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Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 25

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 25

adityanabhisandhaaya phalam yajnatapah kriyaah;
Daanakriyaashcha vividhaah kriyante mokshakaangkshibhih.

Uttering Tat, without aiming at the fruits, are the acts of sacrifice and austerity and the various acts of gift performed by the seekers of liberation.

Interpretation

After the syllable “om” the next thing that Lord is talking here is “tat”. Tat means that, and that here refers to the Almighty. Lord Krishna says that a person who believes in God, without aiming for any results and does all the activities accordingly will go in the path of liberation. Lord also mentions the importance of austerity in performing the sacrifices and says that any sacrifice done with austerity alone can meet the destination. Apart from all this Lord also says that it is mandatory that “tat” should be uttered by those who are offering various kinds of gifts for seeking liberation.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

“Tat” is uttered by the person who has the ability to see “God” in everything that he does. He has elevated himself from the gunas of Tamasic, Rajasic and Sattwik and have gone to higher levels beyond the realms of Maya affecting him. Here also, we hear the phrase of doing things without expecting any results out of it. You might say that this phrase was repeated so many times before. It was repeated for a person who is in tamasic, rajasic and sattwik gunas to progress spiritually. Our spirituality makes us to choose things which are appropriate to us. Everything we choose has a guna attached to it and when we perform that task, we need to do it without getting attached to it to realize the real meaning of it and to get out of it. 

This happens to many tasks in Rajasic and Sattwik stage. Attachment to a task makes us weaker and that affects the result. So, we have talked about it in our previous shlokas. Here we are talking about a person who has gone beyond the Sattwik stage. Here a person while doing any activity sees the element of God in it. Then only he can utter the word “tat”. If he is helping someone, he sees God in that person as well as the help that he is doing. Thus the person has the element of divinity attached to everything “that” he does and thus he says “tat” which means “that” in everything he does. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 18

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 18

Satkaaramaanapoojaartham tapo dambhena chaiva yat;Kriyate tadiha proktam raajasam chalamadhruvam.

The austerity which is practiced with the object of gaining good reception, honour and worship with hypocrisy, is here said to be Rajasic, unstable and transitory.

Interpretation

This shloka talks about the austerities that a Rajasic mind prefers. We have seen in the previous shloka how a steadfast mind practices Sattwik austerities. The Rajasic austerities are aimed at gaining a good reception, which actually means that whatever work the person undertakes, he is expecting an appreciation for the same. Apart from that Rajasic person’s austerities are also aimed at giving him honor and worship of people around and the person also becomes a hypocrite who in the process, says one and does another. Also, Lord tells that this Rajasic behaviour exhibited by the person is unstable and transitory.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Why is Lord Krishna saying that the Rajasic nature of an individual is unstable and transitory? Here we have to understand the true nature of a Rajasic person. A Rajasic person is someone who strives for excellence in everything he does. He is hardworking and fulfills all his responsibilities without any delay. But the problem is, as the person completes his work and achieves success and takes rewards, he starts attributing them to himself. He feels that only because of his abilities he was able to achieve success. That builds a sense of over confidence in him and gives him false sense of invincibility and superiority, which in the due course becomes the reason for his downfall.

Take a look at any businessman or a political leader or a community head, we have seen that many of them steadily rise to glory and then go through a sharp decline to depths of degradation. It happens because from a lazy and easy going and static tamasic state a person becomes dynamic and hardworking, taking him to the Rajasic state. Till that point he is alright. But one aspect of his personality has to undergo a change to take him to sattwik stage, but that doesn’t happen. That is, whatever was achieved was mandated and charted by Almighty and he is just a doer. This process gets delayed because he believes in self and becomes a hypocrite also, by saying one thing and doing another. 

All this he does only to keep his success and name and even resorts to rituals to prevent himself from any kind of a downfall to his glory. Till this feeling remains he is a Rajasic person. Lord calls it transitory because like the way he changed from tamsic to Rajasic, one day he will realise that nothing was his achievement alone, and that takes him to sattwik stage. Thus whatever he is doing in the Rajasic stage is just temporary and like the way he came from Tamasic to Rajasic, he has to one day progress from Rajasic to Sattwik.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 2

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 2

Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha:
Trividhaa bhavati shraddhaa dehinaam saa swabhaavajaa;
Saattwikee raajasee chaiva taamasee cheti taam shrinu.

The Blessed Lord said:
Threefold is the faith of the embodied, which is inherent in their nature— the Sattwic(pure), the Rajasic (passionate), and the Tamasic (dark). Do thou hear of it.

Interpretation

After listening to the question of Arjuna, who asks about worshipping God with faith even though one does not follow scriptures, Lord Krishna starts to answer the question. Lord says that everyone in this Universe is born with a faith which is very much embodied or hidden inside them. This hidden faith usually gets observed in their nature, which is the way one speaks, acts and does different things. Lord says that the names of the threefold faith are Sattwik which is also called pure, Rajasic which is passionate in its faith and the third fold is the tamasic faith which is equated to darkness. Then He asks Arjuna to hear about them.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Here the main point we are discussing is faith. Everyone in this world will have some faith. Have you ever seen a person who is not having faith upon anyone or anything? It is impossible to find such a person.

