THE BHAGAVAD GITA: Chapter 14

Reference: Course on The Bhagavad Gita

English Translation By Swami Purohit Swami

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Chapter 14

श्रीभगवानुवाच
परंभूयःप्रवक्ष्यामिज्ञानानांज्ञानमुत्तमम्।
यज्ज्ञात्वामुनयःसर्वेपरांसिद्धिमितोगताः।।14.1।।

14.1 Lord Shri Krishna continued: Now I will reveal unto the Wisdom which is beyond knowledge, by attaining which the sages have reached Perfection.

इदंज्ञानमुपाश्रित्यममसाधर्म्यमागताः।
सर्गेऽपिनोपजायन्तेप्रलयेनव्यथन्तिच।।14.2।।

14.2 Dwelling in Wisdom and realising My Divinity, they are not born again when the universe is re-created at the beginning of every cycle, nor are they affected when it is dissolved.

ममयोनिर्महद्ब्रह्मतस्मिन्गर्भंदधाम्यहम्।
संभवःसर्वभूतानांततोभवतिभारत।।14.3।।

14.3 The eternal Cosmos is My womb, in which I plant the seed, from which all beings are born, O Prince!

The Static viewpoint is beyond any knowledge. From it the awareness arises that the universe creates and dissolves itself in cycles. There is not just one Big bang. This happens over and over again over long periods of time. The Static viewpoint remains unaffected. It simply observes all motion.

सर्वयोनिषुकौन्तेयमूर्तयःसम्भवन्तियाः।
तासांब्रह्ममहद्योनिरहंबीजप्रदःपिता।।14.4।।

14.4 O illustrious son of Kunti! Through whatever wombs men are born, it is the Spirit Itself that conceives, and I am their Father.

सत्त्वंरजस्तमइतिगुणाःप्रकृतिसंभवाः।
निबध्नन्तिमहाबाहोदेहेदेहिनमव्ययम्।।14.5।।

14.5 Purity, Passion and Ignorance are the Qualities which the Law of nature bringeth forth. They fetter the free Spirit in all beings.

तत्रसत्त्वंनिर्मलत्वात्प्रकाशकमनामयम्।
सुखसङ्गेनबध्नातिज्ञानसङ्गेनचानघ।।14.6।।

14.6 O Sinless One! Of these, Purity, being luminous, strong and invulnerable, binds one by its yearning for happiness and illumination.

From the Static viewpoint, it is clearly seen that man is a form that is being animated by energy. He is constrained by the qualities of purity, passion and ignorance. Purity constrains him through his yearning for happiness and illumination.

रजोरागात्मकंविद्धितृष्णासङ्गसमुद्भवम्।
तन्निबध्नातिकौन्तेयकर्मसङ्गेनदेहिनम्।।14.7।।

14.7 Passion, engendered by thirst for pleasure and attachment, binds the soul through its fondness for activity.

तमस्त्वज्ञानजंविद्धिमोहनंसर्वदेहिनाम्।
प्रमादालस्यनिद्राभिस्तन्निबध्नातिभारत।।14.8।।

14.8 But Ignorance, the product of darkness, stupefies the senses in all embodied beings, binding them by chains of folly, indolence and lethargy.

सत्त्वंसुखेसञ्जयतिरजःकर्मणिभारत।
ज्ञानमावृत्यतुतमःप्रमादेसञ्जयत्युत।।14.9।।

14.9 Purity brings happiness, Passion commotion, and Ignorance, which obscures wisdom, leads to a life of failure.

Passion constrains man through his fondness for activity (pleasure and attachment). Ignorance constrains the man through folly, indolence and lethargy (stupefied senses). Purity brings happiness, Passion commotion, and Ignorance, which obscures wisdom, leads to a life of failure.

It is interesting to note that happiness is not the ultimate goal. One needs to rise above happiness also. But before man can do that he must first overcome stupefaction of senses, and the commotion of activity. Only then he can overcome the attachment to happiness.

रजस्तमश्चाभिभूयसत्त्वंभवतिभारत।
रजःसत्त्वंतमश्चैवतमःसत्त्वंरजस्तथा।।14.10।।

14.10 O Prince! Purity prevails when Passion and Ignorance are overcome; Passion, when Purity and Ignorance are overcome; and Ignorance when it overcomes Purity and Passion.

We have purity, when purity overcomes passion and ignorance. We have passion, when passion overcomes purity and ignorance. We have ignorance, when ignorance overcomes purity and passion.

The viewpoint of ignorance overcoming purity and passion is very interesting. You get what you focus your attention on, but how do you focus your attention on ignorance? That happens when you put your critical thinking aside, especially, in today’s environment of “excessive information from internet.”

