Chapter 14

  1. The Blessed One said:
    Again I shall speak of the greatest of all understandings, the supreme understanding. Knowing which, all of the great sages of this realm attained power.
  2. Taking shelter in this awareness, having attained the same nature as my own, they are not born even in the time of creation, nor are they destroyed in the time of annihilation.
  3. The womb of my material existence is Brahma. Into that womb I seed the possibility of all things, which is the source of all living beings, scion of Bharata.
  4. Son of Kunti, all species of life, all forms that can exist appear. Brahma is the source of all their births, and I am the seed-giving father of them all.
  5. Truth (sattvam), passion (rajah), and ignorance (tamah) are the three elements (gunas) born of matter. They condition all eternal living beings who occupy temporary bodies, great warrior.
  6. There is the element of sattvam, purest in this existence, that provides illumination and avoids wrongdoing. It conditions one toward happiness and awareness, sinless one.
  7. Know the element rajas to create desire in the soul. It conditions one to feel longing, which binds you to performing actions that produce karma, son of Kunti.
  8. But know that the element tamah is born of a lack of understanding of the real. It is the delusion of all living beings, producing madness, laziness, and tiredness, that binds one to an animal existence, scion of Bharata.
  9. The element sattva attaches you to pleasure, the element rajas binds you to lust of result, which conceals awareness of the real, scion of Bharata. But the element tamah is said to attach you to animal madness.
  10. Sometimes sattvas is in greater proportion than rajas or tamah, scion of Bharata. Other times, rajas is most prominent, or tamah.
  11. When the element sattvas is most prominent, all the gates of the body develop illumination and awareness. Thus is it said.
  12. When there is an excess of the element rajas, greed and the uncontrollable longing to act out of desires will develop, best of the Bharatas.
  13. When tamas is most developed, then darkness, sloth, madness and illusions are certainly manifest, son of Kuru.
  14. But when sattvas is most developed at the time of death, the embodied being then attains to the pure dimension of the great scholars.
  15. One who dies in the element rajas, he will take birth in the company of those who live in this world of activities. Likewise, one who dies in the element tamah will take birth among the animals.
  16. Activities taken in the element sattvas are said to be saintly, and result in purification. But actions done in the element rajas result in sorrow, and actions in the element tamah result in delusion.
  17. From sattvas is awareness developed. From rajas is greed developed. And certainly also from tamah is madness and animalistic delusion likewise developed.
  18. Those in sattvas will move upward. Those in rajas linger in the middle, and those whose actions are in tamah fall downward to the abominable.
  19. When one sees properly that only the gunas are responsible for action, and knows that there is a force greater than all the gunas, he will ascend to my state of being.
  20. When one transcends all three gunas that are produced by one's physical existence, he will gain freedom from the miseries of birth, death and old age.
  21. Arjuna said:
    Which qualities will be present in one who has transcended all three gunas, my Lord? What is the behaviour of one such as this, and how does he suceed in transcending the gunas?
  22. The Blessed One said:
    Son of Pandu, one who neither hates illumination, attachment or delusion, even in their presence, nor does he desire them in their absence.
  23. One who holds no position is never disturbed by the gunas, and thus witnesses their action. Such a one remains steady and does not waver.
  24. One who acts equally when suffering and joy are present in him, who is equally disposed to a a lump of earth, a lump of stone, and a lump of gold. One who is equally disposed to the desirable and undesirable, and equally steady when his soul is being praised or defamed by others.
  25. Equal in honour and dishonour, equal to groups of friends and enemies, renouncing all efforts, he is said to be risen above the gunas.
  26. Also, a person who practices service and the yoga of devotion unto me, he will transcend all of the gunas, and become raised to Brahma.
  27. I am the foundation of Brahma, of the nectar of immortality, of the infinite and eternal. And of the way of ultimate joy.

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