A Song of Fortune
- A Classical Gîtâ -




The three basic qualities of nature

(1) The supreme personality of the opulence said: 'Let me again tell you about that âtmatattva ruling over all knowledge, which is the first and best, and by the power of which the sages attained all the transcendental perfection there is to attain. (2) Taking shelter of this spiritual knowledge, having attained the same as what I all am, one is not even born again at the time of creation, nor disturbed when annihilation takes place.

(3) My channel of birth is the greater of nature and from the supreme spirit in it, I create everywhere the conditions for the living beings to exist, oh descendant of Bharata. (4) Oh son of Kuntî, of all the species of life, of all the forms that manifested, I am the grand primal source, the absolute spirit, the father who gives the seed. (5) Goodness, passion and ignorance are the qualities resulting from this material nature which conditions, oh man of grip, the body of the one embodied. (6) Goodness is the purest of these qualities, it inspires to bloom free from reactions, and links the âtmatattva, the love of knowledge for the completeness, to the condition of happiness, oh sinless one. (7) You should know that the quality of passion is marked by desires resulting from attachment and longing; it is from them that the one embodied gets entangled in the consequences of what he did in the past, oh son of Kuntî. (8) The quality of ignorance deluding all living beings is that what follows a lack of knowledge: the negligence, indolence and sleepiness which tie one down, oh son of the Kuru dynasty.

(9) Goodness binds to knowledge, passion binds to profit-minded labor, but by the ignorance which covers the knowledge one is bound to errors, oh descendant of Bharata. (10) With the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance it is so that, oh descendant of Bharata, at one time goodness prevails defeating passion and ignorance, then passion overrules goodness and ignorance, and then again ignorance is most prominent relative to the goodness and the passion. (11) The goodness is strongest when in relation to all of the, what one calls, gates of the body - or to all the senses and their organs - the light of knowledge develops.27 (12) Oh best of the Kuru line, when passion dominates, all kinds of symptoms develop like greed, overexertion, unsolicited action and uncontrollable desire. (13) When the quality of ignorance is prominent it is murkiness, passivity, carelessness and even madness that manifests, oh son of the Kaurava family.

(14) Finding destruction the one embodied who gained in strength to the mode of goodness, attains the world of those great in wisdom and purity. (15) When one finds destruction in passion, life is resumed among those motivated for the profit; likewise the one who ended in ignorance is of a new life among the ignorant. (16) Of virtuous deeds in the mode of goodness one finds the result of purification, so one says, but the result of passion is misery, while the result of ignorance consists of illusion. (17) From goodness one finds the development of knowledge, from passion greed develops and from ignorance a lot of nonsense is found. (18) Situated in goodness one rises up, in passion one stays in between and in ignorance being of an abominable quality one goes down. (19) A seer who knows of the supreme in relation to the qualities, and as well correctly sees that the doer is no other than these three qualities to the modes of nature, is promoted to my spiritual nature. (20) Going beyond these qualities the one embodied will enjoy the nectar of being freed from the distressing physical consequences of starting a new life, of being old and of finding one's end.'

(21) Arjuna said: 'Oh master of wisdom, by which symptoms is the one rising above these three qualities recognized, how does he behave and how does this going beyond the three modes take place?'

(22-25) The fortunate one said: 'He who doesn't hate the developing or not developing of enlightenment, of material progress and of the confusion to the modes, oh son of Pându; he who from the neutral never desires nor is agitated when the modes are acting upon him; he who, unwavering remembering himself, thus keeps his position being equal in distress and happiness and is indifferent whether it concerns a clod, a stone or a lump of gold; he who is the same towards what is popular and what is unpopular, and is steady and equal in being praised or defamed; he who is equal in honor and dishonor and is equal towards both the sides of friends and enemies and manages to renounce with whatever he does, he is said to be transcendental to the modes. (26) And he who, relating to me, never fails to be united in devotion and voluntarism; he, transcending all of the modes, will rise to the spirit of the absolute. (27) For I am the spiritual foundation of the imperishable, immortal, eternal and original nature as also the ultimate happiness.'

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