Proper Understanding of The Bhagavad Gita – Part 116

gunas

Now we continue. In the following verse, Lord Krishna describes the Master who has these Gunas under control and has gone beyond them to Self Realization.

अर्जुन उवाच |
कैर्लिङ्गैस्त्रीन्गुणानेतानतीतो भवति प्रभो |
किमाचार: कथं चैतांस्त्रीन्गुणानतिवर्तते || 21||

arjuna uvācha
kair liṅgais trīn guṇān etān atīto bhavati prabho
kim āchāraḥ kathaṁ chaitāns trīn guṇān ativartate

The Bhagavad Gita Chapter 14, Verse 21

Arjuna is asking, O Lord, what are the markings of a person who has gone beyond the 3 Gunas? What is his conduct? How does such a person go beyond the Gunas? Arjuna is interested to know about the signs of rising above the Gunas, in a person; and how such a person conducts himself. He is requesting Lord Krishna, humbly with sincerity, to know and understand. Such qualities of the heart and head are required in a person who really wishes to achieve the ultimate success of Self Realization and who is keen to work for it. Here is a genuine desire to go beyond all sorrow and sufferings.

श्रीभगवानुवाच |
प्रकाशं च प्रवृत्तिं च मोहमेव च पाण्डव |
न द्वेष्टि सम्प्रवृत्तानि न निवृत्तानि काङ् क्षति || 22||
śhrī-bhagavān uvācha
prakāśhaṁ cha pravṛittiṁ cha moham eva cha pāṇḍava
na dveṣhṭi sampravṛittāni na nivṛittāni kāṅkṣhati

The Bhagavad Gita Chapter 14, Verse 22

The Blessed Lord speaks:

Illuminations, Activities and Delusions, when present, O Pandava, he does not hate or longs for them when these are absent. Lord Krishna is instructing Arjun. O’ descendant of King Paandu, the spiritual seeker, when experiences Illumination (Saattwik Qualities), Activities (Raajasik Qualities), Delusions (Taamasik Qualities), neither hates them nor hankers for them. The true seeker rises above the dualities of creation(Nature), which are born of the three basic Gunas on  Qualities of Mother Nature. The Sattwa quality is experienced as Illumination, the Rajas is experienced as Activities and the Tamas is experienced as Delusions. The seeker is not bound or limited by them when these experiences come, he does not dislike or like them. When the experience is not there, he does not hanker for them.

उदासीनवदासीनो गुणैर्यो न विचाल्यते |
गुणा वर्तन्त इत्येवं योऽवतिष्ठति नेङ्गते || 23||
udāsīna-vad āsīno guṇair yo na vichālyate
guṇā vartanta ity evaṁ yo ’vatiṣhṭhati neṅgate

The Bhagavad Gita Chapter 14, Verse 23

That person who sits unconcerned is not agitated by the Gunas, who has realized that only the Gunas operate, is established in the Self and swerves not. That person remains like a witness in all circumstances, is never influenced by the Gunas. His actions, speech, thoughts, reactions are never dictated by the Gunas. Under no circumstance, he is ever agitated, excited, depressed, or angry, or fearful. He realizes that, only the Gunas act on the Gunas and nothing else. Such a person remains stable in the oneness with the Supreme Self, whose essence is joy absolute, knowledge absolute, and existence absolute. He has never deviated from that Absolute Supreme State.

समदु:खसुख: स्वस्थ: समलोष्टाश्मकाञ्चन: |
तुल्यप्रियाप्रियो धीरस्तुल्यनिन्दात्मसंस्तुति: || 24||
sama-duḥkha-sukhaḥ sva-sthaḥ sama-loṣhṭāśhma-kāñchanaḥ 
tulya-priyāpriyo dhīras tulya-nindātma-sanstutiḥ

The Bhagavad Gita Chapter 14, Verse 24

Considering pleasure and pain as the same and in the undisturbed mood, the spiritual master dwells in the self, constantly. To him, the same of earth, a gemstone of costly and gold, are alike. To him, the dear ones and the unfriendly ones are the same. He is firm and calm and is the same, unruffled, in blame and Self Praise. The person who is constantly, intensely aware of the Soul or the Immortal Inner Self, considers sorrow and happiness at the same level. He has no preferences or partiality. To him, a piece of earth, a piece of costly gemstone, and gold mean the same. To an ordinary material person, gemstone and gold carry an unbelievably higher value than a clod of earth. But not so to the Self Realized person. To the spiritually enlightened person, there is no dear or hostile person or being. To him, friend or foe of costly to be the same. He is equally even-minded, when, people appreciate or praise him or, censure or blame him. He is equally unmoved in the face of bouquets or brickbats. Both are equal to him and cannot influence him in either situation.

