YET father will I open unto thee

This wisdom of all wisdoms, uttermost,

The which possessing, all My saints have passed

To perfectness. On these high verities

Reliant, rising into fellowship

With Me, they are not born again at birth

Of Kalpas, nor at Pralyas suffer change!

This Universe the Womb is where I plant

Seed of all lives! Thence, Prince of India comes

Birth to all beings! Whoso, Kunti's Son!

Mothers each mortal form, Brahma conceives,

And I am He that fathers, sending seed!

Sattwan, Rajas, and Tamas, so are named,

The qualities of Nature, “Soothfastness,”

“Passion,” and “Ignorance.” These three bind down

The changeless Spirit in the changeful flesh.

Whereof sweet “Soothfastness”—by purity

Living unsullied and enlightened—binds

The sinless Soul to happiness and truth;

And Passion, being kin to appetite,

And breeding impulse and propensity,

Binds the embodied Soul, O Kunti's Son!

By tie of works. But Ignorance, the child

Of Darkness, blinding mortal men, binds down

Their souls to stupor, sloth, and drowsiness.

Yea, Prince of India! Soothfastness binds souls

In pleasant wise to flesh; and Passion binds

By toilsome strain; but Ignorance, which blots

The beams of wisdom, binds the soul to sloth

Passion and Ignorance, once overcome,

Leave Soothfastness, O Bharata! Where this

With Ignorance are absent, Passion rules;

And Ignorance in hearts not good nor quick.

When at all gateways of the Body shines

The Lamp of Knowledge, then may one see well

Soothfastness settled in that city reigns;

Where longing is, and ardor, and unrest,

Impulse to strive and gain, and avarice,

Those spring from Passion—Prince!—engrained; and where

Darkness and dulness, sloth and stupor are,

'Tis Ignorance hath caused them, Kuru Chief!

Moreover, when a soul departeth, fixed

In Soothfastness, it goeth to the place—

Perfect and pure—of those that know all Truth

If it departeth in set hebetude

Of impulse, it shall go into the world

Of spirits tied to works; and, if it dies

In hardened Ignorance, that blinded soul

Is born anew in some unlighted womb.

The fruit of Soothfastness is true and sweet;

The fruit of lusts is pain and toil; the fruit

Of Ignorance is deeper darkness. Yea!

For Light brings light, and Passion ache to have.

Blindness, bewilderments, and ignorance

Grow forth from Ignorance. Those of the first

Rise ever higher; those of the second mode

Take a mid place; the darkened souls sink back

To lower deeps, loaded with witlessness!

When, watching life, the living man perceives

The only actors are the Qualities,

And knows what lives beyond the Qualities,

Then is he come nigh unto Me!

The Soul,

Thus passing forth from the Three Qualities—

Whereof arise all bodies—overcomes

Birth, Death, Sorrow, and Age; and drinketh deep

The undying wine of Amrit.


Oh, my Lord!

Which be the signs to know him that hath gone

Past the Three Modes? How liveth he? What way

Leadeth him safe beyond the threefold modes?


He who with equanimity surveys

Lustre of goodness, strife of passion, sloth

Of ignorance, not angry if they are,

Not angry when they are not: he who sits

A sojourner and stranger in their midst

Unruffled, standing off, saying—serene—

When troubles break, “These are the Qualities!”

He unto whom—self-centred—grief and joy

Sound as one word; to whose deep-seeing eyes

The clod, the marble, and the gold are one;

Whose equal heart holds the same gentleness

For lovely and unlovely things, firm-set,

Well-pleased in praise and dispraise; satisfied

With honor or dishonor; unto friends

And unto foes alike in tolerance,

Detached from undertakings,—he is named

Surmounter of the Qualities!

And such—

With single, fervent faith adoring Me,

Passing beyond the Qualities, conforms

To Brahma, and attains Me!

For I am

That whereof Brahma is the likeness! Mine

The Amrit is; and Immortality

Is mine; and mine perfect Felicity!

Here ends Chapter XIV. of the Bhagavad-Gîtâ,

entitled “Gunatrayavibhâgayôgô,” or “The

Book of Religion by Separation

from the Qualities”

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