Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 17

Bhagavad Gita 17.1


arjuna uvāca
ye śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya
yajante śraddhayānvitāḥ
teṣāḿ niṣṭhā tu kā kṛṣṇa
sattvam āho rajas tamaḥ

Translation of Bhagavad Gita 17.1

Arjuna inquired: O Krishna, what is the situation of those who do not follow the principles of scripture but worship according to their own imagination? Are they in goodness, in passion or in ignorance?

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Bhagavad Gita 17.2


śrī-bhagavān uvāca
tri-vidhā bhavati śraddhā
dehināṁ sā svabhāva-jā
sāttvikī rājasī caiva
tāmasī ceti tāṁ śṛṇu

Translation of Bhagavad Gita 17.2

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: According to the modes of nature acquired by the embodied soul, one’s faith can be of three kinds—in goodness, in passion or in ignorance. Now hear about this.

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Bhagavad Gita 17.3


sattvānurūpā sarvasya
śraddhā bhavati bhārata
śraddhā-mayo ’yaḿ puruṣo
yo yac-chraddhaḥ sa eva saḥ

Translation of Bhagavad Gita 17.3

O son of Bharata, according to one’s existence under the various modes of nature, one evolves a particular kind of faith. The living being is said to be of a particular faith according to the modes he has acquired.

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Bhagavad Gita 17.4


yajante sāttvikā devān
yakṣa-rakṣāḿsi rājasāḥ
pretān bhūta-gaṇāḿś cānye
yajante tāmasā janāḥ

Translation of Bhagavad Gita 17.4

Men in the mode of goodness worship the demigods; those in the mode of passion worship the demons; and those in the mode of ignorance worship ghosts and spirits.

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Bhagavad Gita 17.5-6


aśāstra-vihitaḿ ghoraḿ
tapyante ye tapo janāḥ
dambhāhańkāra-saḿyuktāḥ
kāma-rāga-balānvitāḥ

karṣayantaḥ śarīra-sthaḿ
bhūta-grāmam acetasaḥ
māḿ caivāntaḥ śarīra-sthaḿ
tān viddhy āsura-niścayān

Translation of Bhagavad Gita 17.5-6

Those who undergo severe austerities and penances not recommended in the scriptures, performing them out of pride and egoism, who are impelled by lust and attachment, who are foolish and who torture the material elements of the body as well as the Supersoul dwelling within, are to be known as demons.

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Bhagavad Gita 17.7


āhāras tv api sarvasya
tri-vidho bhavati priyaḥ
yajñas tapas tathā dānaḿ
teṣāḿ bhedam imaḿ śṛṇu

Translation of Bhagavad Gita 17.7

Even the food each person prefers is of three kinds, according to the three modes of material nature. The same is true of sacrifices, austerities and charity. Now hear of the distinctions between them.

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Bhagavad Gita 17.8


āyuḥ-sattva-balārogya-
sukha-prīti-vivardhanāḥ
rasyāḥ snigdhāḥ sthirā hṛdyā
āhārāḥ sāttvika-priyāḥ

Translation of Bhagavad Gita 17.8

Foods dear to those in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such foods are juicy, fatty, wholesome, and pleasing to the heart.

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Bhagavad Gita 17.9


kaṭv-amla-lavaṇāty-uṣṇa-
tīkṣṇa-rūkṣa-vidāhinaḥ
āhārā rājasasyeṣṭā
duḥkha-śokāmaya-pradāḥ

Translation of Bhagavad Gita 17.9

Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry and burning are dear to those in the mode of passion. Such foods cause distress, misery and disease.

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Bhagavad Gita 17.10


yāta-yāmaḿ gata-rasaḿ
pūti paryuṣitaḿ ca yat
ucchiṣṭam api cāmedhyaḿ
bhojanaḿ tāmasa-priyam

Translation of Bhagavad Gita 17.10

Food prepared more than three hours before being eaten, food that is tasteless, decomposed and putrid, and food consisting of remnants and untouchable things is dear to those in the mode of darkness.

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Bhagavad Gita 17.11


aphalākāńkṣibhir yajño
vidhi-diṣṭo ya ijyate
yaṣṭavyam eveti manaḥ
samādhāya sa sāttvikaḥ

Translation of Bhagavad Gita 17.11

Of sacrifices, the sacrifice performed according to the directions of scripture, as a matter of duty, by those who desire no reward, is of the nature of goodness.

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