Tag Archives: Sattwik

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 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.