O Mighty-armed Arjuna, those which bind
The everlasting soul to earthly grind,
Are three essential blended qualities
Of Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas, here outlined.
O Sinless One, of all these gunas three,
Sattwa brings wisdom and vitality,
Yet still results in bondage of the soul,
Though the attachments be of high degree.
The quality of Rajas is imbued
With passions by desires and whims accrued,
And thus it binds one through intensity
Of expectations, restlessness of mood.
And last, Creation’s darkest attribute
Of Tamas is the one that will pollute
All noble thoughts with sloth and ignorance,
And all high aspirations will refute.