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

maanaapamaanayostulyastulyo  mitraaripakshayoh
    sarvaarambhaparityaagee  Gunaateetah sa uchyate // 14.25 //

The  same in honor and dishonor, the same to friend and foe, abandoning all  undertakings he is said to have crossed beyond the Gunas.

•In honor and dishonor: One of the clear signs ofperfection is equanimity in honor and dishonor. Honor and dishonor are theevaluations of the intellect that change from time to time and place toplace. To the one who has crossed over the ordinary plane of egoism andvanity, roses and thorns are the same.

•Friend and foe: There is neither a friend nor anenemy to a man of wisdom. To him who has realized the oneness of theSpirit all others are not separate but they are also in him.

Abandoning  every enterprise: Desire motivated activity undertaken for one's own benefit is  enterprise. Ego and egocentric desires are motivating forces behind all  enterprises. The man of tranquility is not affected by ego and egocentric  desires. There are no ego motivated activities for him and hence he is said to  give up all initiative of action. These three verses lay down a rule of conduct  for the seekers of Moksha.


maam  cha yo’vyabhichaarena bhaktiyogena sevate
    sa  Gunaan samateetyai'taan brahmabhooyaaya kalpate // 14.26 //

And  he who serves Me with unswerving devotion, he, going beyond the Gunas, is fit  for becoming Brahman.

      This  answers Arjuna's third question

To  contemplate steadily upon the Infinite Nature of the Self is to become the Self  and thus end our mortal Egoism. Such a steady contemplation cannot be  maintained always effectively. We are not capable of maintaining our mind in  meditation all the time. Therefore Sri Krishna advises a practical method of  maintaining a thought for a longer period of time through a process of  dedicated service. If all the work is undertaken in a spirit of dedication and  service, then work becomes worship.

This  is an instance where Gita expects not only devotion to The Lord but that  devotion should also be given to every day life's activities and their contacts  with the others around. Such a practice of dedicated service and God-awareness  stills the agitations of the mind and prepares it for intensive meditation.

Such  a seeker is fit to become Brahman just as if a dreamer wants to realize the  waker he becomes a waker.

brhmano  hi pratishthaaham amritasya avyayasya cha
    shaashwatasya  cha dharmasya sukhasyaikaantikasya cha // 14.27 //

For,  I am the abode of Brahman, the Immortal and the Immutable, of everlasting  Dharma and of Absolute Bliss.

Sri  Krishna indicates in the last verse of this Chapter the nature of the state of God-consciousness;  when a devotee enters this state he himself becomes the Brahman.

The  Lord declares Himself as the ground of that imperishable Brahman indicating  that the latter is not different from Him, who is the God, possessed of  attributes and that He is not different from Brahman.

By  realizing Brahman, man becomes immortal i.e., freed from the cycle of birth and  death. By referring to Himself as the ground of immortality, the Lord shows  that He is none other than that immortality and that attaining immortality  means realizing the Lord Himself.

By  declaring Himself to be the ground of eternal virtue, shaashwatasya dharmasya, He conveys that the reward for practicing  these virtues is nothing other than the Lord Himself.

By speaking of Himself as the ground of that Bliss,  the Lord shows that such everlasting supreme bliss is the same as Himself and  nothing else than Him. Hence attainment of that Bliss is the same as realizing  the Lord.

om  tat sat iti srimadbhagavadgeetaasu upanishatsu brahma vidyaayaam yogashaastre sri  krishnaarjuna samvaade Gunatraya vibhaaga yogo naama chaturdasho'dhyaayah ||

Thus  in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal,  the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the  fourteenth discourse entitled  The Yoga  of the Division of the Three Gunas

Concepts and Issues
Sri  Krishna explains the Para-Jnana or the highest knowledge by attaining which the  sages got perfection. Creation proceeds as a result of the placing of the seed  by The Lord in the nature, the Mahat Prakriti. He is the father of all beings  and the nature is the mother.

This  Prakriti gives rise to three Gunas – Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Sattva is pure  and bright, produces pleasure and knowledge and binds the soul through them.  Rajas is of the nature of passion, produces desire and attachment and binds the  embodied soul through action. Tamas, born out of ignorance, deludes the beings  through inactivity and negligence.

Sattva  creates attachment to happiness and knowledge; Rajas for actions and Tamas for incomprehension.  These three Gunas are always acting on one another. The rise of Sattva can be  inferred by the rise of knowledge, Rajas by the rise of greed and activity and  Tamas by delusion.

Death  when Sattva is predominant takes one to higher realms. When Rajas and Tamas are  dominant at the time of death one attains rebirth in human bodies and sub-human  bodies. Any one who realizes that it is the Gunas that act and that the Self is  not touched by them attains the Supreme..

Arjuna  desires to know the characteristics of such a person who has transcended the  Gunas. Sri Krishna replies that one who is unaffected by the effects of the  three Gunas like knowledge, action or delusion, is the one who is beyond the  Gunas.

Such  an enlightened soul is indifferent to the activities of the Gunas. He is  equanimous in sorrow and joy, looks upon a clod of earth, a stone and gold  equally, is unmoved by the pleasant and the unpleasant or by the praise or  blame. He is the same to the enemies and friends. He abandons all undertakings  of selfish nature. He serves The Lord with undeviating love. Such an individual  is a Gunatita and becomes fit to attain Brahman.

Live as the Gita Teaches You to Live
  Sri  Krishna teaches the essential character of the three Gunas and how to get over  from their clutches. He also explains that through undivided love to The Lord,  meditation or selfless work one can transcend the Gunas and reach Supreme  Consciousness and ultimately become one with that Brahman.

Points to Ponder 
•What are the effects of the influence of the three Gunas? 
•What is the nature of attachment developed because of the three Gunas? 
•What is meant by transcending the Gunas? 
•What are the characteristics of a Gunatita? 
•What is meant by `becoming one with Him’?

Next time we shall take up Chapter 15


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