Bh Gita- Chapter 18(Pt-1) Moksha Sannyaasa Yogah- Yoga of Liberation by Renunciation


sarvabhooteshu yenaikam bhaavamavyayameekshate
    avibhaktam vibhakteshu tajjnaanam viddhi saatwikam  // 18.20 //

The  knowledge by which one sees the one indestructible Reality in all beings,  undivided in the divided - know that knowledge to be Sattvic.

prithaktwena tu yajjnaanam naanaabhaavaan  prithagvidhaan
    vetti sarveshu bhooteshu tajjnaanam viddhi raajasam  //18.21 //

But  that knowledge through which one sees multiplicity of beings in different  creatures by reason of their separateness - know that knowledge to be Rajasic.

yattu kritsnavadekasmin kaarye saktamahaitukam
    atatwaarthavadalpam cha tattaamasamudaahritam // 18.22  //

But  the  knowledge  which is confined to  one single effect as if it were the whole,  without concern for the cause, without grasping the real and narrow - that is  declared to be Tamasic.

Sattvic:  That knowledge which can recognize the flux of things, which can feel the  harmony underlying the unity in the diversity of forms and behaviors, which can  live in the awareness of the One Life that pulsates in every living being i.e.  Brahman or the Supreme Reality is the genuine achievement of a Sattvic  intellect. Through this knowledge one Imperishable Being is seen in all  existences. Though the body, mind and intellect equipments take different forms  in different living creatures, the Sattvic knowledge recognizes all of them as  the expressions of one and the same Non-dual Truth, Atman, which is the Essence  in all of them.

Rajasic:  That knowledge which looks upon other living entities as different from one another  is passionate or Rajasic. An intellect to which the world is an assortment of  various types, behaving under various moods differently, an intellect that  recognizes the world as made up of an endless incomprehensible plurality has  Rajasic knowledge. Finding creatures happy or unhappy, wise or ignorant, ugly  or beautiful, a man endowed with Rajasic knowledge thinks that different souls  dwell in different bodies.

Tamasic:  That knowledge which regards without any reason and understanding a particular  path or view as the sole end and sticks to that opinion with arrogance and  egoism, that knowledge which considers the entire world of things and beings as  meant for its owner and his pleasures alone and which does not recognize  anything beyond its ego is Tamasic. This knowledge is of the lowest type of  spiritual seekers which ignores totally the Divine Presence.

Thus  the knowledge of the Sattvic perceives oneness underlying the universe, that of  the Rajasic recognizes the plurality of the world and that of the Tamasic is  egoistic with a perverted view of the world.

It  has to be noted that this categorization and that which will follow in this  Chapter is not for judging others but to evaluate oneself and take corrective  steps for self-improvement when wrong tendencies are observed


niyatam sangarahitam araagadweshatah kritam
    aphalaprepsunaa karma yattat saatwikamuchyate // 18.23  //

An  action which is obligatory, which is free from attachment, which is done  without love or hatred by one who is not desirous of any reward - that action  is declared to be Sattvic.

yattu kaamepsunaa karma saahankaarena vaa punah
    kriyate bahulaayaasam tadraajasamudaahritam // 18.24  //

But  that action which is done by one longing for the fulfillment of desires or gains,  with egoism or with much effort - that is declared to be Rajasic.

anubandham kshayam himsaam anavekshya cha paurusham
    mohaadaarabhyate karma yattat taamasamuchyate // 18.25  //

That  action which is undertaken from delusion, without regard to the consequence,  loss, injury and one's own ability- that is declared to be Tamasic.

The  threefold nature of action (Karma) is described.

Sattvic: Sattvic actions are those that are one's own  obligatory duties towards the society, performed without any attachment to the  fruits thereof and that are not motivated by likes and dislikes. These duties  are just performed spontaneously. Fulfillment and joy are sought in the very  work itself. Such Sattvic actions are undertaken only by men who possess Sattvic  knowledge. A Sattvic action is the purest producing peace and harmony in the  field of activity. It is an obligatory action undertaken for its own sake in an  attitude that work itself is worship. Such inspired activities are undertaken  without any attachment and any anxiety for the rewards. They are not guided by  likes or dislikes of the performer. Action itself is fulfillment.

Rajasic: Rajasic activities are those that are propelled by  desires waiting for their fulfillment that are performed in a self-centered  vainglorious attitude of `I'ness and which are undertaken with great strain and  labor on the part of the doer. They are undertaken by men of Rajasic knowledge.  Rajasic action is undertaken to satisfy one's desire in a spirit of arrogance, egoism  and vanity. Such actions involve considerable effort and strain.

