The Bhagavad Gita

Sattva Term Analysis

The highest and lightest of the gunas, sattva is the quality of truthfulness, lucidity, or purity in things that leads people to worship the gods trustfully, act without clinging to consequences or desires, and find joy in one’s insight about the interconnection of all selves. A tendency toward sattva leads people toward a transcendental dissolution of the self and the end of the samsara cycle. (The adjective form of sattva is “sattvic.”)

Sattva Quotes in The Bhagavad Gita

The The Bhagavad Gita quotes below are all either spoken by Sattva or refer to Sattva. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Detachment and Dharma Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Bhagavad Gita published in 2008.
Discourse 14 Quotes

Blameless One,
there sattva is
stainless
and brings light;
it binds by connection
to joy,
and by connection
to wisdom.

Related Characters: Krishna (speaker), Arjuna
Page Number: 156
Explanation and Analysis:
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Discourse 17 Quotes

Om tat sat.

Related Characters: Krishna (speaker), Arjuna
Page Number: 182
Explanation and Analysis:
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Sattva Term Timeline in The Bhagavad Gita

The timeline below shows where the term Sattva appears in The Bhagavad Gita. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Discourse 7
Reincarnation and the Self Theme Icon
...beings,” and beings’ desire to follow dharma. While Krishna is not in the gunas of sattva, rajas, and tamas, they are all in him, and they confuse those in the world... (full context)
Discourse 14
Reincarnation and the Self Theme Icon
The three gunas—sattva, rajas, and tamas—inhere in matter and bind the imperishable self to the body. Sattva brings... (full context)
Reincarnation and the Self Theme Icon
Each guna can prevail above the others, but sattva is clearly prevailing when one finds light and wisdom in one’s body. Greed, restlessness, and... (full context)
Discourse 17
Reincarnation and the Self Theme Icon
Forms of Worship Theme Icon
...are made / of trust; / they grow to become / whatever they trust.” The sattvic sacrifice for the gods, the rajasic for the demons, and the tamasic to “the dead... (full context)
Forms of Worship Theme Icon
Similarly, there are three kinds of food, sacrifice, heated bodily discipline, and gifts. Sattvic foods are satisfying, pleasant, healthy, flavorful and smooth; rajasic foods are spicy, salty, sour, and... (full context)
Forms of Worship Theme Icon
Sattvic sacrifice follows Vedic law, and the giver thinks only of the sacrifice and not of... (full context)
Forms of Worship Theme Icon
.../ of the mind” involves clarity, gentleness, silence, self-control, and purity. These three disciplines are sattvic when performed in trust and without a desire for ends; rajasic when done for the... (full context)
Forms of Worship Theme Icon
Gifts given simply for the sake of goodwill are sattvic, those given for the sake of some reward or benefit are rajasic, and those given... (full context)
Discourse 18
Detachment and Dharma Theme Icon
Forms of Worship Theme Icon
...but undertaking prescribed action for its own sake, without an attention to its fruit, is sattvic. Intelligent actors neither “cling to / auspicious actions” nor hate inauspicious ones. (full context)
Detachment and Dharma Theme Icon
Krishna, the Absolute, and Human Knowledge Theme Icon
Reincarnation and the Self Theme Icon
Forms of Worship Theme Icon
...three factors: an agent, an act, and a means. These all follow the gunas: in sattvic action, one sees all beings as eternal and multiplicities as a whole; in rajasic action,... (full context)
Detachment and Dharma Theme Icon
There are also three varieties of insight and courage, corresponding to the gunas: sattvic insight understands what is and is not to be done and feared, rajasic action does... (full context)