्यते भरतश्रेष्ठ तं यज्ञं विद्धि राजसम् ॥१७- १२॥

abhisaṁdhāya tu phalaṁ dambhārtham api caiva yat
ijyate bharataśreṣṭha taṁ yaj˝aṁ viddhi rājasam 17.12

abhisandhāya1 tu2 phalam3 dambhārtham4 api5 ca6 eva7 yat8
ijyate9 bharataśreṣṭha10 tam11 yaj˝am12 viddhi13 rājasam14 17.12

 

tu2 = But; yat8 = that which; ijyate9 = is performed; eva7 = indeed; dambhārtham4 = for the sake of ostentation; ca6 = or; abhisandhāya1 = holding in view;  phalam3 api5  = also5 the result/fruit3; bharataśreṣṭha10 = O best of Bharatas; viddhi13 = know; tam11 = that; yaj˝am12 = sacrifice; rājasam14 = is Rajas. 17.12
 

(17.12) But that which is offered in expectation of reward or for the sake of display, know, O best of the Bharatas (Arjuna), that sacrifice to be "passionate."

 

विधिहीनमसृष्टान्नं मन्त्रहीनमदक्षिणम् ।

श्रद्धाविरहितं यज्ञं तामसं परिचक्षते ॥१७- १३॥

vidhihīnam asṛṣṭānnaṁ mantrahīnam adakṣiṇam
śraddhāvirahitaṁ yaj˝aṁ tāmasaṁ paricakṣate 17.13

vidhi-hīnam1 asṛṣṭa-annam2 mantra-hīnam3 adakṣiṇam4
śraddhā-virahitam5 yaj˝am6 tāmasam7 paricakṣate8 17.13

 

yaj˝am6 = Sacrifice; vidhi-hīnam1 = opposed to injunctions; asṛṣṭa-annam2 = with undistributed food [prasadam]; mantra-hīnam3 = with no mantras chanted; adakṣiṇam4 = with no remuneration to priests;[ and] śraddhā-virahitam5 = deprived of faith; paricakṣate8 =  is said to be; tāmasam7 = Tamas. 17.13
 

(17.13) The sacrifice which is not in conformity with the law, in which no food is distributed, no hymns are chanted and no fees are paid, which is empty of faith, they declare to be "dull."

á The distribution of food and the payment of fee are symbolic of help to others without which all work is self-regarding.

Three Kinds of Penance

 

देवद्विजगुरुप्राज्ञपूजनं शौचमार्जवम् ।

ब्रह्मचर्यमहिंसा च शारीरं तप उच्यते ॥१७- १४॥

devadvijaguruprāj˝apūjanaṁ śaucam ārjavam
brahmacaryam ahiṁsā ca śārīraṁ tapa ucyate 17.14

deva-dvija-guru-prāj˝a-pūjanam1 śaucam-ārjavam-
brahmacaryam2 ahiṁsā3 ca4 śārīram5 tapa6 ucyate7 17.14

 

deva1A-dvija1B-guru1C-prāj˝a1D-pūjanam1E = Worship1E of gods1A , the twice-borns1B, the Guru1C, and the wise1D; śaucam-ārjavam-brahmacaryam2 = purity, honesty, celibacy; ca4 = and; ahiṁsā2 = non-injury; [these] ucyate7 = are said to be; tapa6 = penance; śārīram5 = of the body.17.14
 

(17.14) The worship of the gods, of the twice-born, of teachers and of the wise, purity, uprightness, continence and nonşviolence, this is said to be the penance of the body.

 

अनुद्वेगकरं वाक्यं सत्यं प्रियहितं च यत् ।

स्वाध्यायाभ्यसनं चैव वाङ्मयं तप उच्यते ॥१७- १५॥

anudvegakaraṁ vākyaṁ satyaṁ priyahitaṁ ca yat
svādhyāyābhyasanaṁ caiva vāṅmayaṁ tapa ucyate 17.15

anudvegakaram1 vākyam2 satyam3 priya-hitam4 ca5 yat6
svādhyāya-abhyasanam7 ca8 eva9 vāk-mayam10 tapa11 ucyate12 17.15

 

vākyam2 = Speech; yat6 = which is; anudvegakaram1 = not causing apprehension;  satyam3 = truthful; priya-hitam4 = agreeable and beneficial;  ca5 = and; [promotes] svādhyāya-abhyasanam7 = Vedic study practice; ca8 = also; eva9 = indeed; ucyate12 = is said to be; tapa11 = austerity; vāk-mayam10  = of speech.  17.15
 

(17.15) The utterance (of words) which gives no offence, which is truthful, pleasant and beneficial and the regular recitation

of the Veda--this is said to be the penance of speech.

