Following is an excerpt from Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 17 – Verse no 11 – 22 by Vraja Bihari Das.
In these verses, Krishna talk about Sacrifice, Austerity and Charity and how they appear differently in different modes of material nature.
For one who want to be happy, only the mode of goodness “Sattva guna” can help one to be happy. And Sacrifice that is made according to the direction of the scripture as a matter of one’s duty and without a desire of any rewards is the sacrifice that is made in “Sattva guna.” Otherwise, any other sacrifice that is made to achieve any personal rewards, with the desire of material enjoyment and pride, it falls under the mode of passion, Rajas guna. But in Tamas guna, there is no sacrifice at all.
There are 2 types of austerity that one needs to perform shared here, first austerity from our mind and body and actions that we take or avoid using our body and second is the austerity through our tongue in having control over over it in terms of talking and eating. The austerity of speech is about being truthful… not to be confused with judgement, beneficial and pleasing and the same time not agitating to others. Further there is austerity of the mind with start with simplicity, self-control, being satisfied and being in a state of gratitude. However, the essence remains that same, Austerity performed as duty and not for some material benefit is under the mode of goodness while Austerity performed for some material benefit comes under the mode of passion
And the same essence goes with charity as well. However, the charity done towards unworthy person and without proper attention is charity in the mode of ignorance.
The Best Sacrifice
Now for the age of Kali, the best sacrifice that one can do is chanting of the holy name and this best and most effective process to connect to the lord. However, our actions and our ways to chant define where in mode our chanting fall. If we are multitasking while our chanting like chanting while watching TV or sleeping is in mode of ignorance. Chanting while keeping mind busy thinking about other activities that we intent to perform is in the mode of passion. So chanting of the holy name is chanting externally and being present and focus our mind to listen to the holy. And the mind will wander and we begin to bring it back to focus on the holy name.
And there is one more mode above the mode of goodness and that is Sudha Sattva Guna, which is above Sattva Guna and only can be received when one is the mode of Goodness.
What do you get when you go though these mode…
When you are in the mode of Ignorance, it causes madness,
When you are in the mode of Passion, it causes distress.
When you are in the mode of Goodness it cause peace and happiness.
and finally when you are in the mode of Sudha Sattva guna, which can be only achieved by chanting of the holy name, it cause Ecstasy.