BG 17.5

अशास्त्रविहितं घोरं तप्यन्ते ये तपो जनाः।दम्भाहङ्कारसंयुक्ताः कामरागबलान्विताः।।17.5।।

aśhāstra-vihitaṁ ghoraṁ tapyante ye tapo janāḥ dambhāhankāra-sanyuktāḥ kāma-rāga-balānvitāḥ

aśhāstra-vihitam—not enjoined by the scriptures; ghoram—stern; tapyante—perform; ye—who; tapaḥ—austerities; janāḥ—people; dambha—hypocrisy; ahankāra—egotism; sanyuktāḥ—possessed of; kāma—desire; rāga—attachment; bala—force; anvitāḥ—impelled by;


Those men who practice terrific austerities not prescribed by the scriptures, given to hypocrisy and egoism, driven by the force of lust and attachment.


17.5 अशास्त्रविहितम् not enjoined by the scriptures? घोरम् terrific? तप्यन्ते practise? ये who? तपः austerity? जनाः men? दम्भाहङ्कारसंयुक्ताः given to hypocrisy and egoism? कामरागबलान्विताः by the force of lust and attachment.Commentary There are some who think that the mortification of the body is the proper means to attain the goal of life. They do this in order to attract the people and get money

for the gratification of their senses. They stand on one leg with raised hands. This is not real Tapas. This is Tamasic Tapas. Bodily torture will not bring emancipation. These men are not acainted with even the first elements of the scriptures. They mock at the religious practices of the wise? elderly persons and jeer at learned men. They are puffed up with the vanity of their own greatness. They

are proud of their wealth. They perform unauthorised austerities. These persons do severe austerities contrary to the scriptures on the strength of desire and attachment.They take even the lives of children to propitiate their deity. Instead of killing their egoism? they kill many innocent animals in the name of sacrifice but in reality they kill them to satisfy their own palate. Most horrible indeed

They speak ill of the scriptures and wander about in the forest of delusion and infatuation. They follow the dictates of passion. They inflict pain on themselves and on others. They practise austerities which cause pain to themselves and to other living beings. Pitiable indeed is their lot. They are doomed to destruction.Kamaragabalanvitah may also be interpreted as possessed of lust? attachment and

power.Dambha Ostentation The man of Dambha is desirous that all people should take him for a virtuous man and so he expresses to others his righteous nature. In reality he is not virtuous. He pretends to be what he is not.Ahankara Egoism The egoistic man thinks and feels that he is superior to others in the possession of all virtuous alities.Raga Extreme attachment to sensual objects.Bala Great power

of enduring severe pain on account of Raga for sensual objects (pain that accrues from exertion in attaining and preserving the objects).Kama Lust Desire for any object.