Bhagavad Gita Teachings- Chapter 14: Rise Above The 3 Modes

Bhagavad Gita Teachings- Chapter 14: Rise Above The 3 Modes

Mode of Goodness, Mode of Passion and Mode of Ignorance are three modes of nature that bind soul to the body (Verse 5)

Binding soul to the body results in soul being reborn on this earth

All of us have Varying Degrees of these Modes of Nature

Mode of Goodness attaches one to happiness and Mode of Passion to actions. Mode of Ignorance veils wisdom and attaches one to delusion (Verse 9)

Sometimes Mode of Goodness dominates over that of Passion and Ignorance, sometimes Mode of Passion over Goodness and Ignorance, and sometimes Mode of Ignorance over Passion and Goodness (Verse 10)

Results of actions done in Mode of Goodness bring positive outcome; those done in Mode of Passion bring sorrow, and those done in Mode of Ignorance bring lack of wisdom (Verse 16)

From Mode of Goodness comes wisdom, from Mode of Passion greed, and from Mode of Ignorance comes imprudence and neglect (Verse 17)

Those operating in Mode of Goodness rise upwards to higher realms, those operating in Mode of Passion stay in the middle on earth, and those operating in Mode of Ignorance go downwards towards lower realms (Verse 18)

Mode of Goodness (Sattva)

Mode of Sattva is the purest. It is illuminating and without sadness. Attachment to happiness and wisdom of this mode binds soul to the body (Verse 6)

Mode of Goodness exists when knowledge permeates the body (Verse 11)

Those who die when this mode is prevalent, they are reborn in the home of pure and learned (Verse 14)

Mode of Passion (Rajas)

Mode of Rajas comes from desires. Attachment to fruits of actions from this mode binds soul to the body (Verse 7)

When Mode of Passion dominates, there is greed, unease, yearnings and arduous effort to do actions that bring fruitive results (Verse 12)

Those who die when this mode is prevalent, they are reborn among people who are action driven (Verse 15….)

Mode of Ignorance (Tamas)

Mode of Tamas is born of ignorance and causes delusion.  Attachment to carelessness, laziness and sleeping from this mode binds soul to the body (Verse 8)

When Mode of Ignorance dominates, lack of wisdom, lethargy, negligence and delusion manifest in the body (Verse 13)

Those who die when this mode is prevalent, they are reborn among lowly (contd…Verse 15)

A Wise Person Overcomes these Modes of Nature

Those who are wise, understand that it is these three modes of nature that control actions, and that God is above these modes (Verse 19)

By overcoming these modes of nature, they attain freedom from the cycle of birth, death, old age and misery (Verse 20)

Those Who Rise Above The Three Modes

They do not hate or crave the presence of any of these three modes of nature (Verse 22)

They are neutral towards these modes and not agitated by them. They are steadily secure in their self, knowing that it is only the modes that source action (Verse 23)

They are secure in themselves; same in sadness and joy; value equally a slab, a stone and a piece of gold. They remain steady and equal in agreeable and disagreeable situations, in respect and disrespect and in compliment and censure. Renouncing all undertakings, they are same with a friend and an enemy (Verse 24 & 25)

Those who serve me with pure devotion, overcome these three modes, and achieve my divine stature (Verse 26)

I am the infinite and indestructible Brahman, and the foundation of everlasting dharma and ceaseless bliss (Verse 27)

Total Verses in this Chapter: 27

Words of Import:

I, me, Absolute Truth, Supreme Being, Supreme Soul, God, Divine, Brahman,Universal ConsciousnessShri Krishna – are all used interchangeably.


has a symbolic as well as a literal meaning. Literally it means a ritual where offerings are made to fire, hymns are chanted and deities are invoked for fulfillment of personal or community desires; or to thank God or to seek God’s blessings. Symbolically, Yagna signifies that we have to do our part (offering/action) in other to obtain something (blessing or fulfillment), with the latter not being guaranteed.


The word “Yog” is derived from a Sanskrit word “Yuj” which means to join. In Hindu scriptures, yoga means joining or uniting the soul within the individual with that of the universal soul (God). The common usage of yoga as physical exercise is just a subset of the practice of Yoga, which includes disciplines of meditation and mode of conduct among others. It is believed that practice of all these disciplines make a person ready for unification with the Supreme Being.


refers to our duty as it does to the intent behind our actions. According to Hinduism, every living being has their own personal dharma which may or may not be the same as of others. This dharma is based on one’s situation or circumstance in life. 


is action as well as the result of the action. Its meaning depends on its context.


is liberation from the cycle of birth and death.


“Bhagavad Gita As It Is” by Swami Prabhupada

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