Bhagavad Gita in English Chapter 17 The Divisions of Faith

The Divisions of Faith

Text 1: Arjuna questioned, “O Krishn, what is the state of people who worship according to their own imaginations but do not adhere to the precepts of scripture?” Are they in ignorance, passion, or goodness?

Text 2: The Supreme Personality of Godhead stated that there are three different types of faith one can have: trust in kindness, faith in passion, and faith in ignorance, depending on the modes of nature the embodied soul has inherited. Now, consider this.

Text 3: O son of Bharata, one develops a certain form of faith depending on how one exists within the many modes of nature. According to the modes that a living thing has acquired, that living thing is considered to be of a specific religion.

Text 4: Men who are good worship the gods, men who are passionate worship the demons, and men who are ignorant worship the ghosts and spirits.

Texts 5–6: Demons are those who practise extreme penances and austerities against the advice of the scriptures, doing them out of conceit and egoism, being driven by lust and attachment, being stupid, and torturing both the physical components of the body and the Supersoul residing therein.

Text 7: According to the three forms of material nature, even the food that each individual enjoys comes in three varieties. The same is true of compassion, sacrifices, and austerity. Hear about the differences between them now.

Text 8: Foods cherished by decent people lengthen life, cleanse existence, and provide strength, health, pleasure, and fulfilment. These dishes are hearty, fatty, juicy, and satisfying.

Text 9: Those who are in the mode of desire love foods that are too bitter, overly sour, salty, spicy, pungent, dry, and scorching. Such foods lead to suffering, illness, and sorrow.

Text 10: Those who are in the mode of darkness treasure food that has been prepared more than three hours before consumption, food that is flavourless, decayed, and rotten, and food made of remains and untouchable objects.

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Text 11: The sacrifice made in accordance with the instructions of scripture, out of a sense of responsibility, and by individuals who have no desire for recompense, is of a good character.

Text 12: But you, O ruler of the Bhratas, should realise that the sacrifice made for some financial gain or for the sake of pride is in the manner of passion.

Text 13: Any sacrifice made without consideration for the directives of scripture, without the provision of prasdam (spiritual nourishment), without recitation of Vedic hymns, without paying the priests, and without having faith is seen as being carried out in the manner of ignorance.

Text 14 states that physical austerity includes worshipping the Supreme Lord, the brhmaas, the spiritual master, and superiors like the mother and father, as well as maintaining cleanliness, simplicity, celibacy, and nonviolence.

Text 15: Austerity of speech entails reciting Vedic literature on a regular basis as well as expressing words that are true, pleasant, helpful, and do not agitate others.

Text 16: And the austerities of the mind are contentment, simplicity, gravity, self-control, and purity of one’s existence.

Text 17: This threefold austerity, carried out in transcendental faith by persons acting solely for the welfare of the Supreme and not with an eye toward material gain, is known as austerity in virtue.

Text 18: It is believed that penance carried out with pride and in an effort to win respect, honour, and adoration is carried out in a passionate manner. It is neither steady nor long-lasting.

Text 19: It is believed that ignorance-based penance is self-torture, self-destruction, or penance done to harm or ruin others.

Text 20: Charitable giving that is done out of obligation, without expecting anything in return, at the right time and place, and to a deserving person is seen as being in the good mode.

Text 21: However, generosity carried out in the hope of receiving anything in return, with the desire for fruitful outcomes, or with resentment in one’s heart is referred to as charity practised in the style of passion.

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Text 22: And charity done in the style of ignorance is said to be done in an unclean location, at an unclean time, to unfit people, or without due regard and respect.

Text 23: The three letters otatsat have been employed to denote the Supreme Absolute Truth from the beginning of existence. When performing sacrifices to appease the Supreme and singing Vedic hymns, brhmaas employed these three symbolic representations.

Text 24 explains that in order to reach the Supreme, transcendentalists must conduct acts of sacrifice, almsgiving, and penance in accordance with Vedic guidelines.

Text 25: With the word tat, one should offer up different forms of sacrifice, penance, and charity without expecting any immediate rewards. Such transcendental pursuits aim to liberate oneself from the shackles of the mundane world.

Texts 26–27: The term sat denotes the goal of devotional sacrifice, which is the Absolute Truth. As is true to the absolute essence of all actions of sacrifice, penance, and charity that are carried out to please the Supreme Person, O son of Pritha, the one who does them is likewise referred to as sat.

Text 28: O son of Pritha, whatsoever is done in the name of sacrifice, almsgiving, or penance without trust in the Supreme is transient. It is known as asat, and it serves no purpose in this life or the next.

You can find other chapters by clicking on the links given in the table below. (If the table is not fully visible in your mobile device then tilt your device in horizontal position and check all the links).

Bhagavad Gita in English (All Chapters)

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1 Bhagavad Gita Chapter  10
Bhagavad Gita Chapter  2 Bhagavad Gita Chapter 11
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 Bhagavad Gita Chapter  12
Bhagavad Gita Chapter  4 Bhagavad Gita Chapter 13
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 Bhagavad Gita Chapter  14
Bhagavad Gita Chapter  6 Bhagavad Gita Chapter 15
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7 Bhagavad Gita Chapter 16
Bhagavad Gita Chapter  8 Bhagavad Gita Chapter 17
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 9 Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18

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