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SB 11.23.43

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Please note: The synonyms, translation and purport of this verse were composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


mano guṇān vai sṛjate balīyas
tataś ca karmāṇi vilakṣaṇāni
śuklāni kṛṣṇāny atha lohitāni
tebhyaḥ sa-varṇāḥ sṛtayo bhavanti


manaḥ—the mind; guṇān—the activities of the modes of nature; vai—indeed; sṛjate—manifests; balīyaḥ—very strong; tataḥ—by those qualities; ca—and; karmāṇi—material activities; vilakṣaṇāni—of different varieties; śuklāni—white (in the mode of goodness); kṛṣṇāni—black (in the mode of ignorance); atha—and; lohitāni—red (in the mode of passion); tebhyaḥ—from those activities; sa-varṇāḥ—having the same corresponding colors; sṛtayaḥ—created conditions; bhavanti—arise.

Translation and purport composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


The powerful mind actuates the functions of the material modes, from which evolve the different kinds of material activities in the modes of goodness, ignorance and passion. From the activities in each of these modes develop the corresponding statuses of life.


In the mode of goodness one considers oneself to be a saintly or wise person, in the mode of passion one struggles for material success, and in the mode of ignorance one becomes cruel, lazy and sinful. By the combination of the material modes one identifies oneself as a demigod, a king, a rich capitalist, a wise scholar, etc. These conceptions are material designations generated from the modes of nature, and they arrange themselves according to the tendency of the powerful mind to enjoy temporary sense gratification. The word balīyas in this verse, meaning "very strong," indicates that the material mind becomes insensitive to intelligent advice. Even if we are informed that we are committing many sins and offenses in order to earn money, we may still think that money should be acquired at all costs, since without it one can neither perform religious ceremonies nor gratify the senses with beautiful women, mansions and vehicles. Once the money is achieved, one suffers further problems, but the stubborn mind will never heed good advice in this regard. One must therefore give up mental concoction and control the mind in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, as exemplified here by the brāhmaṇa from Avantī.

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