Tuesday, November 3, 2009
CHAPTER- XVII THE DIVISIONS OF FAITH
THE DIVISIONS OF FAITH
Arjuna asked Krishna a very important question about those who do not want to follow the regulations of scriptures but want to have their own method of worship.
Krishna explained: One’s faith can be of three kinds- in goodness (Sativa) in passion (Rajasika) and in ignorance (Tamasika).
The faith of all men conforms to their mental constitution. This man is said to be of particular faith according to the nature he has acquired.
Men of Sativa disposition worships God those of Rajasika worships demigods and demons and that of Tamasika worship the spirits of the dead and ghosts.
Men who practice hard penance of an arbitrary type not accepted by Scriptures, who are full of hypocrisy and egoism and are obsessed with desire, attachment and pride of power.
Those who understand his own position in relation with his body and Me-the Supreme Spirit dwelling in their heart know these senseless people to have demonic disposition.
Food also forms way of different form of qualities so also sacrifice, penance and charity.
Food which promotes longevity, intelligence, vigor, health, happiness and cheerfulness and which are sweet are dear to Satvika type of men.
Food which are bitter, acid, salty, over hot, pungent, dry and burning which cause suffering, grief and sickness are dear to Rajasika type of men.
Food which is half-cooked, or half-ripe, insipid, putrid, stale and polluted and which is impure is dear to Tamasika men.
The sacrifice as offered according to the Scriptures and who expect no return is satvika in character.
That sacrifices which is offered as mere a show or with an eye to its fruits is Rajasika in character.
A sacrifice, which has no respect for Scriptures offered without sacred chants and devoid of faith is Tamasika in character.
Worship of gods, the Brahmins, one’s elders, wiremen, purity and harmlessness is called bodily penance.
Words which do not hurt or annoyance, are truthful, agreeable and wholesome and follow the directions as laid down by scriptures , Vedas and sastras repeating the divine names- is called as austerity in speech.
Cheerfulness of mind, placidity, habit of contemplation on God, control of mind and perfect purity of inner feelings- all this is called austerity of the mind.
This three-fold penance performed with supreme faith by men expecting no return is called Satvika.
Penance performed for the sake of renown, honor and worship and other selfish gain yields uncertain and momentary fruits and this is Rajasika.
Austerity practiced through perversity with self-mortification is intended to harm others and this is Tamasika.
A gift bestowed with a sense of duty on one who is no benefactor and at a fit place and at suitable time and to a deserving person is pronounced as Satvika.
A gift bestowed with in a grudging spirit and with object of getting a service or reward is called Rajasika.
A gift without good grace and in a disdainful spirit, out of time and place and to undeserving person is called Tamasika.
From the beginning of creation, three words are used: OM, TAT, and SAT to indicate the Supreme Truth. These words are used by Brahmins while chanting the Vedas and during sacrifices for the satisfaction of the Supreme.
Therefore, acts of sacrifice, charity and austerity are always commenced by noble souls given to the recitation of Vedic chants with the utterance of the divine name OM.
All this belongs to God- this denoted by the application of TAT, acts of sacrifice, charity expecting no return from them.
The name of God SAT is employed in the sense of truth and goodness. So also steadfastness in sacrifice, austerity and charity.
An oblation, which is offered, a gift given, an austerity practiced and whatever deed is performed without faith will not bear anything.