dyootam chalayataamasmi tejastejasvinaamaham |
jayosmi vyavasaayosmi sattvam sattvavataamaham || 36 ||

 
Among deceitful pursuits, I am gambling. I am the splendour in the brilliant and I am victory and determination. I am the Sattva of Saatvic individuals.
 
dyootam : gambling
chalayataam : among the deceitful
asmi : I am
tejaha : splendour
tejasvinaam : brilliant
aham : I am
jayaha : victory
asmi : I am
vyavasaayaha : determination
asmi : I am
sattvam : Sattva
sattvavataamaham : Saatvic individuals
 
As we have seen throughout the Gita, Ishvara uses the power of his maaya to create this universe of duality. So if everything that we consider “good” is Ishvara, its polar opposite is also Ishvara. To underscore this point, Shri Krishna brings forward gambling as Ishvara’s manifestation.
 
Most of us are under the sway of maaya. If we let maaya have her way, she can steal our faculty of discrimination, our intellect that can distinguish right from wrong. Of all the possible ways of deluding and deceiving us, gambling is the strongest form of maaya. Like any addiction, it can cause great attachment and ultimately result in great sorrow. In the Srimad Bhaagavatam, the demon Kali was asked to reside wherever there is gambling.
 
Conversely, there are those among us who are endowed with a sharp intellect, one that never loses its power of discrimination. Nobel prize winners, freedom fighters, scientists, the list goes on. Shri Krishna says that it is Ishvara who is shining as the brilliance of such luminaries. Whenever we come across such individuals, we may feel inferior against their prowess. But there is no need to do so, because it is Ishvara that is giving them their brilliance.
 
Even if most of us are not endowed with such intellectual faculties, we can accomplish great things if we are hardworking, industrious and focused. People with very little mental and financial resources, through blood, sweat and tears, have shown that it is possible to succeed in spite of their limitations. Shri Krishna says that Ishvara manifests as their hard work, and also as the victory that comes as a result of this effort.
 
Sattva, along with rajas and tamas, comprise the three basic building blocks of maaya or prakriti. When any system is working in perfect harmony, without any fluctuations or disturbances, we can say that the Sattva quality has manifested. So when our intellect is functioning without any agitations, when we see things clearly, it indicates that sattva has dominated over rajas and tamas. Ishvara manifests as this sattva in people who demonstrate virtues such as modesty, calmness, sobriety and goodness.

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