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Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 15

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 15

Rajasi pralayam gatwaa karmasangishu jaayate;
Tathaa praleenastamasi moodhayonishu jaayate.

Meeting death in Rajas, he is born among those who are attached to action; and dying in Tamas, he is born in the womb of the senseless.


After talking about the sattva guna and where the sattvik person’s soul will go after the death, Lord Krishna focusses in this shloka about Rajasik person and the tamasic person and where his soul will go after the death and where he would be reborn in his next birth. Lord Krishna in the first part of the shloka talks about Rajasik person and says that a person who dies with Rajasik guna will be born in the family where the majority of those are engaged in Rajasik dharmas or attached to the action. Similarly, when he dies with tamasic gunas in him intact, he will choose a womb of a senseless family which has no direction.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

This shloka is very simple but needs to be understood in the right context with all its complexities.

You will have two or more siblings in a family. Will they all choose the same guna as parents? Will they all have the same guna? Will father and mother both have the same guna? These are the points to be considered. Firstly, we have to understand that the soul doesn’t have eyes or ears to see and hear to decide which womb it wants to take. All that soul has is the ability to sense vibrations of a particular guna and then decide on the basis of it the right womb it wants to enter.

Its a very complex process and it mainly depends on the knowledge that a soul possesses. A soul which is in higher lokas has more knowledge and aided with that knowledge and the senses available, it might make lesser mistakes than the other souls which are at the inferior lokas. When a soul is choosing a womb it just goes by the feel of vibes coming out from a person doing a sattvik, Rajasik and Tamasic activity. Understand that if you are meditating or learning or sharing the knowledge you emit a vibe in the universe which has a frequency giving it a shape of particular guna. If that is caught by a wandering soul, it gets attached to it and it decides to take birth in that family. 

Similar is the case with a person doing a Rajasik and Tamasic activity. A soul that is attached to Rajasik activity picks up the vibe of the same person when he is doing a Rajasic activity or of a lady who he is married to. If a husband is Rajasik and wife is sattvik then the children born to them could be of both gunas because of the vibes that they emit. Similar is the case with Tamasic guna. Also one needs to understand that a person is not 100% Sattva, Rajas or Tamas. If a soul attached to Tamas guna catches the vibe of a same Rajasic person when he is engaged in the Tamasic activity, it might decide to be born there thus making a mistake.

Here the Tamasic soul is more susceptible to make errors as it has least knowledge. A person might be 80% Rajas and 20% Tamas but the soul might decide to be born in that family when the father is engaged in the Tamas activity which occupies only 20% of his time. Thus after being born, a person decides that he is born in a wrong family. Typically you have leading businessmen or politicians aspiring for power, their sons will be useless. This is purely because of the wrong choice that a soul can make. Thus a family can have children from Sattva, Rajas and Tamas guna though the parents might just have one or two gunas.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 14

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 14

Yadaa sattwe pravriddhe tu pralayam yaati dehabhrit;Tadottamavidaam lokaan amalaan pratipadyate.

If the embodied one meets with death when Sattwa has become predominant, then he attains to the spotless worlds of the knowers of the Highest.


This is the first shloka where Lord Krishna talks about what happens to a person who has followed the sattvik Guna after the death. Till now we were mainly focusing on the predominance of all the three gunas and the natures associated with it. In this shloka, Lord Krishna talks about a person who embodies himself with sattvik nature and lives the whole life following the qualities of sattva like seeking knowledge for attaining happiness. Such a person with his predominant sattvik nature when attains death, goes straight to the spotless worlds of the knowers of the highest. Knowers of the highest are the seekers of happiness through knowledge.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Some time ago who have studied about the seven lokas that exist along with Bhu Loka. Bhu Loka is for everyone who is having a body. After death, the body is buried and the soul goes to different lokas depending upon the amount of spirituality it holds. Here Lord is talking about a sattvik person attaining different lokas. A Sattvik person by the nature of only concentrating on knowledge and deriving happiness from it usually doesn’t aspire for a Swarga Loka. The comforts of Swarga Loka doesn’t entice him as he has already seen them before.

