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BG Chap 14 - Conduct of a person beyond the guṇas

Kṛṣṇa describes the external characteristics of a person recognized by others. A person who has surpassed the guṇas is neutral. Just as a neutral person does not move from his middle position when two parties are quarreling, he is not moved by the modes which transform into states of happiness and suffering in the mind. He understands that only the guṇas are acting, when he sees their effects. He remains silent convinced that he has no relation with the guṇas. He does not act according to the effects of the guṇas by striving for bodily needs.

He is firmly situated in his svarūpa or ātmā and is equal in happiness and distress knowing that these are not part of the ātmā. He considers a lump of earth, stone and gold the same recognizing them as inferior things. He is expert at seeing the difference between jīva and prakṛti. He is equal in criticism or praise of himself knowing well that the faults or good qualities that caused criticism or praise, are not constitutional to the ātmā. He remains unaffected when respected or disrespected. Criticism and praise are accomplished by words, whereas respect and disrespect are accomplished by someone else’s body or mind. He is equal to friend and foe, and gives up all undertakings, other than those essential for supporting the material body. A person with all these qualities should be understood by others to be actually beyond the guṇas.