Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Unfolding Consciousness > Bahvad Gita  > Bhavad Gita Translated by Sir Edwin Arnold Chapter I > Chapter II > Chapter III > Chapter IV > Chapter V > Chapter VI > Chapter VII > Chapter VIII > Chapter IX > Chapter X > Chapter XI > Chapter XII > Chapter XIII > Chapter XIV > Chapter XV > Chapter XVI > Chapter XVII > Chapter XVIII


translated by Sir Edwin Arnold
Chapter 17

 Chapter XVII
  • Arjuna. If men forsake the holy ordinance,
  • Heedless of Shastras, yet keep faith at heart
  • And worship, what shall be the state of those,
  • Great Krishna! Sattwan, Rajas, Tamas? Say!
  • Krishna. Threefold the faith is of mankind, and springs
  • From those three qualities,- becoming "true,"
  • Or "passion-stained," or "dark," as thou shalt hear!
  • The faith of each believer, Indian Prince!
  • Conforms itself to what he truly is.
  • Where thou shalt see a worshipper, that one
  • To what he worships lives assimilate,
  • [Such as the shrine, so is the votary,]
  • The "soothfast" souls adore true gods; the souls
  • Obeying Rajas worship Rakshasas
  • Or Yakshas; and the men of Darkness pray
  • To Pretas and to Bhutas. Yea, and those
  • Who practise bitter penance, not enjoined
  • By rightful rule- penance which hath its root
  • In self-sufficient, proud hypocrisies-
  • Those men, passion-beset, violent, wild,
  • Torturing- the witless ones- My elements
  • Shut in fair company within their flesh,
  • (Nay, Me myself, present within the flesh!)
  • Know them to devils devoted, not to Heaven!
  • For like as foods are threefold for mankind
  • In nourishing, so is there threefold way
  • Of worship, abstinence, and almsgiving!
  • Hear this of Me! there is a food which brings
  • Force, substance, strength, and health, and joy to live,
  • Being well-seasoned, cordial, comforting,
  • The "Soothfast" meat. And there be foods which bring
  • Aches and unrests, and burning blood, and grief
  • Being too biting, heating, salt, and sharp,
  • And therefore craved by too strong appetite.
  • And there is foul food- kept from over-night,
  • Savourless, filthy, which the foul will eat,
  • A feast of rottenness, meet for the lips
  • Of such as love the "Darkness."
  • Thus with rites;-
  • A sacrifice not for rewardment made,
  • Offered in rightful wise, when he who vows
  • Sayeth, with heart devout, "This I should do!
  • Is "Soothfast" rite. But sacrifice for gain,
  • Offered for good repute, be sure that this,
  • O Best of Bharatas! is Rajas-rite,
  • With stamp of "passion." And a sacrifice
  • Offered against the laws, with no due dole
  • Of food-giving, with no accompaniment
  • Of hallowed hymn, nor largesse to the priests,
  • In faithless celebration, call it vile,
  • The deed of "Darkness!"- lost!
  • Worship of gods
  • Meriting worship; lowly reverence
  • Of Twice-borns, Teachers, Elders; Purity,
  • Rectitude, and the Brahmacharya's vow,
  • And not to injure any helpless thing,-
  • These make a true religiousness of Act.
  • Words causing no man woe, words ever true,
  • Gentle and pleasing words, and those ye say
  • In murmured reading of a Sacred Writ,-
  • These make the true religiousness of Speech.
  • Serenity of soul, benignity,
  • Sway of the silent Spirit, constant stress
  • To sanctify the Nature,- these things make
  • Good rite, and true religiousness of Mind.
  • Such threefold faith, in highest piety
  • Kept, with no hope of gain, by hearts devote
  • Is perfect work of Sattwan, true belief.
  • Religion shown in act of proud display
  • To win good entertainment, worship, fame,
  • Such- say I- is of Rajas, rash and vain.
  • Religion followed by a witless will
  • To torture self, or come at power to hurt
  • Another,- 'tis of Tamas, dark and ill.
  • The gift lovingly given, when one shall say
  • "Now must I gladly give!" when he who takes
  • Can render nothing back; made in due place,
  • Due time, and to a meet recipient,
  • Is gift of Sattwan, fair and profitable.
  • The gift selfishly given, where to receive
  • Is hoped again, or when some end is sought,
  • Or where the gift is proffered with a grudge,
  • This is of Rajas, stained with impulse, ill.
  • The gift churlishly flung, at evil time,
  • In wrongful place, to base recipient,
  • Made in disdain or harsh unkindliness,
  • Is gift of Tamas, dark; it doth not bless!

BHAGAVAD-GITA, Entitled "Sraddhatrayavibhagayog," Or "The Book of Religion by the Threefold Kinds of Faith."


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