Commentary on the Bhagavadgita
by Swami Krishnananda

Print   A- A+ Reset

Discourse 46: The Seventeenth Chapter Begins – The Threefold Character of Faith

This word ‘shastra’ went into the mind of Arjuna so strongly that it raised a doubt in his mind, which led to his question in the beginning of the Seventeenth Chapter. Ye śāstravidhim utsṛjya yajante śraddhayānvitāḥ, teṣāṁ niṣṭhā tu kā kṛṣṇa sattvam āho rajas tamaḥ (17.1): Arjuna asks, “O Lord! Those who do not follow the injunctions of the scriptures but work with faith, what do You say about them? Are they sattvic or rajasic or tamasic? Under what category do they come? Those who have intense faith and honestly do something without consulting scriptures—do You consider them as sattvic people? Are they good people or bad people? What is Your opinion?”

This is a very moot question that is raised by Arjuna, to which Sri Krishna gives a very devious answer. We have to read the meaning between the lines to make out what exactly is intended in this answer because a direct answer to the question is not given. The consequence of a direct answer seems to be there in the verses that follow, and we have to draw our own conclusions as to what would be the direct answer by reading the verses which Sri Bhagavan speaks—śrībhagavān uvāca—that follow in answer to Arjuna’s question.

Trividhā bhavati śraddhā (17.2): “You said ‘faith’. You asked about people who have faith but do not consult scriptures. Well, I shall tell you something. You said there are people with faith, but what kind of faith? There is sattvic faith, rajasic faith and tamasic faith. Therefore, we cannot unilaterally make a statement about those people who have faith. We have also to consider what kind of faith it is that they have.” Sāttvikī rājasī caiva tāmasī ceti tāṁ śṛṇu: “Now listen to me. I shall tell you what is sattvic faith, what is rajasic faith, and what is tamasic faith. According to one’s own nature, so does the faith arise in that person.”

Here a very direct answer is, to some extent, indicated. There is no use of saying, “I have a faith in this thing and, therefore, everything must be all right.” It need not be all right even if we have faith in it, because our faith may be tamasic faith or rajasic faith. It may not necessarily be the voice of what is sometimes called the inner conscience, which many people resort to and say, “My conscience says that and, therefore, I shall do it.” The tiger also has a conscience, the snake has a conscience, the scorpion has a conscience, the cannibal has a conscience, and a saint has a conscience. Do we think all these consciences are the same? Hence, there is no use merely saying, “I have a conscience, and I shall act according to it.” Our conscience will work according to the characteristic of our nature. According to what kind of person we are, from that we can know what kind of faith we may develop and how our conscience works. Therefore, we should not simply say, “My conscience says.” One may have a demoniacal conscience and, therefore, merely saying “my conscience works” is not enough. Thus, to say that faith is predominant and, therefore, scripture is not necessary is also not a proper way of looking at things, because it all depends upon what kind of faith we are referring to—whether it is sattvic, rajasic or tamasic. Depending on the character, the behaviour, the substance, and the very essence of a person, accordingly the sraddha, or the faith, is to be judged.

Sattvānurῡpā sarvasya śraddhā bhavati bhārata, śraddhāmayoyaṁ puruṣo (17.3): A human being is nothing but a bundle of faiths. Reason does not operate always. Though we think we are reasoning people and highly intellectual, we are not actually working according to intellectuality and rationality in our daily life. If we carefully observe our behaviour, we will find that we act according to instinct only. We have certain instincts, predilections, whims and fancies, emotions, desires, and we try to justify all these instincts inside by a kind of round-about intellectual argument. Therefore, there is no point in saying that one is an intellectual philosopher, one is rational, etc. No one can be wholly rational, unconditioned by an instinct characteristic of the weakness of the human mind.

Śraddhāmayoyaṁ puruṣaḥ: So faith, of course, is embodied in a person. Whatever we do is according to our faith, not necessarily according to our considered reason. Yo yacchraddhaḥ sa eva saḥ: As our faith is, so is our person. Whatever we do, whatever we speak, whatever we think, the manner in which we behave, and the ideology that we hold aloft before us are some indications as to what kind of person we are, and are indications as to what kind of faith a person is entertaining—yo yacchraddhaḥ sa eva saḥ.