First, many people have faith in the religion that they believe in. Then they have faith in things that they should perform within their own faith. For example, two people who have a very different way of following their religion. Faith is something which is very personal to a person that is why everyone has their own beliefs and follow certain things in life which are very different from others.

Secondly, people who do not follow any religion and are considered atheists also have faith. He might not believe in God but he might believe in his abilities, which include his positives, his nature and his strengths. That is linked to one of the faiths of sattvik, Rajasic or Tamasic. He might not be believing in any of the scriptures like Vedas or Upanishads but he might believe in science and technology which is also linked to Rajasic guna. Thus everyone who is born in this world has some faith or the other and Lord is now going to talk about each of these faiths. Let’s see what the Lord says.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 9

Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 9

Etaam drishtimavashtabhya nashtaatmaano’lpabuddhayah; Prabhavantyugrakarmaanah kshayaaya jagato’hitaah.

Holding this view, these ruined souls of small intellects and fierce deeds, come forth as enemies of the world for its destruction.

Interpretation

This shloka continues with Lord Krishna talking about the qualities of people with demonic nature. In this shloka, Lord tells us how these small minded people affect the thought processes of many innocent people around them. He calls these small minded people as ruined souls who do deeds which are very minimal and self centered not aimed at any higher good. Lord also compares such kind of people as the source of destruction of the whole world and they are referred to as the enemies of the World.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

How many times you all would have heard this phrase “one life, one enjoyment…..live the day, live the moment”. This is the typical narrow and small minded thought process that these people have. The reason why they are called as ruined souls of small intellect is that with such narrow thinking, constantly they live in ignorance they think that they just have one life and all that they had to do, they have to do in this life itself. That gives them a wrong sense of being, where they neglect the urges of soul and constantly focus on fulfilling the urges of the body.

This kind of thought process becomes infectious at times and influences people who are gullible. We all think, one life lets lead it in our way, forgetting the fact that this life is a gift of God which is purpose driven. The purpose of life is known to the soul which can never be understood by the body and its always the senses that drive the body not the soul, so the person automatically deviates from his path. Such kind of demonic people who influence others and make them to go on the wrong path is the one who is the real enemies of the world, says Lord Krishna. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 8

Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 8

Asatyamapratishtham te jagadaahuraneeshwaram;
Aparasparasambhootam kimanyat kaamahaitukam.

They say: “This universe is without truth, without a moral basis, without a God, brought about by a mutual union, with lust for its cause; what else?”

Interpretation

The focus of this shloka is on the lack of morals and uncontrollable lust for power and sex that people of demonic nature long for. Lord here directly talks about the intent of these people. He says that for the demonic people the whole universe is without the truth nor any morals or without a God. A person thinks that all these are a waste of time and doesn’t believe in any of these. Apart from that these people only believe in the union of lust, which is nothing but improper sexual conduct and that is mainly driven by the senses that act on them. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

What is the difference between humans and animals? The answer is morals, ethics, adherence to truth and control over lust. When the World was born it was without any of these qualities and as the human being evolved from the other animals, he got the power of thinking and the ability to decide right and wrong. That gave rise to morals which acted as a code of conduct for right kind of living. Another dimension is the control of one’s lust. Animals have no control over them, but humans have developed control over the lust and to legitimise the relationship between man and woman they have created an institution called marriage. 

A person who is demonic in nature is just like an animal, having least faith in any of these things. He doesn’t believe in morals and does what benefits him the most. Let’s look at a bandit who kills people for money! Will he ever think that a life of a person is more precious than the wealth he is going to get? Not only that every crime that is committed, be it rape or robbery or cheating is all because of the absence of morals. Having sexual relations with random people is also one amongst them where the person can never control his urges. Developing illicit relationships leads to moral degradation and that is how a person who is under the influence of demonic nature lives.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 15 Purushottama Yoga Verse 18

Chapter 15 Purushottama Yoga Verse 18

Yasmaat ksharam ateeto’hamaksharaadapi chottamah;
Ato’smi loke vede cha prathitah purushottamah.

As I transcend the perishable and am even higher than the imperishable, I am declared as the highest Purusha in the world and in the Vedas.

