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Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 26

Muktasango’nahamvaadi dhrityutsaahasamanvitah;
Siddhyasiddhyor nirvikaarah kartaa saattwika uchyate.

He who is free from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with firmness 
and enthusiasm and unaffected by success or failure, is called Sattwik.
Interpretation

In this moksha sannyas yoga Lord Krishna is talking about few more characteristics of the people who have all the three gunas of sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic. In this shloka Lord is talking about characteristics of a sattwik person. He talks about four different characteristics here which are non-attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with firmness, which means he would be firm in all situations and finally enthusiasm. These four are present in every sattwik person and when you do work with these four characteristics, the person never gets affected by success or failure and such a person is called as a sattwik person.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

A very important characteristic about is a sattwik person that we didnt discuss in any of the shlokas and we are discussing here is him being “endowed with firmness”. One needs to understand this clearly. Firmness as defined in dictionary is “resolute determination and strength of character”. We usually associate this phrase to a Rajasic person and not for a sattwik person. But the reality is a Sattwik person alone possesses this quality. There is a difference between being form and being ambitious. We usually mistake firmness with ambition. Ambition means “desire and determination to achieve success”. So, the clarity is firmness talks about strength of character while ambition talks about determination to achieve success.

This sattwik person being firm never looks at success. Firmness is not success, but it is the ability of a person to continue to stick to the task, whatever may be the hurdles that he faces. An ambitious person might assess the returns for his ambition but a firm person never measures it with anything else, other than the task. Simple example, is following the rules. An ambitious person will mend and bend the rules and even break them if its not giving him the returns whereas a firm person sticks to the rules, and does his task by being in the framework of those rules. Its not about blindly following the rule, but it is the trust that he has on the rule. If the rule is no longer applicable he wont hesitate to change it, but he will not mend or break it.
Firmness requires a lot of mental strength and what goes with firmness is enthusiasm. When asked what motivates to go to work, an overwhelming majority of people in today’s world will talk about the financial benefit that they get, and very few will talk about work satisfaction. This is also a point that one needs to observe. Financial benefit can never keep you enthusiastic but it keeps you alert and you will shift wherever the benefits are more. But sheer enthusiasm will always keep you satisfied with what you are doing, and a satisfied person never looks for anything else. These are the typical qualities you will find in a sattwik person. Let’s now see what Lord says about a Rajasic person. 

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