मानापमानयोस्तुल्यस्तुल्यो मित्रारिपक्षयो: |
सर्वारम्भपरित्यागी गुणातीत: स उच्यते || 25||
mānāpamānayos tulyas tulyo mitrāri-pakṣhayoḥ
sarvārambha-parityāgī guṇātītaḥ sa uchyate


The Bhagavad Gita Chapter 14, Verse 25

The spiritual master is the same in honor and dishonor. He is the same to friends and enemies. He has abandoned all undertakings. Such a person is described as the one, who has overcome the Gunas and has gone beyond them. The person who is the same in praise and blame is impartial and same to friends and foes, and who is free from egoism and doer-ship, even if he is busy and active, such a person is said to have crossed beyond the Gunas and their power of Maya or Delusions. As long as a person is egoistic, is not free from the idea of doer-ship. He has the idea of I, Me, You, They, and Others. Such a person is an easy victim of the dualities of existence and nature. He is an easy victim of the Gunas.

मां च योऽव्यभिचारेण भक्तियोगेन सेवते |
स गुणान्समतीत्यैतान्ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते || 26||

māṁ cha yo ’vyabhichāreṇa bhakti-yogena sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate

The Bhagavad Gita Chapter 14, Verse 26

And that person, who serves Me with undivided Love and Self Surrender, easily crosses beyond the Gunas and becomes well qualified to become Brahmam. This is a very important, informative, and enlightening verse. It clearly declares Lord Krishna, Yogeswar’s view on Bhakti Yoga’s supremacy in God-Realization. But one should not mistake emotionalism for Bhakti Yoga. In Bhakti Yoga, there is unswerving and unadulterated love for God and a total feeling of oneness with God to the total absence of egoism, an idea of me and mine. This Bhakti Yoga is not influenced by favorable or unfavorable circumstances. It is not surprising that such a person has become one with Brahmam, has gone beyond the control of the Gunas.

ह्मणो हि प्रतिष्ठाहममृतस्याव्ययस्य च |
शाश्वतस्य च धर्मस्य सुखस्यैकान्तिकस्य च || 27||

brahmaṇo hi pratiṣhṭhāham amṛitasyāvyayasya cha
śhāśhvatasya cha dharmasya sukhasyaikāntikasya cha

The Bhagavad Gita Chapter 14, Verse 27

Because I am the abode of Brahmam, the Deathless, the Immutable, of the everlasting Dharma and of the Absolute Joy. God is Eternal, Absolute, Blissful source and Abode of Brahmam. Prakriti or Mother Nature, the source of the Gunas is born from God only. Hence, he who realizes God goes beyond the Laws of the Gunas and their power.

Om Tat Sat iti Srimad Bhagabad gitaasu upanisatsu brahma vidyaayaam yoga shaastrey shri krusnaarjuna sambaadey gunatraya bibhaaga yogo naama chaturdasho adhyaayah.’

General Meaning:

Thus ends, in the Upanishad of the Auspicious Bhagavad Gita, in the science of the Eternal, in the Scripture of Yoga, in the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, the 14th discourse entitled, “The Yoga of the 3 Gunas (The three Basic Moods). Dear Divine friends, we come to the end of the 14th chapter of the Glorious Bhagavad Gita. Here, in the form of the teachings of Lord Krishna to Arjuna, is described the source of the three Gunas, the three basic moods born of Mother Nature, which, creates and operates, the creation. These are the mechanisms and source of all actions, reactions, results, in the physical, mental, verbal aspects of every being. Those who study these sincerely, go beyond them, who dispense the Karma Phal or Law of Reward and Punishment or Destiny. This is how, operates Maya, the Law of Relativity projected by God’s Leela or the Divine Sports. Only then, all Anger, Sufferings, Jealousy, Suspicions, Frustrations and, Stress can be removed, when one realizes God. In addition to the study, if one practices Kriya Yoga daily, sincerely, you will enjoy accelerated progress, removal of obstacles, and Blessings of God and Gurus.

May God and Gurus, Bless, Guide, Protect and Inspire you and remove your troubles. May you Enjoy Love, Joy, Knowledge and, Immortality. May you be a source of Light onto yourself and onto others too.

With Love and Best Wishes,
Paramahansa Atmananda Ji

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