मूढग्राहेणात्मनो यत्पीडया क्रियते तपः |
परस्योत्सादनार्थं वा तत्तामसमुदाहृतम् ||१७-१९||


mūḍhagrāheṇātmano yatpīḍayā kriyate tapaḥ .
parasyotsādanārthaṃ vā tattāmasamudāhṛtam ||17-19||



17.19. What austerity is practised with foolish obstinacy [and] with self-torture only in order to destroy other person-that is declared to be of the Tamas.

Shri Purohit Swami

17.19 Austerity done under delusion, and accompanied with sorcery or torture to oneself or another, may be assumed to spring from Ignorance.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

17.17-19 Sraddhaya etc. upto tamasam udahrtam. There is faith in all the three-fold austerity. the faith of a man of the Sattva is full of austerity itself. The faith of a man of the Rajas is in the Rajas i.e, showing (or hyprocricy) etc. But, the faith (or desire) of a man well established in the Tamas is merely in ruining others. Thus the sage speaks of all the three-fold austerity practised with faith.

Sri Ramanuja

17.19 Deluded persons are those who lack correct understanding. That austerity which is practised from deluded notion, viz., from the obstinate determination by deluded persons, by self-torture regardless of one’s own capacity or which is performed for causing sufferings to others - that is said to be Tamasika.

Sri Shankaracharya

17.19 Yat, that; tapah, austerity; which is kriyate, under-taken; mudha-grahena, with a foolish intent, with a conviction arising out of non-discriminating; pidaya, causing pain; atmanah, to oneself (to one’s body etc.); va, or; utsadanartham, for the destruction; parasya, of another; tat, that; is udahrtam, said to be; an austerity tamasam, born of tamas. Now the classification of charity is being spoken of:

Swami Adidevananda

17.19 That austerity which is practised from deluded notions by means of self-torture or in order to injure another is said to be Tamasika.

Swami Gambirananda

17.19 That austerity which is undertaken with a foolish intent, by causing pain to oneself, or for the destruction of others-that is said to be born of tamas.

Swami Sivananda

17.19 That austerity which is practised out of a foolish notion, with self-torture, or for the purpose of destroying another, is declared to be Tamasic.


Swami Sivananda

17.19 मूढग्राहेण out of a foolish notion? आत्मनः of the self? यत् which? पीडया with torture? क्रियते is practised? तपः austerity? परस्य of another? उत्सादनार्थम् for the purpose of destroying? वा or? तत् that? तामसम् Tamasic? उदाहृतम् is declared.Commentary Some burn sulphur in a pot and place it on their head. Some thrust hooks of iron into their flesh. Some hang themselves with their head downwards over fire and swallow smoke. Some stand in cold water immersed up to the neck. Some torture the body by lighting fires on the four sides (with the sun as the fifth fire – this is known as the Panchagni Tapas). Some sit in the centre of a circle of fire. Such austerities are Tamasic. These will not help one to attain knowledge of the Self.