Chapter 14 Chaturdasho Adhyaya -Three Approaches to Material Nature
The chapter deals with the three approaches that mankind have been adopting to express their characteristics, basic nature and the way of living and the meditation adopted by them , in the material world. The emotional nature of the humans in the current materialistic world becomes a mean to their gaining and attaining emancipation from the mortal world and reaches the supreme truth. The three characteristics of satva, rajas, and tamas explain to the favorite disciple of the lord Krishna, as to how the mankind becomes the victim to their own choice of the approach adapted by them to material nature. Lord describes to Arjuna as to how by avoiding the pitfalls of the base nature human beings can reach their own deliverance from the mundane living and become the part of the supreme truth. How and who should the man be who has been able to get himself freed from these three characteristics of the basic human nature. Lord has though not condemned any of the characteristic of any one approach because as per him these approaches are the integral part of the Mayaa created by him. It becomes the acid test for the living beings to recognize the deceptive and enticing clutches of the Mayaa and do not fall prey to the same. The lord like a magician enjoys the mystification and the dilemma created by him for the living beings that are but his own creation only.
Thus says lord Krishna
Param bhuya pravakshyaami gyaanaanaam gyaanam utamam
Yagyaatvaa munaya sarve paraam sidhdhimito gata (1)
“Now I shall talk to you about the superior most knowledge, the best of all the superior knowledges by the enlightenment of this comprehension the sages and the enlightened persons have attained the Supreme Truth after they have been delivered from the mortal world”.
Idam gyaanmupaashritaya mama saadhamaryamaagataa
Sarge api nopjaayante pralay na vayanthanti ch(2)
“All those persons who have been bestowed this enlightenment, have attained me and get integrated with me. Such persons do not get reborn into the temporal mortal world of humans at the time of creation. Nor do they get distressed in the period when the world comes to an end”.
Mama Yonirmahad Brahma tasmin garbham dadhaa mayaham
Sambhava sarva bhootaanaam tatto bhavati bharat (3)
“Hey Bharata! My basic material nature is the womb of the creation of all beings meaning thereby it is the place where I conceive the seed of the consciousness. All beings’ are born from this consciousness”.
Sarv yonishu kaunteya murtaya sam bhavanti ya
Taasaam braham mahadhyoniraham beej prtada Pitaa (4)
“Hey Arjuna! Material nature is the mother of all the different kinds of living beings that are created in the wombs and I the supreme truth, am the father who has placed all those seeds into the wombs”.
Satvam rajas tam itee guna prakarti Sambhava
Nibdhananti mahabaaho dehe dehinam vyayam (5)
Hey Arjuna! You should know that the three characteristics born out of the mother nature, satavguna, the rajoguna, and the tamo guna together (the goodness, the activity and the inertia) together provide the eternal individual soul to the physical body”.
The lord avers to Arjuna once again that he is the creator of all the living beings on the earth. The living beings are created by the meeting of the seeds of the father of the mankind and the other living world, and the womb of the Mother Nature. The living beings as such are the incarnations of the father lord Krishna. Hence it is important to note that men of all races, creeds, nationalities and the colors are born out of different wombs but they have all been produced by the seeds implanted by the supreme truth lord Krishna, into the womb of the Mother Nature. A father always is compassionate towards his children and the mother is always the provider. No matter what may happen the Mother Nature will always provide for its children. The children get their characteristics of the behavior (three gunas i.e., satva guna, the rajo guna and the tamas guna) from the Mother Nature though they do get souls of consciousness from the father, the seed provider.
Tatra satavam nirmaltavaat prakash kamnaamayam
Sukha sadgen badhnaati gyaan sadgen chaanagha (6)
“Oh sinless soul Arjuna! Out of those three modes of nature, the mode of sata guna (the goodness mode) is brightening, chaste and is free from any defect or the shortcoming . This feature of satva guna binds the human soul by the attachment to contentment and enlightenment and the pride in being contented and knowledgeable”.
Rajo raagaatamakam vidhdhi trashnaa sangada samudbhavam
Tanni badhnaati kaunteya karam sangden dehinam (7)
“Hey Arjuna! You should know that rajoguna; the mode of passion is distinguished by the sense of intense desire and of the sensual gratification. This characteristic of the rajoguna, binds the humans by the attachment to the fruits of the actions”.
Tamasatavgyaanajam vidhdhi mohanam sarva dehinam
Pramaad aalasay nidraa bhisatannibadhnaati bharat (8)
“Hey Arjuna! Tamas guna the deluder (the charmer) of the living beings is born out of the ignorance and lack of enlightenment about the supreme truth. This feature ties the human beings by way of the carelessness, inertia, laziness, and sleep”.
Satvam sukhe sanjayati raja karmaani bharat
Gyaanamaavaratay tu tama pramaade Sanjaya tyut (9)
“Hey Arjuna! The satva guna provides the peace of mind, rajo guna exhorts action and the tamo guna overshadows all knowledge and involves the beings into the negligence and insanity”.
Rajastamshchabhibhuya Satavam bhavati bharat
Raja satvam tamas chaiva satavam rajastathaa (10)
“ Satavguna can come up by way of suppressing rajoguna and tamoguna and rajoguna can be developed by suppressing both satavguna and tamoguna. The tamoguna comes up by suppressing both satavguna and rajoguna”.
The lord thereby advises that Goodness in the human beings arises by the act of suppressing passion and ignorance. The spirit of passion in human character and behavior becomes predominant by suppressing goodness and ignorance. The ignorance about the supreme truth in human nature develops when the goodness and passion and passion get suppressed.
