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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.

Interpretation

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 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!

Interpretation

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!

Interpretation

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 5

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 5

Sattwam rajastama iti gunaah prakriti sambhavaah;
Nibadhnanti mahaabaaho dehe dehinam avyayam.

Purity, passion and inertia—these qualities, O mighty-armed Arjuna, born of Nature, bind fast in the body, the embodied, the indestructible!

Interpretation

After talking about the secret of one’s birth and the masculine and feminine energy involved in creating the beings, Lord Krishna in this shloka concentrates on the qualities that are present in a being, that gives him a nature or personality. Here He talks about three qualities that are very essential and are a part of every being. The first is the purity which is also called as Sattvik, second is the passion or the Rajasik and the third is the inertia or the tamasic guna. These gunas are born out of prakruti or nature and they establish themselves in a body. These are so deep rooted in an individual that they cannot be destroyed by anyone. They only go with the body when it is dead. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Three is a very auspicious and important number in nature. The three gunas sattvik, Rajasik and Tamasik are like the three basic colours in nature. We all know that Red, Blue and Yellow are the three basic colours from which all the other colours of the Universe are created. In the same way, Sattvik, Rajasik and Tamasik are the three basic gunas from which many other characteristics are born in the nature. Like the way, the two primary colours mix to create three secondary colours like Green, Orange and Purple, any of the two out of these three gunas combine to create the various mixed characteristics in a living being. The coming 14 shlokas will shed more light on these gunas.

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!

Interpretation

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.

Interpretation

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 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 32

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 32

Anaaditwaan nirgunatwaat paramaatmaayam avyayah;
Shareerastho’pi kaunteya na karoti na lipyate.

Being without beginning and devoid of any qualities, the Supreme Self, 
imperishable, though dwelling in the body, O Arjuna, neither acts nor is tainted!

Interpretation

After talking about the various things that constitute the field of a being, Lord Krishna in this shloka is mentioning the existence of the Supreme soul or God in the field of a living being. Lord calls that Supreme being located in your soul is the one who has neither the beginning nor possesses any qualities. These are the two yardsticks with which everything in this world is measured. In the second part of the shloka, Lord Krishna calls the supreme soul as imperishable even though it is living inside a body that is perishable. Finally, Lord Krishna calls this soul as neither tainted nor a doer of any task.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

There is a saying that even in the cruelest human on this planet, there are times when kindness and care comes out. From where is this coming? We have to remember that our mind is what we make. We have learnt that nature with its perception fills our mind with all kinds of information and perceptions that makes the characteristics of a person and develops a personality to him. Soul residing inside the mind is largely untouched by it. We all act according to how our senses makes us to act. We cheat, we lie, we even do good acts like giving alms or helping the needy but whatever those acts are, the supreme soul inside the body stays silent, mostly untouched by whatever soul is doing. It allows the soul to pick up and do whatever activities that it wants to do.

But things are not like this always. Just imagine a scenario where you are just relaxing and thinking and suddenly a very noble thought strikes you. You decide to do a certain thing which you have not done till then. These are rare experiences felt only by some. This could be leaving a bad habit of yours, forgiving a person forever on whom you always had a grudge on or taking sanyas or renunciation from all that you are doing till then. How does these thoughts strike? What is the trigger? The trigger is the Supreme soul inside your soul that neither acts nor is affected by the bad things you did. When your senses are not doing anything and when you are contemplating with yourself, the Supreme soul seated inside sends a trigger of that thought that will come to your conscious mind or the sensory mind.

It is then left to your conscious mind to decide whether to implement that thought or not. If your sensory mind is clouded with Maya then it starts questioning the trigger of the Supreme soul and says that whatever you thought was a momentary weakness of your mind and you need not have to do anything like that. But if you don’t allow that maya to engulf you then automatically you will be able to implement that thought and that is the beginning of the process, whereby you learn to hear the voice of your inner self which will put you on the path of spirituality. This is a very important aspect about the field that every one of us has to understand and implement.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 30

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 30

Prakrityaiva cha karmaani kriyamaanaani sarvashah;
Yah pashyati tathaa’tmaanam akartaaram sa pashyati.

He sees, who sees that all actions are performed by Nature alone 
and that the Self is actionless.

