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Bhagvad-Gita: Treatise of self-help

by BS Murthy

                                                                      <<Back to Chapter 16

Chapter-17: Science of Devotion

This chapter of 28 slokas, known as sraddhaa traya vibhaaga yoga, Threefold Devotion, deals with the spiritual and temporal aptitudes of man. S11-s13 that deal with the virtuous, the passionate and the deluded in ritualistic sense and s 23 -28 concerning Om, Tat, Sat and Asat of the Vedic hymns are clear interpolations for reasons the reader is familiar with.

However, s7-s10 that deal with the food habits of the virtuous, the passionate and the deluded would pose a problem in determining whether or not they are interpolations. Can eating habits be linked to the innate nature of man in an infallible manner? Perhaps, some future research and analysis might resolve the universality or otherwise of this averment, and till then, it is appropriate to reserve the judgment on these.

1

Thus spoke Arjuna:

None the regard for scriptures

Who tend to manage life their well

What Thou say of such of beings

Virtuous, passionate or merely deluded.

2     

Thus spoke the Lord:

Itís oneís nature that tends him

To be virtuous, passionate, or delued.

3     

Beings all have faith in some

It's one's nature that shapes it.

4     

Virtuous seek gods in worship 

Opt passionate to humour ghosts     

Turn all deluded towards the Hades.

5     

Hoping for there all to gain

Indulge vain in austerities

Though not endorsed by scriptures.

6     

Itís in delusion they all fast

Emaciating frames of theirs,

Thus in foolishness they all 

Famish Mine own Self in them.

7

As with habits so with palates

Come to tend all in three ways.

8

Opt virtuous all recipes fine

Sustain health ín enhance strength.

9     

Hot ín spicy, and pungent,

Prefer food passionate that ill-suits.

10   

Food of deluded is all stale

Long in storage, and impure. 

15   

Rings with truth ín laced with warmth

It's speech austere thatís well-meaning.

16

Simple ín stoic

Kind and candid

Itís mind austere 

With self-control.

17   

Wanting none

Never in turn,

Done in concern

Deed itís austere.

18       

Itís in pretension passionate live

Eye they have on name ín fame.

19   

With troubled mind all deluded live

Hurt themselves ín others as well.

20   

Virtuous deed is that extends

Helping hand to one in need

Guided by the zeal to serve.   

21   

Deed passionate is quid pro quo

Ever done with some end in mind. 

22

Aiding dubious with disdain

Itís deed deluded that lacks goal.

 

Ends thus:

Science of Devotion,

The Seventeenth Chapter  

Of Bhagavad-Gita,

Treatise of self-help.

    

(cont...)

  <<Back to Chapter 16

Introduction  Chapter 1   Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4   

Chapter 5    Chapter 6  Chapter 7  Chapter 8    Chapter 9  

Chapter 10 Chapter 11   Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 

Chapter 15  Chapter 16  Chapter 17  Chapter 18

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