कर्मण: सुकृतस्याहु: सात्त्विकं निर्मलं फलम् |
रजसस्तु फलं दु:खमज्ञानं तमस: फलम् || 16||
karmaṇaḥ sukṛitasyāhuḥ sāttvikaṁ nirmalaṁ phalam
rajasas tu phalaṁ duḥkham ajñānaṁ tamasaḥ phalam
karmaṇaḥ—of action; su-kṛitasya—pure; āhuḥ—is said; sāttvikam—mode of goodness; nirmalam—pure; phalam—result; rajasaḥ—mode of passion; tu—indeed; phalam—result; duḥkham—pain; ajñānam—ignorance; tamasaḥ—mode of ignorance; phalam—result
The fruit of a good action is said to be good and clean; the fruit of rajas is pain; and the fruit of tamas is ignorance.
Every man wants happiness and not suffering. But he should do only those actions from which peace and joy arise. His actions should be pure, beneficent, and selfless. Then he enjoys peace and joy which is the fruit of Sattva-guna. Suffering and ignorance arise from Rajo-guna and Tamo-guna. So the wise man should avoid all actions of a Rajasic nature, because they verily produce suffering. Knowing this, no thoughtful man would willingly do wrong things in anger and passion. Knowing that fire burns, who would thrust his hand into it? No one. So also, one should clearly perceive that the terrible effects of Rajas – Kama and Krodha (Rajo guna samudbhavah) are very dangerous. Through them, man is passing through hell even in this world. He suffers from pain, restlessness, horrid dreams, fears, deluding hopes, disappointments, despair, desperation and despondency. Such is Rajo-guna.
And now when we come to Tamoguna, it is all darkness and ignorance. Under its power man lives like an animal. He eats, sleeps, and copulates. He has no idea of anything pure and holy. He lives an animal life. Nay, he is worse than animals. Being born as man and yet live the life of animals is against one’s own humanity. The human form then counts for nothing. The saint and the sinner are both clad in the human garb. But there is the difference of pole to pole between the two. Tamas is the enemy of most men. It should be overcome in every way possible.
Rajasastu phalam duhkham: Let this declaration of the Lord be kept in view by every seeker, whatever he thinks and acts. If one wants peace and joy, Rajas should be given up. There is no other way.
Ajnanam tamasah phalam: Ignorance is the seed-bed of all other evils. Rajas arises from Tamas. Knowledge removes both Tamas and Rajas. Knowledge pure and perfect! That should be our goal. Tamas should be given up as enemy number one for all mankind.
Question: What is the fruit of Sattvic work?
Answer: Pure joy.
Question: What is the fruit of Rajas?
Question: What is the fruit of Tamas?
Answer: Ignorance (Ajnana).
Question: What then is the way to peace and joy?
Answer: Man should avoid Tamasic and Rajasic actions and take refuge in pure Sattva.