Interpretation

Last shloka talked about Lord talking about the person who sees the same God dwelling in different living beings without discrimination, and the importance of it in attaining the salvation. In this shloka, Lord Krishna talks about the actions performed and how they should be viewed. So, what kind of person does Lord Krishna see? Here Lord mentions two things. First, is Lord Krishna says that He sees the person who sees that all actions performed by any individual are due to the influence of nature alone. The second aspect that He touches upon is, that person should also see the self as the action-less. Such people will be dearer to God.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

When you have read the interpretation of this shloka am sure you would have felt that you have read this before also that the actions are usually performed by nature alone. This shloka is not a repetition. What we have read previously was what one has to do. What is told by Lord Krishna is how one should see when others do it. Understanding this difference is very essential because usually there is a lot of difference between how one does things and how one sees when others do the same things. Simple example, we feel that cracking jokes and being jovial is a good thing and we crack jokes on different people and things. But if someone else cracks the same joke on us, we feel hurt and insulted.

This behavior comes because we have a different yardstick for measuring what we do and how we see others doing the same thing. Lord expects us to change this habit. First, whatever you are doing is done by nature which is also called Prakriti. so, nature is completely perceptual, and everyone behaves as the way they perceive things. Here another example also can help. Suppose you are a very serious person who doesn’t talk much and silently do your activities. How would you see a talkative person who is an extrovert and jovial? You should not have a negative view of the person or feel that this kind of behavior is wrong. One should always understand that behaviors are the result of our perceptions emerging out of nature and whether someone is like you or not like you, you should always see his actions emerging from nature alone.

The second aspect is Lord telling us that self is action-less. This is very crucial for misunderstanding or understanding a person. When someone does an undesirable act like theft, physical violence or sexual abuse or any other socially unacceptable behaviour we have a tendency to punish that person. So, what are you punishing here? Are you punishing the person’s senses or the soul? Here we need to understand the purpose of sending a person to jail. Jailing a person is a way of isolating him so that he is cutoff from the perceptions and nature’s influences. In isolation he will contemplate and meet his soul and do some search on his behaviour and comes out as a reformed person. So, the purpose of jailing is very different from what actually is followed today. The soul is never a part of activity and one needs to meet the soul to understand himself and that is possible only in isolation, which is very important for a person to change or reform.

Bhagavdgita Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 27

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 27

Yaavat sanjaayate kinchit sattwam sthaavarajangamam;
Kshetrakshetrajnasamyogaat tadviddhi bharatarshabha.

Wherever a being is born, whether it be unmoving or moving, know thou, 
O best of the Bharatas, that it is from the union between the Field and its Knower.

Interpretation

After talking about the nature and the senses and their integral role in the field Lord Krishna in this shloka talks further about the field and the relationship between the field and the knower of the field. Lord Krishna also compares Arjuna to rest of the Bharatas or the sons of Bharata, and says that Arjuna is the best amongst them. He always held this view that Arjuna is a superior person compared to other pandavas as well as all the kauravas. So, He tells Arjuna that wherever a being is born, in whatever form, whether movable or immovable that is only because of the union between the field and the knower of the field.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We have heard Lord Krishna talking several times about the unmoving beings in the previous shlokas. So, unmovable beings here are the living being that cannot move, which are basically plants. The question that strikes our mind is, do plants also have a field? Does it have senses and feelings like any other movable beings? Do they communicate with each other? We need to know the answers for all these and the common answer is Yes. Several scientific experiments were conducted in last few decades and it has revealed unambiguously that plants do communicate in vibrations that can be caught and understood by other plants. Am sure it sounds a bit odd to some of you.

We have already seen that there are some frequencies that humans can’t hear and only beings like bats and dogs can hear. When such kind of frequencies can exist in animals, then why can’t they exist in plants? Plants also consume food and consume it in a way that no other animal in this world can do. They prepare their own food and consume, something which we humans also can’t do totally. Many of us are still non-vegetarian and consume the meat of other living beings. Look at plants, through photosynthesis by using sunlight and taking carbondioxide from atmosphere, plants prepare their own food and consume. If they are that advanced then why can’t they communicate in a language that we don’t understand?

Plants and trees are so advanced that they live for hundreds of years, something which is not possible for any other living being in this planet. If their food, if their life span can be so different, why cant their communication be different? Existence of communication and life is the proof of the existence of the field. And for any being to be born in this universe, it is possible only when there is a union between the field and the knower of the field. For almost all the beings in the universe the knower of the field is God and the field is the being itself