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.

Go to Verse

Verse 7

Know rajas to be of the nature of passion, born of hankering and attachment. O son of Kunti, that binds the embodied one through attachment to action.


Verse 8

On the other hand, know tamas, which deludes all embodied beings, to be born of ignorance. O scion of the Bharata dynasty, that binds through inadvertence, laziness and sleep.


Verse 9

O scion of the Bharata dynasty, sattva attaches one to happiness, rajas to action, while tamas, covering up knowledge, leads to inadvertence also.


Verse 10

O scion of the Bharata dynasty, sattva increases by subduing rajas and tamas, rajas by overpowering sattva and tamas, and tamas by dominating over sattva and rajas.


Verse 11

When the illumination that is knowledge radiates in this body through all the doors (of the senses), then one should know that sattva has increased greatly.


Verse 12

O best of the Bharata dynasty, when rajas becomes predominant, these come into being: avarice, movement, undertaking of actions, unrest and hankering.