Friday, April 1, 2011

Lecture (Chapter) 17: Of Faith Divided into Three Species.

(Numbers in parentheses refer to the numbered notes below them, also in parentheses.)


What is the guide of those men, who, although they neglect the precepts of the Sāstră, yet worship with faith? Is it the Sătwă, the Răjă, or the Tămă-Gŏŏn?


The faith of mortals is of three kinds, and is produced from the constitution. It is denominated after the three Gŏŏn, Sātwăkēē, Rājăsēē, or Tāmăsēē. Hear what these are. The faith of every one is a copy of that which is produced from the Sătwă-Gŏŏn. The mortal Pŏŏrŏŏsh being formed with faith, of whatever nature he may be, with that kind of faith is he endued. Those who are of the disposition which ariseth from the Sătwă-Gŏŏn worship the Dēws; those of the Răjă-Gŏŏn the Yăkshăs, and the Răkshăs; and those of the Tămă-Gŏŏn worship the departed spirits and the tribe of Bhōōts. Those men who perform severe mortifications of the flesh, not authorized by the Sāstră, are possessed of hypocrisy and pride, and overwhelmed with lust, passion, and tyrannic strength. Those fools torment the spirit that is in the body, and myself also who am in them. Know what are the resolutions of those who are born under the influence of the evil spirit.

There are three kinds of food which are dear unto all men. Worship, zeal (113), and charity are each of them also divided into three species. Hear what are their distinctions.

(113 Zeal, in the vulgar acceptation of the word, signifies the voluntary infliction of pain, the modes of doing which, as practised to this day by the zealots of India, are as various as they are horrible and astonishing. Krĕĕshnă, by pointing out what true zeal is, tacitly condemns those extravagant mortifications of the flesh.)

The food that is dear unto those of the Sătwă-Gŏŏn is such as increases their length of days, their power and their strength, and keeps them free from sickness, happy and contented. It is pleasing to the palate, nourishing, permanent, and congenial to the body. It is neither too bitter, too sour, too salt, too hot, too pungent, too astringent, nor too inflammable. The food that is coveted by those of the Răjă-Gŏŏn giveth nothing but pain and misery: and the delight of those in whom the Tămă-Gŏŏn prevaileth, is such as was dressed the day before, and is out of season; hath lost its taste, and is grown putrid; the leavings of others, and all things that are impure.

That worship which is directed by divine precept, and is performed without the desire of reward, as necessary to be done, and with an attentive mind, is of the Sătwă-Gŏŏn.

The worship which is performed with a view to the fruit, and with hypocrisy, is of the Tămă-Gŏŏn.

The worship which is performed without regard to the precepts of the law, without the distribution of bread, without the usual invocations, without gifts to the Brāhmăns at the conclusion, and without faith, is of the Răjă-Gŏŏn.

Respect to the Dēws, to Brāhmăns, masters, and learned men; chastity, rectitude, the worship of the Deity, and a freedom from injury, are called bodily zeal.

Gentleness, justness, kindness, and benignity of speech, and attention to one’s particular studies, are called verbal zeal.

Content of mind, mildness of temper, devotion, restraint of the passions, and a purity of soul, are called mental zeal.

This threefold zeal being warmed with supreme faith, and performed by men who long not for the fruit of action, is of the Sătwă-Gŏŏn.

The zeal which is shewn by hypocrisy, for the sake of the reputation of sanctity, honor, and respect, is said to be of the Răjă-Gŏŏn; and it is inconstant and uncertain.

The zeal which is exhibited with self-torture, by the fool, without examination, or for the purpose of injuring another, is of the Tămă-Gŏŏn.
That charity which is bestowed by the disinterested, because it is proper to be given, in due place and season, and to proper objects, is of the Sătwă-Gŏŏn.
That which is given in expectation of a return, or for the sake of the fruit of the action, and with reluctancy, is of the Răjă-Gŏŏn.

That which is given out of place and season, and to unworthy objects, and, at the same time, ungraciously and scornfully, is pronounced to be of the Tămă-Gŏŏn.

Ōm, Tăt, and Săt, are the three mystic characters used to denote the deity.

By him in the beginning were appointed the Brāhmăns, the Vēds, and religion: hence the sacrificial, charitable, and zealous ceremonies of the expounders of the word of God, as they are ordained by the law, constantly proceed after they have pronounced Ōm!

Tăt having been pronounced by those who long for immortality, without any inclination for a temporary reward of their actions, then are performed the ceremonies of worship and zeal, and the various deeds of charity.

The word Săt is used for qualities which are true, and for qualities that are holy. The word Săt is also applied to deeds which are praiseworthy. Attention in worship, zeal, and deeds of charity, are also called Săt. Deeds which are performed for Tăt are also to be esteemed Săt.

Whatever is performed without faith, whether it be sacrifices, deeds of charity, or mortifications of the flesh, is called Asăt; and is not for this world or that which is above.

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