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Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 14: Guntreye Vibhaag Yoga – The Yoga of Three Qualities of Material Nature

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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 14

Chapter 14:Guntreye Vibhaag Yoga – The Yoga of Three Qualities of Material Nature

In chapter 14 Krishna reveals matters pertaining Goodness, Passsion and Nescience which everything in the material existence is influenced by. He gives pertinent details on the essential characteristics of each individually, their cause, the level of their potency, how they influence a living entity affected by them as well as the signs of one who has risen above them. Here he clearly advises to relinquish oneself from ignorance and passion and adopt the path of pure goodness until aquiring the ability to transcend them. In this chapter the living entities’ conditioning by that prakrti are further described in detail. The conclusion is that bhakti is the perfect means by which the living entities may rise above their conditioning, thus attaining their constitutional position of actual happiness. Thus this chapter is entitled; The Three Qualities of Material Nature.


  • Section-1 (Shloka 1-4)
    • The glory of Knowledge; Evolution of world
  • Section-2 (Shloka 5-18)
    • Qualities of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas
  • Section-3 (Shloka 19-27)
    • Means of God-Realizaation and marks of the soul who has transcended the Gunas


14.1 Shree Bhagwan said “I shall discuss once more the supreme wisdom, the best of all the wisdom, acquiring which all sages have attained highest perfection, being liberated from this mundane existence.”

14.1 Shree Bhagwanovaach “param bhuyah pravakhshyaami gyaanaanaam gyaanam-uttamam; yatgyatva muniyah sarve paraam sidhim ato gataa”

14.2 Those who, by practicing this wisdom, have entered into My being are not born again at the cosmic dawn nor feel disturbed even during the cosmic night.

14.2 idam gyaanam-upashritya mam saadharamyam-aagataa; sargepi noapjayante parlaye na vyanthantee cha

14.3 My primordial Nature, known as the great Brahma, the womb of all creatures; in that womb I place the seed of all life. The creation of all beings follows from that union of Matter and Spirit, O Arjuna.

14.3 mam yonir-mahad-brahmaa tasmin-garbham dadhamyam; sambhavah sarva-bhootanaam tato bhavti bhaarata

14.4 Of all embodied beings that appear in all the species of various kinds, Arjuna, Prakriti or Nature is conceiving Mother, while I am the seed-giving father.

14.4 sarvyoneshu kountey murtiya sambhvanti yaah; taasaam brahm mahad-yonir-aham beej-pradaa pitaa

14.5 Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas– these three qualities born of Nature tie down the imperishable soul to the body, Arjuna.

14.5 satvam rajastam itigunah prakriti-sambhavaah; nibhaddananti mahaa-baho dehe dehinam-avyam

14.6 Of these Sattva, being immaculate, is illuminating and flawless. Arjuna, it binds through identification with joy and wisdom.

14.6 tatra satvam nirmalatvat-parkaashkam-anaamyam; sukh-sangen badhnati gyan-sangen chaanagha

14.7 Arjuna, know the quality of Rajas, which is of the nature of passion, as born of cupidity and attachment. It bids the soul through attachment to actions and their fruits.

14.7 rajo raagaatmakam vidhi trishnaa-sangsamudhabhavam; taani-bhadhnaati kaunte karam-sangen dehinam

14.8 And know , the deluder of all those who look upon the body as their own self, as born of ignorance. It binds the soul through error, sloth and sleep, Arjuna.

14.8 tamastavgyanjam vidhi mohanam sarvadehinaam; pramaadaalasya-nidrabhiistanni-badhnati bhaarata

14.9 Sattva derives one to joy and Rajas to action; while Tamas, clouding wisdom, incites one to error as well as sleep and sloth.

14.9 satvam sukhe sanjaayati rajah karmani bhaarata; gyaanamaavritya tu tamah pramedate sanjayetiut

14.10 Overpowering Rajas and Tamas, Arjuna, Sattva prevails; overpowering Sattva and Tamas, Rajas prevails; even so, overpowering Sattva and Rajas, Tamas prevails.

14.10 rajas-tamashch-aabhibhooya satvam bhavati bhaarata; rajah satvam tamashchaiv tamah satvam rajas-tathaa

14.11 When light and discernment dawn in this body, as well as in the mind and senses, then one should know that Sattva is predominant.

14.11 sarvadvareshu dehe-asmin-prakaash upjayete; gyaanam yadaa tadaa vidyaadvridham satvam-iti-ut

14.12 With the preponderance of Rajas, Arjuna, greed, activity, undertaking of action with an interested motive, restlessness and a thirst for enjoyment make their appearance.

14.12 lobhah pravriti aarambhah karamanaam-ashma-sprihah; rajasyetaani jaayante vivaridhe bhartarshabha

14.13 With the growth of Tamas, Arjuna, obtuseness of the mind and senses, disinclination to perform one’s obligatory duties, frivolity and stupor-all these appear.

