Tag Archives: Rajasic

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 44

Krishigaurakshyavaanijyam vaishyakarma swabhaavajam; Paricharyaatmakam karma shoodrasyaapi swabhaavajam.

Agriculture, cattle-rearing and trade are the duties of the Vaishya (merchant class), born of their own nature; and action consisting of service is the duty of the Sudra or servant class, born of their own nature.

Interpretation

After talking about the Brahmans and Kshatriyas who are possessed by Sattwik and Rajasic guna completely, this shloka is talking about the duties of Vaishyas and of shudras. First talking about Vaishyas, Lord says that the duties of vaishyas include agriculture and cattle rearing apart from trade. Vaishyas are engaged in the activities related to trade and both agriculture and dairy industry is in a way linked to trade. Then coming to shudras Lord says that those activities which are of a servant class, servant class here means activities which are aimed at only serving the society. Thus people who are born out of this nature are shudras.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

If Brahmanas are Sattwik and Kshatriyas are Rajasic, then what are Vaishyas and shudras and what is the difference between the Vaishyas and Shudras? Lord gives a clear cut differentiation which is Vaishyas have a mix of Rajasic and Tamasic nature while Shudras are complete of Tamasic nature. When an individual has a mix of both Rajasic and Tamasic qualities, he would want to work hard, lead and get into a powerful position, but because of the Tamasic nature in him, he also wants enjoyment and fulfilment of desires. That’s how he gets into trading activity, where he works very hard in his business to earn money and then he enjoys the same wealth. Enjoyment here is with alcohol, women and other materialistic pleasures.

When we look at Shudras, they have very little or no Rajasic qualities in them and they are completely dominated by Tamasic gunas which is enjoyment and ignorance. So, they do not work hard to acquire the knowledge or skill that is needed to become a sattwik or a rajasic person. That leaves him with jobs which are menial and that serve people of higher gunas. He makes pots and sells it to people, he weaves clothes and sells them to the people around. He can be a barber, he can be a tailor who stitches clothes. These are not businesses but only the sources of livelihood. People who work as clerks and other lower level cadre jobs also come under this category. This is primarily due to the absence of Rajasic qualities in them.

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. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 31

Yayaa dharmamadharmam cha kaaryam chaakaaryameva cha; Ayathaavat prajaanaati buddhih saa paartha raajasee.

That by which one incorrectly understands Dharma and Adharma, and also what ought to be done and what ought not to be done—that intellect, O Arjuna, is Rajasic!

Interpretation

After talking about the sattwik intellect, Lord Krishna in this shloka is educating Arjuna about Rajasic intellect. He says that a Rajasic person can never interpret the difference between dharma and adharma correctly. He usually has a very different understanding of the concept of dharma and adharma. Not only that, unlike a sattwik person who has an understanding of what ought to be done and what not, a Rajasic person cannot differentiate what needs to be done and what is not required to be done. Such kind of intellect that cannot differentiate dharma and adharma and what needs to be done and what need not is stated as Rajasic intellect.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Upanishads say that “ways of dharma are very subtle”, which means dharma doesn’t say very clearly what is one’s dharma and what is adharma. It has to be interpreted by a person depending on the situation that he is in.  Going to a temple or being a part of a religious ritual is considered to be a dharmic act. But not in all cases. Suppose if someone is a doctor and he is supposed to go to a hospital and perform a surgery but in return, he decides to take a leave from work for a religious ritual, then his act is considered to be adharma. A ritual conducted for the sake of money, enhancement of a person’s stature in the society are all considered to be adharmic. That means, if you perform a ritual at home or a temple for a promotion or a job or a success in education of children, they are all considered to be acts of adharma. 

A Rajasic person can never understand this. He has a very different understanding of the World and the concept of God. He thinks that God is a power who is the top most in the hierarchy. He starts to relate his power to the powers possessed by God. That means if he is heading an organization of  100 people, he tends to feel that God controls the entire population in this universe like the way he controls the 100 people in an organization. Unknowingly he thinks himself as a demigod and starts attributing his nature to God. Like the way he gets pleased with wealth and riches, he also feels that God gets pleased by the offerings made to him. This is an improper and adharmic way of looking at things, and this puts him in a situation where he ends up doing things which he is not supposed to do. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 27

Raagee karmaphalaprepsur lubdho himsaatmako’shuchih;
Harshashokaanvitah kartaa raajasah parikeertitah.

Passionate, desiring to obtain the rewards of actions, cruel, greedy, impure, moved by joy and sorrow, such an agent is said to be Rajasic.
Interpretation

In this shloka Lord Krishna is talking about the qualities of a Rajasic nature and how he approaches the task. We know that Rajas guna is associated with Passion. Apart from that the desire to obtain the rewards of all the actions that one does is another important quality of a Rajasic person. Then Lord goes on to add some qualities that we didnt discuss before that is a Rajasic person is cruel in his approach, he is extremely greedy in his actions and he is totally impure by nature. Then Lord finally concludes by saying that such a person moves from joy to sorrow and vice versa and such quality is qualified to be called as Rajasic.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s

“Cruel, greedy and impure” this phrase sums up a Rajasic person. In a life of a politician on his way to top he would have done so many acts that are extremely cruel and that also includes killing people, kidnaps, causing physical harm etc. India has 4896 politicians who are either MPs or MLAs of different states. As of March 2018, 1765 MPs and MLAs which is 36% of the total have criminal cases on them and they are being investigated. If you look at this staggering record the three words that prompts a person to commit a crime is clearly mentioned as cruelty, greediness and impurity. Unless you are cruel you cannot take someone’s life and greediness for power prompts you to go for that action and all that leaves you totally impure. 

