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(The Philosophical Part)





In the last Shloka of the sixteenth chapter Shri Krishna came to a definite conclusion that the oneís behaviour, good or bad must be guided by what is laid down in the Shastras. (17:21).  At this Arjuna said to himself, What is this?  How is it that there is no freedom of action without the rules set by the Shastras? (17:23).  Who will bring the different Shastras together and come to a common conclusion from them?  And even if one comes to a common conclusion who will have time to act according to it?  Who will live that long? And how can everybody have favourable situation regarding Shastras, money, place and time concurrently?  Therefore it is not always possible to act according to the Shastras and in that case what should ignorant seekers do?  The subject which Arjuna raised to get the advice of Shri Krishna is given in this seventeenth chapter. (17:26-30).

Arjuna said, "Why do you say that an individual cannot attain liberation without the Shastras?  It can happen that the time and the place are not favourable for the study of the Shastras nor a teacher is available nor the paraphernalia required for the study are available and also, one is not adequately endowed with intelligence because of the unfavourable past karmas.  Please tell me what kind of destiny out of the Sattva, Raja and Tama  befalls those whose study of the Shastras is impeded by the above situation or those who are compelled to give up the study for lack of aptitude for it but at the same time emulate others who attained heaven by performing the rituals as recommended in the Shastras for attaining the same end, or those who, considering the behaviour of persons learned in all the Shastras to be ideal and, like a blind person following the man in the front, worship Shiva and other deities, donate land etc. in charity, perform yajnas etc.? (17:35-45).


Shri Krishna replied, "Arjuna, you find the study of Shastras as a means of liberation to be very difficult but it is not easy either to attain liberation through faith alone. Do not believe in depending on mere faith.  Just as a brahmin keeping company of a Shudra becomes one, (17:49-51), similarly, though faith is basically pure, it becomes tainted when it befalls the lot of creatures because creatures are naturally constituted from the three attributes due to the power of the timeless Maya.  When two attributes become weak and the third becomes strong, the natural tendencies of an individual are moulded according to that attribute. The mind is moulded according to the natural tendencies, actions follow the mind, and the individual takes rebirth according to the karmas, the accumulated effect of actions. (17:55-58).

Just as seed disappears to create a tree and tree gets incorporated in the seed and even after millions of aeons of this cycle the species of the tree does not disappear similarly even when a creature is reborn countless number of times the occurs no change in the three attributes.  Therefore the faith which has come to the lot of a creature is according to these attributes.  If Sattva attribute increases it leads to acquiring of knowledge but it is opposed by the other two attributes.

Pure faith based on the Sattva  attribute fructifies into liberation, but how will the Raja and Tama attributes remain quiet? When Raja attributes overrides the Sattva attribute then the faith (which is now tainted by the Raja attribute) sweeps together the karmas. And when the Tama attribute becomes strong the faith breaks down and entangles the creatures in all sorts of sense-pleasures.  Thus Arjuna, the faith cannot be separated from the three attributes therefore the faith is qualified by the three attributes Sattva, Raja and Tama. (17:62-67).

Water is the essence of life but it becomes fatal if mixed with poison, pungent if mixed with pepper and sweet if mixed with sugarcane juice.  Similarly, when Tama  attribute increases, the creature who dies and is reborn acquires a faith which is Tamasi i.e. tainted by the Tama  attribute.  Thus the faith of a Tamasi creature is Tamasi.  Similarly the faith of a Rajas (i.e. one tainted by Raja attribute) creature is Rajas and a Sattvic creature Sattvic (i.e. one tainted by Sattva attribute).  Thus this structure of the universe is constituted from faith. But you should understand the impressions of the three attributes on it.  Just as one can recognise the nature of the past Karmas of a person from his condition in this life, similarly there are signs which can indicate the three different forms of faith. I shall now describe them to you. (17:68-75).

Three types of faiths: Those whose constitution is made of Sattvic faith have their thoughts inclined towards heaven.  They acquire all knowledge and choosing proper types of yajnas they reach the abode of gods.  Those whose constitution is made of Rajas faith worship the Yakshas and demons who travel in the sky; but those who are constituted from Tama attribute are like mountains of sins and are extremely hard-hearted and cruel.  They make sacrifice of animals in cremation grounds to propitiate spirits and ghouls. These persons who are made from the essence of Tama  attribute are the storehouse of Tamasic faith.  There are thus three types of faith which I am describing to you only because one should see that the Sattvic faith must be preserved and the remaining two types of faith namely Rajas and Tamas should be rejected. (17:76-83).  He who nurtures this Sattvic faith does not find the attainment of liberation cumbersome. Even though he has not studied Brahmasutras or independently understood the principles of the Vedas, but if he follows the footsteps of those who have become venerable to the world by keeping their conduct according to the meaning of Shrutis and Smritis and lives with Sattvic faith, gets same fruits as them. (17:84-87).  He who emulates those who carefully perform as per the Shastras is saved even if he were a fool. (17:92).

Those who are not inclined towards the study of Shastras from their heart and do not permit persons learned in the Shastras even to enter the town, those who tease their elders doing worship and mock during the discourses by the learned behave like an atheist driven by the pride of their high status and arrogance due to wealth.  They fill the yajna vessels with their own and othersí blood and pour it in the burning yajna fire as sacrifice to inferior deities and further sacrifice young children to fulfil vows.  To obtain boons from inferior deities they obstinately observe seven day fasts and perform other rituals. Thus they plant the seeds of self-torture and torture of others in the Tamasic heart and reap the harvest. (17:93-99).  They leave the path of the Shastras and rush hither and thither in the woods of delusion.  They act under the influence of desires and consumed by anger beat others.  Otherwise they bury even me in the ditches.  The pain they cause to themselves and others actually are the pains caused to me that is the Soul. One should not even utter the name of such a sinner but I had to mention all this in order that he is cast out. (17:103-106).  Arjuna if you see such persons then remember me because there is no other atonement for it. Therefore one should always maintain Sattvic faith. (17:109-110).

Three types of diet: Secondly, one should keep in touch with those things which increase Sattvic faith and adopt a diet which will increase the Sattvic nature.  Even otherwise, there is no means more effective than diet for moulding oneís nature. (17:111-112).  A person gets afflicted by wind, phlegm or biles according to the food he eats. (17:114).  What one eats, accordingly the different chemicals are produced in the body and these chemicals support the feelings in the mind. The state of the mind depends upon the chemicals therefore a Sattvic diet makes the Sattvic quality grow.  Any other diet would lead to growth of the Rajas and Tamasic natures.  Listen carefully now to what a Sattvic diet is and what the indications of Rajas and Tamasic diets are. (17:116-119).

I shall first explain to you how the same diet affects in three different ways.  The cook has to prepare food according to the taste of the eater and the eater is a slave to the three attributes.  He behaves with three different types of mental attitude depending naturally upon the three attributes.  Therefore diet is of three types and so are the actions like yajna, charity and austerity (tapas).  But first I shall explain to you about diet. (17:120-124).

Sattvic food: If by good fortune an individual is inclined towards Sattvic attribute then his tendency is to eat sweet food.  Sattvic food items are by nature juicy, sweet, very oily and properly cooked. They are not big in size and are soft to touch. They melt on the tongue and feel tasty.  They are juicy and soft and the liquid part in it is well absorbed within by the heat of the fire. Just as the words from the Guruís lips are few but have great effect, similarly one feels satiated by eating even a little quantity of these items.  Also not only he Sattvic food tastes good while eating, its effects are also sweet.  A Sattvic person has a special liking for such food.  Such are the indications and qualities of a Sattvic diet. It increases the life-force of the eater.(17:125-132).  For increasing the Sattva attribute this is the most appropriate diet.  Growth of physical and mental strength is achieved by this diet.  Then how can disease enter there?  If one eats Sattvic food then he enjoys the fortune of good health. His actions bring happiness not only to himself but to others also.  Thus the effect of this Sattvic diet is great and is useful to the body from inside and outside. (17:134-137).

Rajas food: Since we are on the topic of diet, I shall tell you about the kind of diet a Rajas person loves.  A Rajas person loves food items which may not be digestible but are bitter like poison, burning like lime but sour, with large quantities of salt and salty materials added to it.  The food he eats is so hot that it is as if he swallows fire itself. He asks for food which is so hot that one can even light a flame on the steam coming from it.  He eats sharp food items which hurt without wounding. Similarly he likes food which is dry like hot ashes but which will scald the tongue. He takes pleasure in eating hard food which needs grinding the teeth. Salad which is already hot and pungent with mustard added on top which causes the mouth and nose to burn putting even fire to shame, is what a Rajas person likes more than life.  Not satisfied with such food, the Rajas person who has madly surrendered himself to the taste-buds, puts in his stomach, actually fire in the form of food. He rolls on ground after eating cloves and ginger and once he puts a glass of water to the mouth he does not put it away.  But that is not really food but it is like putting in the stomach items which will awaken the snakes of the diseases in the body.  As soon as they get this food they wake up and compete with each other. In this way, the Rajas type of food leads only to sorrow. (17:139-151).

