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(The Book of Religion by Separation from the Qualities)
PROCLAMATION OF THE HIGHEST WISDOM
The Blessed Lord Said:
1. [And now] again I shall proclaim the highest wisdom, best of doctrines; on knowing this all sages, when they passed on hence, attained the highest prize.
2. With this wisdom as their bulwark they reached a rank [in the order of existence] equivalent to my own, and even when [the universe is once again] engendered, they are not born [again], and when [again] it is dissolved, they know no trepidation.
"GREAT BRAHMAN IS MY WOMB"
3. Great Brahman is to me a womb, in it I plant the seed: from this derives the origin of all contingent [conditioned or manifest] beings.
4. In whatever womb whatever form arises-and-grows-together, of [all] those [forms] Great Brahman is the womb, I the father, giver of the seed.
THE THREE CONSTITUENTS OF NATURE (The Trigunas)
5. Goodness (Sattva)--Passion (Rajas)--Darkness (Tamas): these are the [three] constituents (or qualities) (Trigunas) from (Material) Nature sprung that bind the embodied [self] in the body though [the self itself] is changeless.
6. Among these Goodness, being immaculate, knowing no sickness, dispenses light, [and yet] it binds by [causing the self] to cling to wisdom and to joy.
7. Passion is instinct with desire, [this] know. From craving and attachment it wells up. It binds the embodied [self] by [causing it] to cling to works.
8. But from ignorance is Darkness (inertia) born: mark [this] well. All embodied [selves] it leads astray. With fecklessness (irresponsibility, heedlessness) and sloth (laziness) and sleepiness it binds.
9. Goodness causes [a man] to cling to joy, Passion to works; but Darkness, stifling wisdom, attaches to fecklessness.
10. Once it dominates Passion and Darkness, Goodness waxes strong; so Passion and Darkness when they dominate the other two.
11. When at all the body's gates wisdom's light arises, then must you know that Goodness has increased.
12. When Passion is waxing strong, these [states] arise: greed, [purposeful] activity, committing oneself to works, disquiet, and ambition.
13. When Darkness is surging up, these [states] arise: unlighted [darkness], unwillingness to act, fecklessness, delusion.
14. But when an embodied [self] comes face to face with [the body's] dissolution and Goodness prevails, then will he reach the spotless worlds of those who know the highest.
15. [Another] goes to his demise when Passion [predominates]; he will be born among such men as cling to works: and as to him who dies when Darkness [has the upper hand], he will be born in the wombs of deluded fools.
16. Of works well done, they say, the fruits belong to Goodness, being without spot: but pain is the fruit of Passion, ignorance the fruit of Darkness.
17. From Goodness wisdom springs, from Passion greed, from Darkness fecklessness, delusion and ignorance--how not?
18. Upward is the path of those who abide in Goodness, in the middle stand the men of passion. Stuck in the modes of the vilest constituent the men of Darkness go below.
19. When the watching [self] sees there is no agent other than [these] constituents and knows what is beyond them, then will he come to [share in] that mode of being which is mine.
20. Transcending these three constituents which give the body its existence, from the sufferings of birth, death, and old age delivered, the embodied [self] wins immortality.
21. What signs, Lord, mark him out,--[this man] who has transcended those three constituents? How does he behave? And how does he step out beyond these three constituents?
THE MAN WHO HAS TRANSCENDED THE CONSTITUENTS
The Blessed Lord saud:
22. Radiance--activity--yes, delusion too,--when these arise he hates them not; and when [in turn] they cease he pines not after them.
23. As one indifferent he sits, by the constituebnts unruffled: 'So the constituents are busy': thus he thinks. Firm-based is he, unquavering.
24. The same in pleasure as in pain and self-assured, the same when faced with clods of earth or stones or gold; for him, wise man, are friend and foe of equal weight, equal the praise or blame [with which men cover him].
25. Equal [his mind] in honor and disgrace, equal to ally and to enemy, he renounces every [busy]enterprise: 'He has transcended the constituents': so must men say.
26. And as to those who do Me honor with spiritual exercise, in loyalty-and-love undeviating, passed [clean] beyond these constituents, top becoming Brahman they are conformed. For I am the base supporting Brahman,--immortal [Brahman] which knows no change,--[supporting] too the eternal law of righteousness and absolute beatitude.