Interpretation

After talking about the Supreme being and Him pervading all the three worlds, Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking further about His supremacy over the perishable and imperishable beings. He says that as a Supreme being He alone transcends all the perishable beings in this universe. He is also greater than all the beings that have attained imperishability. In the second part of the shloka, He talks about the Supreme being, Himself. He says that Vedas have declared Him as the highest Purusha in this World.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

This is a small shloka that talks about reiteration of Lord as the Supreme being. He rules us all and gives us as well as takes away things from us according to our karmas and he also bestows results accordingly. In that process, Lord teaches discipline to every being and that takes the person on the path of salvation and he attains imperishability. As the Lord is responsible for a person to attain imperishability, He is considered to be higher than the imperishable. The Vedic texts that talks about different rituals have declared Lord Sri Maha Vishnu as the Highest Purusha in this Universe and puts every other being under Him.

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 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 6

Chapter 13 Kshetra-Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga Verse 6

Mahaabhootaanyahankaaro buddhiravyaktameva cha;
Indriyaani dashaikam cha pancha chendriyagocharaah.

The great elements, egoism, intellect and also unmanifested Nature, 
the ten senses and one, and the five objects of the senses.

Interpretation

In this shloka, Lord Krishna is talking about the elements present in the field of a person. He says that the field of a person consists of the great elements. The great elements that Lord is talking about are the five elements of nature like earth, water, fire, air and ether. Apart from that the field also is consists of the egoism and the intellect of an individual. It also has the unmainfested nature embedded in it. This unmanifested nature makes the field unique and differentiates it from others. Lord Krishna also says that the field has the ten senses plus an additional one along with the five objects of the senses.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s life!

If you count the number of elements that Lord Krishna is talking about in this shloka it totals to 24. The great elements are 5, adding ego, intellect and unmanifested nature its 8. Ten senses plus one makes it 19 and the five objects of senses takes it to 24. The great elements are called Pancha maha bhutas which are Earth, water, fire, air. Next are the five sense objects are taste, touch, smell, sight and sound. The next question that comes to our mind is what are these ten plus one senses. Actually Lord Krishna is talking about 11 senses here when He says ten plus one. The five knowledge senses here are ears, eyes, tongue, skin and nose.

We have to understand that sound is a sense object and the ear is a knowledge sense. When sound which is a sense object present in the field touches a sense organ ear, it stimulates a response and we hear that sound. Thats how we understand words and sentences and various other sounds that are generated. The same applies to other sense objects as well as other sense organs. Apart from five knowledge senses, we also have five working senses. These are voice, hands, legs, genitals, and anus. Each of these working senses has a definite work to perform like the voice in speaking, hands in doing work, legs in traveling, genitals in reproduction and anus in removing the waste from the body.

Thus the 10 senses include 5 working senses and 5 knowledge senses. Added to this the eleventh one Lord is referring to here is the material energy which is also called mind. This completes 21 elements. The remaining 3 elements are egoism, intellect and unmanifested nature. Egoism is the person’s controlling power or nigraha shakti. It helps you in resisting temptations. The intellect is the ability of the person to assimilate knowledge and convert into wisdom, making him a learned man. Finally the unmanifested nature is the special ability that gives a unique persona to you and something which makes you different from others. All this Lord Krishna says are the fields.

For your convinience here is the list of 24 elements in the field.

I. Pancha Maha bhutas
1. Earth
2. Water
3. Fire
4. Air 
5. Ether

II. Sense objects
6. Taste
7. Touch
8. Smell
9. Sight
10. Sound

III. Knowledge senses
11. Ears
12. Eyes
13. Tongue
14. Nose
15. Skin

IV. Working Senses
16. Voice
17. Hands
18. Legs
19. Genitals
20. Anus

V. Others
21. Egoism
22. Intellect
23. Mind
24. Unmanifested nature

Bhagavadgita Chapter 8 Brahma Yoga Verse 16

Chapter 8 Brahma Yoga Verse 16
Shloka
Parastasmaat tu bhaavo’nyo’vyakto’vyaktaatsanaatanah;
Yah sa sarveshu bhooteshu nashyatsu na vinashyati.
Translation
But verily there exists, higher than the unmanifested, another unmanifested Eternal
who is not destroyed when all beings are destroyed.
Interpretation
In the previous sloka Lord Krishna had talked about all beings getting destroyed once the night for Brahma sets in. In this sloka He is talking about the beings that do not get destroyed even during the night for Brahma. He tells Arjuna that there is a World that exists above the manifested and that World is at a place higher than the place where unmanifested things live. That World is called as the Eternal World and the beings or the living things in that world will not be destroyed even when all the other beings are destroyed.
Extending the Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
What is this world that exists above the unmanifested? Another unmanifested Eternal refers to Para Brahma, which is different from the unmanifested that He created. The one He created is the unmanifested that exist from the beginning of time, those cannot be destroyed by any force. The other unmanifested is the Para Brahma Himself who is also called as the creator of the nature. That para brahma has created a World that exist from the beginning of the time, which is unmanifested. All the living beings who love there are manifestations, that come to an end by the night. Only the unmanifested created by Brahma and the unmanifested which is suprior to that, which is the God Himself are the ones which exist. It is not destroyed when all beings from Brahma down to a blade of grass are destroyed.