Tag Archives: Krishna

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 40

Na tadasti prithivyaam vaa divi deveshu vaa punah; Sattwam prakritijairmuktam yadebhih syaat tribhirgunaih.

There is no being on earth or again in heaven among the gods that is liberated from the three qualities born of Nature.
Interpretation
This shloka is explaining clearly the nature and importance of the three gunas. Lord Krishna says that these three gunas are very important for every individual on this planet or anywhere else in the universe will be affected by these gunas. Not only the beings on this planet but also those who go to heaven also and the gods living in heaven also are affected by these gunas. In the end Lord says that all these beings on this planet as well as those living in the heaven are not liberated from the three qualities of sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic gunas are born with.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
Gunas are universal and they are present in all individual, nobody in this world or in heaven can actually escape the three qualities of Sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic gunas. One has to understand the fact that all these threee gunas are affected by Maya, which we have seen in the previous shlokas also. The only way that one gets rid of this maya is in the stage of “om tat sat” where the person comes out of the maya of these three gunas. If Tamasic is maya that is black and filled with ignorance, Rajasic is a maya that is red with passion and Sattwik maya is pure white. White doesnt mean absence of maya but it means presence of a different type of maya.
But the question that would be asked then is how can those in heaven, including gods be under the influence of these three gunas? The answer is why not? Indra, who is the king of heaven is known to be a rajasic person who has hunger for power and lust for women. We have seen so many instances whenever rishis are performing Tapas, he sends beautiful women to entice them and deviate them. Everyone knows how Bramharishi Vishwamitra fell into the trap of menaka sent by Indra. So, swarga loka is no different from Bhu loka in exhibiting these gunas. Its only after a person crosses the swarga loka and goes into the mahar loka that he will slowly starts to get rid of this maya.  

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 39

Yadagre chaanubandhe cha sukham mohanamaatmanah;

Nidraalasyapramaadottham tattaamasamudaahritam.
That pleasure which at first and in the sequel is delusive of the self, 
arising from sleep,indolence and heedlessness—such a pleasure is declared to be Tamasic.
Interpretation
Lord in this shloka is talking about the Tamasic pleasure in an individual. According to Lord Krishna a pleasure a person is experiencing which is delusive is a tamasic pleasure. Delusive is something which is false or which gives a misleading impression. Not only that person begins to do the activities with delusion but he also continues to do activities as a never ending chain. Lord Krishna also says that these tamasic qualities arise from sleep, indolence and heedlessness. Indolence is the quality of avoiding a particular task due to laziness and heedlessness is lack of care or attention in an individual.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
When an individual wants to enjoy life he can go to any extent to keep himself happy. Yesterday we were looking at a Rajasic person who ends up losing many things and feeling immense pain as he approaches towards the end of a task. A Tamasic person actually doesnt feel the pain at all because he never allows pain to come to him. Any painful situation coming, he will run away from that and he will embrace only those things that bring him happiness. Happiness that an individual creates for himself is a false happiness but a Tamasic person can never understand this. He takes God on his side and makes multiple deals with Him to win happiness. If that happiness is not coming he will run from that God as well as from that situation.
Am sure you would have seen many people who go to many temples, sometimes even to churches and dargahs only for their wish fulfillment. Even after all this if the wish doesnt fulfill he runs away from it and starts finding a new wish for himself. There are many examples you can take. A person who changes multiple jobs in his career but never went to the top position is an example. A person who starts multiple business ventures but ends up losing money is another example. A person who believes in luck, lottery and who is into betting, gambling and easy way of earning money is also an example. We have many examples of such people because they exist everywhere in our society and they always keep running away from one situation to another. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 37

Yattadagre vishamiva parinaame’mritopamam; Tatsukham saattwikam proktam aatmabuddhiprasaadajam.

That Which is like poison at first but in the end like nectar— that pleasure is declared to be Sattwic, born of the purity of one’s own mind due to Self-realisation.

Interpretation
This shloka talks about the pain and pleasure which are sattwik in nature or experienced by a sattwik person. Lord says that for a sattwik person anything that he begins, starts off like a poison in the beginning and finally when he ends the task, it feels like nectar or sweet. Lord Krishna says that this kind of pleasure is said to be the sattwik pleasure. Then Lord also says that this kind of feeling and ability of an individual to take poison in the beginning and end up turning into nector actually comes from the purity of his mind and that purity of mind is the result of the self realization that a person has where his intellect gives him that kind of thought process.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
Any work or activity which you do that tastes like poison and feels difficult or worries you, at the end of the day appears easy, relaxing and sweet it is because you have the ability to do it in a way that it should be done. Many people dont look at a task that is burdensome, they usually avoid it. For the accomplishment of any task, there are two paths, the path filled with pains and the path with pleasures. We usually choose the path with pleasure because you want things to be easier for you, but that path by the end of the day turns burdensome and poisonous, which means something that gives a bad result. But a path which is difficult and appears like poison, as it approaches towards the end will appear like nectar and seems pleasurable. Only a person with sattwik intellect can understand this.
There are numerous examples to illustrate this. Many times, I have seen that a graduate when he has a choice of working and going for further studies are kept infront of him, many choose working over further studies. It is because studies means attending classes, which is hard work and appears like poison in the beginning. Working appears pleasurable because it gives you money and that money brings enjoyment. But a person who completes his higher studies, enjoys the fruits of his efforts and gets settled in good position and gains money and respect. The person who starts to work often hits a saturation point in career and faces crisis and lands himself in a painful situations. A sattwik person looks at the long term implications of his actions though it might be painful and that helps him to reap the benefits of his actions in the long run. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 36

Sukham twidaaneem trividham shrinu me bharatarshabha; Abhyaasaadramate yatra duhkhaantam cha nigacchati.

Now hear from Me, O Arjuna, of the threefold pleasure, in which one rejoices by practice and surely comes to the end of pain!
Interpretation
The last 7 shlokas were mainly concentrated on the effects of intellect and firmness on a person who has a sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic nature. We have seen how a person with Tamasic nature uses his intellect and firmness and same is the case with Rajasic and Sattwik person. Now Lord is going to talk about pain and pleasure. He tell Arjuna to listen from Him, about the three fold pleasures in which one rejoices. The three fold pleasure is again the Sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic pleasure. Lord implies here that the pleasure that people feel also is very much linked to the nature of themselves. So, everyone has their own way of rejoicing the pleasure to end the pain, which again depends on their nature. 
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
Pain and pleasure are inseparable part of anybody’s life and existence. When in pain, everyone wants to come out of that pain and that can only happen when you seek a pleasure. What pleasure you seek is also important. When in immense pain, a person might take to alcohol to overcome that pain or he might read a book or pray to God to overcome that pain. Apart from all this the definition of pain itself needs to be looked into. Pain is sometimes necessary to understand the pleasure but not all pains are required to be borne by an individual. So, understanding pain and pleasure as well as how one tackles the pain and what kind of pleasure he seeks are all important and let us hear what Lord Krishna tells about these pleasures and how it alters the pain of an individual. 

Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 35

Yayaa swapnam bhayam shokam vishaadam madameva cha;
Na vimunchati durmedhaa dhritih saa paartha taamasee.
That by which a stupid man does not abandon sleep, fear, grief, despair 
and also conceit—that firmness, O Arjuna, is Tamasic!
Interpretation
This shloka finally talks about the firmness of a Tamasic person. Throughout we have seen the intellect of sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic person and now we are seeing the firmness of Tamasic person after talking about the firmness of sattwik and Rajasic persons in last two shlokas. Lord compare a Tamasic person’s firmness to stupidity and that stupid person will not abandon either the sleep or the fear. He would be scared of everything around but doesn’t show it out. Apart from that he also lives in grief and despair all the time and shows conceit. Conceit means excessive pride in oneself. That firmness which shows all these qualities is the Tamasic firmness, says Lord Krishna to Arjuna
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We often come across these kind of people in many situations in our lives. Have you seen people who always try to command over you and show their superiority over you and believe that they are firm and right. They commit thousands of mistakes, yet they believe that what they are doing is only right and their words alone should be taken as gospel. I know a lady whose example would fit perfectly for this situation. She loved a person in her young age, got married to someone else, ruined his life by being in touch with her lover, pushed him to end his life, went behind a third person, before coming back to the person she loved. Quit her job, started a business, miserably failed in that, almost went bankrupt, but still believes that she is right and talks about Vedas and vedic way of living.

The world is filled with people who live in darkness and use their intellect and firmness not to benefit the society but to ruin it. They only live for themselves and they are filled with fear and grief inside but put up a different face outside. They project as if they are the most pious people in this world and even go to the extent of preaching others on the right way of life. Such is their conceit. The firmness exhibited by such kind of people is a classic example of Tamasic firmness. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 33

Dhrityaa yayaa dhaarayate manah praanendriyakriyaah;
Yogenaavyabhichaarinyaa dhritih saa paartha saattwikee.
The unwavering firmness by which, through Yoga, the functions of the mind, the life-
force and the senses are restrained—that firmness, O Arjuna, is Sattwic!
Interpretation
This shloka again focuses on the sattwik nature in an individual. The shloka starts with the unwavering firmness which is the identity of any sattwik person. Here Lord talks about three types of firmness of mind. The first one is the functions of mind which includes mainly the activities that are controlled by senses. Second is the life force or the forces that control the life in an individual and the third is the senses that one should be restrained. These three activities help an individual in developing the firmness of mind and that every individual should possess if he is sattwik by nature.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
Here we are talking about dhriti again, which we have seen in the previous shlokas. Dhrithi is inner strength of an individual that is usually developed by three aspects. First is if a person regularly practices yoga and through that he develops an ability to control his mind and senses. The moment he is able to do that his mind stops to waver. The life force motivates an individual in performing his tasks where he gets connected to the inner most levels of his sub-conscious mind and the third is restrained senses which are a result of a unwavering mind and the life force. Yoga is the only way through which a person acquires firmness and doesnt waver at all that firmness is called Sattwik in nature. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 32

Adharmam dharmamiti yaa manyate tamasaavritaa; Sarvaarthaan vipareetaamshcha buddhih saa paartha taamasee.
That which, enveloped in darkness, views Adharma as Dharma and all things perverted—that intellect, O Arjuna, is called Tamasic!
Interpretation

