Thursday, May 03, 2012

The Bhagvad Gita–Chapter 17–The power of faith

Arjuna asks this question to Lord SriKrishna: “Those who disregard the scriptures, but worship according to their faith, are they in the mode of goodness (sattva), passion (rajasica) or ignorance (tamasica)? “ And the Lord of Sri replies thus : One acquires certain kind of faith depending on the modes of nature. A living entity is said to be of a particular faith, depending on what he/she had acquired. The sattvic worship the gods, the rajasic demons and the tamasic worship ghost and spirits. Those who are engaged in severe austerities, not recommended by the scriptures, but do so out of pride, lust and attachment torture themselves and me who is inside them. They are considered demons.

Even the food that a person consumes has a quality to it. Thus the sattvic consume wholesome juicy foods, the rajasic consume food that is spicy and the tamasic consume foods that are stale. Sacrifices performed as per scriptural directions, out of a sense of duty, without thinking of a reward, are in the realm of goodness. However, those sacrifices performed for acquiring material benefit or for the sake of pride are in the realm of passion. And those that are performed not in line with spiritual injunctions, done without distributing the food offering, without Vedic chants and without remuneration to the presiding priests is in the mode of ignorance.gita-114

Austerities of the body include purity, straightforwardness, non-violence, celibacy and worship of God, the spiritual master and the wise ones. Speech that is pure, truthful, purposeful, beneficial and which does not cause distress is said to be austere in speech. Satisfaction, peace of mind, silence, purity of thought is considered to be austerities of the mind. The three fold austerities performed with transcendental faith without hankering after results is said to be in the mode of goodness. Austerity taken out of pride for the sake of material and sensory results is in the mode of passion and is unsteady and fleeting. Austerities performed out of imprudence, which troubles the Self, or the others, is in the mode of ignorance.

The syllable ‘Om Tat Sat’ is indicative of the supreme Brahman. Prior to any sacrifice, you must chant ‘Om’ in accordance with spiritual injunctions to attain the Supreme. Those who want to be liberated from material attachments must chant ‘Tat’ while undertaking any austerity. Finally the syllable ‘Sat’ is indicative of reality and goodness. Sat also strengthens the act of sacrifice, austerity and charity and all acts performed within this mind are also ‘Sat’. Acts of sacrifice, austerity or charity performed without faith are called ‘asat’, hence not beneficial. Remember ‘Om Tat Sat’ and chant along with your dedication without any impure thought and you will surely reach me.

Om Tat Sat


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