Bhagavad Gita/Conversation 14. Liberation from the Three Gunas
Liberation from the Three Gunas
Lord Krishna said:
14:1. Now I am going to impart to you that highest knowledge after gaining which all sages attained the Highest Perfection.
14:2. The one who has taken refuge in this wisdom and attained My Nature does not get born again in a new cycle of the development of the universe and does not perish at the end of the current cycle.
14:3. For Me the womb is Great Brahman. Into Him I introduce the semen, and this results in birth of all beings, O Bharata.
14:4. In whatever wombs mortals are born, O Kaunteya, Brahman is their Supreme Womb. And I am the Father Who procreates them.
14:5. Sattva, rajas, and tamas are gunas originating due to interaction with prakriti. They firmly bind to the body the immortal indweller of it, O mighty-armed!
14:6. Of these gunas, sattva, thanks to its unstained purity — light and healthy, attaches by the attraction to happiness and by the bonds of relationships (with people alike to oneself), and by the bonds of knowledge (about unimportant things in life), O sinless one!
14:7. Know that rajas — a field of passions — is the source of the attachment to the earthly life and the thirst for it. This binds, O Kaunteya, the indweller of the body by the attraction to action!
14:8. Tamas, born of ignorance, deludes the indwellers of bodies binding them by negligence, carelessness, and laziness, O sinless one.
14:9. Sattva attaches to bliss, rajas attaches to actions, tamas, verily, destroys wisdom and attaches to carelessness.
14:10. Sometimes the sattva guna overcomes rajas and tamas; when rajas prevails — then sattva and tamas are defeated; sometimes tamas dominates defeating rajas and sattva.
14:11. When the light of wisdom shines from every pore of the body, then one can know that in this person sattva grows.
14:12. Greed, anxiety, urge to act, restlessness, worldly desires — all these qualities arise from the growth of rajas.
14:13. Dullness, laziness, carelessness, and delusion — all these are born when tamas grows.
14:14. The one in whom sattva prevails at the time of death enters the pure worlds of men of higher knowledge.
14:15. The one in whom rajas prevails will be born then among those attached to action (in the world of matter). The one who dies in the state of tamas will be born again among the ignorant.
14:16. The fruit of righteous action is harmonious and pure. Verily, the fruit of passion is suffering! The fruit of ignorance is wandering in darkness!
14:17. Sattva gives birth to wisdom. Rajas — to greed. Carelessness and insanity originate from tamas.
14:18. Those living in sattva progress spiritually. Rajasic ones remain on the middle level. Tamasic ones, possessing the worst qualities, degrade.
14:19. When one sees the three gunas as the only reason of activity and cognizes the transcendent to the gunas — then such one comes into My Essence.
14:20. When the soul dwelling in the body becomes free from the three gunas related to the world of matter, then it becomes free from births, deaths, old-age, suffering, and partakes of Immortality!
14:21. How can one recognize those who have become free from the gunas, O Lord? What is their behavior, and how does one become free from the three gunas?
Lord Krishna said:
14:22. O Pandava, the one who is not afraid of joy, activity, and errors, and yet does not long for them when they pass away,
14:23. who is not shaken by manifestations of the gunas, and saying, “Gunas act…” stays aloof, uninvolved,
14:24. steady in situations of happiness and sorrow, self-confident, to whom a clod, a stone, and gold are equal, immutable amidst the pleasant and unpleasant, amidst praise and blame,
14:25. same in honor and dishonor, equal towards a friend and a foe; striving not for prosperity in the material world — such one is free from the three gunas.
14:26. The one who serves Me with steadfast love — having freed oneself from the three gunas, such one deserves to become Brahman.
14:27. And Brahman, imperishable and immortal, is based on Me! I am the Basis of the eternal dharma and the Abode of the ultimate happiness!
Thus in the Upanishads of the blessed Bhagavad Gita, the Science of Eternal, the Scripture of Yoga, says the fourteenth conversation between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, entitled:
Liberation from the Three Gunas.