Chapter 17: The Divisions of Faith
aharas tv api sarvasya
tri-vidho bhavati priyah
yajnas tapas tatha danam
tesam bhedam imam srnu
āhāraḥ—eating; tu—certainly; api—also; sarvasya—of everyone; trividhaḥ—three kinds; bhavati—there are; priyaḥ—dear; yajñaḥ—sacrifice; tapaḥ—austerity; tathā—also; dānam—charity; teṣām—of them; bhedam—differences; imam—thus; śṛṇu—hear.
Even food of which all partake is of three kinds, according to the three modes of material nature. The same is true of sacrifices, austerities and charity. Listen, and I shall tell you of the distinctions of these.
In terms of different situations and the modes of material nature, there are differences in the manner of eating, performing sacrifices, austerities and charities. They are not all conducted on the same level. Those who can understand analytically what kind of performances are in what modes of material nature are actually wise; those who consider all kinds of sacrifice or foods or charity to be the same cannot discriminate, and they are foolish. There are missionary workers who advocate that one can do whatever he likes and attain perfection. But these foolish guides are not acting according to the direction of the scripture. They are manufacturing ways and misleading the people in general.