यत्तु कृत्स्नवदेकस्मिन्कार्ये सक्तमहैतुकम् |
अतत्त्वार्थवदल्पं च तत्तामसमुदाहृतम् || 22||
yat tu kṛitsna-vad ekasmin kārye saktam ahaitukam
atattvārtha-vad alpaṁ cha tat tāmasam udāhṛitam
yat—which; tu—but; kṛitsna-vat—as if it encompasses the whole; ekasmin—in single; kārye—action; saktam—engrossed; ahaitukam—without a reason; atattva-artha-vat—not based on truth; alpam—fragmental; cha—and; tat—that; tāmasam—in the mode of ignorance; udāhṛitam—is said to be
The knowledge by which, man clings to one thing (body or image) as if it were the whole, without reason and foundation in Truth, and which is trivial, that is declared to be Tamasic (Jnana).
Tamasic Jnana is narrow and blind. The man attaches himself to one single thing considering it to be the whole. Such narrowness is the result of ignorance. Attached to money, the greedy man considers it as the whole of the universe; attached to lust, the immoral man clings to the body as the whole of life; attached to some doll, the ignorant man considers it as the whole Truth. Thus we find that a single thing occupies the entire being. Besides, it is a trivial thing producing very little result. It is a thing which has no basis in Truth. Thus Tamasic jnana is narrow and blind to Truth. He sees matter and thinks there is nothing beyond it.
Rajasic knowledge is higher; He sees many things distinctly and separately. His vision goes deeper into the qualities of each thing which divides one from another. But he has not yet arrived at the basic Reality. He loses himself in multiplicity and manifoldness and sees separateness everywhere.
Sattvic knowledge reveals the basic Truth of the One Indivisible Atma pervading the whole universe. In all things, he sees the One Atma. The external coatings of matter, colour, size, and qualities are all transcended and the one Sat appears to him in everything. Arriving at this knowledge of Oneness, man knows the ultimate truth and is no longer deluded. He attains Atma, and goes beyond the cycle of birth and death. In the midst of the many, who sees the One – he alone sees (Knows the Truth about himself and everything in the universe).
Question: What is the nature of Tamasic jnana?
Answer: Holding one single thing and thinking of it as the whole is Tamasic jnana. (For example, seeing the body and thinking of it as the whole Truth). There is no rational judgment behind this knowledge. It is not founded on Truth. It is trifling, producing trivial result.
Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 18 🔻 (78 Verses)