Apart from politicians, we can quote many people who are leaders and who have desires to get rewards for their actions end up being cruel, greedy and impure. A person taking a bribe falls into this category, a person playing politics in office to get a good name in the eyes of his boss also falls in this category. So, there are many people who come under this Rajasic category. One point they all have to remember is, they will be going through the cycles of joy and sorrow when they are committing these acts. It is because their tricks will not work all the time and when they fail they go through sorrow and sometimes have to pay a heavy price for that. If it works, they will feel joyful but that is only going to be temporary and the cycle again starts. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sanyyas Yoga Verse 15

Chapter 18 Moksha Sanyyas Yoga Verse 15

Shareeravaangmanobhiryat karma praarabhate narah;
Nyaayyam vaa vipareetam vaa panchaite tasya hetavah.

Whatever action a man performs by his body, speech and mind, 
whether right or the reverse, these five are its causes.

Interpretation

This shloka comes after Lord talks about the five causes that accomplish a task. Lord in this shloka is talking about the consequences of actions performed by the body, mind and the soul. In the previous shloka, we have identified body, mind and speech as important reasons for doing or not doing any task. In this shloka, Lord says that whatever is the action that is performed by the body, mind and speech of an individual, whether it is right or wrong, the five causes that Lord has mentioned are the only reasons for it. The point to be noted here is whether the action is in the right direction or in reverse, the cause for it is the same.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

We have to understand here, the importance of body, speech and mind in doing any task. Since we are in the last chapter and since the readers are already exposed to many things, I would like to quote certain verses from Upanishad to underscore the importance of the body, speech and mind in performing any task.

“Brahman cannot be described by the voice. By its inspiration, the voice gets the power to speak”. You cant express God in voice. You are speaking because of the voice given by Brahman. 

“Brahman cannot be understood by the mind and intellect. By its power, mind and intellect will work”. Don’t try to understand God by the amount of knowledge and intellect that you possess. It’s a miniscule. Your mind itself is working and gaining intellect only because of that Brahman. 

“Brahman cannot be seen with the eyes. By its inspiration, the eyes see”. Non-believers ask for the proof of God saying where is He and how can He be sighted, forgetting the fact that the eyes that gives them the vision itself was bestowed by that Brahman. 

Body is the combination of senses, and those senses were bestowed by God, and so is mind and speech. Thus any action performed by an individual is because of the five causes, the body, mind, senses, the reason and the Brahman. Whether it is the right task or a wrong task, these five are only responsible and the body has to bear the Karma or the fruit of the tasks performed by it.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 12

Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 12
Anishtamishtam mishram cha trividham karmanah phalam;
Bhavatyatyaaginaam pretya na tu sannyaasinaam kwachit.
The threefold fruit of action—evil, good and mixed—
accrues after death to the non-abandoners, but never to the abandoners.
Interpretation

After talking about the man of renunciation, Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about the three fold fruit of action. This is a follow up to the previous chapters where we understood the fruits that different actions of ours bear. In this context Lord talks about three fold fruit of actions accrued for the three types of actions which are evil, good and mixed. Accrued means receive or get something over a period of time. Lord says that only people who are non-abandoners will get the fruits of all the actions that they commit, whether it is good, bad or evil. Abandoners, are exempted from this and they dont go through all this.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

This shloka tells you what happens to you after death if you are an abandoner and a non-abandoner. A non-abandoner who after his death also experiences the similar things that he experienced when he was alive. The nature of a non-abandoner is to get attached to his works and go through the emotions of pleasure and pain according to a situation. Here I would like to narrate a personal experience. Today I was travelling in a car with a colleague of mine, half of my age. All through the journey he was silent and was thinking something. I asked him what was he thinking about and was he bothered about something. Within a fraction he replied that he is not bothered about anything and even if it does, he wont worry and think about it at all. 

The reply made me to contemplate about myself, who even today, gets worried about many things. Abandoning is a state of mind, that comes to an individual based on his spirituality. I might be more knowledgeable than him, but at that moment, I felt that he is more evolved than me. Non-abandoning brings attachment and attachment brings worries. Even if you do good deeds, getting attached to them, makes you to get attached even after death and that blinds your progress towards God. God is the only person whom you have to get attached to, and every other form of attachment brings you this world again and again, forcing you to do many tasks to get liberated. Non-attachment liberates you from all this and the fruits of all your actions, good bad or mixed will never touch you. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 8

Chapter 18 Moksha Sannyas Yoga Verse 8

Duhkhamityeva yat karma kaayakleshabhayaat tyajet;
Sa kritwaa raajasam tyaagam naiva tyaagaphalam labhet.