Briefly, in only two verses, the answer to Arjuna comes like a bombshell. This set of two verses is very concentrated, on which one could write a monograph explaining the implications of every word that is used. Though the answer seems to be only in two verses, it is a complete answer, I should say, in the pregnant expression of these two verses.

Now the Lord goes into details of the manner in which sattvic, rajasic and tamasic faiths operate. Sattvic people adore the gods in heaven. Ganesha, Devi, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Lord Siva, Vishnu, Narayana, Siva, Skanda are the gods whom they worship if their mind is sattvic. Nara-Narayana, Vyasa, Vasishtha—these are their adored beings. Yajante sāttvikā devān (17.4): Lofty transcendent realities are the objects of people who are sattvic in their nature.

Yakṣarakṣāṁsi rājasāḥ: Rajasic people worship demoniacal, lower spirits which are likely to bless them with immediate results and then possess them and keep them under subjection. Yakshas, rakshasas and demigods are the objects of worship of people who are entirely rajasic, because they cannot wait for the blessings of a god in heaven. They want immediate results to follow, so they go to lesser divinities. But people with tamasic qualities worship actual demons—bhutas, pretas and spirits who hang in the air, working through Ouija boards and planchets, summoning dead people who speak through those who make this their profession. Pretān bhῡtagaṇāñś cānye yajante tāmasā janāḥ: This is the tamasic way of living, where the lower spirits are considered as objects of adoration. Bhutas and pretas are their objects of worship.

aśāstravihitaṁ ghoraṁ tapyante ye tapo janāḥ,
dambhāhaṁkārasaṁyuktāḥ kāmarāgabalānvitāḥ
(17.5).
karṣayantaḥ śarīrasthaṁ bhῡtagrāmam acetasaḥ,
māṁ caivāntaḥśarīrasthaṁ tān viddhy āsuraniścayān
(17.6).

There are people who appear to be very religious, and practice austerities of an intensely painful nature for the purpose of showing to people that they are highly evolved individuals. These tortures in the name of religious austerities are not prescribed by the Shastras, or scriptures. They are terrific in their nature. Those people who adopt this kind of behaviour in the name of religion but are motivated by their inner vanity, egoism, desire for approbation from people, with an eye to the fruit or result that may follow from this kind of tapasya, torturing the inner soul, are completely deluded. Such people are to be considered as asura nischayat. They behave like rakshasas on account of the preponderance of an intensely rajasic nature with a touch of tamas.

Even the food that we eat is of three kinds. It can be classified into sattva, rajas and tamas. Ᾱhāras tv api sarvasya trividho bhavati priyaḥ, yajñas tapas tathā dānaṁ teṣāṁ bhedam imaṁ śṛṇu (17.7): “There are three kinds of food—sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. There are three kinds of sacrifice—sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. There are three kinds of tapas, or austerity—sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. There are three kinds of charity, or philanthropy, which are also classifiable into sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. I shall tell you what these classified forms are.”

That kind of food which energises the system, which contributes to the enhancement of life, which increases strength in the body, which ensures health, which is delighting to the taste and enjoyable at all times, which is full of delicacy and the heart opens up, as it were, when we eat such food—that food is sattvic. Ᾱyuḥsattvabalārogyasukhaprītivivardhanāḥ, rasyāḥ snigdhāḥ sthirā hṛdyā āhārāḥ sāttvikapriyāḥ (17.8): A sattvic diet is that which delights us by even thinking of it, delights us when we actually take it, and delights us even after we have taken it. An alcoholic drink may delight us in the beginning, but it will lead us to sorrow afterwards. But a sattvic diet will be delightful in the beginning, in the middle, as well as in the end.

A rajasic diet is irritating, biting, burning, and very harsh in its action on the system. It causes a burning sensation at the time of eating it, and it affects the stomach, and it may even create a stomach ulcer. These diets are very much desired by people who are rajasic in their nature. But tamasic people want another kind of food. They do not want freshly cooked food; they only want yesterday’s food. “You have brought food that was cooked today. No, I can’t take it. I want food that was cooked yesterday.” They would rather have leftovers from yesterday than freshly cooked food. Yātayāmaṁ (17.9) refers not to food cooked yesterday but to food that has been cooked some three or four hours earlier. That also is considered as a tamasic diet. Gatarasaṁ is food whose taste has gone because it has been kept too long. Pῡti is food that is not pleasant to the taste and is almost stinking. Paryuṣitaṁ is food which was cooked yesterday. Ucchiṣṭam is the leftovers from somebody’s meal. That should not be eaten. Amedhyaṁ is very impure food, kept in a dirty place, cooked by a dirty man in a dirty manner, with an impure mind, with emotions of unhappiness, tension, anger, and dislike. Food cooked by such persons should not be eaten. This is tamasic food.

