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In whatever wombs mortals are born, O son of Kuntī! Brahmā is their mighty womb, and I the seed-giving Sire. 5 “Goodness," "Passion,” and “Darkness;” thus are

named the modes 1 (guņas) which spring from Nature (Prakriti), and bind down the eternal, embodied (soul) in the body,2 O large-armed one!

Of these, “goodness,” being lustrous and pure from its unsullied nature, binds (the soul), 0 sinless one! by the attachment (bond) of happiness and of knowledge.

Know that “passion," having the nature of desire, and being the source of attachment and craving, binds the embodied (soul), O son of Kunti! by the attachment of work.

But know that “ darkness," born of ignorance, which bewilders all embodied (souls), binds them, O son of Bharata! by stupidity, idleness, and sleep.

which is vitalised by the spiritual take. The following quotations are Brahmă, the animating principle against this explanation :—“Before jīvātman). (Cf. c. xv. 12-17.) In the mundane egg existed the holy the Vishņu Purāņa the Brahmā is Brahmā, Hiranyagarbha, the bodily spoken of as the material cause of form (mūrttirūpa) of Brahmă, who all things, and is addressed by the is the seat of the holy Vishņu” goddess Earth as Vishņu [i.e., Křish- (Vishņu Purāņa, iv. 1, 4). "This ņa]. In the Institutes of Manu it knowledge of soul ... was declared is stated that the Supreme Omni. by Brahmā, Hiranyagarbha, or by present Intelligence is the sovereign the Supreme Lord (parameswara) Lord of all the gods ; that some ad- through his agency” (Sankara's Com. mire him as transcendently present mentary on the Chhand. Up. viii. in elementary fire, others as the 15, 1; Sans. T. iii. 285). most High Eternal Spirit. It is i See Introd., p. 10, and Sankhya he who, pervading all things, Kārikā, p. 36. causes them, by the gradations of · They lind it to bodily conditions birth, growth, and dissolution, to in a new birth, preventing it froin revolve in this world like the wheels attaining nirrāna. They do not of a car” (xii. 122-124). Śridhara "influence” the soul, as Mr. Thom. says that Brahma is Prakriti (Na- son translates the word. They bind ture), “the womb of Me, the supreme or imprison it in a bodily form. Lord;” but this, I think, is a unis



“Goodness” binds (the soul to matter) by pleasure; “passion,” O son of Bharata ! by works; but “darkness," having veiled knowledge, binds by stupid folly.

When one has subdued “passion” and “darkness," then “goodness” (alone) exists, 0 son of Bharata! When “passion” and “goodness,” then “darkness” exists; and “passion” when “darkness” and “goodness” (are subdued).

When in this body, at all its gates, the bright light of knowledge is produced, then one may know that "goodness" is there matured.

Avarice, activity, the undertaking of works, unrest, and desire,—these are produced, O chief of Bharatas ! when “passion” is matured.

Darkness, inertness, and also stupidity and bewilderment,—these are produced, O son of Kuru! when “darkness" is matured. If, moreover, a mortal goes to dissolution, when “good

is matured (in him), then he goes to the spotless regions of those who are supremely wise (b). 15 If he go to dissolution when “passion” prevails, he is

born among those who are attached to works; if he depart when “darkness” prevails, he is born in the wombs of the stupid.2

The fruit of a good action is said (to have the property of) “ goodness," and to be unsullied; but the fruit of “passion” is pain, and the fruit of “darkness” is ignorance.

Knowledge is produced from "goodness," avarice from "passion;" stupidity, delusion, and ignorance also, from “ darkness.”


1 The heaven of Indra or Brahmā, not to the Supreme Brahmă.

9 As a beast, a reptile, or even as inorganic matter.

They who are established in “goodness” go on high; they whose nature is of "passion” dwell in the middle place; but the “dark," who abide in a state of vile qualities, go below.

When the observer recognises no other agent than the modes (of Nature), and knows That which is above the

modes, he comes to my being. 20 When the embodied (soul) has passed beyond the three

modes, from which all bodies (c) have sprung, then, freed from birth, death, old age, and pain, it eats immortal food (amrita).

ARJUNA spoke. What marks are those, O Lord ! of the man who has passed beyond the three modes? What is his manner of life, and how does he pass beyond these three modes ?

THE HOLY ONE spoke. He who has no aversion, O son of Pāņdu! for brightness, activity, and even delusion, when they are present, nor desires them when they are absent;

Who, seated as a stranger, is not moved by the modes, who stands apart and wavers not, saying, “The modes are now in action;"

To whom pleasure and pain are the same, who is selfpossessed; to whom a clod, a stone, and gold are the same; who holds as equal things loved and unloved; who is steadfast; to whom praise and blame are equal;

1 See c. ii, 28.

modes, which are described by their * Becoming separated, when the effects. soul attains to knowledge, from all * That is, the soul, which is not the modes or elemental forms of formed from the modes of Nature, Nature (Prakriti).

and is superior to them, is a stranger $ These are the names of the three in the world of action.


And equal, too, honour and dishonour; who regards friend and foe alike; who renounces all enterprise,—he is called a “surmounter of the modes.”

And he who worships Me by an exclusive devotion in yoga, he having passed beyond the modes, is conformed to the nature of Brahma.

For I am the seat (d) of Brahma, of the imperishable ambrosia, of eternal law, and of happiness complete.

Thus the Bhagavad Gītā, Reading the Fourteenth, whose title is,



" who

(a) Na vyathanti. “Non percelluntur” (Lassen); “La dissolution des choses ne les atteint pas ” (Burnouf). Telang's version is, “ They do not suffer pain," i.e., the pain of a repetition of births. Vyath means to stagger, to reel, to be moved or disturbed. The doctrine of our author is, that they remain unchanged when the world is dissolved, being absorbed in Brahma.

(6) Uttamavidām. 'Qui summum norunt” (Lassen); obtain the highest place” (Thomson); “les clairvoyants” (Burnouf). Sankara explains the word as denoting those who have a knowledge of the subtler forms of matter, as buddhi (intellect). I have translated the word by "supremely wise," because the wise, if under the influence of the mode (element of Nature) called “goodness,” may attain to a high heavenly seat; but they who know Brahma as devotees receive nirrāņa, or absorption in him. Sridhara says they go to the worlds of Hiranyagarbha (Brahmā the Creator), and other gods.

(c) Dehasamudbharān. E corpore genitis” (Lassen). Thomson, more correctly, I think, translates it by “who co-originate with the body," or rather "with body;" both bodily forms and the modes or elements of Nature being from Prakriti (Nature or primal matter). Sridhara's gloss is "producing bodies which are modifications of them."

(d) Pratishthā. “Instar numinis” (Lassen); “representative” (Thomson). I prefer Burnouf's version, “La demeure de Dieu.” Brahma dwelt in Křishna, was incarnated in him. In the Petersburg Dictionary it is interpreted as “standort, " "grund,” “ort des Anhalts.” Ananda's gloss is, “ The highest in the outer form which adjoins his proper spiritual form."

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