सर्वद्वारेषुदेहेऽस्मिन्प्रकाशउपजायते।
ज्ञानंयदातदाविद्याद्विवृद्धंसत्त्वमित्युत।।14.11।।

14.11 When the light of knowledge gleams forth from all the gates of the body, then be sure that Purity prevails.

लोभःप्रवृत्तिरारम्भःकर्मणामशमःस्पृहा।
रजस्येतानिजायन्तेविवृद्धेभरतर्षभ।।14.12।।

14.12 O best of Indians! Avarice, the impulse to act and the beginning of action itself are all due to the dominance of Passion.

अप्रकाशोऽप्रवृत्तिश्चप्रमादोमोहएवच।
तमस्येतानिजायन्तेविवृद्धेकुरुनन्दन।।14.13।।

14.13 Darkness, stagnation, folly and infatuation are the result of the dominance of Ignorance, O joy of the Kuru-clan!

Purity must prevail where knowledge is concerned. Where passion dominates, greed comes to fore. Where ignorance dominates you have infatuation, folly, stagnation and darkness.

यदासत्त्वेप्रवृद्धेतुप्रलयंयातिदेहभृत्।
तदोत्तमविदांलोकानमलान्प्रतिपद्यते।।14.14।।

14.14 When Purity prevails, the soul on quitting the body passes on to the pure regions where live those who know the Highest.

रजसिप्रलयंगत्वाकर्मसङ्गिषुजायते।
तथाप्रलीनस्तमसिमूढयोनिषुजायते।।14.15।।

14.15 When Passion prevails, the soul is reborn among those who love activity; when Ignorance rules, it enters the wombs of the ignorant.

Here confusion arises as it is not clear if we are looking at the soul or atman. The soul is the individuality of the person that terminates with the death of the body. However, atman is the energy associated with the person that continues beyond death.

When purity prevails, the energy is harmonious, and there is not much residue that would continue as part of another life. When passion prevails, the energy residue is loaded with passion; and when ignorance rules, the energy residue is loaded with ignorance. Such load continues as part of another life.

कर्मणःसुकृतस्याहुःसात्त्विकंनिर्मलंफलम्।
रजसस्तुफलंदुःखमज्ञानंतमसःफलम्।।14.16।।

14.16 They say the fruit of a meritorious action is spotless and full of purity; the outcome of Passion is misery, and of Ignorance darkness.

सत्त्वात्सञ्जायतेज्ञानंरजसोलोभएवच।
प्रमादमोहौतमसोभवतोऽज्ञानमेवच।।14.17।।

14.17 Purity engenders Wisdom, Passion avarice, and Ignorance folly, infatuation and darkness.

ऊर्ध्वंगच्छन्तिसत्त्वस्थामध्येतिष्ठन्तिराजसाः।
जघन्यगुणवृत्तिस्थाअधोगच्छन्तितामसाः।।14.18।।

14.18 When Purity is in the ascendant, the man evolves; when Passion, he neither evolves nor degenerates; when Ignorance, he is lost.

In purity, all elements are in harmony with each other, A meritorious action is like that. It is its own fruit in the form of wisdom. It leads to evolution of man.

In passion, there is conflict and upheaval and the outcome is misery. One is running after things with desire. It neither leads to evolution nor degeneration.

In ignorance, there is simply darkness. One is heavily attached to things and simply lost. There is degeneration.

नान्यंगुणेभ्यःकर्तारंयदाद्रष्टानुपश्यति।
गुणेभ्यश्चपरंवेत्तिमद्भावंसोऽधिगच्छति।।14.19।।

14.19 As soon as man understands that it is only the Qualities which act and nothing else, and perceives That which is beyond, he attains My divine nature.

गुणानेतानतीत्यत्रीन्देहीदेहसमुद्भवान्।
जन्ममृत्युजरादुःखैर्विमुक्तोऽमृतमश्नुते।।14.20।।

14.20 When the soul transcends the Qualities, which are the real cause of physical existence, then, freed from birth and death, from old age and misery, he quaffs the nectar of immortality.

अर्जुनउवाच
कैर्लिंगैस्त्रीन्गुणानेतानतीतोभवतिप्रभो।
किमाचारःकथंचैतांस्त्रीन्गुणानतिवर्तते।।14.21।।

14.21 Arjuna asked: My Lord! By what signs can he who has transcended the Qualities be recognized? How does he act? How does he live beyond them?

The whole universe is constructed out of the condensation of energy and its impulse. All Qualities arise from the condensation of the impulse inherent to energy. It is all a game of these Qualities only. Beyond these Qualities is the Static viewpoint observing but uninvolved.