á Cp, Ě'Of what is disagreeable and beneficial the speaker and the hearer are hard to find.1

1 apriyasya ca pathyasya vaktāśrota hi durlabhaḥ. M.B. śāntiparva 63J 17.

If you your lips would keep from slips

Five things observe with care;

Of what you speak, to whom you speak,

And bow, and when, and where.

''Uncensored Recollections."

(See Thirlby Hall, by W. E. Norris, Vol. I, p. 35.)

 

मनः प्रसादः सौम्यत्वं मौनमात्मविनिग्रहः ।

भावसंशुद्धिरित्येतत्तपो मानसमुच्यते ॥१७- १६॥

manaḥprasādaḥ saumyatvaṁ maunam ātmavinigrahaḥ
bhāvasaṁśuddhir ity etat tapo mānasam ucyate 17.16

manaḥ-prasādaḥ1 saumyatvam2 maunam3 ātma-vinigrahaḥ4
bhāva-saṁśuddhi5 iti6 etat7 tapa8 mānasam9 ucyate10 17.16

 

manaḥ-prasādaḥ1 = Serenity of mind; saumyatvam2 = gentleness; maunam3 = silence; ātma-vinigrahaḥ4 = self-restraint; bhāva-saṁśuddhi5  = purity of nature: iti6 = thus; etat7 = these; ucyate10 = are said to be; tapa8 = austerity; mānasam9 = of the mind.  17.16
 

(17.16) Serenity of mind, gentleness, silence, self-control, the purity of mind―this is called the penance of mind.

 

श्रद्धया परया तप्तं तपस्तत्त्रिविधं नरैः ।

अफलाकाङ्क्षिभिर्युक्तैः सात्त्विकं परिचक्षते ॥१७- १७॥

śraddhayā parayā taptaṁ tapas tat trividhaṁ naraiḥ
aphalākāṅkṣibhir yuktaiḥ sāttvikaṁ paricakṣate 17.17

śraddhayā1 parayā2 taptam3 tapa4 tat5 trividham6 naraiḥ7
aphala-ākāṅkṣibhi8 yuktaiḥ9 sāttvikam10 paricakṣate11 17.17

 

tat5 = This; trividham6 = threefold; tapa4 = austerity; taptam3 = practiced; parayā2 śraddhayā1 = with supreme faith; naraiḥ7 = by men; aphala-ākāṅkṣibhi8  = who do not long for results: yuktaiḥ9 = Yogis; paricakṣate11 =  speak of it; sāttvikam10 = as endowed with the quality of Sattva. 17.17  
 

(17.I7) This threefold penance practiced with utmost faith by men of balanced mind without the expectation of reward, they call ''good."

 

सत्कारमानपूजार्थं तपो दम्भेन चैव यत् ।

क्रियते तदिह प्रोक्तं राजसं चलमध्रुवम् ॥१७- १८॥

satkāramānapūjārthaṁ tapo dambhena caiva yat
kriyate tad iha proktaṁ rājasaṁ calam adhruvam 17.18

satkāra-māna-pūja-artham1 tapa2 dambhena3 ca eva4 yat5
kriyate6 tat7 iha8 proktam9 rājasam10 calam11 adhruvam12 17.18

 

tapa2 = Austerity; satkāra1A-māna1B-pūja1C-artham1D = for the express purpose of or in consideration of1D reverence1A, honor1B, worship1C; ca eva4  = and also; yat5 = which; kriyate6 = is performed; dambhena3 = with hypocrisy;  tat7 = that; iha8 = in this world; proktam9 = is considered; rājasam10 = born of Rajas; calam11 = unsteady; [and] adhruvam12 = impermanent. 17.18 
   

(17.18) That penance which is performed in order to gain respect, honor and reverence and for the sake of show is said to be ''passionate"; it is unstable and not lasting.

