BG 16.1

श्री भगवानुवाच अभयं सत्त्वसंशुद्धिः ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः। दानं दमश्च यज्ञश्च स्वाध्यायस्तप आर्जवम्।।16.1।।

śhrī-bhagavān uvācha abhayaṁ sattva-sanśhuddhir jñāna-yoga-vyavasthitiḥ dānaṁ damaśh cha yajñaśh cha svādhyāyas tapa ārjavam

śhrī-bhagavān uvācha—the Supreme Divine Personality said; abhayam—fearlessness; sattva-sanśhuddhiḥ—purity of mind; jñāna—knowledge; yoga—spiritual; vyavasthitiḥ—steadfastness; dānam—charity; damaḥ—control of the senses; cha—and; yajñaḥ—performance of sacrifice; cha—and; svādhyāyaḥ—study of sacred books; tapaḥ—austerity; ārjavam—straightforwardness;


The Blessed Lord said: Fearlessness, purity of heart, steadfastness in knowledge and yoga, almsgiving, control of the senses, sacrifice, study of scriptures, austerity, and straightforwardness.


16.1 अभयम् fearlessness? सत्त्वसंशुद्धिः purity of heart? ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः steadfastness in knowledge and Yoga? दानम् atmsgiving? दमः control of the senses? च and? यज्ञः sacrifice? च and? स्वाध्यायः study of Sastras? तपः austerity? आर्जवम् straightforwardness.Commentary The Lord made a mention of the three kinds of Nature that belong to sentient beings? viz.? the nature of the gods? Asuras and

Rakshasas? in the ninth discourse (verses 12 and 13). He now describes them in detail in this discourse. The distinction between the god or the godman and the Asuras is clearly drawn in the first? second? third and fourth verses. Daivi Prakriti or the nature of the gods leads to Moksha or release from the round of birth and death. The nature of the Asuras and Rakshasas leads to bondage. This is an

obstacle to the attainment of knowledge of the Self. The divine nature must be accepted and cultivated the Asuric and Rakshasic nature should be abandoned. All these alities are found in human beings. There are Sattvic people who possess the divine attributes there are Asuras and Rakshasas among human beings also? who are endowed with demoniacal alities? who are filled with excessive Tamas. In an

ordinary man there is a mixture of the three Gunas. Tamas and Rajas pull a man downwards Sattva lifts a man upwards. Tamas and Rajas lead to bondage Sattva helps to attain salvation. Discipline yourself and develop Sattva This is the foundation of Yoga. This is the first preparatory discipline. The first rung in the spiritual ladder is reached by developing Sattva. When the mind is Sattvic? thee is

calmness in it. Divine light can descend only when the mind is serene and cheerful.The Sattvic man controls the senses? does selfless service? and practises Japa? Pranayama? concentration? meditation? selfanalysis and eniry of Who am I He is not attracted by sensual objects. He has a burning desire for attaining Moksha. He is humble? generous? merciful? forbearing? tolerant and pious. He destroys

his little personality. The Rajasic man is proud? intolearnt? egoistic? selfsufficient? lustful? hottermpered? greedy and jealous. He works for his own glory and fame and selfaggrandisement. he develops his own little vain personality.There is intimate connection between the Gunas and Karmas. The nature of the Karmas depends upon the nature of the Gunas. A Sattvic man will do virtuous actions. A Rajasic

and Tamasic man will perform evil actions. It is the Guna that goads a man to do actions. The Self or Brahman is actionless. It is the silent witness.The Lord sums up in the first three verses the alities of a godly man who is inclined to the path of liberation. He then enumerates the alities of the demoniacal man. The theme of this chapter is the tracing of the difference between the divine and the

