Guna Traya Vibhaga Yoga (गुणत्रयविभागयोगः)

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Guna Traya Vibhaga Yoga (Samskrit: गुणत्रयविभागयोगः) is the name of the fourteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. This chapter enumerates on the three cosmic qualities - Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. It is said that the secret to success in both worldly as well as adhyatmik life lies in the knowledge of these three gunas.[1]

परिचयः ॥ Introduction

The Chapter Guna Traya Vibhaga Yoga focuses on the knowledge of the three cosmic qualities or Gunas, namely, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. The knowledge of these three Gunas that hold the entire universe and all creatures under their sway, is of vital importance to each and everyone. Because, without this knowledge one will forever be bound by sorrow. Therefore, one should acquire this precious knowledge for progress and happiness in life.[1]

अध्यायसारः ॥ Summary of the Fourteenth Chapter

In this Chapter, Sri Krishna reveals that the three qualities Sattva, Rajas and Tamas constitute the Cosmic Nature. And this Cosmic Nature is the primary source where entire creation and all things in it originate. The Supreme Being brings about creation through the help of His Prakrti (Nature) endowed with these threefold qualities. Hence, all things created are subject to the influence and irresistible power of the trigunas. Therefore, the individual atma is also bound to the body by these three qualities present in Cosmic Nature.

Explaining the trigunas it is said, Sattva is the highest of the three qualities and is pure. It brings about happiness, wisdom and also illumination. The second quality of Rajas gives rise to passion manifested by intense attachment and greed. Therefore, it causes sorrow and suffering. However the third one termed as Tamas, is the least admissible in adhyatmik journey as it arises due to ignorance and results in darkness, lethargy and delusion.

Sri Krishna then enumerates the ideal reciprocation to the existence of these gunas within oneself. He says one should diligently endeavour to cast out Tamas from one's very nature. As far as Rajas is concerned, it should be controlled and mastered. So that, by holding it in check, one can wisely divert its power towards good activities. Sattva also should be cultivated, developed and conserved carefully. For, it to enables one to attain immortality. However, a realised seer is expected to go beyond all these qualities. Because, although Sattva enables a realised seer to reach the ultimate reality, if he is attached to it, then even this quality will bind him.

It is also said that an aspirant should know the symptoms and signs of the presence the trigunas in one's personality and acquire a knowledge of their subtle workings. Only then can one maintain an unhampered and smooth progress in all activities of life, both material as well as adhyatmik. This important subject is expounded by Sri Krishna in the verses nine to eighteen of this chapter. Bhagavan then declares that one who rises beyond all these three Gunas through adhyatmik practices, becomes free from birth, death, old age and sorrow, and enjoys immortality. And as Arjuna questions on how to identify such individuals, Bhagavan replies by describing the marks of one who has risen above the three Gunas. He also states that if one constantly worships Him with exclusive devotion, one will attain the highest divine experience and supreme peace and blessedness.[1]


ॐ श्रीपरमात्मने नमः अथ चतुर्दशोऽध्यायः


परं भूयः प्रवक्ष्यामि ज्ञानानां ज्ञानमुत्तमम् । यज्ज्ञात्वा मुनयः सर्वे परां सिद्धिमितो गताः ॥१४- १॥

इदं ज्ञानमुपाश्रित्य मम साधर्म्यमागताः । सर्गेऽपि नोपजायन्ते प्रलये न व्यथन्ति च ॥१४- २॥

मम योनिर्महद्ब्रह्म तस्मिन्गर्भं दधाम्यहम् । संभवः सर्वभूतानां ततो भवति भारत ॥१४- ३॥

सर्वयोनिषु कौन्तेय मूर्तयः संभवन्ति याः । तासां ब्रह्म महद्योनिरहं बीजप्रदः पिता ॥१४- ४॥

सत्त्वं रजस्तम इति गुणाः प्रकृतिसंभवाः । निबध्नन्ति महाबाहो देहे देहिनमव्ययम् ॥१४- ५॥

तत्र सत्त्वं निर्मलत्वात्प्रकाशकमनामयम् । सुखसङ्गेन बध्नाति ज्ञानसङ्गेन चानघ ॥१४- ६॥

रजो रागात्मकं विद्धि तृष्णासङ्गसमुद्भवम् । तन्निबध्नाति कौन्तेय कर्मसङ्गेन देहिनम् ॥१४- ७॥