 

मूढग्राहेणात्मनो यत्पीडया क्रियते तपः ।

परस्योत्सादनार्थं वा तत्तामसमुदाहृतम् ॥१७- १९॥

mūḍhagrāheṇātmano yat pīḍayā kriyate tapaḥ
parasyotsādanārthaṁ tat tāmasam udāhṛtam 17.19

mūḍha-grāheṇa1 ātmana2 yat3 pīḍayā4 kriyate5 tapaḥ6
parasya7 utsādanārtham89 tat10 tāmasam11 udāhṛtam12 17.19

 

yat3 = That; tapaḥ6 = austerity; kriyate5 = performed; mūḍha-grāheṇa1 = with a foolish effort or plan; pīḍayā4 = causing pain; ātmana2 = to one own self [body]; 9 = or utsādanārtham8 = for the purpose of destruction; parasya7 = of others;  tat10 = that; udāhṛtam12 = is said to be; tāmasam11 = of the nature of Tamas. 17.19
 

(17.19) That penance which is performed with a foolish obstinacy by means of self-torture or for causing injury to

others is said to be I , dull. "

á Now the three kinds of gifts follow.

 

Three Kinds of Gifts

 

दातव्यमिति यद्दानं दीयतेऽनुपकारिणे ।

देशे काले च पात्रे च तद्दानं सात्त्विकं स्मृतम् ॥१७- २०॥

dātavyam iti yad dānaṁ dīyatenupakāriṇe
deśe kāle ca pātre ca tad dānaṁ sāttvikaṁ smṛtam 17.20

dātavyam1 iti2 yat4 dānam5 dīyate6 anupakāriṇe7
deśe kāle ca pātre8 ca tat dānam9 sāttvikam smṛtam10 17.20

 

dātavyam1 = Charity or gift as a duty: yat4 = which; dānam5 = gift;  dīyate6 = given; iti2 = thus; anupakāriṇe7= to one who does not reciprocate; deśe8A kāle8B ca8C pātre8D  = at a proper place8A and8C time8 to a deserving person8D; ca tat dānam9  = and that gift; sāttvikam smṛtam10  = is regarded10B as of the nature of Sattva or virtue10A. 17.20


(17.20) That gift, which is made to one from whom no return is expected, with the feeling that it is one's duty to give and which is given in proper place and time and to a worthy person, that gift is held to be "good."

á It will lead to complete self-giving, ātmasamarpaṇa. Gifts to the poor not only help the poor but help the givers. He who gives receives.

 

यत्तु प्रत्युपकारार्थं फलमुद्दिश्य वा पुनः ।

दीयते च परिक्लिष्टं तद्दानं राजसं स्मृतम् ॥१७- २१॥

yat tu prattyupakārārthaṁ phalam uddiśya punaḥ
dīyate ca parikliṣṭaṁ tad dānaṁ rājasaṁ smṛtam 17.21

yat1 tu2 pratti-upakāra-artham3 phalam4 uddiśya56 punaḥ7
dīyate8 ca9 parikliṣṭam10 tat dānam11 rājasam smṛtam12 17.21

 

tu2 = But; tat dānam11 = that gift; yat1 = which; dīyate8 = is made; pratti-upakāra-artham3  = with the expectation of return in kind; 6 = or; punaḥ7 = again; uddiśya5 = with desire for; phalam4 = fruit, result or return favor;  ca9 = and; parikliṣṭam10 =  unwillingly/reluctantly;  rājasam smṛtam12  = is regarded as of the nature of Rajas or passion.  17.21
 

(17.21) But that gift which is made with the hope of a return or with the expectation of future gain or when it hurts to give, is held to be "passionate."

 

अदेशकाले यद्दानमपात्रेभ्यश्च दीयते ।

असत्कृतमवज्ञातं तत्तामसमुदाहृतम् ॥१७- २२॥

adeśakāle yad dānam apātrebhyaś ca dīyate
asatkṛtam avaj˝ātaṁ tat tāmasam udāhṛtam 17.22

adeśa-kāle1 yat2 dānam3 apātrebhya4 ca5 dīyate6
asat-kṛtam7 avaj˝ātam8 tat9 tāmasam udāhṛtam10 17.22

 

tat9 = That; dānam3 = charity; yat2 = which; dīyate6 = is given; a1-deśa1A-kāle1B = at wrong1 place1A and time1B; apātrebhya4 = to unworthy persons;  asat-kṛtam7 = without formal actions; ca5 = and; avaj˝ātam8 = with contempt;  tāmasam udāhṛtam10 = is regarded as of the nature of Tamas or darkness. 17.22 
 
(17.22) And that gift which is made at a wrong place or time or to an unworthy person, without proper ceremony or with contempt, that is declared to be "dull."