Tamasic food: Now I shall also tell you about the food a Tamasic person likes but you will feel disgusted by it.  Just as a buffalo eats the leftover soured food, a Tamasic person eats rotten and leftover food and does not even think that it will be harmful to him.  Similarly, he eats in the afternoon or next day, the food that was cooked in the morning.  A Tamasic person does not at all like well-cooked and fresh food, instead he prefers food which is half cooked or burnt.  If by chance occasion comes for him to eat good food, he keeps it aside like a tiger until it starts smelling.  He eats with his wife and children, in a common dish, tasteless food which has been kept for a long time, has become dry or rotten, infested with worms and which has become like slime having been handled by children.  He feels happy when he eats such dirty food.  But he is not quite satisfied by this.  The wonder is that he gets a strong desire for eating or drinking those things which have been prohibited by the Shastras.  Arjuna, he has a liking for eating such food and he is immediately penalised for it, for when he consumes such desecrated food, he becomes liable for sin because what he eats is not food but an affliction which fills the stomach.  He gets some experience of what it feels like to be beheaded or be entering a fire, but he bears all that and therefore one need not tell further about the effects of Tamasic food. (17:153-168).


Similar to diet, yajnas are also of three types.  Out of these I shall tell you the characteristics of the Sattvic yajna first. (17:169-170).

Sattvic yajna: Persons who perform Sattvic yajna use all their inner tendencies for gaining spiritual benefits without bothering about selfish material gains, (17:173), get totally engrossed with body and mind in the yajna rituals without any personal desires or expectations, and being detached about everything except Swadharma, (17:175-176), perform the yajna systematically according to all its aspects prescribed by the Vedas, arranging for the Kunda (fire-pit), pandal, platform etc., in such a way that would make it appear that the very Shastras have personified and made the preparations themselves.  All the yajna materials are neatly arranged. If one sees the yajna pandal, one would feel that the very science of the yajna has come there for the sake of the yajna.  The yajna thus performed systematically without the desire for self-importance, (17:179-182), or the yajna performed without desire of fruits should be considered as Sattvic yajna. (17:184).

Rajas yajna: Rajas yajna is also performed in the same systematic manner, (17:185), but it is performed purely with desire of benefits in mind like attaining heaven after death, getting honoured in public as an initiated person.  The yajnas performed for gaining fame and with desires are Rajas yajnas. (17:187-188).

Tamas yajna: Just as marriage among birds and animals does not require a priest other than the mating instinct similarly Tamas  yajna  needs only a compulsion or insistence. (17:189).  Tamas yajna is not bound by any rules therefore a Tamasic person is a libertine.  He is not bothered about ritualistic rules and he does not find mantras to be necessary.  Even a fly does not get any food there.  He is inimical to brahmins so here is no thought of honorarium (dakshina) to them. Money is wasted unnecessarily but there is no trace of faith in all this.  Thus, the yajna which superficially looks like one is a Tamasic yajna. (17:191-195).


Tapas (austerity) also is of three types according to the three attributes.  One of them leads to sin and another leads to emancipation.  Now you may be anxious to know how tapas can be of three types therefore I shall tell you what tapas is.Tapas may be corporal, vocal or mental. Now listen to what is corporal tapas. (17:197-200).

Corporal Tapas: The feet of a person doing corporal tapas are always engaged in going to the temple of or going on a pilgrimage to the places of his favourite deity Shiva or Vishnu.  His hands are ever ready for decorating the front yard of the temple, for supplying the materials for performing the worship rituals and for serving God. (17:201-203).  He prostrates as soon as he sees a Shivalinga or an idol of Vishnu.  He serves brahmins who are venerable due to their learning and humility.  Or brings succour to people who are tired by travel or tortured by calamities. He sacrifices even his body for serving parents who are the best among all the holy locations.  He serves his Guru who is kind to impart knowledge and who goes and brings succour to them in this difficult world.  In the fire of Swadharma he adds the practice of yoga to remove the impurity of ego.  He makes obeisance to all creatures realising the same Soul exists in all of them.  He is always ready for helping others. He controls from time to time his desire for having sex.  Not wanting to repeat contact with a female body which he had had at the time of birth, he remains chaste all his life.  Realising that there is life in every creature he does not tread on even a blade of grass and does not break anything.  When the affairs of the body are thus purified, understand that the corporal tapas has reached perfection.  I call this corporal tapas because it is performed mainly with the body. (17:204-214).

