Chapter 14The Three Qualities of Material NatureVerse 9


Sanskrit Vocal





Commentaries of the Four Authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

as confirmed in the Garga Samhita Canto 10, Chapter 61, Verses 23, 24, 25, 26
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Sridhara Swami's Commentary

The predominating effect of sattva guna or mode of goodness is that it instils in the jiva or embodied being the attraction for happiness even though the seeds of misery and sorrow are also inherent. So sattva guna by such natural but strong attraction for happiness binds the jiva to material existence and raja guna the mode of passion binds one by the work and effort constantly undertaken to achieve such happiness and tama guna or mode of ignorance binds one to material existence by distorted delusions and perverted perceptions of knowledge even if heard from liberated beings. Tamas also manifests as neglecting the teachings of great liberated beings or by acting contrary to these teachings because such teachings differ from ones personal understanding. The word uta means and so forth and indicates that tamas binds one as well to lethargy listlessness and laziness.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:

There is no commentary for this verse.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

The cardinal features of three gunas or modes of sattva or goodness, rajas or passion and tamas or nescience are now being delineated by Lord Krishna. The main quality of sattva is its ability to confer blessedness. The main proponent of rajas is that it impels vigourous activity and the dominant factor in tamas is that it obscures intelligence giving a perverted view of reality which results in the tendency to perform unnatural activities. The three gunas are the natural effects of prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence and constitute the qualities of all matter which manifests into physical bodies both gross and subtle. How they each give rise to consequences so radically different and conflicting with each other is answered in the next verse.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Here Lord Krishna describes in brief the functional capacity of the three gunas which are sattva guna or the mode of goodness, raja guna or the mode of passion and tama guna or the mode of ignorance. The quality of sattva impels the mind to be attracted to happiness. Although there may be situations of pain and discomfort the overall tendency of the mind is to seek knowledge and experience joy. The quality of rajas activates the mind to be attracted to action. Although there may be situations of tranquility and calm the overall tendency is constant activity. The quality of tamas is obscuring and distorting knowledge even if instructed by the spiritual master. Such perversion causes the jiva or embodied being to commit degenerative activities that hinder it's well being and blocks it's own best interests.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 14, verse 9 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 9

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