 

The Mystical Utterance: Aum Tat Sat

 

ॐतत्सदिति निर्देशो ब्रह्मणस्त्रिविधः स्मृतः ।

ब्राह्मणास्तेन वेदाश्च यज्ञाश्च विहिताः पुरा ॥१७- २३॥

oṁ tat sad iti nirdeśo brahmaṇas trividhaḥ smṛtaḥ
brāhmaṇās tena vedāś ca yaj˝āś ca vihitāḥ purā 17.23

oṁ tat sat1 iti2 nirdeśa3 brahmaṇa4 trividhaḥ5 smṛtaḥ6
brāhmaṇā7 tena8 vedā9 ca10 yaj˝ā11 ca12 vihitāḥ13 purā14 17.23

 

oṁ tat sat1 = Om Tat Sat; smṛtaḥ6 = is regarded; iti2 = thus; trividhaḥ5 = a threefold; nirdeśa3 = appellation; brahmaṇa4 = of Brahman; ca10 = and; brāhmaṇā7 = the Brahmanas; vedā9 = Vedas; ca12 = and;  yaj˝ā11 = sacrifice; vihitāḥ13 = are ordained; tena8 = by that [appellation]; purā14 = formerly or in ancient times.17.23

Om Tat Sat = Supreme-That-Truth.
 

(17.23) "Aum Tat Sat"―this is considered to be the threefold symbol of Brahman. By this were ordained of old the Brahmins, the Vedas and the sacrifices

á See III, 10

á'' Aum" expresses the absolute supremacy, "tat" the universality and "sat" the reality of Brahman. The Taittirīya Up. says "sacca

tyaccūbhavat." (II.6) It became sat (which is existent) and tat (that which is beyond). It is the cosmic universe as well as that which

is beyond it. It stands for the three states of consciousness, waking (jāgrat), dream (svapna) and sleep (suṣupti) leading up to the transcendental state (turīya), See Māṇḍūkya Up. See also B.G., VII, 8 and VIII. I3.

 

तस्मादोमित्युदाहृत्य यज्ञदानतपःक्रियाः ।

प्रवर्तन्ते विधानोक्ताः सततं ब्रह्मवादिनाम् ॥१७- २४॥

tasmād om ity udāhṛtya yaj˝adānatapaḥkriyāḥ
pravartante vidhānoktāḥ satataṁ brahmavādinām 17.24

tasmāt1 om2 iti3 udāhṛtya4 yaj˝a-dāna-tapaḥ-kriyāḥ5
pravartante6 vidhāna-uktāḥ7 satatam8 brahma-vādinām9 17.24

 

tasmāt1 = Therefore; yaj˝a-dāna-tapaḥ-kriyāḥ5 = acts (kriyah) of sacrifice, charity, and austerity; vidhāna-uktāḥ7 = according to scriptural injunctions; brahma-vādinām9  = of the expounders of Brahman; satatam8 = always; pravartante6 = are initiated; udāhṛtya4 = after incantation of; om2 = om; iti3 = thus.  17.24

(17.24) Therefore with the utterance of "aum' the acts of sacrifice, gift and penance enjoined in the scriptures are always undertaken by the expounders of Brahman.

 

तदित्यनभिसन्धाय फलं यज्ञतपःक्रियाः ।

दानक्रियाश्च विविधाः क्रियन्ते मोक्षकाङ्क्षिभिः ॥१७- २५॥

tad ity anabhisaṁdhāya phalaṁ yaj˝atapaḥkriyāḥ
dānakriyāś ca vividhāḥ kriyante mokṣakāṅkṣibhiḥ 17.25

tat
1 iti2 anabhisandhāya3 phalam4 yaj˝a-tapaḥ-kriyāḥ5
dāna-kriyā6 ca7 vividhāḥ8 kriyante9 mokṣa-kāṅkṣibhiḥ10 17.25

 

[After chanting] tat1 = THAT [TAT = Brahman];  iti2 = thus; yaj˝a-tapaḥ-kriyāḥ5 = sacrifice, austerity, and action;  ca7 = and; vividhāḥ8 = various; dāna-kriyā6  = charitable acts; kriyante9 = are performed; mokṣa-kāṅkṣibhiḥ10  = by persons wanting liberation; anabhisandhāya3 = without aspiration for; phalam4 = fruitive results.  17.25
 

(17.25) And with the utterance of the word "tat" the acts of sacrifice and penance and the various acts of giving are perş

formed by the seekers of salvation, without aiming at the reward.

