Subject: Three Types of Dispositions
ये शास्त्रविधिमुत्सृज्य यजन्ते श्रद्धयान्विताः।
तेषां निष्ठा तु का कृष्ण सत्त्वमाहो रजस्तमः॥१७-१॥
ye śāstravidhimutsṛjya yajante śraddhayānvitāḥ|
teṣāṁ niṣṭhā tu kā kṛṣṇa sattvamāho rajastamaḥ||17-1||
Meaning: Ignoring scriptural ordinances, those who perform sacrifice with faith, what is their disposition, O Krishna? Is it that of Sattwic, Rajasic or Tamasic?
Lesson: Know the disposition of those who perform sacrifice (Yajna) with full faith, ignoring all scriptural ordinances/directives.
Lord Krishna said:
Subject: Three Kinds of Faith/Disposition
त्रिविधा भवति श्रद्धा देहिनां सा स्वभावजा।
सात्त्विकी राजसी चैव तामसी चेति तां शृणु॥१७-२॥
trividhā bhavati śraddhā dehināṁ sā svabhāvajā|
sāttvikī rājasī caiva tāmasī ceti tāṁ śṛṇu||17-2||
Meaning: The innate disposition or faith of all beings is of three kinds—Sattwic, Rajasic and Tamasic. This you listen:
Lesson: Human beings have all the three types of disposition.
Subject: Man’s Faith and His Disposition
सत्त्वानुरूपा सर्वस्य श्रद्धा भवति भारत।
श्रद्धामयोऽयं पुरुषो यो यच्छ्रद्धः स एव सः॥१७-३॥
sattvānurūpā sarvasya śraddhā bhavati bhārata|
śraddhāmayo’yaṁ puruṣo yo yacchraddhaḥ sa eva saḥ||17-3||
Meaning: The faith of each one(individual), O Bharat, is in accordance with his disposition/temperament. Faith constitutes the very being of a man. What ever the nature of his faith is, so is he.
Lesson: Man is what his disposition is.
Subject: Types of Worshiped (Deity)
यजन्ते सात्त्विका देवान्यक्षरक्षांसि राजसाः।
प्रेतान्भूतगणांश्चान्ये यजन्ते तामसा जनाः॥१७-४॥
yajante sāttvikā devānyakṣarakṣāṁsi rājasāḥ|
pretānbhūtagaṇāṁścānye yajante tāmasā janāḥ||17-4||
Meaning: Those of Sattwic disposition worship the gods, the Rajasic worship the Yakshas and Rakshasas (demi-gods and demons) and others. The Tamasic worship ghosts and (many) other spirits (who have departed).
Lesson: Each individual worship his own deity according to his disposition.
Subject: Demonical Disposition
अशास्त्रविहितं घोरं तप्यन्ते ये तपो जनाः।
aśāstravihitaṁ ghoraṁ tapyante ye tapo janāḥ|
Meaning: Those who practice severe austerities, not envisaged in the scriptures, are hypocrites and egoistics.Impelled by the power of lust and attachment;
कर्षयन्तः शरीरस्थं भूतग्राममचेतसः।
मां चैवान्तःशरीरस्थं तान्विद्ध्यासुरनिश्चयान्॥१७-६॥
karṣayantaḥ śarīrasthaṁ bhūtagrāmamacetasaḥ|
māṁ caivāntaḥśarīrasthaṁ tānviddhyāsuraniścayān||17-6||
(They) are the destroyer of all the five elements of the body as well as Me (the Self-within) who dwells within their heart. These unwise are to be known of demoniac disposition.
Lesson: Impelled by power of lust, attachment and ego, the demoniacs destroy their body and the Self-within by performing sever austerity, ignoring scriptural injunctions, to satisfy their selfish desires.
Subject: Liking for Food, Charity and Sacrifice
आहारस्त्वपि सर्वस्य त्रिविधो भवति प्रियः।
यज्ञस्तपस्तथा दानं तेषां भेदमिमं शृणु॥१७-७॥
āhārastvapi sarvasya trividho bhavati priyaḥ|
yajñastapastathā dānaṁ teṣāṁ bhedamimaṁ śṛṇu||17-7||
Meaning: Every one likes three types of food, as also sacrifice, austerity and charity. Listen the distinction between these (three).
Lesson: Ones liking for food, sacrifice and charity depends on his disposition influenced by the three-fold-constituent qualities.
