Tag Archives: Sattvik

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 16

Tatraivam sati kartaaram aatmaanam kevalam tu yah;
Pashyatyakritabuddhitwaan na sa pashyati durmatih.

Now, such being the case, he who, owing to untrained understanding, looks upon his Self, 
which is isolated, as the agent, he of perverted intelligence, sees not.
Interpretation

This shloka is the second part where Lord talks about what happens to those who do not understand the importance of the five causes that contribute to an action. Previous shloka talked about the five causes playing a role whether that action is performed in a proper or an improper way. In this shloka Lord says that a person who is untrained and who misunderstands things regard only soul as an entity which is responsible for all the actions that are performed. Even for a wrong action also the person attributes it to the soul. This is happening mainly because of the perverted intelligence of a person who cannot see things the way it should be seen. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Who is the person with perverted intelligence here? The understanding of that is very important to understand the context of this shloka. A perverted intelligence is something that looks for the benefit, this benefit can be for the self or for a person closer to him like family or for wealth. When you gain knowledge about spirituality, it should make a person surrender to God. But many times a person channelizes it to himself and emerges as a knowledgeable and wise, increasing his own popularity. This is mainly because of the perverted intelligence. Perversion here is from the five causes to one cause that is his soul. 

Soul has urges and senses fulfil them. sometimes, the urges of the soul are directed towards an individual than towards God. This happens mainly when soul becomes the victim of senses and not the paramatma inside it. You might argue that how can soul, which has the paramatma in it be corrupted. Understand that soul is a constant seeker of knowledge and when the knowledge that soul received is limited it will be in darkness. It needs knowledge which should act as enlightenment for it to see the paramatma inside it. Till that is achieved it is incomplete and that might lead to the perversion and that is what is called as perverted intelligence. 

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 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 10

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 10

Yaatayaamam gatarasam pooti paryushitam cha yat; Ucchishtamapi chaamedhyam bhojanam taamasapriyam.

That which is stale, tasteless, putrid, rotten and impure refuse, is the food liked by the Tamasic.

Interpretation

After talking about the Sattvik and Rajasic foods, Lord Krishna in this shloka is narrating the characteristic of the Tamasic foods. He starts by saying that all the stale foods which we keep in deep freezers and frozen foods that stay for a longer time are the Tamasic foods. Apart from that He also says that the foods which are tasteless, which decompose and decay over the period of time and become rotten are also classified as Tamasic foods. Also, the impure refuse of any fruit or an animal is classified as the tamasic food. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

By the time you finish reading the interpretation, you would have already concluded that most of the foods that were mentioned here are so disgusting that you would never ever eat them. But to your surprise more than 50% of the food that many people living in cities and urban areas in the country actually consume this food. Let’s take, for example, cow’s milk which is stored in the tetra pack and which is 2-3 months old, is it a sattvik food? Definitely not. Tetra pack prevents it from decaying but the positive and vibrant energy that fresh milk used within one day can never be obtained from the milk consumed from tetra packs.

Let’s take the fruit juices that you drink from Tropicana or Real or any other brand, they are all 3-6 months old and are considered to be Tamasic as they can never substitute a fresh fruit juice extracted and consumed within 24 hours. The preservatives used in those juices prevent it from decaying but the benefits you get from them, are totally absent. Wine and Alcohol are the natural examples of Tamasic food as the wine gets tastier as it gets older. Apart from that we also have the examples of frozen foods that are stored for days together under sub-zero temperature conditions also come under Tamasic foods, just look at them when you visit a supermarket next.

These Tamasic foods by nature lose all their taste and become tasteless. We add artificial tasters to it to make it tasty. Such kind of foods will only serve your taste buds but it never does any good to the kind of energy you get. We should here recollect what Lord Krishna said at that the beginning of this yoga, that eats food to live but not lives to eat. Foods give us energy and eating Sattvik food gives sattvik energy, Rajasic food gives you Rajasic energy and consuming Tamasic food gives you Tamasic energy. All our actions are dependent on these energies. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 9

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 9

Katvamlalavanaatyushna teekshna rooksha vidaahinah;Aahaaraah raajasasyeshtaa duhkhashokaamayapradaah.