Now the Lord goes into details of sattvic sacrifices, rajasic sacrifices, tamasic sacrifices, and the threefold classification of every blessed item in this world.

Faith is of the nature of the quality that is predominant in a person—namely, sattva, rajas and tamas. While going to greater detail on this subject, various other things were mentioned about the three kinds of food, the three kinds of tapas, the three kinds of worship, etc.

Aphalāṅkṣibhir yajño vidhidṛṣṭo ya ijyate, yaṣṭavyam eveti manaḥ samādhāya sa sāttvikaḥ (17.11): That sacrifice can be called sattvic sacrifice which is performed by those who expect no particular fruit to follow from that performance. They do this sacrifice according to rules laid down in the Vedas and the Brahmana scriptures, and perform these sacrifices merely because it is obligatory on their part to do these sacrifices. These obligatory sacrifices have been described in the Fourth Chapter—daivam evāpare yajñaṁ yoginaḥ paryupāsate (4.25), etc., which we have already studied. Because it is obligatory, it must be done. It is a duty to do this kind of sacrifice.

There are varieties of sacrifice. We may bring back to our memory the details given in the Fourth Chapter. In this chapter, and also in the following chapter, a brief statement is made as to what actually is obligatory sacrifice. Obligatory sacrifice is mentioned as threefold: yajna, dana and tapas.

“It has to be done, and therefore, I shall do it.” Mostly, we do sacrifice because we are forced to do it due to certain circumstantial pressure. Voluntary sacrifice is what is intended here; we do not do it reluctantly or avoid it if we can.

The sacrifices mentioned here are external as well as internal. External sacrifices are those which are enjoined upon a good householder, which he continues to perform right from the time of his marriage until his death. He maintains three fires, called dakshinagni, ahavaniya and garhapatya. Garhapatya, dakshinagni, ahavaniya are the three forms of holy fire which are lit at the time of marriage, and they are always kept burning. It is with that fire that the person’s cremation is supposed to be performed because the belief, as ordained in the scriptures, is that fire will take him up to the higher realms. So we have to do it.

Another obligatory sacrifice is sandhya vandana, early morning prayers—Gayatri japa and prayer to the sun—which have to be done three times, or two times, or at least once. Sandhya vandana is an obligatory sacrifice, we may say, because it is a spiritual dedication before the great Lord of the universe, Suryanarayana Bhagavan, who is indwelt by Narayana, the spiritual Supreme Reality itself. Examples of obligatory sacrifices for householders are sandhya vandana or pancha devata puja.

The pancha devatas are Adhithyam, Ambikam, Vishnum, Gananatham, and Maheswaram. Aditya is Surya, Ambika is Devi, Vishnu is Narayana, Gananatham is Ganesh, and Maheswaram is Siva. These five are supposed to be the great gods whom every householder worships as the pancha devata puja. It is from among these great gods that the person chooses one as his ishta devata; and the image or the idol of that particular devata is kept in the centre, surrounded by the other gods. If he is a devotee of Vishnu, he places the idol of Vishnu in the centre with the other idols surrounding it. If he is a devotee of Lord Siva, a lingam is placed in the middle with the other images around it. If he is a devotee of Suryanarayana, he has a sphatika lingam as the central object of worship. If he is a Devi bhakta, he has a yantra which will be worshipped in the middle, and the other the gods will be outside, etc. Hence, there are performances which are obligatory and have to be done every day—such as sandhya vandana, Gayatri japa, pancha devata puja, and worship of the three fires. They are imperative, they have to be done, and one does them because they must be done.

