ये चैव सात्त्विका भावा राजसास्तामसाश्च ये ।
मत्त एवेति तान्विद्धि न त्वहं तेषु ते मयि ॥ ७’१२॥

पदच्छेदैः – ये च एव सात्त्विकाः भावाः राजसाः तामसाः च ये मत्तः एव इति तान् विद्धि न तु अहं तेषु ते मयि 

There are no compound words in this verse. Just putting into syntax, one can read this as भावाः ये सात्त्विकाः च राजसाः च ये तामसाः एव (सन्ति), तान् मत्तः एव (विद्धि), अहम् तेषु न (अस्मि), ते तु मयि (सन्ति) इति (अपि) विद्धि ।

If we get meanings of the words, interpretation of the verse should come through straightforward. 

भावाः is पुँल्लिङ्गी, and प्रथमा वि. बहुवचनम् of भावः [भू-भावे घञ्] 

  1. Being, existing, existence.
  2. There are many other meanings given in the dictionary. But we can explore with this meaning.
  3. भावाः encompasses all that exists. 


  1. सात्त्विक a. (-की f.) [सत्वगुणेन तत्कार्येण मनसा वा निर्वृत्तः ठञ्] 1 Real, essential. -2 True, genuine, natural. -3 Honest, sincere, good. -4 Virtuous, amiable. -5 Vigorous. -6 Endowed with the quality Sattva (goodness). -7 Belonging to or derived from the Sattva quality


  1. राजस a. (-सी f.) [रजसा निर्मितम् अण्] Relating to or influenced by the quality rajas, endowed with the quality rajas or passion


  1. तामस a. (-सी f.) [तमो$स्त्यस्य अण्] 1 Dark, consisting of darkness -2 Affected by or relating to तमस् or the quality of darkness (the third of the three qualities of nature) -3 Ignorant. -4 Vicious.

मत्तः –

  1. This is मत् + तः
  2. Actually मत् is पञ्चमी विभक्तिः, एकवचनम् of अस्मद्.
  3. But it is also used as a partial component in a compound word as in मत्कर्म (my job). 
  4. तः is an optional suffix for पञ्चमी विभक्तिः 
  5. मत्तः = from me.

Meaning of the verse then becomes 

  1. भावाः ये सात्त्विकाः च राजसाः च ये तामसाः एव (सन्ति) = All that exists, whether virtuous, mediocre or vicious
  2. तान् मत्तः एव (विद्धि) = understand them to be from me only
  3. अहम् तेषु न (अस्मि) = I am not in them.
  4. (अपि)तु ते मयि (सन्ति) = Nevertheless they are in me 
  5. इति (अपि) विद्धि = understand this also.

Discussion – 

  1. General tendency among people is not to own viciousness. Here श्रीकृष्णभगवान् says “All that exists, whether virtuous, mediocre or vicious is from me only”. 
  2. But having made all that exists to exist, does he own their virtuosity, mediocrity or viciousness ? “अहम् तेषु न (अस्मि) = I am not in them” seems to negate ownership of the behavior, what they would indulge in, after having come into existence ‘from Him’.
  3. The next statement “ते तु मयि (सन्ति) = They are in me” sounds like the story in Bible, of the father accepting the Prodigal Son back into the family. 
  4. But from a much vaster metaphysical perspective, looking at the canvas of the universe or of the cosmos, one can appreciate that, the whole canvas cannot exist in ‘every particulate, that is prompted to exist’. So, the अहम् of अहम् तेषु न is the canvas and certainly the canvas अहम् would not exist तेषु in them. But all the same, all that is prompted to exist, exists on the canvas ते मयि (सन्ति) ‘they are in me’.
  5. When discussing this verse yesterday (Friday, Feb. 18, 2017) another metaphor came to mind. Say, there is the field with crop of wheat. But the soil would have allowed some weeds and some thorny creepers also to exist. Now to detail the metaphor, let us say the field or the soil is अहम्, the wheat are the सात्त्विकाः भावाः, the weeds राजसाः भावाः and the thorny creepers तामसाः भावाः. Obviously the soil does not exist in the wheat plants or in the weeds or in the thorny creepers अहम् तेषु न. But they all emanate from the soil and exist on the field ते तु मयि (सन्ति). 
  6. This verse seems to hint at विश्वरूपदर्शनम् which would come in the eleventh chapter. 

शुभमस्तु !