Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 14 Gunatraya Vibhaaga Yogah- Yoga of the Division of the three Gunas

The Text


sri  bhagavaan uvaacha
    param  bhooyah pravakshyaami jnaanaanaam jnaanamuttamam
    yajjnaatwaa  munayah sarve paraam siddhimito gataah // 14.1 //

Sri Bhagavan said
    I will again expound that Supreme Knowledge, the most  exalted of all forms of knowledge, and by knowing which all the sages have  attained the Supreme Perfection after passing from this world.

The subject matter of this chapter is that supreme  knowledge which is above all other knowledge. It deals with the behavior of man  and the different influences that play on his subtle body in life. It is the  highest knowledge in as much as without a correct understanding of this theme,  self observation and analysis as also timely self-correction will be impossible  on the spiritual path.

Having known which all the Munis have attained the  highest perfection: On understanding this knowledge and learning about the real  goal of life, men of reflection and contemplation have reached perfection. Reaching  perfection indicates that with the aid of the exhaustive knowledge about the Gunas,  men can foresee the obstacles and dangers on the way of spiritual attainment  and prepare themselves to face them effectively.

After passing from this  world:   This does not mean that perfection can be attained only after this life  or only after death. It means that perfection can be gained here and now only  after shedding our egocentric misconceptions of life. Through right reflection  and true understanding our false values of life end and in the newly found wisdom  a better quality of life can be lived. Perfection out of imperfection all  around is achieved through constant contemplation.

idam jnaanam  upaashritya mama saadharmyamaagataah
    sargepi  nopajaayante pralaye na vyathanti cha // 14.2 //

They who, having taken refuge in this knowledge, have  attained to My Being are neither born at the time of creation nor are they  disturbed at the time of dissolution.

Sri Krishna says that he who has correctly understood  the significance of this Chapter can reach the state of Perfection i.e. ‘Attain  My Being'. Perfection is a state of awakening to a different level of  Consciousness. When we go to sleep we become one with the sleeper leaving aside  the waking personality. Similarly, on realizing the Self we cross over the body,  mind and intellect and become one with the Spiritual Nature.

The sorrows and joys of one plane of consciousness do  not extend to another plane. A seeker who could control his mind and reach  beyond the ordinary realms of consciousness through meditation cannot come back  to his previous state of sorrows and joys when he used to identify himself with  the body, the matter. An individual ego when it rises above its own conditions  rediscovers itself to be the Omnipotent Reality which knows no creation and dissolution.  Thus such a saved soul achieves the samana  dharmata or similarity of the quality and not the svarupata or identity of the Supreme Lord.

Let us awake into that heaven of freedom from all  agitations and imperfections, where the mind is free by realizing the divine in  our outer consciousness with the help of the knowledge of the Gunas,

mama  yonirmahadbrahma tasmin garbham dadhaamyaham
    sambhavah  sarvabhootaanaam tato bhavati bhaarata // 14.3 //

My womb is the great Brahman (prakriti); in that I place  the seed; from there, O Bharata, is the birth of all beings.

The Field and the knower of the Field are the two  aspects of Prakriti, Matter. Both of them function on the substratum, the  Absolute. When the Supreme functions in the Field He becomes the enjoyer of the  Field and therefore the Knower of the field. When detached from the Field, He  becomes Pure Absolute Consciousness.

The Lord is the Father and the Mother of the universe.  Matter and Spirit are His two aspects which are inherent in Him. As the Father  or the Supreme Soul He casts the seed; as the Mother or nature, or matter or  prakriti, He receives the seed. From the embryo thus formed, which is termed as Hiranyagarbha, are produced all  created beings.

This verse affirms that all existence is a  manifestation of the Divine. He is the cosmic seed. With reference to this  world, He becomes Hiranyagarbha, the cosmic egg. The world is the play of the  Infinite on the Finite. It is the development of the form on the non-being. 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.

sarvayonishu  kaunteya moortayah sambhavanti yaah
    taasaam  brahma mahadyoniraham beejapradah pitaa // 14.4 //

Whatever forms are produced, O Kaunteya, in any womb,  the Great Brahman is their womb, I the seed giving father.

In all wombs: In the whole Universe every second  innumerable births are taking place. Birth of a new organism is the expression  of Spirit through a given matter envelopment. Viewed thus, every matter  particle is the womb which when dynamised by the Light of Consciousness becomes  a potential living being. Thus every expression of life is matter combined with  Spirit. Hence Sri Krishna, the Supreme Consciousness, says that He is the  Father of the entire Universe. A Field in itself has no existence without the  Knower of the Field vitalizing it. Body, mind and intellect are mere inert  matter till Consciousness enlivens them.

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