Yaṣṭavyam eveti manaḥ samādhāya sa sāttvikaḥ: We do it because it has to be done; it is our obligatory duty to do it, and we cannot desist from doing it. But if that yajna, that sacrifice, is voluntarily—not compulsorily—done for our own benefit and for everybody’s benefit, then it becomes sattvic. But it should be done without expecting any result. We should not ask God to give us a long life, and so on. We should ask God to grace us and bless us. When the great Narasimha manifested himself and told the devotee Prahlada to ask for a boon, the little boy said, “Bless me with that which is best for me.” Then, naturally, the ball is in the court of God Himself. He cannot give us anything but the best. The Lord said, “I give you devotion to Me. I consider that as the best.”

Aphalāṅkṣibhir yajño vidhidṛṣṭaḥ. Here, so many conditions are given for the performance of obligatory duty. One thing is that we should not expect any ulterior fruit to follow from the performance of our duty. Then it ceases to be a duty. It becomes a mercenary action, a job for salary. That cannot be regarded as sattvic yajna. It should be performed for the pleasure of God, the satisfaction of the deity which we are worshipping. Also, it should be done according to the rules and regulations laid down in the scriptures. It should not be done in a slipshod manner or in any manner we like, without any system and without knowing what mantra is to be chanted, at what time, for which deity. If the performance is done properly, it is wonderful, highly beneficial, and it is considered as sattvic.

Abhisaṁdhāya tu phalaṁ dambhārtham api caiva yat, ijyate bharataśreṣṭha taṁ yajñaṁ viddhi rājasam (17.12): That performance is called rajasic which is undertaken merely for the fruit that follows, the result that comes out of it. “Something very advantageous will accrue if I do this.” The eye is only on the advantage that will accrue and not on the means, which is the worship or the sacrifice. The puja is done by hurriedly mumbling something, because some great blessing will come from that deity. The blessing is the important thing, and the manner of worship is not important. The mind is concentrated only on the result that follows, and is filled with vanity—that kind of sacrifice is rajasic. Puja that is selfishness oriented, fruit oriented, and not done according to the ordinance of scriptures is rajasic because it is motivated by a distraction of the mind. It is especially defective on account of there being no devotion to the means of worship; the devotion is only to that which will follow from the worship.

Vidhihīnam asṛṣṭānnaṁ mantrahīnam adakṣiṇam, śraddhāvirahitaṁ yajñaṁ tāmasaṁ paricakṣate (17.13): Tamasic sacrifice, tamasic worship, tamasic yajna is that which is done contrary to prescribed rules and is totally oblivious to the regulations laid down in the Vedas, the Brahmanas and the Smritis, or even by tradition, and is bereft of charity. No offering is made to the deity, and no proper mantra is chanted, and no fee is given to the performer of the sacrifice. It is an unthinkably defective way of approaching things. The desired result will not follow. An example is a person who employs a pandit—a yajamana who engages a saint or a purohita for the performance of a worship—and does not properly respect him, does not give him his due, and he concentrates only on what he will get out of it, and not on the pleasure of the gods or the satisfaction of the deity whom he is invoking through the sacrifice. And he is faithless; inwardly, he has no faith in the very performance itself. “If something comes, well and good; and if nothing comes, that is also all right. I will pray to God, if God is there. If He doesn’t exist, that’s not a loss to me. O God, if there is a God, come and help me.” O God, if there is a God. If God is not there, we do not lose anything by the utterance of a few words.

Faithless performance is tamasic performance. When our heart is not in a thing, we are also not in that thing. Where our heart is, there we are; and if we ourselves are not there, what is the good of doing anything? We have to be present in the deed that we perform, we have to ‘be’ in the worship that we offer, and we have to ‘be’ in the meditation that we undertake every day. Whatever is manifesting itself from us is ensouled by us. That is, if we stand outside the performance, the performance becomes a corpse, a skeleton. It is without life because we have stood outside it. But if we have entered into it, the action itself is enlivened by our soul. We are entirely in it; then it is that the action becomes a real sacrifice. Where we are not in the work, it ceases to be a sacrifice. To the extent we are involved in the work, to that extent it is a sacrifice. If we are wholly involved in it, and we are not separable from the work that we are doing—we ourselves are the work, as it were—then it is the highest sacrifice, and it will bring us the best of benefits. Else, it is tamasic.

