A Song of Fortune
Classical Gîtâ -
three qualities relating to one's
austerity, sacrifice and food intake
abandons the scriptural
regulations but, endowed with faith, is of worship, is he, oh Krishna,
in goodness or else in passion or ignorance?'
(2) The fortunate one said: 'The faith of the one
embodied manifests, depending on each his birth, in the three forms of
goodness, passion and ignorance; hear about this as well from me. (3)
The evolution of one's faith is a matter of consciousness31 oh son of the Kuru dynasty, the person is
completeness of that faith and is, with such a faith endowed, thus
certain of himself. (4) Those who are of goodness keep the godly ones
mind, in passion one bows to the demons, and people in ignorance are
devoted to the spirits of the deceased and ghosts and such. (5-6) Those
persons who, impelled by the force of lust, egotistically and conceited
are engaged in penances executed with violence and not
prescribed in the scriptures, are surely of an obscure resolve; they
doing harm to the body its material integrity are mistaken about me
who, next to themselves, is also situated within that body.
(7) The way the food one prefers is also of three
kinds, there are as well three kinds of charity, sacrifices and
austerities; hear now about these differences.
(8) Food which increases the duration of life,
which purifies one's being, gives strength, health, happiness and
satisfaction and which is juicy, rich, wholesome and a pleasure to the
heart, is food preferred by the ones in goodness. (9) Bitter, sour,
salty, very hot, smelly, dried out and burned is the food of those in
the mode of passion; it makes unhappy, miserable and brings disease.
(10) That what is cooked too long, lacks taste, smells bad, is
decomposed, a leftover from a previous meal and has impurities in it,
is food dear to the ignorant.
(11) A sacrifice which according to the scriptural
regulations is conducted by souls who, free from profit motives,
therewith performed with an absorbed mind, is of goodness. (12) But
that sacrifice which is performed out of vanity and with the desire for
a certain advantage, oh leader of the Kuru line, know that sacrifice to
be of the mode of passion. (13) Any sacrifice in defiance of the
regulative principles, with no food distributed, with no hymns sung,
without any gifts and performed without faith, must be considered a
sacrifice in the mode of ignorance.
(14) When one in cleanliness, sincerity, celibacy
and nonviolence is of respect for the divinity, the twice-born ones,
spiritual teacher and the wise, one speaks of austerity in the sense of
physical actions. (15) To the voice austerity is said to be of
truthful, pleasing and beneficial, inoffensive words derived from
studying the books of spiritual wisdom in a persistent practice. (16)
Austerity of the mind pertains to a mind trained in serenity, good
faith, gravity, self-control and self-correction32. (17) This threefold austerity33 which, free from desiring a certain
advantage, is performed by men with faith in the transcendence, is
said to be of goodness. (18) Austerity which in this world is performed
for the sake of respect, honor and veneration and thus is vain, is,
unstable and temporary as it is, said to be of the mode of passion.
(19) Austerity foolishly performed with the intent to torture oneself
or bring down others, is said to be of the mode of ignorance.
(20) That what is given in charity as a gift
without expecting anything in return, at the right place, at the right
time, and to the right person is a form of charity which is considered
to be of goodness. (21) But that which is given with some return in
mind, and is given desiring a result, or is given with a grudge, is
charity understood to be of passion. (22) Charity is said to be of
ignorance when it, without respect and proper attention, is given at
the wrong place, the wrong time and to persons not deserving. (23) With
om tat sat34, the threefold of the spiritual supreme is indicated; these
words were since time immemorial used by the twice-born ones with their
sacrifices as also with the holy books of prayers and
hymns. (24) For that reason the syllable om always marks the
beginning of the performances of the sacrifices, the charity and the
penance of the transcendentalists proceeding according to the
regulations. (25) The word tat in this is used by the ones
desiring liberation to refer to the fact that one is not after any
result in the various activities of sacrifice, penance and charity.
(26-27) The word sat is used to express the nature of the
supreme as also the devotion to the supreme in the activities one
agreed upon, oh son of Prithâ. Thus in case of sacrifice,
penance and charity the word sat is uttered to indicate activities in
question as also the absolute of the truth. (28) If one makes some
sort of offering, donates this or that way, or when one is of some kind
of penance, one is completely false if one proceeds without any belief,
oh son of Prithâ; to act this way in disbelief is of no use here,
nor in the hereafter.'
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