Gita Series – 167: Bhagavad Gita Chapter XVIII. Verse 33 – 35

The one with absolute resoluteness controls the functions of his mind, vital breaths and senses is sattvic in nature. The one with resoluteness gets attached to the fruits of actions to enjoy materialistic life with bondage and attachment is rajasic in nature. The one with absolute resoluteness and wicked mind always remain in a state of slumber, fear, anxiety, sorrow and arrogance is tamsic in nature.”

Kṛṣṇa after having classified actions, actors and intellect, now proceeds to classify fortitude under the three guṇas. Fortitude is one of the four inherent virtues derived from nature and the other three being prudence, justice and temperance. They vary from person to person and ultimately determine the character of a person. Any quality or action can be classified broadly under the three guṇa-s that are present in prakṛti Fortitude means the strength of one’s mind.

When one can focus his mind towards the Lord, leaving aside other thoughts, he will be able to realise the potency of his inner power. In order to aid the process of conquering the mind, control of breath and senses is necessary. When the breathing is slow and deep, the mind becomes calm. When the breathing is fast and shallow, the mind is afflicted with too many thoughts. Sensory inputs leave lasting impressions in the mind, if objects are looked at with desire and attachment. The one, who is able to control his mind, breath and senses with a single pointed focus on the Lord, this type of fortitude is called sattvic fortitude.  It not merely the fortitude that is important, but the thought process is far more important. The classification of fortitude is based on the thought process.

The one, who focuses his mind on satiating his materialistic desires and on the fruits of all his actions, is said to have rajasic fortitude. His main focus will be pleasures and comforts. He spends lesser time for realising the Self. They derive satisfaction in performing religious rites. All his actions are done with a limited purpose in mind. He is incapable of surrendering the fruits of his actions to the Lord as he believes that fruits of his actions will pave the way for his liberation

The one with tamsic fortitude is engrossed in lethargy and laziness and lives without a purpose. He lives in his own world and unwilling to understand the reality. As he is incapable of discrimination, he immerses himself in the sea of miseries and sorrows. His mind always remains wicked, causing the spread of bad energy in and around his place of living. He commits mistakes after mistakes and spends his precious life fearing all the time. This physic fear induces him to indulge in more and more evil actions and ultimately his karmic account sweeps over him to cause his abominable end.

Further Readings:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XVIII. 26 - 28

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XVIII. 29 - 32