After talking about the Sattwik and Rajasic characteristics, Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about the Tamasic characteristics in a person. He says that Tamasic guna  is not visible and since it is covered it feels as if it is enveloped in darkness. This guna views the adharmic way of doing things as dharmic and always mistakes it that way only. The next important characteristic that Lord mentions is the perverted way of looking at things. Tamasic people usually looks at things in a perverted way, that usually harms people. He then tells to Arjuna that these are the qualities that a Tamasic person will have.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
When you get knowledge, it is the combination of outer knowledge and inner intellect, which we also call as spirituality. A person whenever he learns something will always try to internalize it and use it by combing it with his inner intellect. Such people are usually Rajasic and Sattwik by nature. But a person who lacks that inner intellect and takes the knowledge as it is, is a Tamasic person. A simple example. Centuries ago it was a tradition which mandated the lady of the household to light up a lamp before God and then the entire house will be lit. It is not a ritual or worshiping of God, but it is a simple tradition that God’s place should be the first place to light, and then only other places can be lit.
Just project this in today’s world. There are many houses where just after sunset they lit up the diya and do puja. It is considered to be bad and inauspicious if you dont do that. Let’s look at the truth. In today’s world houses are made with opaque glass windows and curtains and rooms are lit during day time also. So, what sense does it make lighting a lamp infront of God in an already lit puja room? The very purpose of the first light after sunset going to God is defeated. A person has to understand that it is not a religious ritual but a daily practice. When his inner intellect is covered with darkness he tends to exhibit such behavior. He is called as a typical Tamasic person. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 29

Buddherbhedam dhriteshchaiva gunatastrividham shrinu;
Prochyamaanamasheshena prithaktwena dhananjaya.

Hear thou the threefold division of the intellect and firmness according to the Gunas, 
as I declare them fully and distinctly, O Arjuna!
Interpretation

After talking about certain qualities connected to Sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic guna people, Lord Krishna picks up two qualities that play a very important rule in a person’s life and how they vary in a person who is from sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic minded people. The two qualities are intellect and firmness. Intellect is called “Buddhi” in sanskrit which means the ability to distinguish between the right thing and the wrong thing in a person. The second quality is firmness which also means determination that a person shows towards a task that he undertakes. Now let’s hear from Lord Krishna how they vary from Sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic people.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

“Buddhi” or intellect is something which determines the distinction between the quality and quantity of a particular work. You would have observed that some people look at things only quantitatively but certain other people also look at qualitatively. For example, for a salesman quantity is important because he only looks how many units of a product or a service that he was able to sell. That’s only a partial way of looking at a product and its marketing. If someone has to look at the overall marketing strategy for a product then qualitative aspects like customer satisfaction, probability of the repeat purchase etc becomes important, which a salesman does not look at. 

Thus Buddhi or intellect involves the qualitative and quantitative way of looking at things. Not only that, it also helps a person to distinguish between what is right and what is not. Once that is done, then “Dhrithi” of inner determination of a person comes into picture. It also talks about the ability of a person to withstand the difficulties and hardships that he might encounter while performing a task. No task is easy and it involves a lot of inner determination to complete the task successfully. Now we will get to know how a sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic person approaches the intellect and inner determination and how he looks at them is what Lord is going to tell us in the coming shlokas. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 28

Ayuktah praakritah stabdhah shatho naishkritiko’lasah;
Vishaadee deerghasootree cha kartaa taamasa uchyate
Unsteady, dejected, unbending, cheating, proscrastinating
malicious, vulgar and lazy-such an agent is called Tamasic.
Interpretation

This shloka talks about the Tamasic nature of a person. There are many qualities that are associated with Tamasic nature that are described here. The first is unsteady, where any work they do, they cannot remain steady in that. Next is they are dejected and they are unbending, which means you cannot change them or bend them. Two more qualities that are described here are cheating and procrastination where a tamasic person cheats and postpones all their responsibilities. Finally Lord Krishna calls these people malicious, lazy and vulgar which are the reactions that the Tamasic people usually display in all their actions. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Who feels dejected? A person when he does something wrong and gets caught, is the one who is dejected. If he had not done a wrong thing, will he ever get the feeling of dejection? If you stick to your dharma, do everything that your dharma demands, you will never get a chance to feel bad about anything you do. Dejection comes, when you hide things from others and do things that are wrongful and adharmic. The second point is a Tamasic person ever after the dejection, never bends or changes his path. Till the time everyone remembers his wrong ways, he remains silent and once everything is forgotten, he is onto his bad ways again.

Lord also describes a Tamasic person as malicious, vulgar and lazy. Such kind of person talks very ill about others and doesnt stop himself from character assassination of a person. Such bad words can only be spoken by a Tamasic person. Such people are also vulgar in their actions and they are the ones who verbally and physically abuse women. You would see that category of people commenting on women and even go the extent of assaulting them. The nature of such people is lazy, as they dont believe in doing anything that involves hard work and never believes in that. Such kind of people are described as Tamasic by Lord Krishna.