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Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 23

Samaduhkhasukhah swasthah samaloshtaashmakaanchanah; Tulyapriyaapriyo dheeras tulyanindaatma samstutih.

Alike in pleasure and pain, who dwells in the Self, to whom a clod of earth, stone and gold are alike, to whom the dear and the unfriendly are alike, firm, the same in censure and praise…


This shloka is the continuation of the previous shloka where Lord Krishna talks about a person who has transcended all the three gunas. Lord talks about the unconcerned nature and the self-centered attitude that the person posses in the previous shloka. In this shloka Lord Krishna says that this person lives and leaves things exactly the same, whether those things are giving him pleasure or pain. This person also sees the mud from the earth, the stone and the gold from the earth exactly the same way. The person also sees the dearer ones to him as well as enemies in the same way and same is the case with him in dealing with Criticism and praise. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

There is a misconception in many of us that Sattvik people don’t have desires and they look at things from the point of view of others. For example, if we take pain and pleasure, we feel that the sattvik person is not bothered about pain or pleasure. But that is not the fact. Though sattvik person seeks knowledge and works for the welfare of others more than himself, he also gets affected by ups and downs in life. For example, a person who started an NGO to take care of old people or orphan children, we observe that he gets affected by the success and failure he gets through that NGO. A happy older couple not having many problems is always a pleasurable thing. On the contrary, if he finds it difficult to arrange the funds for running NGO he goes through immense pain.

Thus we need to understand that even a spiritually evolved person with a lot of sattvik qualities is also affected by pain and pleasure. He also attaches value to things as explained in case of mud and gold. He smiles at finding gold and he also differentiates people who are friendly to him and generally avoids hostile people. Finally when we look at the praise and censure, we might have seen that some people are unmoved in praise. That means they wont feel overjoyed when someone praises them but they definitely get hurt when someone censures them. Criticism does affect them and they do everything to avoid or overcome it. Thus the one who transcended all the gunas is the one who is unaffected by any of these qualities.