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Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 17

Shraddhayaa parayaa taptam tapastattrividham naraih;Aphalaakaangkshibhiryuktaih saattwikam parichakshate.

This threefold austerity practised by steadfast men with the utmost faith, desiring no reward, they call Sattwik.


After talking about the three fold path or the austerities of body, speech and mind Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about how it can be connected to the three gunas of Sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic. This shloka focuses on Sattwik alone. Lord Krishna again talks about a steadfast mind adopting this three fold austerity because a mind which doesnt waver at all can only take this. Faith is the other point that Lord is mentioning saying that a person who has utmost faith and the one who doesn’t desire any kind of reward practice these austerities then he is called as a sattwik person. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The shloka reminds me Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s iconic film Anand, where the protagonist Anand, the role essayed by legendary Rajesh Khanna, exhibits the characteristics portrayed in this shloka. Anand is a cancer patient left with few months to survive in this world and so he decides to use this time to lead a simple life, speak good about others and good about things which brings happiness with a mind which is serene and pure. It is very difficult for a person to have a control on himself and his emotions when he knows that he is dying in few months. This austerity of body, speech and mind has only made him to have that state of mind. 

If you see him, he makes people around him so happy that people develop an instant attachment towards him. That is only possible when you have no desires left in you. You only work for the betterment of the society and people around you and thats when people gets emotionally attached to you. He fixes up the marriage of his best friend and in the process teaches some valuable lessons in life about attachment and detachment to various people around him. Faith is the bedrock of everything that happens in his life and his faith alone has given him that energy. Cant think of a more sattwik person than Anand to give as an example. Watch the movie and you will understand what he is and what sattwik personality can do.