Chapter 14: The Three Modes Of Material Nature

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 14.5

sattvam rajas tama iti

gunāh prakriti-sambhavāh

nibadhnanti mahā-bāho

dehe dehinam avyayam

SYNONYMS

sattvam — the mode of goodness; rajah — the mode of passion; tamah — the mode of ignorance; iti — thus; gunāh — the qualities; prakriti — material nature; sambhavāh — produced of; nibadhnantido condition; mahā-bāhoO mighty-armed one; dehein this body; dehinam — the living entity; avyayam — eternal.

TRANSLATION

Material nature consists of three modes — goodness, passion and ignorance. When the eternal living entity comes in contact with nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, he becomes conditioned by these modes.

PURPORT

The living entity, because he is transcendental, has nothing to do with this material nature. Still, because he has become conditioned by the material world, he is acting under the spell of the three modes of material nature. Because living entities have different kinds of bodies, in terms of the different aspects of nature, they are induced to act according to that nature. This is the cause of the varieties of happiness and distress.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness