Chapter 17 - Sraddhatraya Vibhaga Yoga


Yoga through Discerning the Three Divisions of Faith



The seventeenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita is Sraddhatraya Vibhaga Yoga. In this chapter, Krishna describes the three types of faith corresponding to the three modes of the material nature. Lord Krishna further reveals that it is the nature of faith that determines the quality of life and the character of living entities. Those who have faith in passion and ignorance perform actions that yield temporary, material results while those who have faith in goodness perform actions in accordance with scriptural instructions and hence their hearts get further purified.


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Verse 1


Arjun said: O Krishna, where do they stand who disregard the injunctions of the scriptures, but still worship with faith? Is their faith in the mode of goodness, passion, or ignorance?

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Verse 2


The Supreme Divine Personality said: Every human being is born with innate faith, which can be of three kinds—sāttvic, rājasic, or tāmasic. Now hear about this from me.

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Verse 3


The faith of all humans conforms to the nature of their mind. All people possess faith, and whatever the nature of their faith, that is verily what they are.

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Verse 4


Those in the mode of goodness worship the celestial gods; those in the mode of passion worship the yakṣhas and rākṣhasas; those in the mode of ignorance worship ghosts and spirits.

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Verse 5-6


Some people perform stern austerities that are not enjoined by the scriptures, but rather motivated by hypocrisy and egotism. Impelled by desire and attachment, they torment not only the elements of their body, but also I who dwell within them as the Supreme Soul. Know these senseless people to be of demoniacal resolves.

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Verse 7


The food persons prefer is according to their dispositions. The same is true for the sacrifice, austerity, and charity they incline toward. Now hear of the distinctions from me.

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