Chapter 14

Gunatraya Vibhaga Yoga

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.

Verse 1
The Blessed Lord said, "I will again declare to thee that supreme knowledge, the best of all knowledge, having known which all the sages have gone to supreme perfection after this life."
Verse 2
Those who, having taken refuge in this knowledge, have attained unity with Me, are neither born at the time of creation nor disturbed at the time of dissolution.
Verse 3
My womb is the great Brahma; in it I place the germ; thence, O Arjuna, is the birth of all beings.
Verse 4
Whatever forms are produced, O Arjuna, in any womb whatsoever, the great Brahma is their womb, and I am the seed-giving father.
Verse 5
These qualities, O Arjuna, born of Nature, bind fast in the body of the embodied, the indestructible: purity, passion, and inertia.
Verse 6
Of these, sattva, which is luminous and healthy due to its stainlessness, binds one by attachment to happiness and knowledge, O sinless one.
Verse 7
Know, O Arjuna, that Rajas is of the nature of passion, the source of thirst and attachment; it binds fast the embodied one by attachment to action.
Verse 8
But know thou Tamas to be born of ignorance, deluding all embodied beings; it binds fast, O Arjuna, through heedlessness, indolence, and sleep.
Verse 9
Sattva attaches to happiness, Rajas to action, O Arjuna, while Tamas, verily shrouding knowledge, attaches to heedlessness.
Verse 10
Now, O Arjuna, Sattva prevails, having overpowered Rajas and Tamas; then Rajas, having overpowered Sattva and Tamas; and then Tamas, having overpowered Sattva and Rajas.
Verse 11
When the wisdom-light shines through every gate of this body, then it may be known that Sattva is predominant.
Verse 12
Greed, activity, the undertaking of actions, restlessness, and longing—these arise when Rajas is predominant, O Arjuna.
Verse 13
Darkness, inertia, carelessness, and delusion—these arise when Tamas is predominant, O Arjuna.
Verse 14
If the embodied one meets death when Sattva is predominant, then they attain the spotless worlds of the knowers of the Highest.
Verse 15
Meeting death in Rajas, he is born among those who are attached to action; and dying in Tamas, he is born in the womb of the thoughtless.
Verse 16
They say that the fruit of good action is Sattvic and pure; indeed, the fruit of Rajas is pain, and the fruit of Tamas is ignorance.
Verse 17
From Sattva arises knowledge, and greed from Rajas; heedlessness and delusion arise from Tamas, and also ignorance.
Verse 18
Those seated in Sattva ascend; those of Rajasic nature dwell in the middle; and those of Tamasic nature, abiding in the function of the lowest Guna, descend.
Verse 19
When the seer beholds no agent other than the Gunas and knows that which is higher than them, he attains to My Being.
Verse 20
The embodied one, having crossed beyond these three Gunas from which the body is evolved, is freed from birth, death, decay, and pain, and attains immortality.
Verse 21
Arjuna said, "What are the marks of one who has transcended the three qualities, O Lord? What is their conduct, and how do they go beyond these three qualities?"
Verse 22
The Blessed Lord said, "When light, activity, and delusion are present, he does not hate them, nor does he long for them when they are absent.
Verse 23
He who, seated like one unconcerned, is not moved by the dualities, and who, knowing that the dualities are active, is self-centered and does not move.
Verse 24
Who is the same in pleasure and pain, who dwells in the Self, to whom a clod of earth, a stone, and gold are all alike, who is the same to the dear and the unfriendly, who is firm, and to whom censure and praise are one and the same.
Verse 25
Who is the same in honor and dishonor, the same to friend and foe, abandoning all undertakings, he is said to have transcended the dualities.
Verse 26
And he who serves Me with unwavering devotion, he, crossing beyond the dualities, is fit for becoming Brahman.
Verse 27
For I am the abode of Brahman, the immortal, immutable, and everlasting Dharma, and absolute bliss.