Vocal tapas: Now I shall tell you about the pure vocal tapas. (17:215).  The speech of a person who performs this tapas is straightforward and pleases the listener without hurting him.  He speaks to one but it is beneficial to all. His words makes one shed bad thoughts and lead to realisation of the Self.  Like nectar, one does not get tired of them even after listening for a long time.  He speaks only when somebody asks him something otherwise he keeps himself busy studying Vedas or in repeating the name of God.  He has installed the three Vedas in the temple of his speech and converted it into a school of Vedas.  The name of Shiva, Vishnu or some other deity always occurs in his speech. This should be understood as the vocal tapas. (17:217-223).

Mental tapas: Now I shall also tell you the characteristics of a (person doing) mental tapas. (17:224).  Free of the entanglement of doubts his mind is engrossed in the Self.  He sees the Self as light without heat or space without vacuum.  Just as limbs numbed by cold no longer feel it, his mind, having got rid of its fickle nature, does not exist any more.  In this state he is not troubled by the strains of detachment and becomes free of greed and fear.  Only thing that remains is the realisation of the Self.  Lips which are capable of giving advice on the Shastras remain silent.  Having attained Self-realisation, mind loses its mind-ness.  In such a state, how can feelings occur in the mind? And how will the mind rush to sense pleasures through the organs?  Therefore  the mind is always free from any feelings.  Arjuna, when the mind reaches this state it is fit to be called mental  tapas. (17: 227-237).

Thus I have told you about the three kinds of tapas divided according to the aspects of body, speech and mind.  Now I shall tell you about the three types of tapas  classified according to the three attributes.  Understand it with alert mind. (17: 238-239).


Sattvic Tapas: Arjuna, perform the three types of tapas which I explained to you with total faith and without keeping any desire for the fruits from them.  When the tapas is performed with faith and pure mind sages call it Sattvictapas. (17:240-241).

Rajas tapas:  When a person, in the name of tapas, creates duality with the intention of reaching the pinnacle of greatness, desiring for himself alone and nobody else the greatest honour in the three worlds, wanting that the place of honour in meetings or parties should be his, that everybody should praise only him, meet him and venerate him with special preference, and all important pleasures should be his, makes a show of tapas for increasing self-importance, for wealth and honour, that tapas is called Rajas tapas. (17:242-247).  The tapas which is done for earning fame becomes infructuous and is wasted.  Seeing it to be infructuous, he abandons it halfway and therefore that tapas does not have stability. (17:249-250).  The Rajastapas not only is unproductive bit remains incomplete too. (17:252).

Tamasic tapas: Now if the same tapas is of Tamasic  type then one gains neither he heaven nor fame.  Due to foolishness people perform such tapas treating their body like an enemy.  They burn their body by inciting the five fires within,  Some burn myrrh on their head, some pierce themselves with hooks on their backs, some light fire around them and cause burns on their body, some perform fast at the same time holding their breath, some hang themselves upside down in smoke, some people stand immersed neck-deep in ice-cold river water on rocky floor, and some cut off pieces of flesh from own body.  The tapas thus performed by torturing the body and with the intention of destroying others is called Tamasictapas. (17:252-259).


Thus I have told you about the three types of tapas based on the three attributes. Since the occasion has arisen,  I shall also tell you about the three types of charity based upon the three attributes.  Now first listen to the characteristics of Sattvic charity. (17:263-265).

Sattvic charity: Wealth earned by behaving according to Swadharma  donated respectfully to another (is Sattvic charity).  Even when proper seed is available, land and water can be unsuitable; similar is the case with charity. (17:266-267).  Charity takes place when Sattva attribute is coincident with favourable place, time, right beneficiary and wealth. Therefore one should make efforts to choose Kurukshetra, Varanasi or some other place of similar status. At the time of charity there should be solar or lunar eclipse or some such auspicious time.  At such a place and time a person worthy of receiving charity, who is purity personified, should be found.  He should be a brahmin who is the foundation of morality and abode of the Vedas who should be given oneís wealth in charity. (17:269-275).  He should be donated land etc. with desireless attitude without expecting anything in return for it.  The person should be chosen such that there will not be any return gift of that charity. (17:277-278).  And there should be no feeling of differentiation that "I am the giver and he is the receiver.".   The charity which takes place with all these conditions fulfilled is the Sattvic charity which is the best among charities.  And the charity which occurs with the coincidence of proper place, time and worthy brahmin is faultless and just. (17:282-284).

