14.5 sathvam rajas thama ithi

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Chapter 14

<< Chapter 14 verse 4

SlOkam – Original

sathvam rajas thama ithi guNA: prakruthisambhavA: |
nibadhnanthi mahAbAhO dhEhE dhEhinam avyayam ||

word-by-word meaning

mahAbAhO – Oh mighty armed arjuna!
sathvam raja: thama: ithi guNA: – these three qualities namely sathvam (goodness), rajas (passion) and thamas (ignorance)
prakruthi sambhavA: – always united with matter
avyayam – one who (naturally) does not have the inferiority of being together with the qualities
dhEhinam – jIvAthmA who is dwelling in the body
dhEhE – in his body
nibadhnanthi – binding him.

Simple Translation

Oh mighty armed arjuna! These three qualities namely sathvam (goodness), rajas (passion) and thamas (ignorance) which are always united with matter are binding the jIvAthmA in his body, who (naturally) does not have the inferiority of being together with the qualities and is dwelling in the body.

Rendering based on ALkoNdavilli gOvindhAchArya swAmy’s English translation of gIthA bhAshyam

‘Satvam, Rajas, Tamas[1. Vide footnote 1 to verse 2.45], are qualities matter-born, which, O Great-armed! bind the imperishable ego in the body.’

Satvam, Rajas and Tamas are the three qualities (or affections or humours or tempers) of matter=those inhering in the matter-stuff. To matter they stand in the relation of attributes, and their existence is to be inferred from the effects which they are instrumental in producing such as brightness (of disposition, dullness etc).

These qualities are in a latent state in matter when unevolved; but manifest in its evolutes[2. meaning: those that evolve from], Mahat etc.

And they impound in a body, the essentially free soul, but forced withal to dwell in bodies such as those of deva, man etc., —forms manufactured, from out of the Mahat and other evolutes[3. meaning: those that evolve from] of matter-stuff.

The properties severally of Satvam, Rajas and Tamas, and the mode of their binding the souls are now described:—

>> Chapter 14 verse 6

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