श्रद्धया परया तप्तं तपस्तत्त्रिविधं नरै: |
अफलाकाङ्क्षिभिर्युक्तै: सात्त्विकं परिचक्षते || 17||
śhraddhayā parayā taptaṁ tapas tat tri-vidhaṁ naraiḥ
aphalākāṅkṣhibhir yuktaiḥ sāttvikaṁ parichakṣhate
śhraddhayā—with faith; parayā—transcendental; taptam—practiced; tapaḥ—austerity; tat—that; tri-vidham—three-fold; naraiḥ—by persons; aphala-ākāṅkṣhibhiḥ—without yearning for material rewards; yuktaiḥ—steadfast; sāttvikam—in the mode of goodness; parichakṣhate—are designated
This threefold austerity practised with supreme faith by steadfast men, without the desire for fruit, is said to be of the nature of sattva.
Sraddhya: The attribute paraya indicates that supreme faith is needed in the performance of Tapas. Otherwise, common failures and well-known obstacles in the way, might shake the will of the seeker and make him unfit for further effect. Highest faith in the Supreme is needed. When once the final goal is accepted and fixed in the mind, no obstacle can shake him from the path of spiritual advancement. He marches onwards and onwards, unmindful of failures and backslidings, till the light is revealed.
Yuktaiah: The seeker should unite himself with Atma and keep away from all worldly objects. Such people are very conscious of their true Self, and so they are serene and calm whatever may be the troubles and temptations of life.
Naraiah: Of all beings, man is the highest, because Moksha is possible for the human being and to no other species. The Lord does not make any distinction among men. All human beings, whatsoever caste, creed or race they belong to, are qualified for the highest state by austerity, self-control, and knowledge.
From this verse, we understand that austerity of the Sattvic type requires three conditions. The aspirant should possess immovable faith; he should not have any desire for rewards; he should unite himself with Paramatma by an act of will. Fulfilling these conditions, if a man performs the triple asuterity of the body, mind and speech, he attains the highest goal.
Question: What is Sattvic austerity?
Answer: Performing the triple austerity of body, mind and speech, with faith, desiring no fruit and with harmonised mind is called Sattvic Tapas.