Devadvijaguruprājñapῡjanaṁ śaucam ārjavam, brahma- caryam ahiṁsā ca śārīraṁ tapa ucyate (17.14). Yajna is of three kinds, which have been mentioned. Now we are being told that tapas is also of three kinds. Physical tapas, verbal tapas, and mental tapas are distinguished here by their own peculiar qualities. Worship of gods, worship of learned Brahmins, worship of the Guru, worship of wise persons, knowers of Brahman, purity inside and outside, straightforwardness of behaviour, self-restraint, ahimsa or non-injury to living beings—these are austerities of the body. We physically prostrate ourselves before the divinity whom we are adoring every day in worship, we prostrate ourselves before great men, divine people, preceptors, together with an internal self-restraint that we exercise on our own self, maintaining a purity of conduct and motive inwardly and outwardly—if this could be done, the body is performing a tapas. Physical discipline is described here as adoration of divinities, adoration of gods, adoration of learned, wise, spiritual preceptors, self-restraint, control of the ten sense organs, purity, and straightforwardness. If this can be maintained, we are physically restraining ourselves entirely.

Our speech also has to be restrained. In the same way as there is a restraint of the body by discipline of this kind, there has to be a discipline of the speech. Anudvegakaraṁ vākyaṁ satyaṁ priyahitaṁ ca yat, svādhyāyābhyasanaṁ caiva vāṅmayaṁ tapa ucyate (17.15): The discipline of the speech is considered to be that which is pleasing, which does not agitate the mind of the person who hears it, which is very beneficial, kind and sweet, and is also truthful and not camouflaged with any kind of untruth—purely factual, verbal expression, which is very dear and happy to hear, and good for the people who hear it. There is also daily study of the holy scriptures, svādhyāya. As we have discipline of the body, there is discipline of speech. What are these? They are sweet speech—not speaking like a thorn pricking people—truthful speech, kind speech, beneficial speech, and daily study of holy scriptures for our own inner illumination. The svādhyāya of the Veda Samhitas, patha of Ramayana, Bhagavata, Bhagavadgita, etc., all come under svādhyāya yajña, by which we purify and discipline our speech.

Manaḥprasādaḥ saumyatvaṁ maunam ātmavinigrahaḥ, bhāvasaṁśuddhir ity etat tapo mānasam ucyate (17.16): There is also mental tapas. The discipline of the mind is mental tapas—calmness, composure, satisfaction, happiness, contentment inside. Such a person is always happy, contented, and asks for nothing. “Everything is well with me. I want nothing. I am always very happy. I need nothing.” This kind of inner satisfaction is called manaḥprasādaḥ.

Saumyatvaṁ—we must be very composed in our behaviour, delightful for people to see, not putting on an agitated look. If we are very graceful in our behaviour, it is saumyatvaṁ.

We should not speak unless it is necessary to speak. Where it is necessary to speak, we speak. Where it is not called for on our behalf to speak, we do not speak. There are people who butt in. If two people are speaking, a third man comes and butts in, and says something else and spoils the entire talk. We should not interfere. We should not speak at all unless it is obligatory on our part to speak at a given moment. It is necessary for us to speak at this moment; therefore, we speak. When speaking is unwarranted and we can keep quiet, we should hold our tongue, and maintain peace in our mind. That is maunam.

Ᾱtmavinigrahaḥ is self-control—the restraint of the lower self by the higher self. Concentrating on the Universality of our selfhood puts a restraint or check on our lower, instinctive self. That is ātmavinigrahaḥ.

Bhāvasaṁ-śuddhiḥ: Our motive should always be pure. When we do an action, we must have a pure motive for the benefit of somebody. It does good to some person; it is doing good to at least one person, if not more. And if it does good to the whole of humanity, to the entire mankind, very good. It does good to the family, to the community, to the nation, or at least it does good to one person—that much is indicative of a pure motive. But if it is a concentration of the mind on our own personal, selfish welfare—let anything happen to others, we are not at all concerned with what is happening in the atmosphere around, but we very much are concerned with our own personal, physical welfare—if we are so selfish, then there is impurity in the mind. The unselfishness that characterises our motive is bhāvasaṁ-śuddhiḥ. This is mental tapas. Thus, we have here a description of three kinds of austerities—physical, verbal and mental.

Śraddhayā parayā taptaṁ tapas tat trividhaṁ naraiḥ, aphalākāṅkṣibhir yuktaiḥ sāttvikaṁ paricakṣate (17.17): Sattvic tapas is attended with intense faith that it will bring the noble fruit of inner spiritual illumination, and not because it will bring some material benefit. Spiritual aspiration is always a movement of our consciousness towards the higher values of life which are God-oriented in every way and, therefore, the question of expecting some material benefit out of our performance is totally out of point. If this tapas or worship is done with no such eye on fruit that is material in its nature, and is undertaken for the salvation of our soul finally, then the worship or tapas is considered to be sattvic.