The physical existence, birth and death, old age and misery are all the product of these Qualities. The Static viewpoint observes them without getting involved. Man can attain this Static viewpoint. But how does one know this?

श्रीभगवानुवाच
प्रकाशंचप्रवृत्तिंचमोहमेवचपाण्डव।
नद्वेष्टिसम्प्रवृत्तानिननिवृत्तानिकाङ्क्षति।।14.22।।

14.22 Lord Shri Krishna replied: O Prince! He who shuns not the Quality which is present, and longs not for that which is absent;

उदासीनवदासीनोगुणैर्योनविचाल्यते।
गुणावर्तन्तइत्येवयोऽवतिष्ठतिनेङ्गते।।14.23।।

14.23 He who maintains an attitude of indifference, who is not disturbed by the Qualities, who realises that it is only they who act, and remains calm;

समदुःखसुखःस्वस्थःसमलोष्टाश्मकाञ्चनः।
तुल्यप्रियाप्रियोधीरस्तुल्यनिन्दात्मसंस्तुतिः।।14.24।।

14.24 Who accepts pain and pleasure as it comes, is centred in his Self, to whom a piece of clay or stone or gold are the same, who neither likes nor dislikes, who is steadfast, indifferent alike to praise or censure;

One who has attained the Static Viewpoint is completely indifferent towards the absence or presence of Qualities. That doesn’t mean that there is no action. He simply follows the laws of nature in taking care of the body-mind system. When the Qualities act he remains calm. He is indifferent toward the consequences of any actions of the Qualities, such as, pain and pleasure, praise and censure, etc.

मानापमानयोस्तुल्यस्तुल्योमित्रारिपक्षयोः।
सर्वारम्भपरित्यागीगुणातीतःसउच्यते।।14.25।।

14.25 Who looks equally upon honour and dishonour, loves friends and foes alike, abandons all initiative, such is he who transcends the Qualities.

मांचयोऽव्यभिचारेणभक्ितयोगेनसेवते।
सगुणान्समतीत्यैतान्ब्रह्मभूयायकल्पते।।14.26।।

14.26 And he who serves Me and only Me, with unfaltering devotion, shall overcome the Qualities, and become One with the Eternal.

ब्रह्मणोहिप्रतिष्ठाऽहममृतस्याव्ययस्यच।
शाश्वतस्यचधर्मस्यसुखस्यैकान्तिकस्यच।।14.27।।

14.27 For I am the Home of the Spirit, the continual Source of immortality, of eternal Righteousness and of infinite Joy.

The static viewpoint perceives everything with total detachment. The achievement of this viewpoint is the ultimate goal. At the same time it is the joyful beginning of something new.

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Final Comment

The “Me” of The Bhagavad Gita is the Static viewpoint from which any and all motion can be viewed without distortion. This Static viewpoint is beyond any knowledge. It is only from this viewpoint that the cyclic nature of the universe can be fully comprehended. The Static viewpoint remains unaffected of any cycles.

The whole universe is constructed out of the condensation of energy and its impulse. All Qualities arise from the condensation of the impulse inherent to energy. The physical existence, birth and death, old age and misery are all the product of these Qualities. Man is an energy form that is being animated by its inherent impulse. His viewpoint is being governed by the qualities of purity, passion and ignorance.

Purity governs man through his yearning for happiness and illumination, and brings happiness. Purity must prevail where knowledge is concerned. When purity prevails, the energy is harmonious, and there is not much residue that would continue as part of another life. Man evolves.

Passion governs man through his fondness for activity, and brings commotion and pleasure. Passion must prevail, where greed filled desire is concerned. When passion prevails, the energy residue is loaded with passion. It neither leads to evolution nor degeneration.

Ignorance governs man through stupefaction of senses, and leads to a life of failure. Ignorance must prevail, where infatuation and folly is concerned. When ignorance rules, the energy residue is loaded with ignorance. Such load continues as part of another life.

The universe is a game of these Qualities. Man must overcome not only ignorance and passion but also purity, in order to attain the Static viewpoint of full awareness. Full awareness requires total detachment. Man can attain this Static viewpoint.

One who has attained the Static Viewpoint is completely indifferent towards the absence or presence of Qualities. He simply follows the laws of nature in taking care of the body-mind system. When the Qualities act he remains calm. He is indifferent toward the consequences of the Qualities, such as, pain and pleasure, praise and censure, etc.

The achievement of the Static viewpoint is the ultimate goal. At the same time it is the joyful beginning of something new.

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