Chapter 17: The Divisions of Faith

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 17.26-27

sad-bhāve sādhu-bhāve ca

sad ity etat prayujyate

praśaste karmaṇi tathā

sac-chabdaḥ pārtha yujyate

yajñe tapasi dāne ca

sthitiḥ sad iti cocyate

karma caiva tad-arthīyaḿ

sad ity evābhidhīyate


sat-bhāvein the sense of the nature of the Supreme; sādhu-bhāvein the sense of the nature of the devotee; ca — also; sat — the word sat; iti — thus; etat — this; prayujyate — is used; praśastein bona fide; karmaṇi — activities; tathā — also; sat-śabdaḥ — the sound sat; pārthaO son of Pṛthā; yujyate — is used; yajñein sacrifice; tapasiin penance; dānein charity; ca — also; sthitiḥ — the situation; sat — the Supreme; iti — thus; ca — and; ucyate — is pronounced; karma — work; ca — also; eva — certainly; tat — for that; arthīyam — meant; sat — the Supreme; iti — thus; eva — certainly; abhidhīyate — is indicated.


The Absolute Truth is the objective of devotional sacrifice, and it is indicated by the word sat. The performer of such sacrifice is also called sat, as are all works of sacrifice, penance and charity which, true to the absolute nature, are performed to please the Supreme Person, O son of Pṛthā.


The words praśaste karmaṇi, or "prescribed duties," indicate that there are many activities prescribed in the Vedic literature which are purificatory processes, beginning from the time of conception up to the end of one's life. Such purificatory processes are adopted for the ultimate liberation of the living entity. In all such activities it is recommended that one vibrate oḿ tat sat. The words sad-bhāve and sādhu-bhāve indicate the transcendental situation. Acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is called sattva, and one who is fully conscious of the activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is called a sādhu. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.25.25) it is said that the transcendental subject matter becomes clear in the association of the devotees. The words used are satāḿ prasańgāt. Without good association, one cannot achieve transcendental knowledge. When initiating a person or offering the sacred thread, one vibrates the words oḿ tat sat. Similarly, in all kinds of performance of yajña the object is the Supreme, oḿ tat sat. The word tad-arthīyam further means offering service to anything which represents the Supreme, including such service as cooking and helping in the Lord's temple, or any other kind of work for broadcasting the glories of the Lord. These supreme words oḿ tat sat are thus used in many ways to perfect all activities and make everything complete.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness