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Arjuna said: What is the state of devotion of those who perform

spiritual practices with faith but without following the scriptural

injunctions, O Krishna? Is it Saattvika, Raajasika, or Taamasika?



The Supreme Lord said: The natural faith of embodied beings is of

three types: Saattvika, Raajasika, and Taamasika. Hear that from

Me. (17.02)


O Arjuna, the faith of each is in accordance with one's own nature

or Sanskaara. A person is known by the faith. One can become

whatever one wants to be (if one constantly contemplates on the

object of desire with faith). (17.03)


The Saattvika persons worship Devas, the Raajasika people worship

demigods and demons, and the Taamasika persons worship ghosts and

spirits. (17.04)


Those who practice severe austerities without following the

scriptures, with hypocrisy and egotism, impelled by lust, and

attachment; (17.05)


Senselessly torturing the elements in their body and also Me who

dwell within the body; know these ignorant persons to be of demonic

nature. (17.06)


The food preferred by all is also of three types. So are the

sacrifice, austerity, and charity. Now hear the distinction between

them. (17.07)


The foods that promote longevity, virtue, strength, health,

happiness, and joy; are juicy, smooth, substantial, and agreeable

to the stomach. Such foods are dear to the Saattvika persons.



Foods that are bitter, sour, salty, very hot, pungent, dry, and

burning; and cause pain, grief, and disease; are liked by Raajasika

persons. (17.09)


The foods liked by Taamasika persons are half-cooked, tasteless,

rotten, stale, refuses, and impure (such as meat and alcohol).



Yajna enjoined by the scriptures, performed with a firm belief that

it is a duty, and without the desire for the fruit, is Saattvika

Yajna. (17.11)


Yajna which is performed only for show, or aiming for fruit, know

that to be Raajasika Yajna, O Arjuna. (17.12)


Yajna that is performed without following the scripture, in which

no food is distributed, which is devoid of mantra, faith, and gift,

is said to be Taamasika Yajna. (17.13)


The worship of Devas, Braahmana, guru, and the wise; purity,

honesty, celibacy, and nonviolence; these are said to be the

austerity of deed. (17.14)


Speech that is not offensive, truthful, pleasant, beneficial, and

is used for the regular reading of scriptures is called the

austerity of word. (17.15)


The serenity of mind, gentleness, silence, self-restraint, and the

purity of mind are called the austerity of thought. (17.16)


Threefold austerity (of thought, word, and deed) practiced by yogis

with supreme faith, without a desire for the fruit, is said to be

Saattvika austerity. (17.17)


Austerity that is done for gaining respect, honor, reverence, and

for show, is said to be Raajasika, unsteady, and impermanent.



Austerity performed without proper understanding, or with

self-torture, or for harming others, is declared as Taamasika

austerity. (17.19)


Charity that is given as a matter of duty, to a deserving candidate

who does nothing in return, at the right place and time, is called

a Saattvika charity. (17.20)


Charity that is given unwillingly, or to get something in return,

or looking for some fruit, is called Raajasika charity. (17.21)


Charity that is given at a wrong place and time, to unworthy

persons, without paying respect or with contempt, is said to be

Taamasika charity. (17.22)


``OM TAT SAT'' is said to be the threefold name of Brahman. The

Braahmana, the Vedas, and the Yajna were created from this in the

ancient time. (17.23)


Therefore, acts of sacrifice, charity, and austerity prescribed in

the scriptures are always commenced by uttering ``OM'' by the knowers

of Brahman. (17.24)


Various types of sacrifice, charity, and austerity are performed by

the seekers of nirvana by uttering ``TAT'' (or He is all) without

seeking a reward. (17.25)


SAT is used in the sense of reality and goodness. The word ``SAT'' is

also used for an auspicious act, O Arjuna. (17.26)


Faith in sacrifice, charity, and austerity is also called SAT. The

action for the sake of the Supreme is verily termed as SAT. (17.27)


Whatever is done without faith; whether it is sacrifice, charity,

austerity, or any other act; is called Asat. It has no value here

or hereafter, O Arjuna. (17.28)

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