Subject: Food Liked by the Sattwic
रस्याः स्निग्धाः स्थिरा हृद्या आहाराः सात्त्विकप्रियाः॥१७-८॥
rasyāḥ snigdhāḥ sthirā hṛdyā āhārāḥ sāttvikapriyāḥ||17-8||
Meaning: The foods which enhance age (vitality) intelligence, purity, vigour, health, happiness, solace and which are savoury, greasy, juicy and nourishing are dear to Sattwics..
Lesson:The Sattwis like greasy and juicy food which enhances vitality, purity, vigour, health, happiness and solace.
Subject: Food Liked by the Rajasic
आहारा राजसस्येष्टा दुःखशोकामयप्रदाः॥१७-९॥
āhārā rājasasyeṣṭā duḥkhaśokāmayapradāḥ||17-9||
Meaning: The foods that are bitter, sour, saline, very hot, pungent, dry, causing burn and also which cause pain, grief and disease are dear to the Rajasis.
Lesson:The Rajasics like bitter, sour, saline, hot, pungent and dry food which causes grief, pain and disease.
यातयामं गतरसं पूति पर्युषितं च यत्।
उच्छिष्टमपि चामेध्यं भोजनं तामसप्रियम्॥१७-१०॥
yātayāmaṁ gatarasaṁ pūti paryuṣitaṁ ca yat|
ucchiṣṭamapi cāmedhyaṁ bhojanaṁ tāmasapriyam||17-10||
Meaning: The half-cooked, insipid, tasteless, stale, decomposed, putrid, rotten, refuse and impure food is dear to persons of Tamasic disposition.
Lesson: The Tamasics like half- cooked, insipid, putrid, stale, rotten and impure food.
Subject: Sattwic Yajna
अफलाङ्क्षिभिर्यज्ञो विधिदृष्टो य इज्यते।
यष्टव्यमेवेति मनः समाधाय स सात्त्विकः॥१७-११॥
aphalāṅkṣibhiryajño vidhidṛṣṭo ya ijyate|
yaṣṭavyameveti manaḥ samādhāya sa sāttvikaḥ||17-11||
Meaning: That sacrifice which is offered, with firm faith, in accordance with scriptural injunctions, as an obligation without any furitive desire is Sattwic Yajna.
Lesson: Yajna performed in accordance with scriptural injunctions as an obligation without any furitive desire is Sattwic .It is considered best among all Yajnas.
Subject: Rajasic Yajna
अभिसंधाय तु फलं दम्भार्थमपि चैव यत्।
इज्यते भरतश्रेष्ठ तं यज्ञं विद्धि राजसम्॥१७-१२॥
abhisaṁdhāya tu phalaṁ dambhārthamapi caiva yat|
ijyate bharataśreṣṭha taṁ yajñaṁ viddhi rājasam||17-12||
Meaning: Consider it a Rajasic Yajna, O Best of Bharat Dynasty, which is offered for ostentation aimed at (gaining) fruits.
Lesson: The Yajna performed for ostentation with furitive desire is Rajasic. It is of secondary value.
Subject: Tamasic Yajna
श्रद्धाविरहितं यज्ञं तामसं परिचक्षते॥१७-१३॥
śraddhāvirahitaṁ yajñaṁ tāmasaṁ paricakṣate||17-13||
Meaning: That Yajna is said to be Tamasic which is performed without following the scriptural ordinances, without donating food, without chanting of Vedic hymns, without giving remuneration to priests and which is devoid of faith.
Lesson: The Yajna performed without charity, devotion and without observing scriptural injunctions is Tamasic and it should be considered as useless.
Subject: Austerity of the Body
ब्रह्मचर्यमहिंसा च शारीरं तप उच्यते॥१७-१४॥
brahmacaryamahiṁsā ca śārīraṁ tapa ucyate||17-14||
Meaning: The austerity of the body includes the worship of gods, of the Brahmans, of teachers, of the wise, cleanliness, simplicity, Brahamchrya (celibacy) and non-violence.
Lesson: There are six constituents of the austerity of the body viz:(i)worship of the gods/deity, (ii) reverence of Brahman, teacher and the wise, (iii) purity, (iv)simplicity, (v) celibacy or Brahamcharya, (vi)non-violence.
