Gita Rahasya -Tilak 176

Karma Yoga Sastra -Tilak



In this state of a trigunatita, neither the saitva, nor the rajas, nor the tamas constituent continues to exist ; therefore, considering the matter minutely, one has to admit that this state is different from either the sattvika, or rajasi, or tarmsi states of mind; and following this line of argument the Bhagavata religion, after dividing Devotion (bhakti) into ignorant, progressive, or placed, has described the disinterested and non-differentiating de- votion of the man who has transcended the three constituents as nirguna, that is, unaffected-by-quality [1] But it is not proper to extend the principle of division beyond the three divisions of placid, progressive, and ignorant. Therefore, the Samkhya philosophers include the trigunatita state of transcending the three constituents in the placid (sattvika) state on the basis that it results from the highest expansion of the placid constituent ; and the same position has also been accepted in the Gita. For instance, the non-differentiating knowledge that every thing is one and the same is, according to the Gita, placid knowledge [2] and where the description of the sattvika state of mind is given in the fourteenth chapter of the Gita, the description of the state of transcending the three constituents is given later on at the end of the same chapter.

But it must he borne in mind that in as much as the Gita does not accept the duality of Matter and Spirit, the words 'prakrti ', 'purusa ', ' trigunatita ', which are technical terms of Samkhya philosophy are always used in a slightly different meaning in the Gita; or in short, the Gita permanently keeps the rider of the monistic (advaita) Para- brahman on the Dualism (dvaita) of the Samkhya philosophy. For instance, the difference between Matter and Spirit according to the Samkhya philosophy has been described in the 13th chapter of the Gita [3] But there the words 'prakrti' and 'purusa' are synonymous with the words 'ksetra ' and ' ksetrajna '. Similarly, the description in the 14th chapter of the state of transcending the three constituents [4] is of the siddha or released man who, having escaped the meshes of Maya (Illusion) with its three constituents, has realised the Paramatman (Supreme Spirit) which is beyond both Matter and Spirit, and not of a Samkhya philosopher, who looks upon Matter and Spirit as two distinct principles and who looks upon the isolation of the Spirit as the state of transcending the three constituents of Matter. This difference has been made perfectly clear by me in the subsequent chapter on adhyatma (philosophy of the Highest Self). But as the Blessed Lord has, while supporting the adhyatma or Vedanta philosophy in the Gita, in many places made use of the Samkhya terminology and arguments, one is likely to get the wrong idea, while reading the Gita, that it accepts as correct the pure Samkhya philosophy. Therefore, I have repeated here this difference between the Samkhya philosophy and the propositions similar to it in the Gita. Samkaracarya has stated in the Vedanta Sutra-bhasya, that he is prepared to accept all the propositions of the Samkhya philosophy but not to give up the advaita theory of the Upanisads that there is only one fundamental principle in the world, namely, the Parabrahman (Supreme Spirit), which is beyond both Matter and Spirit and from which the entire creation, including Matter and Spirit, has sprung [5] and the same line of argument applies to the arguments in the Gita.


References And Context

  1. (Bhag. 3. 29. 7-14).
  2. (Gi. 18. 20);
  3. (Gi. 13. 19-34).
  4. (Gi. 14. 22-27)
  5. (Ve. Su. Sam. Bha. 2. 1. 3);