Yes, that is the point that is being made here. Look at a person who relinquishes the material comforts for the sake of knowledge. When we ask a lakh people to choose between money and knowledge, not more than 1 or 2 would opt for knowledge. The others want money as they give comfort but a sattvik person looks at knowledge giving him comfort. Such a person is qualified to go to higher lokas like Mahar Loka and Gnana Loka than going to Bhuvar Loka or Swarga Loka which is for inferior souls. These Mahar Loka and Gnana Loka are called as the spotless lokas as souls over there overcome most of the material desires and are on a constant quest for knowledge. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 10

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 10

Rajastamashchaabhibhooya sattwam bhavati bhaarata;
Rajah sattwam tamashchaiva tamah sattwam rajastathaa.

Now Sattwa prevails, O Arjuna, having overpowered Rajas and Tamas;
now Rajas, having overpowered Sattwa and Tamas; and now Tamas, having overpowered Sattwa and Rajas!


After explaining the nature of all the three Gunas Lord Krishna in this shloka talks about the prevalence of one Guna over the other. He says that when Sattvik Guna prevails in an individual then it overpowers the Rajasik and Tamasic nature and stands ahead. In the same way Rajasic Guna overpowers an individual, when passion takes over the reasoning power in him and he becomes obsessed about things. Then the third situation is when the Tamasic guna prevails over an indidvidual when he becomes lazy, then sattvik and Rajasi Gunas take a back seat. Lord Krishna says that all these three Gunas prevail in an individual at one point or the other as dominant force. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Your mood swings explain very clearly what Guna is dominant in you. All the three are inside you and you exhibit them at different times in different proportions. There are times when you want to be calm, peaceful, helpful and generous and that is when you have sattvik quality is dominating you. You don’t feel like saying ill about anyone and would want to be with yourself in your own world reading or doing meditation. Then another mood swing is suddenly you get ambitious, passionate and wants to do something big. You feel that you should achieve something and people around you should appreciate you for that. This is nothing but the Rajasik guna in you which is pushing you to achieve something. 

Another quality of Rajasik guna is when you feel jealous and envy of others. Suppose if your best friend is appreciated for what he has done and if part of the activity you have also done, but no one realises it, you will feel bit envy and jealous about that person. A sattvik natured person never experiences that. Tamasic is when you feel lazy, sleepy and doubt everything around. You are asked to do a particular task and you doubt whether its essential or not. You feel lazy and postpone it. If you are scolded for your inaction you get angry. All these are the qualities of a Tamasic person. Thus all these three qualities exist in every individual and the proportion of that forms his personality, says Lord Krishna.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 9

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 9

Sattwam sukhe sanjayati rajah karmani bhaarata;
Jnaanamaavritya tu tamah pramaade sanjayatyuta.

Sattwa attaches to knowledge, Rajas to action, O Arjuna, 
while Tamas, shrouding knowledge, attaches to heedlessness only!


The last three shlokas explained the nature of Sattvik, Rajasik and Tamasic guna in an individual, in this shloka Lord Krishna tries to connect all the three gunas and explains them in one single shloka. He says that Sattvik guna is attached to knowledge and the happiness that is derived from that knowledge. The Rajasik guna is attached to the actions that one performs as the part of their quest to success and achieved. Then Lord Krishna reiterates the point He said in the previous shloka that Tamasic guna in a person is the result of leaving the path of knowledge and going in the path of stubbornness and ignorance. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We have already discussed the fact that every human being has all the three gunas of Sattvik, Rajasik and Tamasic embedded in him. Depending on the situations and the influences of the people around, the quantity of these gunas present in an individual keeps changing. If a person is kept in the company of sattvik people, he imbibes a lot of sattivik characteristics and same is the case with other gunas. We usually have a lot of tamasic guna people around because we live in a country which has mostly ignorance in it. Strange it is that this is the land of Buddha, Swamy Vivekanada and Adi Shankaracharya but the maximum number of people are deeply ignorant. 