Sarva dwaareshu dehe asmina prakash upajaayate
Gyaanam yadaa tadaa vidhyaa dwivradham satava mityuta (11)
“ The satavguna (the goodness) gets manifested, the moment when the consciousness, the sensitivity and the intellect develops in the human physique and the psyche”.
Lobha pravartir aarambh karmanaamashyam saprahaa
Rajasteyaani jaayante vivaradhe bharatsharbha (12)
“Hey Arjuna! Greed, base activity, selfishness, aggression, the undertaking of the action with attachment and expectation and the desires become predominant when the rajoguna prevails”.
Aprakaasho apravartishch pramaado moha aiva cha
Tamasaye taani jaayante vivaradhe kurunandan (13)
“Hey Arjuna! When tamoguna (inertia) is predominant in human nature, ignorance of the intellect and the sensitivity, lack of interest in performance of the duty, the restlessness and the base delusions prevail”.
“Yadaa satave pravradhdhe tu pralayam yaati dehabhrat
Tadotam vidaam lokaanmalaan pratipadhyate (14)
“A person who dies during the prevalence of satavguna, goes to heavens like the ones who go to heaven after doing the good deeds”.
Rajasi pralayam gatvaa karam sangdishu jaayate
Tatha praleen satamasa moodh yonishu jaayate(15)
“The person, who dies during the rajoguna, takes rebirth in the world of the mortal men. The one who dies when the tamoguna prevails, is reborn into the world of the insects, animals and the other low class creatures”
Karamana sukarat syaahu saativakam nirmalam phalam
Rajastu phalam dukham gyaanam tamas phalam (16
“A good deed always results into pure, enlightenment, and celestial comfort. The result of rajas (passionate action performed with expectation) is pain and the fruit derived from the tamas action (lazy action) is ignorance and darkness of the mind”.
Satvaat sanjaayate gyaanam rajaso Lobha aiva cha
Pramaad moho tamso bhavati agyaanmaiv ch (17)
“Satavguna (the goodness) leads to enlightenment. Rajoguna (the passionate action with attachment) produces pain and greed. Tamoguna (the inertia) results into the delusion, attachment and the ignorance”.
Udharavam gachhati satav astatha madhaye tishthanti rajasaa
Jaghanya guna vrati asthaa adho gachhanti taamsaa (18)
“People who live in goodness go to paradise after their death. People who are living in the passion of attachments (rajoguna) are stuck in the middle meaning they are reborn into the mortal world of the human beings. The characterless people who are deluded (tamoguna affected), living in the mode of cerebral darkness, are reborn into the inferior world of misery. They are reborn as lower creatures of insects, animals and other lower incarnations”.
Naanayam gunebhaya kartaaram yadaa drashtaanu pashyati
Gunebhayashch param vetti madbhaavam so adhigachhati (19)
“The visionary attains me when he perceives none other doer beyond the three modes of material nature than me the supreme truth, and understand me as the mode of the material nature”.
Gunaanetaan teetaya trindehi deha samudbhvaan
Janam mrityu jaraadukhai virmukto amarat mashnute (20)
“When the human being is able to transcend the three modes that are associated with the birth, the death and the old age and he after having transcended all the miseries and distresses of life, he is said to have attained the supreme truth and he gets integrated with me and reaches immortality”.
Arjuna after having heard the sermon of the lord on three modes of human nature, says to lord Krishna,
Kairlingadai stringunaa netaanateeto bhavati prabho
Kim achaar katham chaitaam stringunaanati vartate(21)
“Oh lords please tell me, what are the characteristics of those persons who have been able to transcend the three modes of material Nature and what is their conduct? How can a person transcend these three modes of material Nature”?
Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna the features and the characteristics of the persons who have been able to transcend the three modes of material nature.
Says lord Krishna,
Prakasham ch pravartim ch mohamev ch pandava
Na dweshti sampravartaani na nivartaani kaad khshati ((22)
Udaasi nav daasino gunairyo na vichaalayate
Gunaa vartant itayev yo avtishathati nedagate (23)
“A person who neither hates the enlightenment of the satavguna, nor does he dislikes the presence of the rajo guna, the passionate activity, and he does not get deluded by the tamoguna (the inertia). Such a person, who does not desire for all the three gunas when they are absent, stays firmly grounded and like a witness does not get disturbed, and opines that only gunas are operating, remains steadfast in his devotion to The Supreme Truth”.
Sama dukha sukha savasatha sama loshtaasham kaschana
Tulya priya priyo dheer stulya nindaa atamasantuti (24)
“Such a person as has the complete faith in God, the one who remains the same in pain and pleasure, in whose opinion a mud, a stone, or a gold are the same thing, the one who has equivalence of the mind, the enlightened one, who considers the love and hate as equal and keeps his calm in his censure too”.
Maan apmaanyo astulya satulyo mitraari pakshyo
Sarva aarambh parityaagi gunaateet sa uchayate (25)
“ the one who is the same in praise and the insult, who is impartial to a friend or a foe, and is free from the vain pride of the doer is said to have acquired the transcendental enlightenment”.
“Maam ch yo avayabhichaaren bhakti yogen sevate
Sa gunaan samteetyai taan braham bhuyaay (26)
“Such a pious person, who offers his unswerving devotion to me with love, raises above all these three modes of the material nature and becomes eligible to attain the transcendental enlightenment and get integrated with me”.
Brahamano hi pritashthaaham maratsayaa vayayasay
Shaavatasaya ch dharamasay sukhsayai kaantikasay (27)
“I am the source of the eternal celestial spirit, of the everlasting harmony and of the absolute bliss”.