Chapter III, Verse 14
Sri Nerode’s Translation:
THE NEED OF GIVING TITHES
By food the living continue their lives; food comes from rain; rain proceedeth out of sacrifice; sacrifice is paid with tithes of toil and action. (Food comes from toil; food comes from the grace of God who sends rain. The subtle forces of Divine Grace descend on mankind through sacrifice, charity, and love. Thus sacrifice, charity, and love can only be nourished with righteous actions.)
Consciousness created energy. Intention through the “sacrifice” of will power manifests all beings. Without the directed power of will, the “rain” of energy would not manifest any being.
One of the reasons I find the Bhagavad Gita so beautiful is because a surface reading rarely goes into allegorical territory. Anyone reading through the verses can find a material meaning that is applicable to their daily life.
However, this verse is pure allegory. It refers to the energy that empowers an individual consciousness (or soul) and to the method by which a soul manifests a body (active choice, or will power). You have chosen to be human.
In the next verse, Krishna states the even Brahman (the name assigned to the quality that represents the conscious energy pervading all of creation) requires sacrifice (or intention) to exist.
Again and again throughout the Gita the same themes are revisited with new and often deeper perspective. Verse fourteen is related to the verses eight and nine earlier in this chapter. In verse eight, we learned that life requires action on our part (even if that action is from the depths of the subconscious) and that we should embrace the duties we are given. In verse nine, we learned that the deeper meaning of “sacrifice” (yajna) is to embrace action with enthusiasm or the positive quality (Sattwa Guna).
In overly simplified terms, in verse fourteen the yogi and aspiring sage are told that each person incarnates because the positive quality has been applied to the conscious energy-substance of creation.
In terms of crafting a Sanskrit mantra the positive quality must be included to manifest a new result.
Another truth from this verse is that the negative quality (Tamas Guna) is not able to manifest anything new or original. The negative quality is only able to alter, destroy, or hide that which already exists.
If you are ready to take a huge leap with this verse, I argue that this verse offers a scientific explanation for why every true scripture makes statements like:
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27
“Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.” – Buddha
“You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.” – Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV.4.5
“God createth what He willeth: When he hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, “Be,” and it is!” – Qur’an, Sura 3:47
Each of these passages notes that a human comes from the positive quality. Unconditional love, not selfish romantic, not familial nor community love, is the highest expression of the positive quality in the material universe.
Easter Eggs (hidden references to deeper meanings) in the original version of this this verse include:
Parjanya – rain cloud, rain god, and specifically in this verse a reference to Indra. Arjuna as Kaunteya (reference name through these verses of chapter three) is the son of Kunti and Indra. Indra is the lord of heaven (Svargaloka), who has a thunderbolt (Vajra) in his hand. Kaunteya indicates the state of consciousness that is worldly, or no longer naïve. The feminine origin of this moniker indicates it is related to the ida nadi.
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