Bhagavad Gita -Srila Prabhupada 671

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita As It Is -Shri Shrimad A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The Divisions of Faith
Chapter 17: Verse- 19

müdha-grähenätmano yat pidayä kriyate tapah
parasyotsädanärtham vä tat tämasam udährtam[1]


Penance performed out of foolishness, with self-torture or to destroy or injure others, is said to be in the mode of ignorance.


There are instances of foolish penance undertaken by demons like Hiranyakasipu, who performed austere penances to become immortal and kill the demigods. He prayed to Brahmä for such things, but ultimately he was something which is impossible is certainly in the mode of ignorance.



  1. müdha=foolish; grähena=with endeavor; ätmanah=of one’s own self; yat=which; pidayä=by torture; kriyate=is performed; tapah=penance; parasya=to others; utsädana-artham=for the sake of causing annihilation; vä=or; tat=that; tämasam=in the mode of darkness; killed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. To undergo penances for dährtam=is said to be.

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