14.13 aprakasho-apravritishcha pramaado moh aiv cha; tamasyetaani jaayante vivaridhe kuru-nandana

14.14 When a man dies during the preponderance of Sattva, he obtains the stainless ethereal worlds ( heaven etc. )attained by men of noble deeds.

14.14 yadaa satve pravridhe tu parlayam yaati deh-bhrit; tadottam-vidhaam lokaan-amlaan-pratipadhyate

14.15 Dying when Rajas predominates, he is born among those attached to action; even so the man who has expired during the preponderance of Tamas is reborn in the species of stupid creatures, such as insects and beasts etc.

14.15 rajsi parlyam gatvaa karam-sangishu jayete; tathaa praleenas-tamsi mood-yonishu jayete

14.16 The reward of righteous act, they say, is Sattvika i.e. faultless ( in the shape of joy, wisdom and dispassion etc. ); sorrow is declared to be the fruit of Rajasika act, and ignorance, the fruit of a Tamasika act.

14.16 karmanaah sukritasyaahuh saatvikam nirmalam phalam; rajaastu phalam dukham-agyaanam tamsah phalam

14.17 Wisdom follows from Sattva, and greed, undoubtedly from Rajas; likewise obstinate error, stupor and also ignorance follow from Tamas.

14.17 satvaat-sanjaayate gyaanam rajso lobh ev cha; pramaad mohau tamso bhavato-agyanamev cha

14.18 Those who abide in the quality of Sattva wend their way upwards; while those of a Rajasika disposition stay in the middle. And those of a Tamasika temperament, enveloped as they are in the effects of Tamoguna, sink down.

14.18 oordhvam gachhanti satvasthaa madhye tishthanti rajasaah; jaghanya-guna-vritisthaa adho gachhanti taamsaah

14.19 When the seer perceives no agent other than the three Gunas, and realizes Me, the supreme Spirit standing entirely beyond these Gunas, he enters into My being.

14.19 naanyam gunebhyah karataaram yadaa drishtaanupashyati; gunebhyashcha param vetimadbhaavam so-adhigachhati

14.20 Having transcended the aforesaid three Gunas, which have caused the body, and freed from birth, death, old age and all kinds of sorrow, this soul attains supreme bliss.

14.20 gunaan-etaan-teetya treen-dehee deh-samudbhavaan; janam-mrityu-jaraa-dukhair-vimukto-amritam-ushnate

14.21 Arjuna said “What are the marks of him who has risen above the three Gunas, and what his conduct ? And how, does he rise above the three Gunas?”

14.21 Arjuna uvaach “kairlingaistreen-gunaan-aitaan-ateeto bhavati prabhu; kimaachaarah katham chaitaamstreen-gunaan-ativartate”

14.22 Shree Bhagwan said “Arjuna, he who hates not light ( which is born of Sattva ) and activity (which is born of Rajas) and even stupor (which is born of Tamas), when prevalent, nor longs for them when they have ceased.”

14.22 Shree Bhagwanovaach “prakaasham cha pravritam cha mohmev cha paandava; na dveshati sampravritaani na nivritaani kaankhshati”

14.23 He who sitting like a witness, is not disturbed by the Gunas, and who, knowing that the Gunas alone move among the Gunas, remains established in identity with God, and never falls off from that state.

14.23 udaaseenvad-aaseeno gunaryo na vichalyate; gunaa vartant itiaiv yo-avtishthati nengte

14.24 He who is ever established in Self, takes woe and joy alike, regards a cloth of earth, a stone and a piece of gold equal in value, is possessed of wisdom, receives the pleasant as well unpleasant in the same spirit, and views censure and praise alike;

14.24 sam-duhkha-sukhah swastha sama-loshtaashma-kaanchanaah; tulya-priya-apriyo dheer-tulya-nindaatma-sans-stutih

14.25 He who is indifferent to honor and ignominy, is alike to the cause of a friend and well as to that of an enemy, and has renounced the sense of doer ship in all undertakings, is said to have risen above the three Gunas.

14.25 maan-apmaanyos-tulya tulya-mitraari-pakhshayo; sarvaarambh-parityaagee gunaa-teetah sa uchyate

14.26 He too who, constantly worships Me through the yoga of exclusive devotion,–transcending these three Gunas, he becomes eligible for attaining Brahma.

14.26 maam cha yo avyabhichaaren bhakti-yogen sevate; sa gunaa-samteetyaitaan brahambhooyay kalpte

14.27 For, I am the ground of the imperishable Brahma, of immortality, of the eternal virtue and of unending ( immutable ) bliss.


Thus in the Upanishad sung by the Lord, the Science of Brahma, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shree Krishna and Arjuna, ends the Fourteenth chapter entitled ‘The Yoga of Three Qualities of Material Nature’

14.27 brahmano hi pratishthaa-aham-amritasya-avyavasya cha

shshvatasya cha dharmasya sukhasya-aikaantikasya cha


om tat-sat-iti shree-mad-bhagwat-geetasupnishatsu

brahm-vidyaayaam yog-shastre



naam chaturdasho adhyayh ||14||





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