CHAPTER XIV Krishna. Yet farther will I open unto thee This wisdom of all wisdoms, uttermost, The which possessing, all My saints have passed To perfectness. On such high verities Reliant, rising into fellowship With Me, they are not born again at birth Of Kalpas, nor at Pralyas suffer change! This Universe the womb is where I plant Seed of all lives! Thence, Prince of India, comes Birth to all beings! Whoso, Kunti’s Son! Mothers each mortal form, Brahma conceives, And I am He that fathers, sending seed! Sattwan, Rajas, and Tamas, so are named The qualities of Nature, “Soothfastness,” “Passion,” and “Ignorance.” These three bind down The changeless Spirit in the changeful flesh. Whereof sweet “Soothfastness,” by purity Living unsullied and enlightened, binds The sinless Soul to happiness and truth; And Passion, being kin to appetite, And breeding impulse and propensity, Binds the embodied Soul, O Kunti’s Son! By tie of works. But Ignorance, begot Of Darkness, blinding mortal men, binds down Their souls to stupor, sloth, and drowsiness. Yea, Prince of India! Soothfastness binds souls In pleasant wise to flesh; and Passion binds By toilsome strain; but Ignorance, which blots The beams of wisdom, binds the soul to sloth. Passion and Ignorance, once overcome, Leave Soothfastness, O Bharata! Where this With Ignorance are absent, Passion rules; And Ignorance in hearts not good nor quick. When at all gateways of the Body shines The Lamp of Knowledge, then may one see well Soothfastness settled in that city reigns; Where longing is, and ardour, and unrest, Impulse to strive and gain, and avarice, Those spring from Passion–Prince!–engrained; and where Darkness and dulness, sloth and stupor are, ‘Tis Ignorance hath caused them, Kuru Chief! Moreover, when a soul departeth, fixed In Soothfastness, it goeth to the place– Perfect and pure–of those that know all Truth. If it departeth in set habitude Of Impulse, it shall pass into the world Of spirits tied to works; and, if it dies In hardened Ignorance, that blinded soul Is born anew in some unlighted womb. The fruit of Soothfastness is true and sweet; The fruit of lusts is pain and toil; the fruit Of Ignorance is deeper darkness. Yea! For Light brings light, and Passion ache to have; And gloom, bewilderments, and ignorance Grow forth from Ignorance. Those of the first Rise ever higher; those of the second mode Take a mid place; the darkened souls sink back To lower deeps, loaded with witlessness! When, watching life, the living man perceives The only actors are the Qualities, And knows what rules beyond the Qualities, Then is he come nigh unto Me! The Soul, Thus passing forth from the Three Qualities– Whereby arise all bodies–overcomes Birth, Death, Sorrow, and Age; and drinketh deep The undying wine of Amrit. Arjuna. Oh, my Lord! Which be the signs to know him that hath gone Past the Three Modes? How liveth he? What way Leadeth him safe beyond the threefold Modes? Krishna. He who with equanimity surveys Lustre of goodness, strife of passion, sloth Of ignorance, not angry if they are, Not wishful when they are not: he who sits A sojourner and stranger in their midst Unruffled, standing off, saying–serene– When troubles break, “These be the Qualities!” He unto whom–self-centred–grief and joy Sound as one word; to whose deep-seeing eyes The clod, the marble, and the gold are one; Whose equal heart holds the same gentleness For lovely and unlovely things, firm-set, Well-pleased in praise and dispraise; satisfied With honour or dishonour; unto friends And unto foes alike in tolerance; Detached from undertakings,–he is named Surmounter of the Qualities! And such– With single, fervent faith adoring Me, Passing beyond the Qualities, conforms To Brahma, and attains Me! For I am That whereof Brahma is the likeness! Mine The Amrit is; and Immortality Is mine; and mine perfect Felicity!
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