Essence of SrI bhagavath gIthA – Chapter 14 (guNathraya vibhAga yOga)

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

Essence of SrI bhagavath gIthA

<< Chapter 13

In the eighteenth SlOkam of gIthArtha sangraham, ALavandhAr explains the summary of fourteenth chapter saying “In the fourteenth chapter – how the three types of qualities namely sathvam, rajas and thamas binds in this samsAram (material realm), the nature of such qualities being the cause for activities, the method to eliminate such qualities and he (bhagavAn) being the benefactor of three types of results (best worldly wealth, enjoying one-self, attaining bhagavAn) are spoken.”.

Important SlOkams/Verses

SlOkam/Verse 1

SrI bhagavAn uvAcha
param bhUya: pravakshyAmi gyAnAnAm gyAnam uththamam |
yath gyAthvA munaya: sarvE parAm sidhdhim ithO gathA: ||

I shall explain again the best among the knowledge (to know about prakruthi (matter) and purusha (soul)), which is different (from previously explained); attaining such knowledge, all those who meditate upon such knowledge, will be attaining the great realisation of their pure self, from this samsAram (material realm).

SlOkam/Verse 2

idham gyAnam upASrithya mama sAdharmyam AgathA: |
sargE’pi nOpajAyanthE praLayE na vyathanthi cha ||

Those who attain this knowledge (which is to be explained), will have attained equality with me, and are neither created here nor destroyed.

In the 3rd and 4th SlOkam, bhagavAn says that the union of AthmAs and prakruthi which led to variegated creation, was arranged by him.

SlOkam/Verse 5

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

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.

Note: Starting with this SlOkam, krishNa talks about the three qualities and their effect in detail.

SlOkam/Verse 6

thathra sathvam nirmalathvAth prakASakam anAmayam |
sukhasangEna badhnAthi gyAnasangEna chAnagha |

Oh faultless [arjuna]! Among the three qualities namely sathvam, rajas and thamas, since sathvam (goodness) is naturally revealing without concealing (the AthmA’s knowledge and bliss), it causes true knowledge (to AthmA) and bestows healthy life. It further binds (the AthmA which is in a body) by causing attachment to bliss and knowledge.

SlOkam/Verse 7

rajO rAgAthmakam vidhdhi thrushNAsangasamudhbhavam |
than nibadhnAthi kaunthEya karmasangEna dhEhinam ||

Oh son of kunthI! Know that rajO guNam is the cause of desire (between male and female) and the cause of desire towards worldly pleasures based on Sabdha (sound) etc and attachment towards children/friends; that rajO guNam binds the AthmA who is in the body causing desire in worldly activities.

SlOkam/Verse 8

thamas thvagyAnajam vidhdhi mOhanam sarvadhehinAm |
pramAdhAlasyanidhrAbhis than nibadhnAthi bhAratha ||

Oh descendant of bharatha! As for thamO guNam (quality of ignorance), know that it is caused by misunderstanding the nature of entities; and for all AthmAs who have bodies, it causes knowledge which is contrary to righteousness; it binds the AthmA by causing carelessness, lethargy and sleep.

Note: In these 3 SlOkams, the effect of the three qualities are explained in detail.

In the 9th SlOkam, the important aspect of each quality is explained.

In the 10th SlOkam, how each quality dominates at different times is explained.

From the 11th to 13th SlOkams, how we can understand the predominance of each quality from the effects is explained.

In the 14th and 15th SlOkams, it is explained that the result of leaving the body when each of the three qualities are predominant, will be the acquiring of subsequent birth which matches that quality.

In the 16th SlOkam, it is explained that after attaining such births, one will further engage in such quality only.

In the 17th and 18th SlOkams, the results of such qualities in a person, are explained.

SlOkam/Verse 19

nAnyam guNEbhya: karthAram yadhA dhrashtAnupaSyathi |
guNEbhyaS cha param vEththi madhbhAvam sO’dhigachchathi ||

When one who is established in sathva guNam and has self-realisation, does not consider the AthmA which is different from the qualities such as sathvam etc, as the doer, and when he considers the qualities (the doer) to be different from AthmA (the non-doer), he reaches my state.

In the 20th SlOkam, he explains that reaching his state means being free from all sorrows and enjoying the pure self.

In the 21st SlOkam, arjuna enquires about the nature of one who has crossed over the three qualities.

In the 22nd SlOkam, krishNa explains that the one who has crossed the three qualities, will neither hate nor like, the desirable and undesirable aspects.

In the 23rd SlOkam, he further explains that such person will remain silent and does not act in such situations.

In the 24th and 25th SlOkams, one who has crossed over the three qualities will consider clay, stone and gold the same, knows that the AthmA is different from body, considers praise and insult about self to be the same, considers friend and foe to be the same, and will give up all efforts which lead to bondage with the body.

SlOkam/Verse 26

mAm cha yo’vyabhichArENa bhakthiyOgEna sEvathE |
sa guNAn samathIthyaithAn brahmabhUyAya kalpathE ||

One who worships me with bhakthi yOga (along with its limbs) who does not focus on other dhEvathAs and benefits, becomes qualified to be at par with brahmam, going beyond these three qualities (sathvam, rajas, thamas).

SlOkam/Verse 27

brahmaNO hi prathishtAham amruthasyAvyayasya cha |
SASvathasya cha dharmasya sukhasyaikAnthikasya cha ||

This is because, I am the immortal and imperishable means for self realisation; also, I am the means for the eternal dharmam, bhakthi yOgam, which leads to great opulence. And, I am the means for the bliss attained by a gyAni.

Note: krishNa concludes saying that he is the means for aiSvaryam (worldly wealth), kaivalyam (self-enjoyment) and bhagavath kainkaryam (eternal service to bhagavAn).

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) –
pramANam (scriptures) –
pramAthA (preceptors) –
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal –