The Bhagavad-Gita — The God Song. Chapter XVII — The threefold faith

The outer man is what his inner faith is. All our activities, physical, vital and mental, have a common fount. And the name of that fount is faith. With our faith we can create, control, conquer and transform our fate. To be sure, what unconsciously we call human faith is nothing short of the divine will in us and for us.

What does a Sattvic man do with his luminous faith? He uses his faith to invoke and worship the Supreme. What does a Rajasic man do with his passionate faith? He uses it to worship and satisfy the deities. What does a Tamasic man do with his tenebrous faith? He worships the unsatisfied, dissatisfied, hungry, obscure, impure and earth-bound spirits and ghosts.

They say that in the West, food has very little to do with faith. In India the link between food and faith is almost inseparable. Our Upanishadic Seers cried out: “Annam Brahma”(Food is the Brahman).

A Sattvic man eats the foods that are fresh, pure and soothing so that he can acquire energy, health, cheerfulness and a long life.

Sour, salty and excessively hot foods are liked by a Rajasic man. Illness captures him. Pain tortures him.

A Tamasic man also has to eat after all. He avidly eats the foods that are stale, tasteless, impure and filthy. The result of his eating can be better felt than described.


Austerity does not mean physical torture, far from it. Mortification of the flesh only a devilish nature can enjoy. God the Merciful does not demand our physical torture. He wants us to have the soulful light of wisdom. Nothing more and nothing less.

Austerity means a dedicated body, a pure mind, a loving heart and an awakened soul.

The outer austerity grows on the fertile soil of simplicity, sincerity and purity. The inner austerity grows on the fecund soil of serenity, tranquility and equanimity.

Sattvic austerity wishes no reward. Gain, honour and fame, rajasic austerity expects and demands. Self-immolation or the destruction of others, tamasic austerity wants and cherishes.

A seeker of the Transcendental Truth and sex-forces can never run abreast. The seeker while walking along the path of self-discovery and God-discovery must know what true celibacy is.

To quote Krishnaprem: “A neurotic celibacy with the so-called unconscious mind full of thwarted sex, issuing in a welter of more or less disguised fantasy, is the very worst condition to be in for one who seeks the inner life. Such a condition may, like extreme bodily weakness, give rise to strange experiences and visions, but it will quite effectively prevent any real treading of the Path. Sex will be transcended; it cannot be suppressed... with impunity.”

The chapter ends most soulfully with the Brahman. Brahman is divinely designated by the three soul-stirring words: AUM TAT SAT.

AUM is the mystical symbol supreme. Aum is the real name of God. In the cosmic manifestation is the Aum. Beyond the manifestation, farthest beyond is the AUM.


Tat means “That,” the Nameless Eternal, above all attributes majestic “That” stands.


Sat means Reality, the Truth Infinite.

We have to chant AUM and then begin to perform our life’s divine duties.

We have to chant TAT and then offer to humanity all our achievements, energising and fulfilling.

We have to chant SAT and then offer to God what we inwardly and outwardly are, our very existence.

From:Sri Chinmoy,AUM — Vol. 6, No. 8, 27 Mar. 1971, AUM Centre Press, 1971
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