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BHAGAVAD GITA PART- 17

1. Arjuna enquired o Krishna, what is the position of those who do not follow the principle of scripture, but worship according to their own imagination. Are they in goodness, in passion or in ignorance?

In the fourth chapter, it is said that a person faithful to a particular type of worship gradually becomes elevated to the stage of knowledge and attains the highest perfectional stage of peace and prosperity. In sixteenth chapter it is concluded that one who does not follow the principle as laid down in the scriptures is called an asura-demon. One who follows the scripture faithfully is called a deva or demigod. Now if one with faith follows some rules which are not mentioned in the scriptures, what is his position.

2. The Supreme personality of God head said According to the modes of nature acquired by the embodied soul, one's faith can be of three kinds-in goodness, in passion or in ignorance. Now hear about this

3. O Son of Bharata, according to one's existence under the various modes of nature, one evolves a particular kind of faith. The living being is said to be of a particular faith according to the modes he has acquired.

Everyone has a particular type of faith regardless of what he is- But his faith is considered good, passionate or ignorant according to the nature he has acquired. Thus according to his particular type of faith, One associates with certain persons. Now the real fact is that every living entity is originally a fragmental part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. If one is situated in Krishana consciousness, he is sure to be elevated to perfect stage. If one does not take to this path of self realisation, then he is surely to be conducted by the influence of the modes of nature.

4. Men in the mode of goodness worship the demigods, those in the mode of passion worship the demons and those in the mode of ignorance worship ghosts and spirits.

According to scriptures only the Almighty God is worshipable. But those who do not know this and are under the modes of nature, they worship different authorities. Those situated in goodness worship Demi Gods. Those situated in passion worship demons, those situated in ignorance worship ghosts and spirits.\

6. Those who perform severe austerities and penances not recommended in the scriptures. They perform them out of pride and egoism (full of hypocrisy). Possessed of attachment, desire and pride of power. Who are, foolish and who torture the material elements of the body as well as the supersoul dwelling within are to be known as demons.

7. Even the food each person prefers is of three¬ kinds. According to the three modes of material nature. The same is true of sacrifices, austerities and charity. Now hear the distinction between them.

8. The foods dear to those in the mode of goodness increases the duration of life, purify one's existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such foods are Juicy fatty, wholesome and pleasing to heart.

9. Foods that are too sour, salty, hot pungent, dry and burning are dearer to those in the mode of passion. Such foods cause distress, misery and disease.

10. Food prepared more than three hours before being eaten, food that is tasteless decomposed and putrid and the food consisting of remnants and untouchable things is dear to those in the mode of darkness.

 

The purpose of food is to increase life, purify the mind and aid bodily strength. In the past great authorities selected those foods that best aid health and. increase life's duratioin. These foods were very dear to those in the mode of goodness.

The foods in the mode of passion are bitter too salty, or too hot or overly mixed with red pepe. Causes misery by reducing the mucus in the stomach leading to disease. Foods in the mode of ignorance or darkness are essentially those that are not fresh. Any food cooked more than three hours before it is eaten except Parshad (food offered to God) is considered to be in the mode of darkness. Because the food is decomposing, it gives a bad odor.

11. Of sacr if ices, the sacrifices performed according to the directions of scrivtures, as a matter of duty, by those who desire no reward is of the nature of goodness.

12. But the sacrifices performed for some material benefits or for the sake of pride, O Chief of the Bharatas, you should know to be in the mode of passion. Sometimes sacrifices are performed for elevation to the heavenly kingdom or for some material benefits in the world. Such sacrifices are considered to be in the mode of passion.

13. Any sacrifice performed without regard for the directions of scriptures, without distribution of prashadam (spritual food) without chanting vedic hymns and remuneration to the priests and without faith is considered to be in the mode of ignorance.

Faith in the mode of darkness or ignorance is actually faithless. Some times people worship some demigods just to make money and then spend the money for recreation ignoring the scriptural injunctions. Such ceremonial shows are not accepted as genuine. They are all in the mode of darkness. They produce a demonial mentality and do not benefit human society.

14. Austerity of the body consists in worship of the supreme Lord, the brahmanas, the spiritual master and superiors like the father and mother and in cleanliness, simplicity, celibacy and non-violence.

One should respect God, demigods father, mother and persons who are conversant with vedic knowledge. These should be given proper respect. One should practice cleaning oneself externally and internally and one should learn to become simple in behaviour. He should not indulge in sex outside the married life. This is called celibacy.

15. Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial and not agitating to others and also in regularly reciting vedic literature. One should not speak in such a way as to agitate the minds of others.

16. And satisfaction, simplicity gravity self(control and purification of one's existence are the austerities of the mind.

17. This threefold austerity, performed with transcendental forth by men not expecting material benefits, but engaged only for the sake of the supreme, is called austerity in goodness.

18. Penance performed out of pride and for the sake of gaining respect, honour and worship is said to be in the mode of passion. It is neither stable nor .permanent.

19. Penance performed out of foolishness with salf torture or to destroy or injure others is said to be in the mode of ignorance.

20. Charity given out of duty, without expectation of any return, at a proper time and place and to a worthy person is considered to be in the mode of goodness.

21. But charity performed with expectation of some return or with a desire for fruitive results or in a gruding mood is said to be charity in the mode of passion.

22. Any charity performed at an impure place, at an improper time, to unworthy persons, without proper attention and respect is said to be in the mode of ignorance.

23. From the beginning of creation, the three words Om Tat Sat were used to indicate the Supreme Absolute Truth. These three symbolic representations were used by brahmanas while chanting the hymns of the vedas and during sacrifices for the satisfaction of the Supreme.

24. Therefore, transcendentalists undertaking performances of sacrifice, charity and penance in accordance with scriptural regulations begin always with Om to attain the Supreme.

25. Without desiring fruitive results, one should perform various kinds of sacrifices, penance and charity with the word Tat. The purpose of such transcendental activities is to get free from material entanglement.

To be elevated to the spiritual position one should not act for any material gain. Acts should be performed for ultimate gain of being transferred to the spiritual kingdom back to home, back to Godhead.

26-27. The absolute truth is the objective of devotional sacrifice and it is indicated by word Sat. The performer of such sacrifice is also called Sat as are all words of sacrifice, penance, and charity, which true to the absolute nature are performed to please the supreme person o Son of Prtha.

28. Anything done as sacrifice ,charity or penance without faith in the supreme, 0 Son of Prtha, is ' impermanent.It is called as at and is useless both in this life and the next.

Everything should be done for the supreme in Krishana consciousness, without such faith and without proper guidance, there can never be any fruit. In all the vedic scriptures faith in the Supreme is advised. No one can attain success without the help of God. Therefore the best course is to work from the very beginning in Krishna consciousness under the guidance of a bonafide spiritual master. That is the way to make everything successful.

In the conditional state people are attractive to worship demigods ghosts. The mode of goodness is better than the mode of passion and ignorance. There is a process of elevation of one by assoication of pure devotee takes directly to Krishana consciousness that is the best way. Then in that case he is not subject to the modes of nature i.e. goodness, passion and ignorance.

One can achieve faith in the supreme when that faith matures, in course of time. It is called love of God. This love is the ultimate goal of the living entities.

 
 
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