The mode of goodness, being purer than the others, is illuminating, and it frees one from all sinful reactions. Those situated in that mode become conditioned by a sense of happiness and knowledge.
The mode of passion is born of unlimited desires and longings, and because of this the embodied living entity is bound to material fruitive actions.
The mode of darkness, born of ignorance, is the delusion of all embodied living entities. The results of this mode are madness, indolence and sleep, which bind the conditioned soul.
The mode of goodness conditions one to happiness; passion conditions one to fruitive action; and ignorance, covering one’s knowledge, binds one to madness.
Sometimes the mode of goodness becomes prominent, defeating the modes of passion and ignorance. Sometimes the mode of passion defeats goodness and ignorance, and at other times ignorance defeats goodness and passion. In this way there is always competition for supremacy.
The manifestation of the mode of goodness can be experienced when all the gates of the body are illuminated by knowledge.
When there is an increase in the mode of passion the symptoms of great attachment, fruitive activity, intense endeavor, and uncontrollable desire and hankering develop.
When there is an increase in the mode of ignorance, darkness, inertia, madness and illusion are manifested.
When one dies in the mode of goodness, he attains to the pure higher planets of the great sages.
When one dies in the mode of passion, he takes birth among those engaged in fruitive activities; and when one dies in the mode of ignorance, he takes birth in the animal kingdom.
The result of pious action is pure and is said to be in the mode of goodness. Action done in the mode of passion results in misery, and action performed in the mode of ignorance results in foolishness.
From the mode of goodness, real knowledge develops; from the mode of passion, greed develops; and from the mode of ignorance develop foolishness, madness and illusion.
Those situated in the mode of goodness gradually go upward to the higher planets; those in the mode of passion live on the earthly planets; and those in the abominable mode of ignorance go down to the hellish worlds.
When one properly sees that in all activities no other performer is at work than these modes of nature and he knows Me, the Supreme, who is transcendental to all these modes, he attains My spiritual nature.
When the embodied being is able to transcend these three modes associated with the material body, he can become free from birth, death, old age and their distresses and can enjoy nectar even in this life.
Arjuna inquired: By which symptoms is one known who is transcendental to these three modes? What is his behavior? And how does he transcend the modes of nature?
Krishna said: He who does not hate illumination, attachment and delusion when they are present or long for them when they disappear; who is unwavering and undisturbed through all these reactions of the material qualities, remaining neutral and transcendental, knowing that the modes alone are active; who is situated in the self and regards alike happiness and distress; who looks upon a lump of earth, a stone and a piece of gold with an equal eye; who is equal toward the desirable and the undesirable; who is steady, situated equally well in praise and blame, honor and dishonor; who treats alike both friend and enemy; and who has renounced all material activities—such a person is said to have transcended the modes of nature.
One who engages in full devotional service to the Supreme, unfailing in all circumstances, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman, the spiritual level.
Know Me to be the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness.