Bhagavad Geeta Chapter 14 (Gunatriya Vibhaga Yoga)

The Bhagavad-Geeta Chapter 14 – Gunatriya -vibhaga-yoga (Yoga of differentiation of the three gunas)

School of Yoga explains Chapter 14 – Introduction.
  • Starting with chapter 9, Sri Krishna moves from explaining the basics to implementation of concepts. To do this, he speaks about his Absolute (viraat) Self in chapter 9 and finally shows him his Universal form (vishwa-roopa) in chapter 10. This obviously confuses as well as amazes and scares Arjuna.
  • In chapter 13, he moves to the next step and explains cognition of the body and environment. In terms of daily living, it is all about vijnana or cognition of the body and environment in the visible or gross (sthoola), subtle (sookshma) state as well as the causal (kaaraNa) state.
  • In chapter 14, though he seems to repeat a lot of the same concepts, actually he is applying the concept to various situations, so that one understands the myriad opportunities for implementation of the Bhagavad-Geeta and Yoga in real life.
  • In this chapter, Sri Krishna speaks about how attributes affect behaviour. School of Yoga expands the subject to examine how this concept affects every aspect of living.
School of Yoga explains the Bhagavad-Geeta Chapter 14 – verse 1-20.

Sri Krishna said: I will now teach you that knowledge of the Self (jnana) which will enable you to merge with the source.

Sri Krishna explains the three attributes (tri-Gunas):

  • I am the seed, the womb and the placer of the seed of all creation.
  • From me is born the (three gunas) trigunassattva, rajas and tamas, the qualities which are common to all entities.
  • Of these, sattva is spotless, luminescent and free from faults. Also, it binds one to the knowledge of the self which is sourced from contentment.
  • Rajas is the embodiment of passion, the source of thirst and attachment. Consequently, it binds one to action.
  • Finally, tamas is born out of ignorance and delusion. As a result, it binds one to heedlessness, indolence and sleep.
  • Sattva binds one to peace, rajas to action and by shrouding one from the knowledge of oneself, tamas binds one to heedlessness.
  • There is a constant struggle for ascendancy, with sattva, rajas and tamas competing to overpower the other two. Consequently, when every sense is filled with awareness, sattva predominates. Likewise, when greed drives any undertaking and there is restlessness and longing, rajas predominates. Lastly, when darkness, inertness, heedlessness and delusion predominate, then tamas is predominant.
  • In fact, if one dies when, if sattva is predominant, then he goes to the world of the pure. Next, if he dies in rajas, then he is born again attached to action. Finally, if one dies when tamas is predominant, then he is born into a deluded home.
  • Sattva is born out of good action, rajas results in pain and tamas results in ignorance. From sattva emerges knowledge of the Self, from rajas arises greed and from tamas arises heedlessness, ignorance and error. Those whose awareness of the Self is fixed in sattva rise; in rajas, there is stagnation and in tamas, there is deterioration of one’s progress.
  • When a practitioner recognises all action as arising out of gunas, and transcends it, he will merge with the Brahman.
Example: 

A person is using an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) for the first time after the bank issued an ATM card to him. Let us imagine the person’s state of anxiety when he/she stands in front of the ATM.

  • Initially, there is confusion – “How am I going to do this?” or anxiety/ fear “What will happen if…?” This is tamas.
  • Next, comes anger or irritation – “This is ridiculous! How do they expect me to operate this machine without training?” Then, there is effort… “Let’s see what we can do”. This is rajas. 
  • Finally, there is acceptance and ownership. Here, the person hacks around and finds a solution, either by doing it himself or by asking someone. This is satva.

Consequently, an awareness of having found a solution builds in the person. This is vijnana. This results in increased confidence in the Self, an increase in asmita (I am this or self-esteem) which is called jnana.

School of Yoga explains the concept: qualities of guna (attributes);

Tamas (Inertia): This aspect is characterised by fear, laziness, indolence, confusion, delusion etc. A person with a predominance of this state is generally vacillatory, lethargic, prone to giving excuses and, indecisive.

Rajas (Passion): This state governs nearly all forms of passion and is driven primarily by desire. As a result, a person in this state would typically focus on personal achievement and gratification, be result oriented, dominating, aggressive, impatient etc.

Sattva (Harmony): This state is characterised by harmony. It is demonstrated when a person tries to balance result with resource or process, task with quality and relationships etc. A person in this state avoids confrontation, but in a conflict situation, is calm, absorbs emotional outburst and remains objective.

Obviously, no one is endowed with one attribute only. The mix of attributes changes according to the situation, desires, perception of threat and this changes continuously as the situation unfolds. This means that the three attributes constantly change in composition with each other, with each attribute trying to gain ascendancy over the other, depending on the quality of change and its impact on one’s self-worth (asmita).

School of Yoga explains the Bhagavad-Geeta Chapter 14 – verse 21 onwards

Arjuna said: What are the characteristics of him who has transcended the gunas? How does one rise above the gunas?

Sri Krishna said: The qualities of a person who has transcended the gunas are;

  • He who does not hate light, activity or delusion when it occurs, nor longs for them when they are absent.
  • Also, he who is unaffected by the gunas, for he knows how they operate. Therefore, he is centred in the Self and does not get swerved by the actions of the gunas.
  • Balanced in peace, centred in the Self, viewing earth, stone and gold alike, treating loved ones and strangers in the same manner, firm in all situations and treating censure and praise with equal value.
  • Same in honour or dishonour, treating friend or foe equally, and abandoning all undertakings.
  • He who is devoted to me, merges with me reaches the Brahman.
School of Yoga explains the concept of samaadhi (transcending of the Self):

From first principles, we know that;

  • Guna rises from the weave of Purusha and Prakriti. 
  • Purusha is the experiencer and Prakriti is the manifestation of Purusha. 
  • Purusha and Prakriti combine to form the Self (atma)
  • Hence, when the Purusha ceases to experience, Prakriti has no impact on the atma (Self).

How does Purusha stop experiencing?

  • Stop dealing in dualities such as like-dislike, love-hate. That stops karma.
  • Be even-handed. Treat everything and every situation without bias.
  • Stop living in the past and don’t dream about the future. Be aware of the present. Become a sthitha-pragnya (one of steady awareness)
School of Yoga explains the concept of sva-tantra (personality) using India as an example…

Since Yoga is from India, it seems appropriate that one should explore the possibility of applying Sri Krishna’s advice in all the above chapters to India. Obviously, once this is done, the litmus test for the Bhagavad-Geeta would be its applicability to humanity as (sanatana-dharma).

What is a country? What would constitute the personality of a country? How would the principles of guNa apply to a collective society of people such as a country?

To start, a country is established by a group of people with a common culture and purpose. The personality (sva-tantra) of a country is the way it is perceived by its people, other peoples and countries. However, this perception is an outcome of the way people perceive their own country which would be reflected in the way they carry themselves and behave.

For example, if the people had a balanced view of themselves and behaved in a responsible manner, that country would be considered to be in harmony with its own nature (sattvic). Next, if the people of a country behaved in an aggressive manner and bullied others, they would be considered as a volatile or greedy country (raajasic). Finally, if the people of a country were deluded, confused and weary or if the people did not resonate with their government, it would be a deluded country (tamasic). Obviously, no single guNa would dominate public discourse, but people’s conditioning (dharma) would determine their personality (sva-tantra) which would get reflected in the way the citizens and the country behaved in the environment.

Since people live in the country for betterment and harmonic living, is there a template on which a country’s development could be based? Ancient texts from the sub-continent talk about purusharthas (purusha = human + artha = reason) which means reason-for-living or raison-d’etre of human existence.

Purushartha principle states that people live for artha = material gain, kaama = sensual pleasure, dharma = harmony, moksha = freedom from seeking.

The question that needs answering is, does freedom-from-seeking (moksha) fit? Absolutely! When people have sought and enjoyed material (artha) and sensual pleasure (kaama) in harmony (dharma), they begin to look for an answer to the question, “What is life?”, “Why am I alive?”, “Does life have a purpose?” etc. This takes them into an esoteric world that culminates with absolute freedom from materiality (maaya). This freedom comes when the person has cognised the Self and results in the person having no further desire-to-seek (moksha).

Therefore, any country that wishes to exist as a rounded personality (saatvic-sava-tantra) must be able to create for its citizens, circumstances for them to comprehend their Self. Not encouraging people to seek freedom from materiality (moksha) would condition people into viewing materiality as life’s sole objective. Also, practice of moksha brings with it, finer altruistic sentiments (bhaava) of charity (daana), tolerance (kshama), non-violence (ahimsa) etc.

 So, any society that wishes to develop its personality must develop the finer qualities of behaviour control (yama) and self-restraint (niyama) of its people, as detailed in Raaja-yoga (check the-Bhagavad-Geeta, chapter 17 for more on yama and niyama).

Obviously, behaviour control (yama) and self-restraint (niyama) cannot be taught overnight, so they need to be inculcated in children when they are young. This means that the education system of the country must systematically teach yama (behaviour control) and niyama (self-restraint) and encourage its citizens to discuss its values as well as practice the concept in civic life. This will condition people to live a life of natural peace (dharma) while they are enjoying material (artha) and sensual (kaama) pleasures and prepare them for absolute freedom (moksha) later.

How can the principles of purusharthas (reason for human existence) be applied to the management of the country? Artha is obviously material well-being, availability of food, shelter, clothing and infrastructure such as transport, electricity, availability to water etc., kaama is the softer aspects of artha. For example, while shelter might be available, if it is designed and constructed in a haphazard manner, badly designed or dilapidated, there can be no positivity about the place and residents would be unhappy. If food is spoiled, cold, unappetising or lacking in nutrition, then there is no pleasure derived in eating. This means that both hardware (artha) and software (kaama) are required for a society to be a functional and happy place.

So, we can see that material aspects (artha) and sensual aspect (kaama) of a country cannot function independently. We can also see that for a country (kshetra) to experience it personality (sva-tantra) with complete awareness (pragnya), its society (kshetra) must be conditioned for a life of harmony (dharma) which must be a weave of its material (artha) and sensual (kaama) aspects in the gross/ visible/ overt (sthoola) as well as subtle (sookshma) states. This knowledge of how to manage a country is called (kshetragnya) and its efficacy is completely dependent on diligent application (shraddha) of the policies, systems, processes and rules (dharma) by its citizens.

PraaNa (motility)

If we accept that the principles of kshetra as espoused by Sri Krishna in chapter 12 can be applied to an individual as well as a country, then we can apply the principles of personality (sva-tantra) of the individual to a country because the individual is the unit of a country. To begin, the person and country are both living entities, both have praaNa. This means that a country can die, just like a person. For example – Czechoslovakia split into Czech and Slovakia while North and South Vietnam merged into Vietnam. All these countries displayed different personalities (sva-tantra) before and after their change in state. So, countries can die and when they do, the personality dies with them. Similarly, when countries are born, they get a new personality (svatantra) as defined by their region (kshetra) and citizens (jana).

We also know that all entities have five vital airs (vaayus),

  • PraaNa-vaayu which controls all incoming value (sat),
  • Apaana-vaayu which controls all excretory value,
  • Vyaana-vaayu which determines the quality of energy or aura that governs the projection of personality (sva-tantra) of the country.
  • UdaaNa-vaayu which determines how the country communicates with the outside world and
  • Samaana-vaayu which determines how it digests all the resources that it ingests.

Let us detail this further;

  • PraaNa-vaayu is incoming motility, which includes material, ideas, energy and resources. The key discriminator is rinn (debt). When a country is not in debt, it can enjoy material (artha) and sensual (kaama) prosperity, but when it lives borrows beyond its means of repayment, the country lapses into delusion and depression (tamas).
  • Apaana-vaayu can be viewed in the light of the primordial elements (pancha-bhootaa). For as long as solid (prithvi) and liquid (jala) waste management ensures betterment of the community, when air (vaayu) and space (aakaasha) are pure and energy/ fire (agni) used is adequate to transform raw materials into products of value (sat), apaana-vaayu will not become destructive (taamasic) but ensure that the country is clean (saatvic).
  • Vyaana-vaayu – when people of a land (kshetra) use their energies in constructive development of themselves and their neighbourhood, the overall aura of the country becomes one of a people that can be called civilised and developed. Example – both Germany and Japan ended World War II with a terrible reputation and in servitude. However, over the years they used their energies to transform themselves in a holistic manner, so much so that their World War II reputation has now become insignificant.
  • Udaana-vaayu is how the country communicates and represents itself. Some countries punch above their weight, some become bullies, some struggle to keep their composure, others turn docile while a few become rebellious. We can see examples of all these countries in the neighbourhood of India, in Asia itself. The quality of self-belief (guNa) is evident in the manifestation of self-worth (asmita) in the personality (sva-tantra).
  • Samaana-vaayu is the energy that circulates within a country. For example – Germany and Japan were able to acquire reputations as countries that add value (sat) on account of their hard work and harmonious societal ethics.
So, how does samaana-vaayu work?

In the body (kshetra), samaana-vayu is centred around the abdomen. Resources such as food, water and air enter the body. Air goes to the lungs, after which oxygen impregnated blood is brought to the abdomen. Food and water enter the stomach where they are broken down, digested and absorbed into the blood for transportation to organs as nourishment for work or waste for disposal.

Similarly, in country (kshetra), resources come into a country in the form of goods, services and ideas where they are converted by citizens of the country. What do people need to convert resources into goods?

For this, we need to cycle back to the definition of personality (sva-tantra) and knowledge of the region (kshetragnya). Conditioning (dharma) is determined by the quality of attributes (guNa) that are encouraged and practiced by the people of the country (kshetra), which is also known as culture (samskaara and sampradaaya) of a people.

Some situations:
  • When indolence, delusion and laziness (tamas) are the predominant attributes of the people, then the country is likely to remain poor, living on hand-outs / aid and blaming others for its situation.
  • Next, when the people of a country are full of passion (rajas), then one will see a high level of energy, passion and ambition. If this raajasic energy is tempered by indolence (tamas), then growth will be haphazard with frequent conflicts.
  • In many countries, there will be a disconnect between the people and their governments.
  • However, when raajasic energy is tempered by balance and harmony (sattva), then one will see an attempt by the government to make each person stand on his or her own feet.
  • For example – when passion (rajas) is tempered with indolence (tamas) every citizen will be given fish to eat. However, when passion (rajas) is tempered by balance (sattva), citizens are taught to fish so that they stop being dependent on others for free fish which makes them vulnerable to power, pressure and influence and weakens their personality (svatantra). The latter method is harder and more painful, but leads to a self-reliant and stronger country.
  • The difference between the above two situations is the quantum of sacrifice (yagnya) that is required.
  • In the former, the citizen merely needs to convince his leaders that giving fish freely, will lead to harmony and easier governing of the country (kshetra). However, in the latter case it becomes incumbent on the leader to convince citizen that free fish is not in their interest and they must learn to fish.
  • There is a big difference in the input required to condition (dharma) the citizens in the latter situation and the way the citizens (jana) and leaders (raa-jana) relate will determine whether the country comes out with a strong and resilient personality (sva-tantra).
Samaana-vaayu and the four aashrama (stages of existence).

How does samaana-vaayu affect people in various stages of their existence (aashrama)?

  • There are four stages of existence (aashramas);
    • Brahmachaarya-aashrama (stage of youth),
    • Grahasthaashrama (stage of a house-holder),
    • Vaanaprasthaashrama (stage of retirement) and
    • Sannyaasashrama (stage of renunciation).
  • Brahmacharya-aashrama (stage of youth) is a phase of learning and formation of conditioning (dharma). This is the most critical stage of a country and effort that society invests in teaching its youth to work with dedication (shraddha), to sacrifice (yagnya), act (karma-yoga) and align sacrifice (yagnya) with Truth (satya) will determine the country’s conditioning (dharma) and consequently, its personality (svatantra).
  • Grahastha-ashrama (stage of a householder) is that stage where maximum consumption occurs. Here, awareness (pragnya) is the quality that needs to be developed. The householder (grahastha) needs to be alert to income, expenses, waste and its disposal. Only then does the householder understand and contribute to all aspects of the country’s development (kshetragnya).
  • Vaanaprastha-ashrama (stage of retirement) is a stage when the person steps back from activity and reflect on the learnings of his or her grahastha-ashrama. The key requirement of this stage is having enough resources to face the remainder of life and not be dependent on anyone as well as svaadishtaana (ability to view the Self dispassionately (vairagyam)).
  • Sannyaasa-ashrama (stage of renunciation) is the last stage, where a person is expected to focus on the nature of the Soul (aatma-vichaara), absolute freedom (moksha) and nature of death. Unfortunately, people often baulk at any suggestion that they should reflect on the nature death and after-life. However, the result of ignoring this major life-event is having to face anxiety and fear of death when one is least prepared.
The universality of the Bhagavad-Geeta and sanatana-dharma:
  • Lastly, for universal application of the principles of the Bhagavad-Geeta, every creature or vegetation get included with a right to exist in its own state of natural state (dharma). Only then can a country become truly universal (sanatana) and secular.
  • This is not a plea against animal slaughter or meat consumption. The natural food pyramid is universal and inviolable (sanatana-dharma).
  • However, humans sit on top of this pyramid, thus having the ability to control how the rest of the ecosphere functions.
  • So, it becomes the responsibility of humans to ensure that the balance between the various flora and fauna that inhibit Earth is maintained and not interfere with it.
  • For India, this means increasing forest cover, reducing pollution and carbon footprint as well as stabilising usage of resources.
  • This means managing population, for as India increases in prosperity and consumes more resources, it will need to ensure that the per capita utilisation of resource is kept constant and ultimately brought down to a sustainable level such that its resident Souls (atma), sentient and insentient exist in peace (shanti).

Conclusion: the principles in the Bhagavad-Geeta can be extended to a country, where each citizen contributes to build a strong and resilient dhaarmic society which ultimately becomes recognised as its personality (sva-tantra).

School of Yoga posits views that may be contrary to accepted positions: 

There is no other world, everything is here. Now! that is situational awareness (sthitha-pragnya). Total situational awareness (sthitha-pragnya) gives control over all variables that affect a person, thereby ensuring complete free-will.

In India, apaana-vayu (the force of excretion and waste management) has always been casually managed.

  • Be it personal hygiene, disposal of solid and liquid waste of a town/ city, management of waste at the various ship breaking yards, disposal of effluence from leather tanneries or from washing of petroleum tankers, even plastic, garbage or harvest waste, Indians have a poor self-awareness and integrity.
  • The integrity factor is important because, waste management is personal. How we deal with plastic, how we dispose household garbage, what detergents do we use to clean our toilets and clothes, whether we spit on the road or drop empty bags of eats and bottles of drinks in public places… the list is endless. Both self-awareness and integrity are required, and urgently. As consumption increases, disposal of waste becomes a critical requirement which needs to be addressed by every citizen.
  • This lack of integrity and awareness extends to larger entities. All the requisite knowledge, laws and procedures exist but, companies, users and regulators choose to undermine the country’s future for today’s profit.
  • This is not to say that development is bad, but right of development and growth must go hand in hand with responsibility to maintaining the pancha-boota (five primordial elements). One cannot be sacrificed for the other, there will always be a price tag at the end.
  • We can either pay up-front, instal waste management hardware and software, have clean earth, water and air or pay later with bad health, medical costs and large clean-up costs. India has to address this critical issue quickly or the cost of neglect will be paid for by future generations.
  • Another aspect of India’s waste management narrative is a tendency to compare India with the rest of the world. It’s important for Indians to realise that while the outside world’s consumption and waste issues are important in the larger scheme of environmental sustainability, controlling India’s own waste by individuals, companies and civic authorities is clear and present danger.

School of Yoga explains the lesson learned in Chapter 14

Principles of the Bhagavad-Geeta are universal, like sanatana-dharma. It can be applied to any society, region or country also.

The Transliteration of The Bhagavad Geeta – Chapter 14 follows:

The Sanskrit words are in red italics and meaning, before the words, are in black.

(1-2) Sri Krishna said – Again I will declare the supreme of all wisdom, the knowledge of the highest degree, which after cognising, all sages have attained supreme perfection after leaving life (param-bhooyaha-pravakshyaami-jnyaanaanaam-jnyaanam-uttamam-yat-jnyaatva-munayaha-sarve-param-siddhim-itah-gataaH). Having taken refuge in this wisdom and having attained one-ness with me, one is not born at creation, nor disturbed at dissolution (idam-jnyaanam-upaashritya-mama-saadharmyam-aagataaha-sarge-api-na-upajaayante-pralaye-na-vyathanti-cha).

(3-4) In my womb is the great Brahma in whose womb, I place at his birth creation of all beings thereafter (mama-yoni-mahat-brahma-tasmin-garbham-dadaami-aham-sambhavaha-sarva-bhootaanam-tataha-bhavati). In all wombs where creation occurs embedded in the womb of great Brahma, I am the seed-giving father (sarva-yonishu-moortayaha-sambhavanti-yaha-taasaam-brahma-mahat-yonihi-aham-beejapadaha-pita).

(5-6) Satva, rajas, tamas, these attributes which are born out of Prakriti bind within the body, the indestructible embodiment (sattvam-rajaha-tamaha-iti-guNaha-prakriti-sambhavaha-nibandanti-dehe-dehinaam-avyayam). Of these, sattva displays stainlessness, luminosity, health, bias towards happiness and binding to wisdom (tatra-sattvam-prakaashakam-anaamayam-sukha-sangena-bandhaati-jnyaana-sangeana-cha)

(7-8) Cognise rajas to be the nature of passion, the source of attachment, which binds the embodied to action (rajah-raagatmakam-viddhi-trisna-sanga-samudbhavam-tat-nibhadnaati-karma-sangena-dehinaam). But cognise tamas to be born out of ignorance, with stronghold of being confused when dealing with others, negligent, lazy and somnolent (tamaha-tu-ajyaanajam-viddhi-mohanam-sarvadehinaam-pramaada-aalasya-nidraabhihi-tat-nibhandhaati).

(9-10) Sattva attaches one to happiness, rajas to action by truly shrouding wisdom but tamas attaches one t heedlessness (sattvam-sukhe-sanjayati-rajaha-karmaNi-jnyaanam-aavritya-tu-tamaha-pramaade-sanjayati-uth). Overpowering rajas and tamas, sattva rises; similarly rajas rises over sattva and tamas; and tamas over rajas and sattva (rajaha-tamaha-cha-abhibhooya-sattvam-bhavati-rajaha-sattvam-tamaha-cha-tamaha-sattvam-rajaha-tatha).

(11-12) When every sensory aperture in the body shines with the light of wisdom then this wisdom is predominantly sattva indeed (sarva-dvaareshu-dehe-asmin-prakaasha-upajaayate-jnaanam-yada-tada-vidhyaat-vivarddham-sattvam-iti-utt). When greed, restlessness and longing predominate in any undertaking of action, these arise from rajas (lobhah-pravrittih-aarambhah-karmaNaam-ashmah-sprhaa-rajasi-etaani-jaayante-vivrddhe).

(13-14) No clarity, inertness and heedlessness, even delusion, these arise when tamas becomes prominent (aprakaashaha-apravratti-cha-pramaadaha-mohaha-eva-cha-taamasi-etani-jayante-vivrddhe). In fact, if sattva becomes prominent at time of dissolution, the spotless embodied then attains the highest world (yada-sattve-pravrddhe-tu-pralayam-yaati-dehabhrt-tada-uttama-vidaam-lokaan-amalaan-pradipadyate).

(15-16) At dissolution in rajas, the person is born among those attached to action, those dying in tamas are born in the womb of the deluded (rajasi-pralayam-gatva-karma-sangisu-jaayate-tatha-praleenaha-tamasi-moodha-yonishu-jaayate). The outcome of sattvic action is pure, the fruit of raajasic action is pain and ignorance is the fruit of tamasic action (karmaNaha-sukrtasya-aahuhu-saatvikam-nirmalyam-phalam-rajasaha-tu-phalam-lukkham-ajnyaanam-tamasaha-phalam).

(17-18) From sattva rises wisdom, from rajas it’s surely greed, heedlessness and delusion rise from tamas and also gives rise to ignorance (satvaat-sanjayate-jnaanam-rajasaha-lobhaha-eva-cha-prabhaad-mohaha-tamasaha-bhavataha-ajnyaanameva-cha). Upward go those seated in sattva, those of rajas remain in the middle, those abiding in the lowest of attributes which is tamas, go downward (oordvam-gacchati-sattvastha-madhye-thishtanti-raajasaha-jaghanya-guNa-vrittishthaaha-adhaha-gacchanti-taamasaha).

(19-20) When the seer beholds no agent higher than the attributes, and goes beyond the qualities of the attributes, he attains my state (na-anyam-guNebhyaha-kartaaram-yada-draashta-anupashyati-guNebhyaha-cha-param-vetti-madbhaavam-saha-adigacchati). The embodied that has transcended the three attributes out of which the body is evolved is freed from birth, death, ageing and pain, and attains immortality (guNaan-etaan-ateetya-treen-dehi-deha-samudbhavaan-janma-mrityu-jaraa-dukkhaih-vimuktaha-amritam-asnute).

(21) Arjuna asked – what are the indicators of one who has transcended these three attributes? what is the conduct and how can one go beyond the three attributes (kaihi-linga-treen-guNaaan-etaan-ateetaha-bhavati-prabho-kim-aachaaraha-katham-cha-etaan-treen-guNaan-ativartate).

(22-23) Sri Krishna replied – He neither hates nor longs for light or activity or even delusion. He does not dislike it when it is available or long for it when it is absent (prakaasam-cha-pravrittim-cha-moham-eva-cha-na-dveshti-sampravrittani-na-nivrittani-kangsati). Sitting indifferent among attributes, who operates unmoved by attributes, who is centred within and not shaky (udaasinavat-aaseenaha-guNaihi-yaha-na-vichaalyate-guNaaha-vartante-iti-eva-yaha-avatishtati-na-ingate).

(24-25) Alike in pain and pleasure, secured in the Self, regarding mud, stone and gold alike, balanced with liked and disliked, steadily balanced Self in censure and praise (sama-dukkha-sukhaha-svasthaha-sama-loshta-asma-kaanchanaha-tulya-priya-apriyaha-dheeraha-tulya-nindaa-aatm-samstutihi). Balanced in honour and dishonour, balanced with friend and foe, abandoning motivation of starting anything, such a person is said to have transcended attributes (maan-apmaanyoh-tulyah-tulyah-mitra-aripakakshayoho-sarva-aaramba-parityaagi-guNa-ateetaha-saha-uchyate).

(26-27) He that unswervingly practices yoga of dedication and serves me, he crosses beyond the attributes and becomes fit to become Brahman (maam-cha-yah-avyabhichareNa-bhakta-yogena-sevate-sah-guNaan-samateetya-etaan-brahma-bhooy-kalpate). Indeed, Brahman is the abode, I exist in immortal, immutable and everlasting natural state of absolute bliss (brahmaNaha-hi-pratishta-aham-amritasya-avyayasya-cha-shashvatasya-cha-dharmasya-sukhasya-ekaantikasya-cha). 

Editor at School Of Yoga
School Of Yoga is a single point resource for all aspects of Classical Yoga practise. We try to achieve this by placing Yoga's traditional methodology in front of the reader and eliciting his or her experience. We value everyone's Yoga experience and would like you to share and enrich other practitioners so that everyone benefits.
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