Bhagavad Gita

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 14: Guṇa Traya Vibhāga Yogam, Verse 5:

Bhagavad Gita - krishna

(Image Courtesy Mahanidhiswami)

The Individual Soul, Which Has Confused Itself With The Body, Becomes Entangled In The Three Gunaas’ Game

सत्त्वं रजस्तम इति गुणा: प्रकृतिसम्भवा: |
निबध्नन्ति महाबाहो देहे देहिनमव्ययम् || 14,5||

sattvaṁ rajas tama iti guṇāḥ prakṛiti-sambhavāḥ
nibadhnanti mahā-bāho dehe dehinam avyayam|| 14.5||

Shloka Translation
BG – Ch. 13- Ver. 5:

These gunaas born of Prakriti, O mighty-armed warrior, connect the imperishable body dweller to the body. Sattva, rajas, tamas, these gunaas born of Prakriti bind the imperishable body dweller to the body.


In the next fourteen verses, Shree Krishna explains how prakiti ties the soul. Although it is divine, it is bound to material nature by its identification with the body. Goodness, passion, and ignorance are the three gunas of material energy. As a result, the body, mind, and intellect created of prakiti likewise have these three forms.

One of these modes becomes prominent for a person depending on their internal thinking, external circumstances, past sanskaras, and other variables. And the dominant mode casts a matching tint over that person’s personality. As a result, the soul is influenced by these dominant modes. Shree Krishna now goes into detail about the effects of different modes on living beings.

Verse & what we can learn

With two points, Shri Krishna begins the detailed analysis of Prakriti. To begin, he divides Prakriti into three parts: sattva, rajas, and tamas, which are the gunaas. The word “born of” in the shloka does not imply that Prakriti is the one who makes the three gunaas. It implies that Prakriti is made up entirely of the three gunaas. Shri Krishna then goes on to explain how Prakriti affects the Purusha, also known as the jeeva, or individual soul. Prakriti, he claims, connects or attaches the imperishable body dweller, the “dehi,” or jeeva, to the body.

We experience tranquillity, passion, and sleepiness in a single day, which are essentially equivalent to sattva, rajas, and tamas, respectively. Gunaas, in a larger sense, refer to the universe’s building blocks. Tamas is inert substance, rajas is action or dynamism, and sattva is harmony. We will concentrate on the impact of the gunaas on our mind rather than their impact on the universe because we are primarily concerned in liberation from our suffering.

How can the perishable gunaas bind the self since we have been constantly told that our self is imperishable and cannot be bound? The truth is that the gunaas do not bind us on their own. We put ourselves in a situation where we allow the gunaas to take control of our lives due to our ignorance of our true nature and mis-identification with the body.

To acquire knowledge and to implement that knowledge in life one needs to be mentally and physically active and healthy and for that daily meditation is a great tool.

There are various types of meditation like Buddhist meditation, heartfulness meditation, mindfulness meditation, meditation for stress, and each meditation benefits are countless. There is also numerous meditation techniques for beginners which help in practicing daily meditation so go ahead and start your journey towards a peaceful and balanced life.

Shri Krishna goes over each guna’s one by one in the next three shlokas, explaining its power to bind the body in detail.

Let’s learn to live with “The Gita” via Meditation Affinity…

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