 

सद्भावे साधुभावे च सदित्येतत्प्रयुज्यते ।

प्रशस्ते कर्मणि तथा सच्छब्दः पार्थ युज्यते ॥१७- २६॥

sadbhāve sādhubhāve ca sad ity etat prayujyate
praśaste karmaṇi tathā sacchabdaḥ pārtha yujyate 17.26

sad-bhāve1 sādhu-bhāve2 ca3 sat4 iti5 etat6 prayujyate7
praśaste8 karmaṇi9 tathā10 sat-śabdaḥ11 pārtha12 yujyate13 17.26

 

etat6 = This; [word] sat4 = SAT;  iti5 = thus; prayujyate7 = is uttered; [in connection with] sad-bhāve1 = coming into existence [like birth]; ca3 = and; sādhu-bhāve2 = becoming a virtuous person; sat-śabdaḥ11= the sound SAT;   yujyate13 = is used; tathā10 = also; [for] praśaste8 =  an auspicious; karmaṇi9 = act;  pārtha12 = O Partha17.26
 

(17.26) The word "sat" is employed in the sense of reality and goodness; and so also, O Partha (Arjuna) , the word "sat" is used for praiseworthy action.

 

यज्ञे तपसि दाने च स्थितिः सदिति चोच्यते ।

कर्म चैव तदर्थीयं सदित्येवाभिधीयते ॥१७- २७॥

yaj˝e tapasi dāne ca sthitiḥ sad iti cocyate
karma caiva tadarthīyaṁ sad ity evābhidhīyate 17.27

yaj˝e1 tapasi2 dāne3 ca4 sthitiḥ5 sat6 iti7 ca8 ucyate9
karma10 ca11 eva12 tat13 arthīyam14 sat15 iti16 eva17 abhidhīyate18 17.27

 

sthitiḥ5 = Steadfastness; yaj˝e1 = in sacrifice; tapasi2 = in austerity; ca4 = and; dāne3 = in charity;  iti7 = thus; ucyate9 = is called; sat6 = SAT; ca8 = and; ca11 = moreover;  karma10 = the act;  arthīyam14 = meant; eva12 = indeed; [by] tat13 = That;  eva17 = indeed; abhidhīyate18 = is called; iti16 = thus; sat15 = SAT.17.27

(17.27) Steadfastness in sacrifice, penance, gift is also called "sat" and so also any action for such purposes is called "sat."

 

अश्रद्धया हुतं दत्तं तपस्तप्तं कृतं च यत् ।

असदित्युच्यते पार्थ न च तत्प्रेत्य नो इह ॥१७- २८॥

aśraddhayā hutaṁ dattaṁ tapas taptaṁ kṛtaṁ ca yat
asad ity ucyate pārtha na ca tat prepya no iha 17.28

aśraddhayā1 hutam2 dattam3 tapa4 taptam5 kṛtam6 ca7 yat8
asat9 iti10 ucyate11 pārtha12 na13 ca14 tat15 pretya16 na iha17 17.28

 

 [Whatever is] hutam2 = offered in sacrifice; dattam3 = given in charity; [whatever] tapa4 = austerity; taptam5 = is performed; [and] kṛtam6 = done; aśraddhayā1 = without faith; ca7 = and; yat8= which [whatever]; asat9 = untruth; iti10 = thus; ucyate11 = is said; pārtha12 = O Partha; ca14 = moreover; tat15 = that; [has value] na13 = neither; pretya16 = after demise; na iha17  = nor in this [life]. 17.28

 

(17.28) Whatever offering or gift is made, whatever penance is performed, whatever rite is observed, without faith, it is called "asat," O Partha (Arjuna); it is of no account hereafter or here.

iti ĽĽĽ śraddhātrayavibhāgayogo nāma saptadaśo 'dhyāya

This is the seventeenth chapter entitled The Yoga of the Threefold Division of Faith.