When you have ignorant people around, the ignorance is spread across and the people get those characteristics only. They will stay away from seeking any knowledge and thus will spend all their lives in seeking pleasure. If you are in the company of achievers like MS Dhoni or Milkha Singh or Saina Nehwal or Mukesh Ambani or JRD Tata you would see the competitive spirt and this is the  Rajasik guna of an individual. The simple example is how the Rajasik nature of Gopichand has created many great Badminton stars for India. So, the bottom line here is keeping the right kind of company is very essential and knowing each type of guna and the qualities associated with it helps us to choose the right company.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 7

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 7

Rajo raagaatmakam viddhi trishnaasangasamudbhavam;
Tannibadhnaati kaunteya karmasangena dehinam.

Know thou Rajas to be of the nature of passion, the source of thirst for sensual enjoyment and attachment; it binds fast, O Arjuna, the embodied one by attachment to action!


After explaining in detail about the Sattvik nature of an individual, Lord Krishna in this shloka explains the second nature in the Universe which is called as Rajasik. He compares Rajasik nature to passion. Passion here means utmost attachment for a profession or activity that a person is engaged in. Then Lord Krishna also links the Rajasik nature as the source of a person’s longing for the sensual enjoyment and attachment. The last part of the shloka talks about the nature of Rajasik guna. Rjasik guna binds a person faster to it and the person develops attachment to action unlike Satvik where he develops attachment to knowledge.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

This Rajasik guna is something we would notice in many individuals. A person who is Rajasik would like to have the power and prestige and has attachment to all the sensual things in life. He like money, power and every comfort that he can get. He is engrossed in worldly pursuits like status, career, prestige, family etc. Rajasik people are motivated to take up any activity that can give them these things. Such kind of people also get attached to the actions but not to the knowledge. For them results are more important than the means through which these are achieved.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 4

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 4

Sarvayonishu kaunteya moortayah sambhavanti yaah;
Taasaam brahma mahadyonir aham beejapradah pitaa.

Whatever forms are produced, O Arjuna, in any womb whatsoever, 
the great Brahma is their womb and I am the seed-giving father.


This is the second part of the shloka where Lord Krishna talks about Him and Brahma in the creation of this universe. As we have already known from the previous shloka that the entire universe is the creation of Brahma and Vishnu. Here the Lord is comparing them both by giving a gender connotation. He says that every form of being that is produced in any womb, whatsoever Brahma is the womb. Here He compares Brahma to the female energy in creating the life. Then He goes on to compare Himself to the seed giving male energy which we normally call as the father. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

A very important concept that we need to learn from this shloka is about gender and gender neutrality. In today’s world there is so much of talk about the gender and the role of the respective gender. From ancient times, the roles and responsibilities of each gender have been well defined and they are also expected to adhere to the norms. Even to this date most of the norms are sacrosanct and not subject to change. Many of us will find it strange when Lord Krishna says “Brahma is their womb”. How can a male be compared to an womb? Usually womb is associated with the females is what all of us know. 

The real meaning of this shloka is at the highest level, gender is just a name. A women need not be associated with a womb nor a man needs to be always compared to seed. It is just to be noted that womb is required for the body to take shape and the seed to carry the origin of life upon which the soul enters the womb and fits inside the body. Gender is always secondary. When Lord Krishna says Sri Maha Vishnu is the seed or the male energy here, there is also an instance where He became Mohini, the female energy with a womb and gave birth to Lord Ayyappan fathered by Lord Shiva. This clearly explains the concepts of womb and the seed and their importance in shristhi.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 3

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 3

Mama yonirmahadbrahma tasmin garbham dadhaamyaham;
Sambhavah sarvabhootaanaam tato bhavati bhaarata.

My womb is the great Brahma; in that I place the germ;
thence, O Arjuna, is the birth of all beings!


This is the first part of the two part shloka that explains the secret of the birth or shrishti rahasya. In the previous shloka itself we were talking about it as to how important it is to know about this concept to attain salvation. Lord Krishna says that the womb of the Lord Sri Maha Vishnu is the great Brahma. Brahma as we know is the creator. In that womb, Lord will place the germ. Germ here means the life giving element. Womb is also referred to as prakriti. Thus when Prakruti meets the purush, which is also called as the germ or the seed, then it gives birth to a being. This is the process through which all the beings in the universe are created says Lord Krishna.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

This is a self explanatory verse that talks about the way beings come into this universe. As discussed previously, there is a womb that is present in some beings and they are called as females and the seed is present in certain beings who are called as male. The process of union of male and female is the process through which shrishti rachana takes place. If you observe clearly, the act of union between male and female is the process through which a soul enters a womb and takes the shape of the body in that womb. Scientifically we know that from millions of sperms, just one enters the egg and that leads to fertilization. 