Rajas charity: The charity made with the intention of future returns from it is of Rajas type. (17:289).  Charity made with the desire of pleasures of the after-world and of so little amount that it will not even suffice for a single meal and that too with a feeling that one has been totally robbed is of Rajas type.

Tamasic charity: Some people go to residential areas of foreigners or in jungles and forests or in camps or in public town-places in evenings or at night to give away wealth stolen at night very generously.  This too they give to jugglers, prostitutes, gamblers or witches having got attracted to them. When the beauty of the women is accompanied by their dancing skills they fall for it and the false praises sung by the praise-singers reverberate in their ears. The fragrance of the flowers and scents puts them under the spell.  Then they give away in charity what they have looted from others. I call charity of this type as Tamasic charity. (17:294-300).  There is another aspect of it.  That Tamasic person when he visits a holy place may meet due to his wealth a worthy person and swollen by pride may feel like giving him something in charity. But on account of lack of faith in him(the worthy person), he will not greet him and will not offer water and do other formalities like offering him a seat etc. let alone proper worship.  Thus the Tamasic person behaves improperly and sends him away giving him a few coins without showing him any respect.  He counts what he gives and sends him off with insults.  The charity in which only money is utilised is called Tamasic charity in this world.  Thus, I have told you about the three types of charity along with their characteristics.(17:301-308).

Thus I have told you about entities related to actions, from faith to knowledge, which are all encompassed by the three attributes. (17:313).  To explain to you the Sattva  attribute, I had to tell you about the characteristics of Raja and Tama  attributes also.  Abandoning the latter two, you achieve success by means of the Sattva attribute. Perform yajna and other duties with this Sattva attribute and you will achieve Self-realisation. (17:317-318).  Arjuna, Sattva attribute has the power to impart success but the thing that gives liberation is a different thing altogether.  Only with its help can one enter the realm of liberation. (17:319-321).  River may be big but only when it joins the main river that its waters can reach the ocean.  Now I shall explain to you how Sattva attribute can lead to liberation. (17:327).


The timeless Supreme Brahman which is the resting place of the entire universe has a name made of three parts.  Really speaking, that Brahman has neither name or caste but Vedas have given that name in order that people immersed in the darkness of ignorance should understand it.  The name to which the Supreme Brahman responds when people tortured by the sorrows of the world cry for relief is its symbolic name. (17:328-329).  With the intention that it should be possible to have a link with the non-dual formless Brahman which should appear to people in dual form, the Vedas were kind enough to find a mantra.  When called by that mantra the formless Brahman assumed form and appeared before them.  But only those people who understand Upanishads know this.  What more, Brahmadeo got the power to create the universe only by reciting this mantra once.  Before it was created, Brahmadeo was lonely and confused. He was not able to recognise me the Supreme God, neither could he create the universe.  But he got the power to create after he repeatedly recited that mantra of three syllables.  He then created brahmins and instructed them to obey the dictum of the Vedas and assigned performance of yajnas to them as the means of their earning. Next he created countless people and gave them the three worlds to live. Now listen to the characteristics of the mantra which brought greatness to Brahmadeo. The king of all syllables Aum is the first syllable,  Tat is the second and Sat is the third.  Thus, AUM Tat sat is the threefold name of this Brahman which has blossomed like a fragrant flower from the Upanishads.  If  a person adopts Sattvic behaviour by becoming one with this name then liberation is at his service.  (17:331-344).

Even if good actions are performed and the name of the Brahman uttered, one should understand the importance of its deployment i.e. systematic performance as prescribed in the Shastras (17:346), otherwise those good deeds are wasted. (17:349).  Therefore I shall tell you how to deploy the three syllable name of the Brahman. (17:353).