Subject: Austerity of Speech
अनुद्वेगकरं वाक्यं सत्यं प्रियहितं च यत्।
स्वाध्यायाभ्यसनं चैव वाङ्मयं तप उच्यते॥१७-१५॥
anudvegakaraṁ vākyaṁ satyaṁ priyahitaṁ ca yat|
svādhyāyābhyasanaṁ caiva vāṅmayaṁ tapa ucyate||17-15||
Meaning: Expression of words which are inoffensive, truthful, pleasant and beneficial, (as also) the study of Vedas and other scriptures are known as the austerity of words or speech.
Lesson: The austerity of words is comprised of:
(a) Expression of pleasant, wholesome and inoffensive truthful words, (b) study of Vedas and other scriptures
Subject: Austerity of Mind
मनः प्रसादः सौम्यत्वं मौनमात्मविनिग्रहः।
manaḥ prasādaḥ saumyatvaṁ maunamātmavinigrahaḥ|
Meaning: Happiness of mind, serenity, silence, self-control, internal purity; these together are called the austerity of the mind.
Lesson: The austerity of the mind includes :(i)happiness of the mind, (ii)serenity, (iii)silence, (iv)self-control, (v)internal purity.
Subject: Sattwic Austerity
श्रद्धया परया तप्तं तपस्तत्त्रिविधं नरैः।
अफलाकाङ्क्षिभिर्युक्तैः सात्त्विकं परिचक्षते॥१७-१७॥
śraddhayā parayā taptaṁ tapastattrividhaṁ naraiḥ|
aphalākāṅkṣibhiryuktaiḥ sāttvikaṁ paricakṣate||17-17||
Meaning: This three-fold austerity (of deeds, speech and the mind) performed with full faith by steadfast person, having no desire for fruit, is called Sattwic austerity.
Lesson: The Sattwic austerity is known as the practice of the aforementioned three-fold austerity with devotion and without expectation of any reward.
Subject: Rajasic Austerity
सत्कारमानपूजार्थं तपो दम्भेन चैव यत्।
क्रियते तदिह प्रोक्तं राजसं चलमध्रुवम्॥१७-१८॥
satkāramānapūjārthaṁ tapo dambhena caiva yat|
kriyate tadiha proktaṁ rājasaṁ calamadhruvam||17-18||
Meaning: That austerity is said to be Rajasic which is performed with the object of winning respect, honour and worship and for ostentation is instable and transitory in effect.
Lesson: The austerity performed for self- praise or for getting self-reverence is Rajasic. It has no spiritual value.
Subject: Tamasic Austerity
मूढग्राहेणात्मनो यत्पीडया क्रियते तपः।
परस्योत्सादनार्थं वा तत्तामसमुदाहृतम्॥१७-१९॥
mūḍhagrāheṇātmano yatpīḍayā kriyate tapaḥ|
parasyotsādanārthaṁ vā tattāmasamudāhṛtam||17-19||
Meaning: The austerity is known as Tamasic which is performed out of foolishness and perversity for self-torture or to hurt others.
Lesson: The austerity performed with foolishness and perversity to torture ones own-self or others is known as Tamasic
Subject: Sattwic Charity
दातव्यमिति यद्दानं दीयतेऽनुपकारिणे।
देशे काले च पात्रे च तद्दानं सात्त्विकं स्मृतम्॥१७-२०॥
dātavyamiti yaddānaṁ dīyate’nupakāriṇe|
deśe kāle ca pātre ca taddānaṁ sāttvikaṁ smṛtam||17-20||
Meaning: That is said to be Sattwic charity which is given with a sense of duty, at a right time and (right) place, to a worthy person, without any expectation of reward or return from him.
Lesson: The charity made to a right person, as an obligation at a right time and right place, without any expectation of reward is considered as Sattwic charity.
Subject: Rajasic Charity
यत्तु प्रत्त्युपकारार्थं फलमुद्दिश्य वा पुनः।
दीयते च परिक्लिष्टं तद्दानं राजसं स्मृतम्॥१७-२१॥
yattu prattyupakārārthaṁ phalamuddiśya vā punaḥ|
dīyate ca parikliṣṭaṁ taddānaṁ rājasaṁ smṛtam||17-21||
Meaning: That charity is said to be Rajasic which is given reluctantly with the expectation of some return or for getting some fruit.
Lesson: The charity given with reluctance and for rewards is known as Rajasic charity.