That is also the time when a soul enters and gives life to the sperm and the egg comibnation leading to the formation of zygote. This particular thing has no evidence but just because the entry of soul into the womb has no evidence we cannot discard that as a myth. Many things which are scientific today, were myths once upon a time. The womb is compared to Brahma here because it is the womb where the body takes shape and covers the soul. The soul in turn follows the sperm and enters the womb along with the entry of the sperm into the egg. Strange it may sound, but this is the shristhi rahasya through which all beings are created.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 2

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 2

Idam jnaanam upaashritya mama saadharmyam aagataah;
Sarge’pi nopajaayante pralaye na vyathanti cha.

They who, having taken refuge in this knowledge, attain to unity with Me, 
are neither born at the time of creation nor are they disturbed at the time of dissolution.


Lord Krishna has started to speak on a different topic altogether in this chapter or yoga. We have understood from the previous shloka that this chapter is about the three types of Gunas present in every individual. Lord Krishna in this shloka mentions that everyone has to take refuge in this knowledge. Refuge means he should start believing and worshipping this kind of belief. Such a person will attain the unity with the Lord Himself. Once he attains the unity with Lord that kind of person is neither created at the time of creation, nor he will be destroyed at the time of the dissolution of this universe. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

What is the meaning of taking refuge in the knowledge? There is a difference between information and knowledge. Information is the details or pointers that we seek on a specific thing. It can be about making a recipe or using a particular appliance etc. Knowledge, on the other hand, is the background information and all the related things attached to a specific thing that helps us to apply and work independently in the area where we are seeking that knowledge. Information keeps the person dependant whereas knowledge makes the person independent. Seeking refuge in knowledge is nothing but living that knowledge to the fullest. That means if you learn something, applying it to know further more and using it for the benefit of many and making it as a philosophy of life is what is called seeking refuge in knowledge. 

Once a person seeks refuge in knowledge, he gets a shelter and that shelter keeps him comfortable and he seeks more and more knowledge and thus acquires knowledge that connects different things. Connecting different things is a process of bringing unity and a person who tries to bring unity, the ultimate for thing for him will be to unify all the knowledge with God. Once he attains that he knows the “shristhi rahasya” or the secret of his being. That makes him truly immortal and that kind of a person is neither brought back at the time of creation nor he is destroyed at the time of the dissolution of this universe.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 1

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 1

Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha:
Param bhooyah pravakshyaami jnaanaanaam jnaanamuttamam;
Yajjnaatwaa munayah sarve paraam siddhimito gataah.

The Blessed Lord said:
I will again declare to thee that supreme knowledge, the best of all knowledge, 
having known which all the sages have gone to the supreme perfection after this life.


This is the beginning of the new chapter in Bhagavad Gita called Guna Triya Vibhaga yoga, that suceeds the Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga. Making the beginning to the yoga, Lord Krishna tells to Arjuna that He will give him the supreme knowledge about the three Gunas. This knowledge about Gunas are the best of all the knowledge that was acquired so far. The knowledge is so important and critical that all those who acquired this knowledge, including the great sages have all gone on to attain the Supreme perfection in their lives, says Lord Krishna.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We have sometime back discussed about the gunas and their importance in a person’s life. Gunas in a way describe the attitude of a person and the way he looks at things. There are three gunas, Sattvik, Rajasic, and Tamasic and these gunas affect the every individual in different proportions and at different times. All these gunas are present in every individual but their percentages vary from person to person. The degree to which each guna is present in an individal differentiates one person to another and shapes his personality. Lord Krishna in this Yoga is going to give us a complete understanding of these succeeds. The understanding is essential for everyone to have a perfection in any activity that they are engaged in.