Chapter 14 - Gunatraya Vibhaga Yoga


Yoga through Understanding the Three Modes of Material Nature



The fourteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita is Gunatraya Vibhaga Yoga. In this chapter, Krishna reveals the three gunas (modes) of the material nature - goodness, passion and ignorance which everything in the material existence is influenced by. He further explains the essential characteristics of each of these modes, their cause and how they influence a living entity affected by them. He then reveals the various characteristics of the persons who have gone beyond these gunas. The chapter ends with Krishna reminding us of the power of pure devotion to God and how attachment to God can help us transcend these gunas.


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Verse 1


The Divine Lord said: I shall once again explain to you the supreme wisdom, the best of all knowledge; by knowing which, all the great saints attained the highest perfection.

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Verse 2


Those who take refuge in this wisdom will be united with me. They will not be reborn at the time of creation nor destroyed at the time of dissolution.

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Verse 3


The total material substance, prakṛiti, is the womb. I impregnate it with the individual souls, and thus all living beings are born.

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Verse 4


O son of Kunti, for all species of life that are produced, the material nature is the womb, and I am the seed-giving Father.

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Verse 5


O mighty-armed Arjun, the material energy consists of three guṇas (modes)—sattva (goodness), rajas (passion), and tamas (ignorance). These modes bind the eternal soul to the perishable body.

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Verse 6


Amongst these, sattva guṇa, the mode of goodness, being purer than the others, is illuminating and full of well-being. O sinless one, it binds the soul by creating attachment for a sense of happiness and knowledge.

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