Chapter XIV: 6-8
|Of these, sattva,
which from its stainlessness is luminous and healthy, binds by attachment to happiness and
by attachment to knowledge, Oh sinless one.
Know thou rajas to be of the nature of passion, the source of thirst (for sensual enjoyment) and attachment; it binds fast, Oh Arjuna, the embodied one by attachment to action.
But know thou tamas to be born of ignorance, deluding all embodied beings; it binds fast, Oh Arjuna, by heedlessness, indolence and sleep.
These are the fundamental characteristics of the three qualities of nature. A knowledge of these three qualities is extremely essential. Our Master often asked: Do you know which guna (quality) is operating in you at a particular time? If we do, then we shall be able to adapt our life and activity in such a way as to utilize the operation of the particular quality and prevent it from leading us away from our center, God. So long as one is embodied, one cannot completely disentangle oneself from these qualities of nature.
Social workers often delude themselves that the service they render is itself yoga. Deep meditation on these three verses will awaken them to the truth that their service is often rajasa which is always accompanied by attachment and desire for worldly objects, name and fame. Introspection will enable them to retain the activity and eliminate attachment or desire.
A man who cares for nothing, who is not sincere enough to love anyone, or daring enough to hate, may pat his own back and think himself nearly a sage. Verse 8 reminds him that he is tamasa. He should remove the heedlessness and then maintain equilibrium.
Even knowledge and happiness, though sattvika, are only bondages. Knowing this, the aspirant is careful not to stop there. All the qualities must be transcended and the self realized here and now.
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