The foods that are bitter, sour, saline, excessively hot, dry, pungent and burning, are liked by the Rajasic and are productive of pain, grief and disease.

Interpretation

After talking about the type of Sattvik food one should eat, Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about the type of food that Rajasic people eat and the results of eating such foods. Lord talks about the taste of the food that is consumed. He says that Rajasic people like food that is bitter and sour. They also add a lot of salt and other related ingredients into the food. The third type of food that Rajasic people consume are foods that are very spicy, which are pungent in smell and those which create a burning sensation in the stomach. Rajasic people like these type of foods that usually create pain, grief and many other diseases. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

What we eat speaks about what we are. When you are suffering from some chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension or any lever and kidney related ailments there are a number of restrictions that are imposed on the food that we consume. There are foods which taste bitter and sour, there are foods which are high on salt, pepper and other spices and thirdly there are foods that have excess masala content with a spicy taste. All these types of food has to be avoided if you are intending to turn sattvik and attain enlightenment. 

The bitter foods that have excessive tamarind and other related ingredients should always be avoided. Salt is something that many doctors say to avoid. Excessive spicy foods also irritate the stomach and cause indigestion, ulcers and many other gastrointestinal problems. A person who is Rajasic is very ambitious and he loves the third variety of food that has a lot of spice and masala in them, which is mostly the non-vegetarian food. The purpose of eating is not to relish or get a happy feeling or to derive satisfaction but it is to keep the body healthy and strong. “Eat to live, do not live to eat.” Thus we should take food that only helps in maintaining good health, and has a positive impact on the mind, which is possible only through sattvik foods.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 1

Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 1

Arjuna Uvaacha:
Ye shaastravidhimutsrijya yajante shraddhayaanvitaah;
Teshaam nishthaa tu kaa krishna sattwamaaho rajastamah.

Arjuna said:
Those who, setting aside the ordinances of the scriptures, perform sacrifice with faith,  what is their condition, O Krishna? Is it that of Sattwa, Rajas or Tamas?

Interpretation

This is the beginning of the 17th Chapter in Gita called “Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga” or “Religion by three kinds of faith”. In the 14th Chapter which is called Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga we have studied about the three gunas of sattvik, Rajasic and Tamasic and this yoga is the extension of that where Lord talks about the thoughts, deeds and food habits of the people who are Sattvik, Rajasic and Tamasic in nature. The Yoga starts with Arjuna asking a question to Lord where he says, what if a person doesn’t follow the rules as listed in the scriptures, but still worships God with faith? What would be the condition of that person? Is it Sattvik, Rajasic or Tamasic is what Arjuna asks Lord Krishna. 

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

The question that Arjuna asks Lord Krishna comes from the discourse he gave in the previous chapter about demonic people and how when they disregard the rules of the scriptures are pushed into the womb of hell by the Lord. Arjuna in a way understands the fact that he also at times had disregarded the faith and behaved opposite to what scriptures have prescribed and did things that are prohibited under the rule of scriptures. So, he is naturally worried about the results of all those actions. So, this question is a no surprise as the worry in him made him to ask this question to the Lord.

Similarly we also in our lives would have bent the rules or even would have violated them. When we don’t know the result of our actions, we would not be bothered but once we know the consequences, there is a worry that is there in our minds about the outcome of such actions. This chapter primarily deals with these kind of situations and Lord takes us back to the Guna Traya Vibhaga Yoga where He talked about the nature of the Sattvik, Rajasic and Tamasic natured people. Arjuna himself brings back those things and asks a question that if a person after breaking the rules realises his mistakes and performs his duties and worship God, then what condition is it called is what Arjuna asks. Let us now see what Lord Krishna replies.

Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 18

Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 18

Oordhwam gacchanti sattwasthaa madhye tishthanti raajasaah;Jaghanyagunavrittisthaa adho gacchanti taamasaah.

Those who are seated in Sattwa proceed upwards; the Rajasic dwell in the middle; and the Tamasic, abiding in the function of the lowest Guna, go downwards.

Interpretation

After explaining the nature of qualities that arise from Sattvik, Rajasik and Tamasic gunas Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking about the journey that people who follow these three gunas would make in their lives. He starts talking about the sattvik person first. He says that those people who are immersed in doing sattvik activities in their lives, tend to proceed upwards in their spirituality. Those who are engaged in the Rajasic activities tend to remain where they are in their spiritual endevour. Finally talking about the Tamasic nature he says that those who follow the tamasic nature because of it being the lowest guna go downwards in their spirituality.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

As we all know life is a journey. The journey of life is different for the body and the soul. For a body life is all about satisfying the needs and luxuries that it wants to satisfy. Like your eyes see a beautiful looking house and wants to own it, then your body works very hard to find out the ways and means through which you can acquire that. The same is the case with other luxuries and comforts that our body wants. The entire life of an individual goes in acquiring them and creating himself safety for situations, where your body is not capable of working hard to earn those comforts. This in short is the journey of body. 

The journey of soul is very different. It wants to increase its spirituality. It is in constant quest for understanding everything around it and sees them as the creation of God. It wants to know them, connect them and find the meaning of that connection which ultimately takes himself closer to the Almighty. A person also spends his life in understanding and fulfilling the needs of his soul and thus it becomes a journey of his life. In this journey he hardly pays any attention to the needs of the body and sacrifices his bodily needs to the needs of the soul. Thus the journey of life satisfying the needs of the body and the needs of the mind is quite different.

Now if we apply the above shloka into this context, a sattvik person listens to the voice of the soul in his journey by sacrificing the needs of the body, satisfy the needs of the soul. Thus his soul receives knowledge through his body and thus he starts going up spiritually. Compared to this a Rajasik person always puts the needs of the senses or the body ahead of the needs of the soul. Thus he earns lot of money and power but since his soul did not learn anything, spiritually it remains where it was. A tamasic person wastes all his time doing nothing and lives in ignorance. This attitude takes away whatever little he had learnt also and thus he starts to go down spiritually. Thus a Sattvik person has positive spirituality, Rajasik person neutral spirituality and a Tamasic person negative spirituality, which means he loses his existing spirituality also. 

Bhagavadgita Chapter 14 Guna Triya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 16

CHAPTER 14 GUNA TRIYA VIBHAGA YOGA VERSE 16

Karmanahsukritasyaahuh saattwikam nirmalam phalam; Rajasastuphalam duhkham ajnaanam tamasah phalam.

The fruit of good action, they say, is Sattwic and pure; the fruit of Rajas is a pain, and ignorance is the fruit of Tamas.

Interpretation

Lord Krishna after talking about the kind of birth that a Rajasic and Tamasic soul will take in the previous shloka,  is talking about the fruits of actions of different gunas in this shloka. It is needless to say that every Guna that we exhibit bestows us with some result or the other. We have learnt previously also that every action, as well as intention, has some result attached to it. Lord Krishna here says that the fruit of good action is considered to be always sattvik and is said to be very pure. The fruit of Rajas is always painful and difficult to bear while the fruit of Tamasic action is nothing but ignorance.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

When you read this shloka you get a lot of thoughts and leaves you confused at times too. Are good actions only link to sattvik? AreRajasik and Tamasic actions bad and undesirable? Here we need to understand what is a good action and why it is always sattvik. A good action is something that is always beneficial to the opposite person and the doer doesn’t expect any result from it. Such kind of actions can only be done by a Sattvik person because he does things only to gain knowledge and knowledge once acquired, spreads across. That is why we are calling it pure, as there is no malice or ill-will hidden in it. So, good actions are always compared and attributed to sattvik nature, it doesn’t mean that only sattvik people commit good actions.

If we look at the actions of rajasic nature and their fruits, it’s always painful. Painful for the other person also, not necessarily only for you. Anything which is linked to power, prestige and wealth can only be acquired at the cost of others, compared to knowledge which is acquired by involving others. If you become the most powerful person, it is only after defeating people who are also aspiring for the same and thus leaving pain to them. If you fail to acquire that position and if it goes to your competitor then it is at the cost of your pain the other person is enjoying. So, the fruit of any Rajasik activity is attached to pain, either you are giving it or taking it. Finally, if you look at a fruit of tamasic actions, it’s is nothing but ignorance. A person who doesn’t do anything doesn’t react to anything will not get anything other than ignorance. Thus Lord explains the fruits of all the three gunas in this shloka.