Sunday 11 January 2015


2015-02  "Threefold Tapas" -  "Saatvic, Raajasa and Taamasa Tapah"
                  based on "Guna" [Character] 

We saw in the previous post, austerities of the body, speech and mind:

Austerity of the body consists in worship of the gods, the good, the elders and the wise; purity, honesty, continence, and nonviolence. [17.14] 

Austerity of speech consists in speaking words which do wound, which are true, pleasant and beneficial, and studying the scriptures. [17.15] 

Austerity of the mind consists in calmness, gentleness, silence, self-restraint and inner purity. [17.16] 

This classification is based on "karanams": "Kayika, Vankmaya and Manasa Tapah". Now, we see another based on "gunas" as "Saatvic, Raajasa and Taamasa Tapah".


1] This three-fold austerity of the body, speech and mind 
[त् त्रिविधं तपः  thath thrividham tapah]
2] when practiced 
[तप्तं  thaptham] 
3] by devout , steadfast persons 
[युक्तैः नरैः   yukthaihi naraihi] 
4] with supreme faith 
[परया श्रद्धया  parayaa shraddhayaa
5] without longing for any reward 
[अफला काङ्क्षिभिः  apalaa kaankshibhihi]  
is said to be wholly saattvic in nature 
[सात्विकं परीचक्षते  saathvikam pareechakshate].

When these austerities of the body, speech and mind, are practiced without attachment to the results, and in a spirit of supreme faith, by devout persons, the sages call this practice saattvic. [17.17]

श्रद्धया परया तप्तं तपः तत्  त्रिविधं नरैः |
अफलाकाङ्क्षिभिः युक्तैः सात्विकं परीचक्षते  ||    17.17

[shraddhaya paraya taptam tapah tathu trividham naraihi
aphalakankshibihi yuktaihi saativkam parichakshate.]


The penance which is performed  
[यत् तपः क्रियते   yath tapah kriyathE] 

in order to gain  respect, honour and worship
[सत्कार मान पूजार्थं   sathkaara maana poojaartham]

and certainly with pride
[च एव दम्भेन  cha yeva dambhena cha]

[इह  iha]

is said to be
[प्रोक्तं   proktam]

Raajasa in nature
[राजसं   raajasam]

flickering and temporary [not stable and not permanent]
[चलं अध्रुवम्   chalam adruvam]

Austerities practiced in order to gain respect, honor, or admiration, and with pride, here, are called Raajasa; they are neither stable nor permanent. [17.18]

सत्कार मान पूजार्थं तपो दम्भेन चैव यत्  |

क्रियते तदिह् प्रोक्तं राजसं चलं अध्रुवम्  ||   17.18

satkara maana poojartham tapo dambhena chaiva  yatu
kriyate tadiha proktam raajasam chalam adruvam ||


The penance which is performed 

[यत्  तपः क्रियते] yath tapah kriyathe

through perversity

[मूढ ग्राहेण  moodha graahena]

with self-torture

[आत्मनो पीडया  aathmana peedhaya]

or for harming another

[वा परस्य उत्सादनार्थं  vaa parasya] 

that has been declared to be Taamasa

[तत् उदाहृतम् तामसं  thath udaahrudam taamasam]

Austerities practiced out of perversity, with self-torture, or for the purpose of ruining another, are declared to be taamasa in nature. [17.19]

मूढ ग्राहेण आत्मनो यत्  पीडया क्रियते तपः |
परस्योत्सादनार्थं वा तत् तामसं उदाहृतम्   ||  17.19

mudha grAhena Atmano yat peedaya kriyate tapah
parasyot saadanaarthaM vaa  tat taamasaM  udaa hrutam.


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