त्रैगुण्यविषया वेदा निस्त्रैगुण्यो भवार्जुन | निर्द्वन्द्वो नित्यसत्त्वस्थो निर्योगक्षेम आत्मवान् ||२-४५||
traiguṇyaviṣayā vedā nistraiguṇyo bhavārjuna . nirdvandvo nityasattvastho niryogakṣema ātmavān ||2-45||
2.45. The Vedas bind by means of the three Strands. [Hence] O Arjuna, you must be free from the three Strands, free from the pairs [of opposites]; be established in this eternal Being; be free from [the idea of] acisition and preservation; and be possessed of the Self.
Shri Purohit Swami
2.45 The Vedic Scriptures tell of the three constituents of life - the Qualities. Rise above all of them, O Arjuna, above all the pairs of opposing sensations; be steady in truth, free from worldly anxieties and centered in the Self.
Sri Abhinav Gupta
2.45 Traigunya-etc. The Vedas bind very much [only] by means of the three Strands and they do not bind on their own accord. For, the rituals prescribed in the Vedas, create bondage if they are performed with an intention of pleasure, or of (avoiding) pain, or with an illlusion of attachment. Hence the traid of Strands in the form of desire (or in a pleasing form) must be abandoned.
If the present passage were intended to condemn the Vedas, then the act of fighting the battle in estion would be spoiled, because there is nothing other than the Vedas do not bind those, from whom the desire for fruit has completely gone. Because the Vedas alone are useful for proper knowledge in the case of those persons [free from the Strands] hence [the Lord] says-
2.45 The word Traigunya means the three Gunas - Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Here the term Traigunya denotes persons in whom Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are in abundance. The Vedas in prescribing desire-oriented rituals (Kamya-karmas) have such persons in view. Because of their great love, the Vedas teach what is good to those in whom Tamas, Rajas and Sattva preponderate. If the Vedas had not explained to these persons the means for the attainment of heaven etc., according to the Gunas, then those persons who are not interested in liberation owing to absence of Sattva and preponderance of Rajas and Tamas in them, would get completely lost amidst what should not be resorted to, without knowing the means for attaining the results they desire. Hence the Vedas are concerned with the Gunas. Be you free from the three Gunas. Try to acire Sattva in abundance; increase that alone. The purport is: do not nurse the preponderance of the three Gunas in their state of inter-mixture; do not cultivate such preponderance.
Be free from the pairs of opposites; be free from all the characteristics of worldly life. Abide in pure Sattva; be established in Sattva, in its state of purity without the admixture of the other two Gunas. If it is estioned how that is possible, the reply is as follows. Never care to acire things nor protect what has been acired. While abandoning the acisition of what is not reired for self-realisation, abandon also the conservation of such things already acired. You can thus be established in self-control and thery become an aspirant after the essentail nature of the self. ‘Yoga’ is acisition of what has not been acired; ‘Ksema’ is preservation of things already acired. Abandoning these is a must for an aspirant after the essential nature of the self. If you conduct yourself in this way, the preponderance of Rajas and Tamas will be annihilated, and pure Sattva will develop.
Besides, all that is taught in the Vedas is not fit to be utilised by all.
2.45 To those who are thus devoid of discriminating wisdom, who indulge in pleasure, [Here Ast. adds ‘yat phalam tad aha, what result accrues, that the Lord states:’-Tr.] O Arjuna, vedah, the Vedas; traigunya-visayah, have the three alities as their object, have the three gunas, [Traigunya means the collection of the three alities, viz sattva (purity), rajas (energy) and tamas (darkness); i.e. the collection of virtuous, vicious and mixed activities, as also their results. In this derivative sense traigunya means the worldly life.] i.e. the worldly life, as the object to be revealed. But you bhava, become; nistraigunyah, free from the three alities, i.e. be free from desires. [There is a seeming conflict between the advices to be free from the three alities and to be ever-poised in the ality of sattva. Hence, the Commentator takes the phrase nistraigunya to mean niskama, free from desires.] (Be) nirdvandvah, free from the pairs of duality by the word dvandva, duality, are meant the conflicting pairs [Of heat and cold, etc.] which are the causes of happiness and sorrow; you become free from them. [From heat, cold, etc. That is, forbear them.] You become nitya-sattvasthah, ever-poised in the ality of sattva; (and) so also niryoga-ksemah, without (desire for) acisition and protection. Yoga means acisition of what one has not, and ksema means the protection of what one has. For one who as ‘acisition and protection’ foremost in his mind, it is difficult to seek Liberation. Hence, you be free from acisition and protection. And also be atmavan, self-collected, vigilant. This is the advice given to you while you are engaged in your own duty. [And not from the point of view of seeking Liberation.]
2.45 The Vedas have the three Gunas for their sphere, O Arjuna. You must be free from the three Gunas and be free from the pairs of opposites. Abide in pure Sattva; never care to acire things and to protect what has been acired, but be established in the self.
2.45 O Arjuna, the Vedas [Meaning only the portion dealing with rites and duties (karma-kanda).] have the three alities as their object. You become free from worldliness, free from the pairs of duality, ever-poised in the ality of sattva, without (desire for) acisition and protection, and self-collected.
2.45 The Vedas deal with the three attributes (of Nature); be thou above these three attributes. O Arjuna, free yourself from the pairs of opposites, and ever remain in the ality of Sattva (goodness), freed from (the thought of) acisition and preservation, and be established in the Self.
2.45 त्रैगुण्यविषयाः deal with the three attributes? वेदाः the Vedas? निस्त्रैगुण्यः without these three attributes? भव be? अर्जुन O Arjuna निर्द्वन्द्वः free from the pairs of opposites? नित्यसत्त्वस्थः ever remaining in the Sattva (goodness)? निर्योगक्षेमः free from (the thought of) acisition and preservation? आत्मवान् established in the Self.Commentary Guna means attribute or ality. It is substance as well as ality. Nature (Prakriti) is made up of three Gunas? viz.? Sattva (purity? light or harmony)? Rajas (passion or motion) and Tamas (darkness or inertia). The pairs of opposites are heat and cold? pleasure and pain? gain and loss? victory and defeat? honour and dishonour? praise and censure. He who is anxious about new acuqisitions or about the preservation of his old possessions cannot have peace of mind. He is ever restless. He cannot concentrate or meditate on the Self. He cannot practise virtue. Therefore? Lord Krishna advises Arjuna that he should be free from the thought of acisition and preservation of things. (Cf.IX.20?21).