Srimad Bhagavatam 11.25.09-12 - Struggle to Overcome Three Modes (download mp3)
by Sankirtan Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
krodhādyais tamasā yutam
A person exhibiting qualities such as self-control is understood to be predominantly in the mode of goodness. Similarly, a passionate person is recognized by his lust, and one in ignorance is recognized by qualities such as anger.
yadā bhajati māṁ bhaktyā
taṁ sattva-prakṛtiṁ vidyāt
puruṣaṁ striyam eva vā
Any person, whether man or woman, who worships Me with loving devotion, offering his or her prescribed duties unto Me without material attachment, is understood to be situated in goodness.
yadā āśiṣa āśāsya
māṁ bhajeta sva-karmabhiḥ
taṁ rajaḥ-prakṛtiṁ vidyāt
hiṁsām āśāsya tāmasam
When a person worships Me by his prescribed duties with the hope of gaining material benefit, his nature should be understood to be in passion, and one who worships Me with the desire to commit violence against others is in ignorance.
sattvaṁ rajas tama iti
guṇā jīvasya naiva me
citta-jā yais tu bhūtānāṁ
The three modes of material nature — goodness, passion and ignorance — influence the living entity but not Me. Manifesting within his mind, they induce the living entity to become attached to material bodies and other created objects. In this way the living entity is bound up.
The living entity is the marginal potency of the Supreme Lord, having the tendency to be overwhelmed by the Lord’s illusory material energy. The Personality of Godhead, however, is the absolute controller of illusion. Illusion can never control the Lord. Thus the Supreme Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is the eternal object of service for all living beings, who are eternally servants of the Lord.
The three modes of nature manifest within the material energy. When a conditioned soul adopts a material mentality, the modes exert their influence within the jurisdiction of that mentality. But if one purifies one’s mind in the devotional service of the Lord, the modes of nature can no longer act upon him, since they have no influence on the spiritual platform.