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.

Go to Verse

Verse 1

Arjuna said: But, O Krsna, what is the state [i.e., where do the rites undertaken by them end?] of those who, endued with faith, adore [Adore-perform sacrifices, distribute wealth etc. in honour of gods and others.] by ignoring the injunctions of the scriptures? Is it sattva, rajas or tamas?


Verse 2

The Blessed Lord said: That faith of the embodied beings, born of their own nature, is threefold-born of sattva, rajas and tamas. Hear about it.


Verse 3

O scion of the Bharata dynasty, the faith of all beings is in accordance with their minds. This person is made up of faith as the dominant factor. He is verily what his faith is.


Verse 4

Those having the sattva quality worship the gods; those having rajas, the demi-gods and ogres; and other people possessed of tamas worship ghosts and the hosts of spirits.


Verse 5

Those persons who, given to ostentation and pride, and possessed of passion, attachment and strength, undertake severe austerities not sanctioned in the scriptures;


Verse 6

(And who,) being non-discriminating, torture, all the organs in the body as also even Me who reside in the body, -know them as possessed of demoniacal conviction.