Subject: Tamasic Charity
अदेशकाले यद्दानमपात्रेभ्यश्च दीयते।
adeśakāle yaddānamapātrebhyaśca dīyate|
Meaning: That charity is said to be Tamasic which is given at a wrong place and (wrong) time to wrong persons without respect or with indignity.
Lesson: The charity made to unworthy person and at a wrong time as also at the wrong place without any reverence and dignity is Tamasic charity.
Subject: The Triple Words
ॐतत्सदिति निर्देशो ब्रह्मणस्त्रिविधः स्मृतः।
ब्राह्मणास्तेन वेदाश्च यज्ञाश्च विहिताः पुरा॥१७-२३॥
omtatsaditi nirdeśo brahmaṇastrividhaḥ smṛtaḥ|
brāhmaṇāstena vedāśca yajñāśca vihitāḥ purā||17-23||
Meaning: The Absolute ( Brahman) is addressed by triple words of OM, TAT, SAT. At the beginning of the creation, the Brahman, the Vedas and sacrifices were created by that.
Subject: Importance of One Syllable AUM
प्रवर्तन्ते विधानोक्ताः सततं ब्रह्मवादिनाम्॥१७-२४॥
pravartante vidhānoktāḥ satataṁ brahmavādinām||17-24||
Meaning: Therefore, the acts of sacrifice, charity and austerity, as enshrined in the scriptures, are always commenced with the pronouncement of AUM by the knower of Vedas.
Subject: Importance of TAT
तदित्यनभिसंधाय फलं यज्ञतपःक्रियाः।
दानक्रियाश्च विविधाः क्रियन्ते मोक्षकाङ्क्षिभिः॥१७-२५॥
tadityanabhisaṁdhāya phalaṁ yajñatapaḥkriyāḥ|
dānakriyāśca vividhāḥ kriyante mokṣakāṅkṣibhiḥ||17-25||
Meaning: Various acts of charity, sacrifice and austerity are performed by the seekers of salvation by pronouncing the word TAT, without aiming at the fruits.
Subject: Description of SAT
सद्भावे साधुभावे च सदित्येतत्प्रयुज्यते।
प्रशस्ते कर्मणि तथा सच्छब्दः पार्थ युज्यते॥१७-२६॥
sadbhāve sādhubhāve ca sadityetatprayujyate|
praśaste karmaṇi tathā sacchabdaḥ pārtha yujyate||17-26||
Meaning: The word SAT is used in the sense of truth and goodness. And O Partha, the word SAT is also used in the sense of auspicious act.
यज्ञे तपसि दाने च स्थितिः सदिति चोच्यते।
कर्म चैव तदर्थीयं सदित्येवाभिधीयते॥१७-२७॥
yajñe tapasi dāne ca sthitiḥ saditi cocyate|
karma caiva tadarthīyaṁ sadityevābhidhīyate||17-27||
Meaning: Steadfastness in sacrifice, austerity and charity is also called SAT and verily the action performed for the sake of the Supreme-Being is called SAT.
Lesson: All your activities of charity, austerity and sacrifice (Yajna) go to the Supreme-Being when performed with the recitation of the three–fold eternal words AUM, TAT, SAT. The pronouncement of these triple words make such activities wholesome : the activities of goodness and the best.( The three-fold words—AUM, TAT, SAT manifest the Supreme as the word AUM is the Supreme-Being; TAT is that which is beyond the perception of the senses, the mind and the intellect, again the Supreme alone is beyond all perceptions; SAT is the Absolute Reality which again is the Supreme-Being. The three-fold word whether used separately or jointly express only the Supreme One—the Absolute)
Subject: A-sat (Impure /Unreal) Act
अश्रद्धया हुतं दत्तं तपस्तप्तं कृतं च यत्।
असदित्युच्यते पार्थ न च तत्प्रेप्य नो इह॥१७-२८॥
aśraddhayā hutaṁ dattaṁ tapastaptaṁ kṛtaṁ ca yat|
asadityucyate pārtha na ca tatprepya no iha||17-28||
Meaning: What ever sacrifice is done, and whatever austerity is practiced, and whatever charity is given or any other act is performed without faith, it is called A-SAT, O Partha, and it is not for here and hereafter.
Lesson: Perform all your actions with devotion, dedication and faith (as an oblation to the Supreme-Being). Such acts alone are real or pure and go to the Supreme-Being. Else, all your acts are futile or A-sat.