|SEVENTEEN: THE THREEFOLD FAITH
“Arjuna asked: My Lord! Those who do acts of sacrifice, not according to the scriptures but
nevertheless with implicit faith, what is their condition? Is it one of Purity, of Passion or of
Lord Shri Krishna replied: Man has an inherent faith in one or another of the Qualities – Purity, Passion and Ignorance. Now listen. The faith of every man conforms to his nature. By nature he is full of faith. He is in fact what his faith makes him.
The Pure worship the true God; the Passionate, the powers of wealth and magic; the Ignorant, the spirits of the dead and of the lower orders of nature. Those who practise austerities not commanded by scripture, who are slaves to hypocrisy and egotism, who are carried away by the fury of desire and passion, They are ignorant. They torment the organs of the body; and they harass Me also, Who lives within. Know that they are devoted to evil.
The food which men enjoy is also threefold, like the ways of sacrifice, austerity and almsgiving. Listen to the distinction. The foods that prolong life and increase purity, vigour, health, cheerfulness and happiness are those that are delicious, soothing, substantial and agreeable. These are loved by the Pure.
Those in whom Passion is dominant like foods that are bitter, sour, salty, over-hot, pungent, dry and burning. These produce unhappiness, repentance and disease. The Ignorant love food which is stale, not nourishing, putrid and corrupt, the leavings of others and unclean.
Sacrifice is Pure when it is offered by one who does not covet the fruit
thereof, when it is
Sacrifice that is contrary to scriptural command, that is unaccompanied by prayers or gifts of food or money, and is without faith – that is the product of Ignorance. Worship of God and the Master; respect for the preacher and the philosopher; purity, rectitude, continence and harmlessness – all this is physical austerity.
Speech that hurts no one, that is true, is pleasant to listen to and beneficial, and the constant study of the scriptures – this is austerity in speech. Serenity, kindness, silence, self-control and purity – this is austerity of mind.
These threefold austerities performed with faith, and without
thought of reward, may
The gift which is given without thought of recompense, in the belief
that it ought to be
Those who desire deliverance begin their acts of sacrifice, austerity or
gift with the word
Whatsoever is done without faith, whether it be sacrifice, austerity or
gift or anything else,