The  consciousness of suffering, the sense that we are doing something disagreeable,  that we are passing through grim suffering and toil takes away value from the  act. To feel consciously that we are doing something great, that we are  sacrificing something vital is a failure of the sacrifice itself.

But  when the work is undertaken for the cause, it is a labor of love and sacrifice  itself is not felt as a sacrifice. Doing unpleasant things from a sense of duty,  feeling the unpleasantness all the time is Rajasic. Doing it gladly in utter  unself-consciousness, with a smile on the lips is Sattvic. It is the difference  between an act of love and an act of law, an act of grace and an act of  obligation.

Tamasic: Tamasic actions are those that are undertaken  without any regard for the consequences thereof and that bring disaster and  sorrow to all including the performer. They emanate in an individual out of his  misconception about the goal of life. They are undertaken by men of Tamasic  knowledge.

    muktasango'nahamvaadi dhrityutsaahasamanvitah
    siddhyasiddhyor nirvikaarah kartaa saatwika uchyate  // 18.26 //

He  who is free from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with fortitude and  enthusiasm and unaffected by success or failure is called Sattvic.

raagee karmaphalaprepsur lubdho himsaatmako'shuchih
    harshashokaanvitah kartaa raajasah parikeertitah //  18.27 //

Passionate,  desiring to obtain the fruits of actions, cruel, greedy, impure, easily elated  or dejected, such an agent is said to be Rajasic.

ayuktah praakritah stabdhah shatho  naishkritiko'lasah
    vishaadee deerghasootree cha kartaa taamasa uchyate  // 18.28 //

Unsteady,  vulgar, unbending, cheating, malicious, dejected, lazy and procrastinating - such  an agent is called Tamasic.

Sattvic: A doer who has no attachment to the field in which he  is acting, who is not egoistic, who is full of persistence and zeal unmindful  of obstacles on the path, who is not perturbed by the results of his actions,  be they success or failure, is considered a Sattvic-Karta.  He is ever conscious of the power of the Infinite Light in all his activities  at all times.

Rajasic: A doer who yields to passions, desires and  attachments, who eagerly seeks the fruits of his work, who is selfish, greedy  and insatiable, whose acts cause harm to others, who is not pure in his means,  who is tossed between joys and sorrows of life is considered Rajasic Karta.

Tamasic: A doer who has no control over his own base mental  impulses and instincts, who is arrogant, vulgar and obstinate in his own wrong  conclusions, who is unsteady, despondent, deceitful, indolent, procrastinating  and malicious is considered Tamasic  Karta.


buddherbhedam dhriteshchaiva gunatastrividham  shrinu
    prochyamaanamasheshena prithaktwena dhananjaya // 18.29  //

Hear  the threefold division of the intellect and fortitude according to the Gunas,  as I declare them fully and distinctly, O Dhanajaya.

pravrittim cha nivrittim cha kaaryaakaarye bhayaabhaye
    bandham moksham cha yaa vetti buddhih saa paartha  saatwikee // 18.30 //

That  which knows the path of work and renunciation, what ought to be done and what  ought not to be done, fear and fearlessness, bondage and liberation - that  intellect is Sattvic, O Partha.

yayaa dharmamadharmam cha kaaryam  cha akaaryam eva cha
    ayathaavatprajaanaati buddhih saa paartha raajasee  // 18.31 //

That  by which one incorrectly understands Dharma and Adharma and also what ought to  be done and what ought not to be done - that intellect, O Partha, is Rajasic.

adharmam  dharmamiti yaa manyate tamasaavritaa
    sarvaarthaan  vipareetaamshcha buddhih saa paartha taamasee // 18.32 //

That  which, enveloped in darkness, regards Adharma as Dharma and views all things in  a perverted light - that intellect, O Partha, is called Tamasic.

Three  types of understanding (Buddhi) are explained. Understanding or Buddhi means  the intellectual capacity in the individual to grasp what is happening around.

Sattvic: The understanding that can readily judge things that  are to be done (Pravritti) and things  that are to be avoided (Nivritti),  that can readily discriminate the beings and situations in its field of  activity, that can distinguish between the right field of pursuit and wrong  field of false ideas, that understands fear and fearlessness is considered as  the Sattvic Buddhi, an understanding  of purity.

Rajasic: The understanding that erroneously judges both the  right and the wrong that makes faulty conclusions about what should be done and  what should not be done due to inaccurate egoistic pre-conceived notions is  considered Rajasic Buddhi.

Tamasic: The understanding that deems the wrong as the right,  reversing every value due to ignorance, sees all things in a perverted way,  always against the truth is considered as the Tamasic Buddhi. In fact this is no understanding at all; it can  only be a perpetual misunderstanding.

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