(Revision 04 Oct 14 09)
CHAPTER 17 Shriddha-triya vibhaga Yoga (Division of Threefold Faith)
Sri Bhagavan said:
THREE KINDS OF FAITH
17. 1 Arjuna qns: Those who worship endowed with faith, disregarding Shasthras, where do they stand in Satwa, Rajas, or Tamas?
17. 2 The Lord says: The faith of men by nature is of three types. Satvik, Rajasik, and Tamasik; hear them from ME
17. 3 Faith of all conforms to their nature. As a person's faith, so he is
17. 4 Satvik people worship Gods, Rajasik ones demigods, Tamasik ones worship spirits of the dead, and ghosts.
17. 5 (Some) Men practice severe tapas, not sanctioned by scriptures, and are full of hypocracy, egoism, full of lust, passion and brute strength
17. 6 They emaciate the elements in their body, as well as ME in them, they are of demoniac disposition
Shastras are like a forest.
Those who walk in will generally get lost.
Get a guide and make your home in that forest. Not enough, if you listen to forest stories sitting at home.
Live there in the shastra-forest for a few years and you will have learnt the ways, the paths, the terrain, the brooks, the dangers, the killer snakes, the food, the breezy place, and a Chitrakoot for you to rest and live for the rest of your life, in the company of Lord Rama, Mother Sita, and the brave Lakshmana.
Most of things we do are OK, except 'man-maani' (Ahamkar and its various off shoots like egotism, show off, greed, lust, 1000s of stupidities, 'my view', my opinion', 'what i think')
In short, 'Aham' is the basic, fundamental, root problem which does not allow faith to take root in us.
I have to eliminate myself - no, exterminate myself and watch my extermination with calm joy.
A great Sanyasi, a great Guru lived and loved in dwaita bhava. All his disciples became hardcore Adwaitins. Yet another Guru lived and preached hardcore adwaita-jnana his entire life. Right from his lifetime itself, his disciples with great respect to him, (unintentionally) modified all talks to suit dwaitins. They did pujas on stage and sang bhajans and followed their Guru happily! Clearly, the Nature educates each one of us, humours us of our irrelevance once we achieved 'our' greatness. It says to us, it is 'I who passes on(kindles) all Knowledge
This is not to disrespect any great saint or avatar. When you look at cosmic scale, you can see what is happening. The impermanence of all things. Then why should we do what we do. We don't have to, if we have become Avadutas(BG 3-17, BG18-17) Avadutas don't have to do anything, yet they support inner core of shastras. Rest of us need to follow and support shastras and take interest in the ultimate welfare of the world (even knowing that the world does not exist) . If we do not do these satvik activities, we end up in Tamas and fall into 'man-maani'(self-centred activities)
THREE KINDS OF FOOD
17. 7 Food which is agreeable to all, is of three kind. Hear also the (three kinds of) differences in Yajna, Daana,Tapa
17. 8 Satviks like juicy, succulent, substantial, pleasing food which promotes longevity, intelligence, vigour, health, happiness and cheerfulness.
17. 9 Bitter, sour, salty, very hot, pungent, dry, burning, food which cause sorrow, suffering are dear to Rajasiks
17.10 Half cooked, insipid, putrid, stale, earlier eaten or tasted by others,and impure food is dear to Tamasiks
THREE TYPES OF YAJNAS (SACRIFICES)
17.11 Satvika yajna is that which is done without (selfish) expectation of fruits, done as a duty and as per shastras.
17.12 Yajna, which is done,with benefits in mind, done for mere ostentation, know it to be Rajasika
17.13 Yajna, where no food was served, done devoid of mantras and faith, not following shastras, nor where services were paid, is Tamasika
THREE TAPAS (AUSTERITIES) OF BODY MIND AND SPEECH
17.14 Worship of gods, Brahmin's, guru, a great soul, purity, straightforwardness, continence, non-violence, are Tapas of Body.
17.15 Talk devoid of passion, truthful, sweet, beneficial, study practice of scriptures, are called Tapas of Speech
17.16 Cheerful mind, tender, contemplative, self controlled, purity of thoughts are called Tapas of Mind
THREE TYPES OF TAPAS
17.17 With utmost faith the threefold Tapas performed by yogis, expecting no fruits is called Satvika Tapas
17.18 Tapas performed expecting respect, adoration, gain, done with ostentation, which yields uncertain and temporary fruits is called Rajasika Tapas
17.19 Tapas done with self mortification, out of stupid obstinacy, or to harm others, such Tapas is Tamasik
THREE KINDS OF CHARITY
17.20 Charity done at proper time, place, person, with no expectation, and as a duty is Satvika
17.21 Charity given, grudgingly, expecting fruit or service in return, is Rajasika
17.22 Charity given to a wrong person, without good grace, in a disdainful way, out of time and place is Tamasika
The title of the chapter is Three Fold Faith. Satvik Faith, Rajasik Faith, Tamasik Faith.
Satvic Faith 'alone' leads to purity/Knowledge/Realization/Lord. Others at best 'eventually' 'may' lead to Satwik faith
This progress is eventually or may be in one or many lives too.
Clearly, it is not what we do that is important, but 'how' we do it 'alone' becomes all important. Entire Gita is on 'how we do' and never on 'what' you do or 'who' you are.
What we do need not be 'big' 'great' 'quantity-wise'. It can be tiny enough to be invisible, but the purity of thoughts that made us do those things becomes the RDX that detonates our thick crust of material mind into vapour and engulfs us to God Realization.
How we achieve this? Daily introspection of what I am doing. Moment to moment observing my own motive in every act, like a fond mother watching her child, or a possessive lover, watching his beloved.
Understand behind all my achieved accolades of knowledge of scriptures and the awards and the titles, adoration of multitude and seemingly everlasting fame and glory, when mind sincerely introspects, I find, there is only filth, hypocrisy, and a mountain of desires enmeshed in sense pleasures. Hence the everlasting observation of our every act and thought, and the need to keep our mind sterilised to not .999 purity but 100% purity. Saints recommend, daily fill the mind with scriptures, get into nirantar namasmaran. Otherwise, you will find all around us, ritualists, pujaris, pravachankars, pundits, gurus, swamis of whom it was sung, "what it matters that you are respected in many countries, and that you have wealth equal mto mount Meru, if your mind does not rest at the feet of your guru, 'tatah kim? tatah kim? tatah kim? tatah kim?'(so what? so what?....) meaning (with all this achievements) 'Ahamkar' has only increased.
OM TAT SAT
17.23 Om Tat Sat are the three ways Brahman is remembered. Brahmanas, vedas,and yajnas were created in the yore.
17.24 Therefore acts of yajna, daana, tapa are done invoking OM, by those who know Brahman
17.25 Lord who is denoted by TAT, those who want moksha do acts of daana, tapa, yajna, without expecting fruits
17.26 SAT is used in the sense of goodness, thoughts of saints, also in praiseworthy, auspicious acts
17.27 The state in yajna, daana, tapa is called SAT. Action for the sake of Lord is called verily SAT
17.28 An oblation offered, charity done, austerity practiced, without Faith is ASAT is of no avail here or hereafter.
A brilliant, ingenious way the Lord is captured by Vedas and capsuled in each of the three words OM TAT SAT
Otherwise how can you make HIM/HER available for ordinary intelligence or common people
King/Queen's child simply calls the parent dad/mom. Others can address them in their full regalia and titles
OM the essence of all sound, hence all words for they have sound, entire seen/unseen universe/galaxies
TAT is that. what is that? which we can/cannot see, or understand, hence which we can/cannot express, know....in short encompasses all that is known, knowable, unknown and not knowable, seen/seeable....
SAT that which is good. that which is/has faith, that which brings us nearer to HIM/HER -Godhead
The three words are not three but ONE. The division indicates how frail our faculties of intellect are.
They are like SAT, CHIT, ANANDA different and yet all are ONE only.
All our thoughts, acts ought to lead us to inner/higher circle
FAITH:17.25 & 17.28 Acts done with faith leads to Realization. Faith also presupposes knowledge or its beginning. It follows millions of charitable acts, austerities, sacrifices done without Knowledge means they are done in Moha, delusion or in attachment or in ostentation (Rajas) at best will 'eventually' lead the performer to Satwic attitude.
Clearly knowledge of the scriptures is a must. Essense of Shashtras is in one book. Gita. This knowledge of Gita needs to be milked by each of us by swadhyaya( daily study). There is only one way. Read meanings of shlokas of one chapter a day.
There is no point in getting convinced Lord has this form and that form. HE/SHE has a form only because that form is embraced by you. Your conviction and desire brings that form alive to you. If you say he does not have form, HE does'nt. If you call HIM/HER, by the word 'IT' (TAT), that's fine too. In conclusion, you find HE?SHE?IT cannot be capsuled in so many words. Hence one word/sound called OM. Thus OM becomes the original/all/final/only sound in which all other sounds 'may' be merged.