Chapter 13. How to get over rajas and tamas by resorting to dharma – teaching imparted by the Lord in the form of divine swan to Sanaka and brothers – need to develop dispassion and get rid of contrarian or false knowledge.

At the beginning of the 13th chapter, the Lord explains to Uddhava that one should gradually get over the rajas and tamas by resort to dharma based on saatvik predominance. Scriptures, water, people, place, time, occupation, birth, the object of contemplation, mantra and purifactory rites-these ten are contributory to the growth of a particular guna.

Whatever men of mature judgment speak approvingly of, is unquestionably saatvik; that which they condemn is tamasik and that which they are indifferent to, is rajasik. The fire produced by the friction of bamboo stalks subsides after consuming that thicket by its flames. Likewise the knowledge generated by the heightened sattva guna gets rid of the outer senses (anthakarana) responsible for the knowledge in the first place and then, it ceases to be. Uddhava then poses a question to the Lord: how is it that men even though knowing the pleasures of sense to be the source of calamities, still, like the donkey and goat, doggedly pursue and enjoy such pleasures.?

The Lord replies that this is due to the perverted notion of “I”(with reference to the body etc) springing up in the heart of the deluded soul due to which rajas which is the root of sorrow pervades the mind; thereafter the notion arises that the object is worth enjoying and how it can be enjoyed; followed by a passion for it which is indeed difficult to arrest. Having no control over his senses and overpowered by desire, the man embarks upon actions attended with sorrow, though clearly perceiving them to as such, deluded as he is by the impetuosity of rajas.

Control of breathing as a means of composing the mind and concentrating it on the Lord is recommended. The Lord makes a reference to such yoga taught by Him to Sanaka and others. Sanaka’s question (to Brahma) was” the mind enters and clings to the sense objects and the sense objects are present in the mind in the form of latencies. This being the case, how is it possible for a seeker of liberation who is keen to reach the other shore, to take the mind away from the sense objects and the sense objects away from the mind?” The answer was provided by the Lord (as Brahma redirected the question to Him).

The mind is deeply immersed in the senses with a view to enjoying them. The Lord is the inspiration behind both the mind as well as the senses. Therefore if the mind is placed firmly in the Lord, the urge to sense enjoyments goes away.

The three states of wakefulness, dreaming and deep slumber are the creatures of prakriti. Deep slumber is ascribable to tamoguna; dreaming to rajoguna and wakefulness to sattvaguna. The jiva is distinct from these, being their witness. Bondage for the jiva in samsara is because of the functioning of the three gunas. Therefore realizing the fleeting and futile nature of samsara and taking shelter in the Lord (the Thuriya or the 4th state), one should give up the worries of samsara. Not only is it necessary to develop dispassion, but one should get rid of contrarian knowledge.

With the firm realization that the demigods Brahma downwards are powerless and dependent on Sri Hari who is the only Sovereign, Independent Potentate and who in His viswa, taijasa and prajna forms -which are non different from each other-imparts the different experiences to the living being in their waking, dreaming and deep sleep states respectively, one should give up sensual desires and the path of prohibited actions. One should thereafter enjoy the bliss of the mind that has been stilled.

One who is constantly meditating on Sri Hari and who has realized the true nature of jiva and its relationship with the Paramatman, gets rid of the false identification with the body; and does not grieve whether the body comes or goes. This is the secret of Sankhya and Yoga says the Lord.

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