The Blessed One said:
1. I will declare still further the supreme vision, chief among wisdoms;
Knowing which, all sages have gone from this world to supreme fulfillment.
2. Having held to this wisdom
And become the likeness of my own state of being,
They are not born even at creation
Nor are they disturbed at dissolution.
3. The great Brahman is my womb; In it, I place the seed.
From this, O Bhārata, comes the birth of all beings.
4. Brahman is the womb of whatever forms come to be in all wombs, O Son of Kuntī,
And I am the father who bestows the seed.
5. Sattva, rajas, tamas: these gunas born of prakrti
Fetter the changeless embodied one in the body, O Strong-Armed.
6. Among these, sattva, due to its stainlessness, Is luminous and healthy. It binds, O Blameless One,
By attachment to happiness and by attachment to knowledge.
7. Know that rajas is of passionate essence, Is the source of attachment and craving;
It binds the embodied one, O Son of Kuntī,
By attachment to actions.
8. But the tamas which is born of ignorance,
Know it to be the deluder of all embodied ones.
It binds, O Bhārata, by heedlessness, indolence and sloth.
9. Sattva attaches one to happiness, rajas to action;
But tamas, obscuring wisdom, O Bhārata, Attaches one to heedlessness.
10. When sattva overpowers rajas and tamas, it takes over, O Bhārata;
When rajas overpowers sattva and tamas,
And tamas overpowers sattva and rajas,
They also take over.
12. Greed, busyness, undertaking actions, unrest, yearning:
These are born when rajas increases, O Best of the Bhāratas.
13. Obscurity and inaction, negligence and delusion:
These are born when tamas increases.
14. When the embodied one dies and sattva has increased,
He then attains the spotless worlds of those knowing the highest.
15. Meeting death when rajas prevails,
He is born among those attached to action;
Likewise, meeting death when tamas prevails,
He is born in the wombs of the foolish.
16. The fruit of good action is spotless and sattvic they say;
That of rajas is pain, and the fruit of tamas is ignorance.
17. Wisdom arises from sattva, greed from rajas,
Negligence and delusion from tamas, as also ignorance.
18. Those who abide in sattva, go upwards;
Those in rajas, stay in the middle;
Those in tamas, abiding in the lowest guna, go downward.
19. When the seer perceives no doer other than the gunas
And knows what is higher than the gunas,
He attains to my being.
20. Having gone beyond these three gunas springing from the body,
The embodied one, released from birth and death, old age and unhappiness,
21. O Lord, by what marks is he who has gone
Beyond these three gunas, distinguished?
What is his conduct?
How does he pass beyond these three gunas?
The Blessed One said:
22. He does not dislike clarity (sattva) and activity (rajas)
Nor delusion (tamas) when they arise, O Son of Pāndu,
Nor desire them when they cease.
23. He who, seated as if unconcerned, is not agītated by the gunas,
Who thinks the gunas alone act, Who stands apart and remains firm,
24. Who abides in the self,
To whom pleasure and pain are alike,
Who is the same toward a clod or a stone or gold,
Holding equal the pleasant and the unpleasant,
To whom praise and blame of himself are the same,
Who is firm,
25. To whom good and bad repute, friend and enemy are the same,
Who has left all projects:
He is called the man who has gone beyond the gunas.
26. And he who serves me with the unfailing yoga of devotion (bhakti),
Having gone beyond these gunas, Is fit to become Brahman.
27. For I am the dwelling place of Brahman,
Of the immortal and imperishable,
Of everlasting dharma and absolute happiness.
This is the fourteenth chapter, entitled “The Yoga of the Distinction of the Three Gunas” (gunatrayavibhāgayoga).