यजन्ते सात्त्विका देवान्यक्षरक्षांसि राजसाः |
प्रेतान्भूतगणांश्चान्ये यजन्ते तामसा जनाः ||१७-४||


yajante sāttvikā devānyakṣarakṣāṃsi rājasāḥ .
pretānbhūtagaṇāṃścānye yajante tāmasā janāḥ ||17-4||



17.4. The men of the Sattva (Strand) perform sacrifice intending for the gods ; the men of the Rajas (Strand) do for the spirits and the demons; and the men of the Tamas (Strand) perform sacrifices intending for the imps, the dead, and the ghosts.

Shri Purohit Swami

17.4 The Pure worship the true God; the Passionate, the powers of wealth and magic; the Ignorant, the spirits of the dead and of the lower orders of nature.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

17.4 See Comment under 17.6

Sri Ramanuja

17.4 ‘Those who have abundance of Sattva ality and are conjoined with Sattvika faith worship the gods. The meaning is this: The faith in the worship (sacrifice) of the gods which causes supreme joy unmixed with pain is of Sattvika nature. The Rajasika types worship Yaksas and Raksasas. And the others, i.e., the Tamasika types, worship the departed ancestors and hosts of Bhutas. The faith born of Rajas brings about limited joy mixed with pain, while the faith born of Tamas gives rise to extremely limited joy which verges almost on pain.

Therefore, there is difference in fruits according to the Gunas regarding sacrifices etc., which are enjoined in the Sastras and associated with faith. However, no happiness whatsoever will result from penances, sacrifices etc., not enjoined in the Sastras and therefore antagonistic to My ?ndment. On the contrary, calamity results from them. Sri Krsna proceeds to explain this more fully.

Sri Shankaracharya

17.4 Sattvikah, those having the sattva ality, those steadfast in sattva; yajante, worship; devan, the gods; rajasah, those having rajas; (worship) yaksa-raksamsi, the demi-gods and ogres; and anye, other; janah, people; tamasah, possessed of tamas; yajante, worship; pretan, ghosts; and bhuta-ganan, the hosts of spirits-Sapta-matrkas (the Seven Mothers) and others. Thus, in the context of abandonment of scriptural injunctions, the states of sattva etc. have been determined through their effects. As regards that, it is only one in thousands who, being established in sattva, becomes devoted to the adoration of gods. But, to be sure, creatures are mostly rooted deeply in rajas or tamas. How?

Swami Adidevananda

17.4 The Sattvika types worship the gods. The Rajasa types worship Yaksas and Raksasas. And the others, the Tamasa types, worship the departed ancestors and hosts of Bhutas.

Swami Gambirananda

17.4 Those having the sattva ality worship the gods; those having rajas, the demi-gods and ogres; and other people possessed of tamas worship ghosts and the hosts of spirits.

Swami Sivananda

17.4 The Sattvic or the pure men worship the gods; the Rajasic or the passionate worship the Yakshas and the Rakshasas; the others (the Tamasic or the deluded people) worship the ghosts and the hosts of the nature-spirits.


Swami Sivananda

17.4 यजन्ते worship? सात्त्विकाः the Sattvic or pure men? देवान् the gods? यक्षरक्षांसि the Yakshas and the Rakshasas? राजसाः the Rajasic or the passionate? प्रेतान् ghosts? भूतगणान् the hosts of Bhutas or the naturespirits? च and? अन्ये the others? यजन्ते worship? तामसाः the Tamasic? जनाः people.Commentary Lord Krishna? after defining faith? tells Arjuna how this faith determines the object of worship. The nature of the faith (whether it is Sattvic? Rajasic or Tamasic) has to be inferred from its characteristic effects? viz.? the worship of the gods and the like. Each man selects his object of worship according to the ruling Guna of his being. The expression of a mans faith depends on the Guna that is predominant in him. A Sattvic man will give his faith the Sattvic expression? a Rajasic man the Rajasic expression and a Tamasic man the Tamasic expression.Sattvic persons or people with Sattvic faith who are devoted to the worship of the gods? are rare in this world.Yakshas are the brothers of Kubera? the lord of wealth gnomes? the spirits that guard wealth.Rakshasas Beings of strength and power such as Nairrita demons giants gifted with illusive powers.Bhutas Ghosts.