Asuric nature.Virtue and vice are relative terms. The virtue of one period will become the vice of the other. From the transcendental point of view? there is neither virtue nor vice.Why should there be evil How did evil arise -- these are all transcendental estions (Atiprasnas). You can get answers to these estions only when you attain Selfrealisation. People unnecessarily rack their brains to get

an answer to these estions. It is a serious mistake.Daivi Sampat (divine wealth or the wealth of divine alities) helps the aspirant to attain knowledge of the Self. The Sattvic or divine attributes such as fearlessness? purity of heart? control of the senses? etc.? constitute Daivi Sampat. They enable the aspirant to attain the highest state of superconsciousness (Nirvikalpa Samadhi) wherein the seer

and the seen are united in one? the meditator and the meditated become identical. Divine alities or attributes which go to augment the bliss of the Self? which help the aspirant to attain the happiness of the Self? are called divine,wealth.Among the divine alities? fearlessness stands foremost. Fear is an effect of ignorance. Identification with the body causes fear. Blind attachment to the body?

wife? children? house or property is the cause of fear. The sge who has realised the Self is absolutely fearless.He who knows the Bliss of Brahman from which words as well as the mind turn powerless? fears nothing. (Taittiriya Upanishad)Fearlessness is the devout observance of the precepts enjoined in the scriptures without doubting. The state of being free from the fear? How can I live now when I

have renounced everything? when I have none to support me is fearlessness. A Sannyasi resolves when he takes Sannyasa? I will not induce fear in any living creature. Keeping up this resolve of Abhaya Dana (gift of the boon of fearlessness to all creatures) in thought? word and deed is Abhayam or fearlessness. Fear can be removed by constant thinking of the immortal and allblissful nature of the Self.

If you lead a life of honesty and truthfulness? if you devoutly observe the precepts of the scriptures without doubting? if you lead a life of right conduct? and if you remember God always? you will become fearless. When one beholds the Self only everywhere? when the sense of duality has vanished? when the sense of unity has dawned in him? how can he be afraid of anything? how can the feeling of fear

arise in him Fearlessness is essential for the attainment of Moksha or salvation. Fearlessness is the chief characteristic of a liberated sage. It is the one accurate measure of ones spiritual progress. It is the cardinal virtue of an illumined sage. That is the reason why it is placed in the forefront of all divine alities. Only a liberated sage can be absolutely fearless.Sattvic Subha Vasana (good

tendency) is Daivi Sampat. It induces a man to practise discrimination? dispassion? control of the mind and the senses? etc.? which help him to attain knowledge of the Self. The Rajasic and the Tamasic (Asubha or evil) Vasnas (tendencies) which operate along the currents of RagaDvesha (likes and dislikes)? which induce one to perform actions which are prohibited by the scriptures and which produce

disastrous effects? constitute demoniacal nature.In Asuric nature inclination towards sensual pleasures is predominant in Rakshasic nature hatred predominates and the Rakshasa does various sorts of harm and injury to others.Good tendencies lead to Moksha. Evil tendencies lead to bondage. Good tendencies must be cultivated. Evil tendencies should be eradicated. You shoul first have a knowledge of the

essential nature of these two Vasanas? if you wish to cultivate the good tendencies and eradicate the evil ones. This sixteenth discourse gives a vivid description of these tendencies.Sattvasamsuddhih Purity of understanding? cleanliness of life or purity of heart. Purity of mind? i.e.? giving up of cheating? hypocrisy? untruth and the like? in all dealings with the people? and doing transactions

with perfect honesty and integrity is Sattvasamsuddhi.When the understanding abides constantly in the immortal Self and is thus firm and steadfast? you may know this to be a condition of purity. On account of purity the mind can know the Self. The state of the mind wherein it is free from doubts like Asambhavana (thought of improbability of the existence of the Self)? etc.? through hearing of the

scriptures is Sattvasamsuddhi. As purity of mind cannot be obtained without devotion to the Lord? devotion is implied in these Sattvic virtues.Jnana Knowledge understanding the nature of the Self? as taught in the scriptures and by the preceptor Selfrealisation through meditation on the Great Sentence of the Upanishad. I am Brahman (Aham Brahmasmi)? is Jnana.Yoga is union of the individual soul with

the Supreme Being it is the direct realisation of the Self by concentration and meditation? through selfrestraint or control of the senses. The aspirant cognises through direct perception by the inner eye of intuition or wisdom what has been learnt from the scriptures and the preceptor. The aspirant attains Selfrealisation or direct knowledge. He becomes one with Brahman -- the Absolute. He gets indirect

knowledge or mere understanding or theoretical knowledge of Brahman from the scriptures. Now through the practice of Yoga he gets direct knowledge. The attempt which is favourable for the annihilation of the mind and the latent tendencies is also known as Yoga.Jnanayogavyavasthitih The state of Jivanmukti attained through Jnana Yoga? which is distinct from the state of the worldlyminded persons.Fearlessness?