तमस्त्वज्ञानजं विद्धि मोहनं सर्वदेहिनाम् । प्रमादालस्यनिद्राभिस्तन्निबध्नाति भारत ॥१४- ८॥

सत्त्वं सुखे संजयति रजः कर्मणि भारत । ज्ञानमावृत्य तु तमः प्रमादे संजयत्युत ॥१४- ९॥

रजस्तमश्चाभिभूय सत्त्वं भवति भारत । रजः सत्त्वं तमश्चैव तमः सत्त्वं रजस्तथा ॥१४- १०॥

सर्वद्वारेषु देहेऽस्मिन्प्रकाश उपजायते । ज्ञानं यदा तदा विद्याद्विवृद्धं सत्त्वमित्युत ॥१४- ११॥

लोभः प्रवृत्तिरारम्भः कर्मणामशमः स्पृहा । रजस्येतानि जायन्ते विवृद्धे भरतर्षभ ॥१४- १२॥

अप्रकाशोऽप्रवृत्तिश्च प्रमादो मोह एव च । तमस्येतानि जायन्ते विवृद्धे कुरुनन्दन ॥१४- १३॥

यदा सत्त्वे प्रवृद्धे तु प्रलयं याति देहभृत् । तदोत्तमविदां लोकानमलान्प्रतिपद्यते ॥१४- १४॥

रजसि प्रलयं गत्वा कर्मसङ्गिषु जायते । तथा प्रलीनस्तमसि मूढयोनिषु जायते ॥१४- १५॥

कर्मणः सुकृतस्याहुः सात्त्विकं निर्मलं फलम् । रजसस्तु फलं दुःखमज्ञानं तमसः फलम् ॥१४- १६॥

सत्त्वात्संजायते ज्ञानं रजसो लोभ एव च । प्रमादमोहौ तमसो भवतोऽज्ञानमेव च ॥१४- १७॥

ऊर्ध्वं गच्छन्ति सत्त्वस्था मध्ये तिष्ठन्ति राजसाः । जघन्यगुणवृत्तिस्था अधो गच्छन्ति तामसाः ॥१४- १८॥

नान्यं गुणेभ्यः कर्तारं यदा द्रष्टानुपश्यति । गुणेभ्यश्च परं वेत्ति मद्भावं सोऽधिगच्छति ॥१४- १९॥

गुणानेतानतीत्य त्रीन्देही देहसमुद्भवान् । जन्ममृत्युजरादुःखैर्विमुक्तोऽमृतमश्नुते ॥१४- २०॥

अर्जुन उवाच

कैर्लिङ्गैस्त्रीन्गुणानेतानतीतो भवति प्रभो । किमाचारः कथं चैतांस्त्रीन्गुणानतिवर्तते ॥१४- २१॥


प्रकाशं च प्रवृत्तिं च मोहमेव च पाण्डव । न द्वेष्टि संप्रवृत्तानि न निवृत्तानि काङ्क्षति ॥१४- २२॥

उदासीनवदासीनो गुणैर्यो न विचाल्यते । गुणा वर्तन्त इत्येव योऽवतिष्ठति नेङ्गते ॥१४- २३॥

समदुःखसुखः स्वस्थः समलोष्टाश्मकाञ्चनः । तुल्यप्रियाप्रियो धीरस्तुल्यनिन्दात्मसंस्तुतिः ॥१४- २४॥

मानापमानयोस्तुल्यस्तुल्यो मित्रारिपक्षयोः । सर्वारम्भपरित्यागी गुणातीतः स उच्यते ॥१४- २५॥

मां च योऽव्यभिचारेण भक्तियोगेन सेवते । स गुणान्समतीत्यैतान्ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते ॥१४- २६॥

ब्रह्मणो हि प्रतिष्ठाहममृतस्याव्ययस्य च । शाश्वतस्य च धर्मस्य सुखस्यैकान्तिकस्य च ॥१४- २७॥

ॐ तत्सदिति श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रे श्रीकृष्णार्जुनसंवादे गुणत्रयविभागयोगो नाम चतुर्दशोऽध्यायः ॥१४॥


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Swami Sivananda (2000), Bhagavad Gita, Uttar Pradesh: The Divine Life Society, The Yoga of the Division of the Three Gunas.