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Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 11

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 11

Sarvadwaareshu dehe’smin prakaasha upajaayate;
Jnaanam yadaa tadaa vidyaa dvivriddham sattwamityuta.

When, through every sense in this body, the wisdom-light shines, 
then it may be known that Sattwa is predominant.

Interpretation

After talking about the Sattvik, Rajasik and Tamasik gunas in an individual and how they would be predominant, Lord Krishna in this shloka shifts His attention back to the Sattvik Guna. He attaches a lot of importance to the senses in holding that sattvik energy. He says that a person becomes wise only when he bestows himself with the sattvik energy. That sattvik energy can enter into his system only through the senses. Once it enters into the body of a person the light of his wisdom shines and only through that light of wisdom one can understand that the Sattvik guna is predominent in him. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

This is a three-part shloka that clearly explains the sattvik nature in an individual. The first shloka talks about how the sattvik energy that gets into an individual shines like wisdom-light. Wisdom-light in an individual is nothing but the illumination that results from a person acquiring wisdom. Wisdom is the result of knowledge and only sattvik energy can make you to learn more and acquire that wisdom. Like I have mentioned previously, you would feel like watching a business channel or a serious news channel only when you have the inclination to learn new things. This inclination to learn things only happens when sattvik energy is there. 

There is no end to knowledge and learning and a wise person will never allow himself to be limited to any area. As the knowledge level increases the person connects different things and gets varied perspectives about situations which lead to wisdom. For example, you will find people who can resolve any crisis or tell you how to handle any situation by just extrapolating the solutions for different problems. This is the result of hard work that the soul has put up and the sattvik energy in him helps to further that wisdom and his self will start glowing with the wisdom-light. The individuals who have this wisdom-light are the ones filled with sattvik energy.

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!

Interpretation

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 6

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 6

Tatra sattwam nirmalatwaat prakaashakam anaamayam;
Sukhasangena badhnaati jnaanasangena chaanagha.

Of these, Sattwa, which from its stainlessness is luminous and healthy, 
binds by attachment to knowledge and to happiness, O sinless one!

Interpretation

After telling that the Gunas in an individual are indestructible and present in every individual in different proportions just like the colours in the nature, Lord Krishna in this shloka goes on to explain the nature of Sattvik Guna in an individual. Lord Krishna says that the Sattvik Guna is self illuminating and healthy which is originated by the stainlessness. Stainlessness is the ability of a person who does not have any bad mark on his personality. Then Lord Krishna in the second part of the shloka goes on to say that Sattvik Guna in an individual binds itself by the attachment to the knowledge which in turn leads to the happiness in an individual. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Two points are very important here. First is that Sattvik nature is stainless. It means that the person who is having sattvik nature in him will never do anything that brings a mark to his character. But the question is, in today’s world is it possible? In today’s world, anything you do people will always criticize you or point out your mistake or say that you have done it with an ulterior motive. So, it is not possible for anybody to have a stainless character. What Lord Krishna is saying here is stainlessness comes from the attachment to ones dharma and doing it with utmost dedication. May thousand people misunderstand you or criticize you or you are punished for your work by humans, but if the work you did is linked to your dharma then your character is stainless. Nobody except God can judge you and your actions.

The Second aspect that you need to understand here is the linkage of knowledge and happiness and how a Sattvik person enjoys it. Not everyone enjoys knowledge or getting knowledge. Many people run away when you start sharing information with them on any disciplines like biology, history, economics, physics or medicine. This is because knowledge for many is burden-some and for few its pleasurable. That is why more than 90% of people either watch sports, music or entertainment or commercial news channels on TV. But for a sattvik person knowledge is divine and it alone brings him the happiness. Thus a sattvik person is always in pursuit of knowledge and excellence and that alone brings him the satisfaction says Lord Krishna.

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.

Interpretation

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 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 33

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 33

Yathaa sarvagatam saukshmyaadaakaasham nopalipyate;
Sarvatraavasthito dehe tathaatmaa nopalipyate.


As the all-pervading ether is not tainted because of its subtlety, 
so the Self seated everywhere in the body, is not tainted.

Interpretation

In this shloka, Lord Krishna continues to talk about the Supreme soul that is seated in all the beings. Here He talks about the purity of the self and how it is untouched by anything. Lord Krishna compares the soul here with the ether space in the atmosphere around us. Ether is an empty space which looks to be empty but has every characteristic present in it. This nature of ether brings an element of subtlety to it. Just like ether which spreads across all the available spaces in the universe but never gets tainted, the soul also which is seated everywhere in your body is not tainted. It is because just like ether, soul is also subtle. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The dictionary meaning of subtle is “something which is so delicate or precise that it becomes difficult to describe or analyse.” A thing which is subtle is there with you and when you want to hold it, it just escapes from you. Subtle is something, which is there but not there. Love is the best example for it. Love exists everywhere but the moment you want to physically hold it, it just escapes from you. The presence of God in you is also very subtle. You can feel that inside you but the moment you want to see it, it disappears totally, leaving no trace of its existence. The most subtle thing that you ever see is the ether space around you.  

The ether space is an empty space in appearance but filled with everything that universe can hold. You can feel but you cannot see. If you want to touch, it will never come to your hand. We have been sending radio waves, sound waves, infra red and UV rays into the ether space and it works in medicine, science and technology etc. It is subtle, so you can only feel it and use it but cant own it or see it. Since it is untouched by anyone or anything it is said to be untainted. In the same way, our body has the soul seated everywhere but you cant see where it is. It is subtle just like ether space and it is untouched by anything that our mind or body does. 

Soul in our body is very subtle and it is there only to advice the senses about the real purpose of their existence. We have already discussed this in the previous shlokas that soul will be silently waiting for the body controlled by senses, to come out of the control, listen to it and find out the path to spirituality. One can only feel the soul, they cannot touch it or see it. So, in comparison it is just like the ether space. In the way, ether space which is untouched remains untainted, the soul also remains untainted as it also remains untouched by anything that the body and senses do. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 31

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 31

Yadaa bhootaprithagbhaavam ekastham anupashyati;
Tata eva cha vistaaram brahma sampadyate tadaa.

When a man sees the whole variety of beings as resting in the One, 
and spreading forth from That alone, he then becomes Brahman.

Interpretation

This is a shloka that directly talks about how a person could attain Brahman. Lord Krishna was till now talking about the field and the ways to understand it. Now, He is talking how to become the knower of the field. Knower of the field here means Brahman. According to him the first step towards it is, a person should understand that all the beings in this universe are resting in one and that one is none other than Brahman. Second is that all these beings multiply or spread from Brahman only and no one else has the power to replicate what Brahman creates. Such kind of person who understands this will be the one who understands Brahman and goes into Him.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

This shloka talks about the different forms of life, but all having one soul created by God. For example, if you look at a bucket full of water, a pond, a river and a ocean you will say that all these are different. But if you see carefully, its all the same, all of them contain water. Same is the case with grass, a rose plant, a bamboo tree and a banyan tree. All of them appear to be different but they are all same. All of them are immovable living beings. So, there are variety of beings in this universe starting from a single celled amoeba to a complex multi-cellular human being. All of them might look different, but all of them are the same and the God seated in their soul is also the same. The one who understands this will alone understands the Brahman and goes to Him.

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