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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 11

The Three Modes of Nature and Beyond

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 11   

 The Three Modes of Nature and Beyond

(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'O best of persons, try to understand what I'm about to say about the way someone is influenced by a certain mode of My material nature [*]. (2-5) With the mode of goodness one finds equanimity, sense control, tolerance, discrimination, penance, truthfulness, compassion, remembrance, contentment, renunciation, freedom from desire, faithfulness, modesty and pleasure within. With the mode of passion there is lust, endeavor, conceit, dissatisfaction, false pride, the quest for blessings, separatism, sense-gratification, rashness, love of praise, ridicule, display of valor and hard sanctioning. With the mode of ignorance one runs into intolerance, greed, deceitfulness, violence, attention seeking [in particular with women], hypocrisy, listlessness, quarrel, lamentation, delusion, the suffering of depression, sloth, false expectations, fear and indolence. These I one after the other described, constitute the majority of effects of the modes. Now learn about their combinations [see also B.G. 14]. (6) O Uddhava, the ordinary activities in the mentality of 'I' and 'mine' are there so from their combination, just as the activities of the mind, the senses, their objects and the vital airs are there as a combination of them [see also 11.23: 49, 11.24: 7, 11.24: 13]. (7) When the person is fixed in religiosity, economic development and sense gratification brings each of the modes intermingling to this the faith, wealth and enjoyment. (8) In case someone as a householder [rajas] is of a devotion that is characterized by a materially motivated practice [tamas] and he as a consequence thereof sticks to his [religious] duties [sattva] is one clearly dealing with a combination of modes. (9) From a person his calm one can tell that he is endowed with goodness, his lust is indicative of the mode of passion and from his anger one may conclude that he is caught in ignorance. (10) When someone, with the fulfillment of his duties, worships Me irrespective the results, such a man, or woman also, should be understood as being established in the nature of goodness. (11) When one with one's duties worships Me hoping for benedictions such devotion should be understood as being of the nature of passion, and when one does it with the intention to be violent is one of ignorance [see also B.G. 17: 20-22]. (12) One may conclude that the modes of sattva, tamas and rajas relate to the individual soul and not to Me; one is bound to them because they, the way they manifest in the mind, lead to one's attachment to material results [see also B.G. 4: 14]. (13) When the mode of goodness - which is pure, luminous and auspicious - predominates over the other two, a man will be graced with happiness, religiosity, knowledge and other good qualities [see also B.G. 14: 11, 18: 37]. (14) When passion defeats both goodness and ignorance one is caught in fruitive labor, in defending one's reputation and in being opulent, because one then out of one's attachment is of separatism and impermanence and thus unhappy [see also B.G. 14: 12, 18: 38]. (15) When ignorance outdoes passion and goodness one has lost one's discrimination, one's consciousness is covered, one loses one's initiative and one lands in bewilderment and complaining, with sleeping too much, violence and false hopes [see also B.G. 14: 13, 18: 39]. (16) When one's consciousness clears up and the senses are no longer distracted, one is physically self-confident and of a detached mind; in that case one may speak of the goodness of My refuge. (17) Passion you can recognize by the following symptoms: the intelligence is disturbed by too much activity, one fails to disengage from one's senses, one is not at ease with one's body and the mind is unsteady. (18) Failing in the higher functions of consciousness, growing dull, being unable to focus, losing one's mind, groping in the dark and being gloomy you should understand to be of the mode of ignorance. (19) With an increase of the mode of goodness the strength of the God-conscious increases, with an increase of passion the unenlightened get stronger and when the mode of ignorance increases, o Uddhava, the wild man steps forward. (20) Know that the wakeful state of consciousness is there by the mode of goodness, that sleep is indicative of passion, that the deep of sleep is there by the ignorance of the living entity, while the fourth state [turîya, the transcendental] pervades the three [see also 7.7: 25 and B.G. 6: 16]. (21) In the mode of goodness spiritual persons reach higher and higher, in the mode of ignorance one goes, head first, lower and lower and in the mode of passion one is stuck in between [see also B.G. 6: 45, 16: 19]. (22) Those who die in goodness go to heaven, those who die in passion go to the human world and those who die in ignorance go to hell. They however who are free from the modes come to Me [see also B.G. 9: 25, 14: 18]. (23) Work dutifully done as a sacrifice for Me without desiring the results is in the mode of goodness, work done with an expectation of some result is in the mode of passion and when one engages with violence or jealousy and such, one is of the mode of ignorance [B.G. 17: 20-22]. (24) Knowledge in the mode of goodness is emancipatory [of enlightenment], of passion one is opinionated and in ignorance one is of a materialistic conviction. Spiritual knowledge on the other hand that is focussed upon Me is considered to be free from the modes [see also 6.14: 2]. (25) To have one's residence in the forest [to be a recluse] is of the mode of goodness, to reside among man [family] is of passion one says, and to reside in a gambling house is of the mode of ignorance, but My residence is above the modes [see also 7.12: 22, 11.18: 25]. (26) A worker free from attachment is of the mode of goodness, blinded by personal desire one is a man of passion, and a performer who lost his vision one considers a man of ignorance [see 11.22: 38-39]. He [though] who has taken shelter of Me is free from the modes. (27) Being of the soul one's faith is of goodness, but being of passion one has put faith in fruitive activities, in karma. To be irreligious is of the mode of ignorance, but that faith which is of service to Me is transcendental to the modes. (28) Beneficial, pure and attained effortlessly is food considered to be of the mode of goodness, [strongly] catering to the senses it is of the mode of passion and impure foodstuff which makes one suffer is of ignorance [see also B.G. 17: 7-10]. (29) Happiness derived from the soul is of the mode of goodness but generated from sense objects it is of passion. Happiness derived from delusion and depravity is of ignorance, but the happiness that is free from the modes one finds in Me [see 11.15: 17 & B.G. 5: 21, but also 6: 7].

(30) And thus the material substance, the place, the fruit of action, the time, the knowledge, the activity, the performer, the faith, the state of consciousness and the species and destinations of life all belong to the three gunas. (31) All states of existence, whether seen, heard or pictured in one's mind, are, being composed of the gunas, regulated and guarded by the enjoyer who is of a subtle nature, o best among men [see also linga]. (32) These forms of existence [and stages of life] of the enjoyer result from the karma one has with the modes of nature. O gentle one, the modes that manifest themselves in the mind are conquered by the individual soul who is dedicated to Me in bhakti-yoga. Such a soul qualifies for My transcendental love. (33) For that reason they who obtained this human body should be as smart to discard the modes and worship Me, the source of knowledge and wisdom. (34) A learned and unbewildered man of wisdom should worship Me free from attachment and, with his senses under control taking to the mode of goodness, conquer the modes of passion and ignorance. (35) And also the mode of goodness he must conquer thus being connected [in devotion]. The individual whose intelligence found peace in being indifferent about the modes, is liberated from them by giving up on that what constituted the cause of the covering of his soul and reaches Me. (36) The living entity who as an individual soul by Me thus was liberated from the modes of nature that nestled in his mind, thus finds, by dint of the Absolute Truth, the completeness and must no longer wander, nor to the internal nor to the external of his existence.'

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SOURCE: Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/