purity of heart and steadfastness in knowledge and Yoga are the three preeminent virtues amongst the Sattvic attributes enumerated in verses 1 to 3. They are found in Jnana Yogins only. The other alities are common to Jnana Yogins? Karma Yogins? Raja Yogins and Bhaktas. Unless you possess Sattvic virtues? you cannot practise any kind of Yoga. If you cultivate one virtue? all other virtues will cling

to you by themselves. Fearlessness is the basis and foundation of the whole of mans moral structure within.Svadhyaya and Tamas constitute Kriya Yoga. Svadhyaya constitutes BrahmaYajna. Almsgiving and sacrifice pertain to Karma Yoga. Almsgiving? selfcontrol and sacrifice constitute Daivi Sampat for householders. Those alities mentioned in chapter XVI? verses 1 to 3? which belong to the aspirant who

practises a particular form of Yoga constitute the Daivi Sampat of the disciple on that path.Dana Almsgiving distributing food? clothes? etc.? as far as it iles in ones power? according to ones means. A charitable man hastens to comfort the distressed and helps the needy. Charity is of three kinds? viz.? Sattvic? Rajasic and Tamasic (see chapter XVII? 20 to 22). It opens the gates of heaven. It will

bring nearer the means of liberation. Just as the tree gives fruit and shade without distinction? so also give to him who needs? without distinction? with a cheerful heart.Dama Selfrestraint? selfcontrol? control of the external senses. The control of the inner senses or the mind is described in the next verse.The practice of selfcontrol annihilates the union between the senses and the sensual objects.

It separates the senses from their respective objects. The aspirant will not allow the wind of the sensual objects to blow through the gateway of his senses. He keeps the senses under the strictest restraint. He lights the fire of dispassion at all the ten gates of the body. He takes rigid vows. He observes Mauna (the vow of silence) and celibacy. He is moderate in his diet. He keeps the golden medium

in everything. He checks the outgoing tendencies of the mind and the senses. He induces the mind and the senses to turn backwards towards their source. Just as an enemy is cut down by means of a weapon? so also every tendency towards sensual objects is cut down by the practice of selfcontrol. All internal promptings? cravings and Vasanas should be burnt in the fire of renunciation? at the ten gates

of the senses. As householders cannot practise perfect control of the senses? even moderation or regulated and disciplined life will constitute selfrestraint for them. The practice of selfcontrol includes forgiveness? harmlessness? truth? steadiness and,patience.Yajna Sacrifice. The fireworship (Agnihotra) and the like enjoined in the Vedas and also the sacrifice to the gods (DevaYajna) or worship

of the gods? PitriYajna? BhutaYajna? ManushyaYajna and BrahmaYajna enjoined in the scriptures (Smritis).Svadhyaya Study of the Vedas in order to attain the unseen fruits.Tapas Austerity? moritification of the body and other forms of penance. True Tapas is meditation on the Self. It is fixing the mind on Brahman or the Self. It is to separate oneself from the physical body and the other four sheaths

and to identify oneself with the Absolute. It is to turn the mind towards the soul. The three kinds of Tapas mentioned in chapter XVII? verses 14 to 16 come under this category.Arjavam Straightforwardness. This is conducive to the attainment of knowledge. The aspirant should always be candid? upright or straightforward. Straightforwardness should be his constant attitutde. A just and truthful man

alone can be straightforward. He is respected by the people. He is liked by all. He attains success in all his endeavours. He never hides facts or truth.