Satkāramānapῡjārthaṁ tapo dambhena caiva yat, kriyate tad iha proktaṁ rājasaṁ calam adhruvam (17.18): Fickle-minded people with no concentration whatsoever, with no understanding, with no knowledge of what they are doing at all, who are idiotic in their attitude and cause suffering to themselves as well as to others, and perhaps even harm other people—if that kind of undertaking is our desire, we should be considered as tamasic. Satkāramānapῡjārthaṁ tapo dambhena caiva yat, kriyate tad iha proktaṁ rājasaṁ calam adhruvam: If we do sacrifice for respect, for gaining recognition from people, and for ostentation, it is rajasic; but if we do it for harming people, if our sacrifice is not motivated by pious intentions, then it is tamasic.

Dātavyamnow comes charity. There are three kinds of charity—sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. Dātavyam iti yad dānaṁ dīyatenupakāriṇe, deśe kāle ca pātre ca tad dānaṁ sāttvikaṁ smṛtam (17.20): When we do charity, we should give to that person from whom we expect nothing, or rather, from whom we cannot expect anything. If we help a person from whom we cannot expect any kind of recompense—we may not get even a word of thanks from that person, yet we help that person—that is prattyupakārārthaṁ, expecting no recompense to follow from the good deed that we perform. We should not expect our charity to bring us something visible. We will be blessed by the divinities that rule the world. That will be enough for us. Unless we do that, it will not be real charity.

We must give in charity because it is necessary under that condition. We feel for the suffering of another because that person is deprived of physical, mental or social needs. If a person does have access to even the minimum needs of life, and we are in a position to help that person merely because it is good to be of assistance to people of that kind, that would be sattvic charity; and again, anupakāriṇe—we should not expect anything from that person.

Sattvic charity has to be given in the proper place, at the proper time, and to the proper person. Three conditions are there in order that charity may be sattvic. We should not give charity at a wrong place where it will be disturbing either to ourselves or to others; it has to be given at the proper time, and not when the person is not in the proper mood to receive it; and he must be a really deserving person, and not a person who does not need our gesture of goodwill. Deśe kāle ca pātre ca: If all these conditions are fulfilled, we give charity or express a gesture of goodwill because it is to be done in the case of a person who needs it, in the proper place, at the proper time, and to the proper person—that charity, that gesture of goodwill of ours, that kindness, the mercy that we show, is sattvic in its nature.

Yat tu prattyupakārārthaṁ (17.21): If we give in charity because something will come out of it, because if we give something a double benefit will follow—that cannot be regarded as real charity, because we expect something from the good that we do. It cannot be called a really good deed. Phalam uddiśya vā punaḥ: Because we always concentrate on what follows from this little sacrifice that we have performed, it is not real sacrifice.

Dīyate ca parikliṣṭaṁ: If we give charity with great difficulty, reluctantly, niggardly, throw it at the face of a man and say, “Go! Don’t come again!” it is not charity. Dīyate ca parikliṣṭaṁ is when we give charity with great reluctance and sorrow inside. “Hey, the wretchedest thing has come. Here. Go!” We must offer help with delight in our heart, with satisfaction in our mind, seeing divinity in things, as God manifests in that person who is requiring assistance from us. The kind of charity that is done with an eye on fruit, or what we expect from somebody else, and is done with reluctance, is rajasic charity.

Adeśakāle yad dānam apātrebhyaś ca dīyate, asatkṛtam avajñātaṁ tat tāmasam udāhṛtam (17.22): If we offer something in a wrong place, at a wrong time and to a wrong person, without understanding the pros and cons of it, if it is totally out of place and unwarranted—that kind of gesture on our part, the work that we do, the charity, whatever we do which is blunderous in its effect, should be considered as tamasic. That is the worst kind of charity.

In the verses that follow, we shall be taken to a very lofty thought of the highest kind of contemplation on the Supreme Being. Om Tat Sat will be described—what it means, and how we have to meditate upon it. We shall discuss its meaning, etc., next time.