Deployment of Aum: The three syllables of this name of the Brahman should be deployed in the beginning in the middle and at the end of a ritual (or action) respectively.  It is by this artifice that Self-realised people attained Brahman. (17:354-355).  Those who have studied Shastras do not give up performance of yajnas and other rituals.  But in the beginning, they concentrate their mind on the syllable Aum  and utter it.  They start the ritual thus by first meditating on Aum and pronouncing it clearly. (17:358).  These self-realised persons perform yajnas at the hands of brahmins in order to propitiate the benevolent deities by offering a lot of materials earned in ways prescribed by Dharma. They perform havan (offering in fire) in prescribed ways into the three kinds of fire, viz. Ahavaniya. Garhapatya and Dakshin.  In other words they give up undesirable worldly attachments by performing various types of yajnas.  They give away in charity land and wealth to holy brahmins choosing proper time and place.  By fasting on alternate days or by observing penance during alternate months they drain their body.  Thus the rituals like yajna, charity and tapas which are known to be binding (non-liberating) when performed after pronouncing Aum facilitate the attainment of liberation. (17:360-365).  This syllable which frees one from the binding nature of the Karmas like Yajna, learning, and Tapas is uttered in their beginning.  Then, once it is seen that the actions are taking fruits the syllable Tat is used. (17:367-368).

Deployment of Tat: The Supreme Brahman which is beyond all universe and which observes everything by itself is also known as Tat.  Keeping in mind that it is the root cause of everything and meditating on it, it is pronounced clearly.  The Self-realised persons then say that may this be an offering made of all actions and their fruits to the Brahman which is in the form of Tat, and may there be left nothing of them for us to undergo their fruits.  Thus, by offering the actions to the Brahman in the form of Tat, and disclaiming their authorship of them they become disentangled. Now it may appear that the action which started with Aum and executed by Tat has reached Brahman, but that is not the end of that action because duality still remains within the doer of the action.  To assume that the action has reached Brahman itself is duality and this is what is stated by the supreme God through the Vedas.  In order that this difference he feels between himself and the Brahman should go and turn into Self-realisation, the word Sat has been reserved. When the action performed by uttering Aum and Tat reaches Brahman it has been praised as appropriate action.  It is worth hearing about the deployment of Sat in the appropriate action. (17:369-379).

Deployment of Sat: This word Sat destroys the untruth and makes the true nature of Brahman appear clearly. That Sat does not take anywhere or anytime any other form because it is ceaselessly the form of the Self. Since this visible universe is unreal it is not a part of the Sat principle. It is in the form of the Self that the Sat principle is realised. By that the appropriate action takes the form of Supreme Brahman and removes the duality in the doer to unify him with it. The action which, due to Aum and Tat becomes apparent dissolves into the form of Sat i.e. the Brahman. Thus should one understand the internal deployment of the word Sat. (17:380-385).

The word Sat is useful to Sattvic actions in another way.  Even though these good actions performed as per oneís entitlement go well, sometimes there exists some shortcoming in them. (17:387-388).  Even if an action is good it becomes evil because it lacks some quality.  At such time the Sat, with the help of Aum and Tat elevates its status With the strength of its Sattvic attribute it removes its evilness and raises it to the status of good. (17:390-392).  Due to some error, the action crosses its limits and takes an forbidden path because sometimes a person loses his way or a discerning person becomes doubtful; what is not possible in day to day life?  If by thoughtlessly the limits are crossed and the action becomes fit to be described as evil then if the word Sat is used in preference to the other two (Aum and Tat), it turns the evil action into a good one.  Its use is like that of nectar on a dead person.  When you utter the word Sat by understanding its essence then you will realise that it is nothing but the Brahman.  The letters Aumtatsat lead a seeker to the place from where the visible objects (material world) come into being.  Aumtatsat is the name which indicates the inner aspects of the pure and attributeless Brahman and it is supported also by the Brahman. (17:393-402).  Its utterance leads to attainment of the Brahman therefore it is not a name containing mere letters but the very Brahman itself. For attaining it, whatever actions you do, be it a yajna, charity or tapas, whether they be complete or incomplete, if they are given in offering to the Brahman then they take the form of the Brahman.  They no longer can be called complete or incomplete. Thus have told you about the power of the Brahman.  I also told you nicely about the deployment of each letter of the name of the Brahman.  If faith about it grows in your mind then you will be liberated from the birth and death cycles. If the action is properly completed by deploying the word Sat in the best possible manner then it will reach the status of the Vedas. (17:405-413).  But if you leave this path and obstinately perform millions of yajnas, give the entire earth filled with precious stones in charity, and perform tapas by standing on one toe for thousands of years, then all those efforts are a waste. (17:414-416).  By such actions one does not get happiness in this world then why expect that one would get in the next?  Therefore whatever actions one does without keeping faith in the name of the Brahman is nothing but a tiresome exercise. (17:421-422).


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