He who abandons action on account of the fear of bodily trouble because it is painful, he does not obtain the merit of renunciation by doing such Rajasic renunciation.

Interpretation

This shloka talks about those people who abandon actions on account of the fear. This shloka is concentrating on those actions that are abandoned that come out of passion which is the quality of a Rajasic person. Lord Krishna says that there are people who abandon the tasks that they have undertaken only because those tasks take a heavy toll on their body and put them through a lot of pain and stress. Lord also says that such kind of people can never merit to obtain the fruits of renunciation and such Rajasic renunciation will never bring them any kind of happiness. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Man is a mix of all the three qualities, Tamas, Rajas and Sattwa. There is nobody who is a pure tamasic or rajasic or sattwik. Actions also have a nature of these qualities in them. So, when one is spending a romantic evening with his partner he is engaged in Tamasic activity, when a person is passionately doing his job he is in a Rajasic state and when he is doing a sacrificial ritual for the benefit of the humanity he is in Sattwik stage and when he is doing something for the sake of Paramatma in him, he has risen above this to reach the stage of “Om tat sat”. So, a person depending on his activities will be in all these stages at every moment of his life.

What we are talking about here is a Rajasic renunciation or renunciation of acts out of passion. Passion burns energy and that takes a toll on one’s body. A Sportsman who is passionate will experience a lot of physical strain to his body and a scientist or a philosopher who is passionate about his thoughts and his hypothesis experiences a lot of mental stress. Stress or pain is something that every individual has to go through. Are you allowed to abandon it? The answer from Lord Krishna is No. We need to take as much pain as our body and mind allows us to take. Let us understand this concept a bit more with the two examples given below.

People who do physical work like Farmers, sportsmen etc would be obligated to do a lot of physical work that causes them an enormous amount of pain to their body. Can you be a farmer and not work in the field fearing pain to your body? Can you say that am fed up with this world and take sanyyas and abandon your duty of a farmer? The answer is No. Lord doesn’t permit that. The same is a case with a sportsman. Then there are a majority of people who engage in the work that needs a lot of hard work mentally. This leads to something called stress. The pain to mind is called stress. Can you avoid doing those activities because you are feeling stress? The answer is again No.

We choose activities according to our capabilities, our dharma and listening to the voice of Paramatma inside you. If you wish to be a philosopher and a thinker, you need to put in a lot of hard work mentally and you need to read, write and think a lot. Automatically mind gets pain which we call it as stress. Stress is harmful when you don’t align that with other activities. For example, if you do a lot of mental work and maintain an unhealthy lifestyle by drinking, pubbing, smoking and not sleeping properly, then it will harm your body. Many software engineers in the present day do that. But if you take the stress and also maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating good food and taking proper rest that stress will only help you. Thus, abandoning this Rajasic or Passion-related actions are not permitted according to Lord Krishna.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 27

Yajne tapasi daane cha sthitih saditi chochyate;
Karma chaiva tadartheeyam sadityevaabhidheeyate.
Steadfastness in sacrifice, austerity and gift, is also called Sat, 
and also action in connection with these or for the sake of the Supreme is called Sat.
Interpretation

This shloka is also concentrating in explaining the concept of “Sat”. Last shloka talked about the auspicious act being described as “Sat”. This shloka talks about the steadfastness in sacrifice also coming as “Sat”. Steadfast person is someone who never re-thinks on the sacrifice that he is performing. Also Lord calls austerity and gift as “Sat”, as being simple and offering to the needy is also called as “Sat”. In the last line of the shloka Lord also says that any action that is committed in connection or for the sake of the Supreme Almighty is also called as “Sat”. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

I need to go to Srimad Bhagavatham again to explain the concept of “Sat” again. Here I am choosing the 10th Volume of Bhagavatham, that describes the “Krishna leela”. In that am choosing 2nd Chapter and Verse 26. The Verse translates as follows: O Lord, You never deviate from Your vow, which is always perfect because whatever You decide is perfectly correct and cannot be stopped by anyone. Being present in the three phases of cosmic manifestation that are creation, maintenance and annihilation. You are the Supreme Truth. Indeed, unless one is completely truthful, one cannot achieve Your favor, which therefore cannot be achieved by hypocrites. You are the active principle, the real truth, in all the ingredients of creation, and therefore You are known as the inner force. You are equal to everyone, and Your instructions apply for everyone, for all time. You are the beginning of all truth. Therefore, we surrender unto You. Kindly give us protection.

After this there is nothing for me to say, as reading a shloka from Srimad Bhagavatham might have filled you with glory and happiness. This is how steadfastness in acts connected to the Supreme are expressed. The true nature of Bhakti is revealed here and as we complete knowing about “Om tat sat”, let our hearts be filled with the sense of Bhakti and dedicate everything that we do, for the Almighty. I delayed a bit in writing this shloka, now I understood why I delayed. The delay resulted in this pearl from Bhagavatham. That’s how I believe, everything is in the hands of God and am just a humble servant obeying His wishes. 

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.