maanaapamaanayostulyastulyo mitraaripakshayoho |
sarvaarambhaparityaagee gunaateetaha sa ucchyate || 25 ||

 
Alike in honour and in dishonour, alike towards friend or foe, abandoning all activities, such a person is called one who has transcended the gunas.
 
maanaapamaanayoho : in honour and dishonour
tulyaha : alike
mitraaripakshayoho : towards friend or foe
sarvaarambhaparityaagee : abandoning all activities
gunaateetaha : transcended the gunas
saha : such a person
ucchyate : called
 
Imagine that you are watching a stage production of Shakespeare’s King Lear. Suddenly, in the middle of the play, the actor playing King Lear starts speaking his own dialogue instead of following the script. After a few minutes of commotion, the curtain is lowered. Later, when asked as to why he spoke his own lines, the actor asserted that he thought his own lines were better than Shakespeare’s. It will be quite difficult for such an actor to get any more roles, or keep his existing roles, if he were to force his own views onto the script.
 
Shri Krishna says that the one who has truly renounced all activities, given all up notions such as “I am doing this, I am doing that”, such a person can be called the one who has gone beyond the three gunas. Like actors in a play, all activities in the world are nothing but the gunas interacting with the gunas. If we harbour the notion that our “I” is somehow involved in these activities, we have identified ourselves with our body, which is nothing but a product of the gunas. Through discrimination and detachment, we can see ourselves as distinct and separate from the gunas.
 
Such a person who can maintain this detachment from the gunas is indifferent to what the world thinks of him. Honour and dishonour are the same to him. If a friend helps him, he does not get elated. If a foe troubles him, he sees it as an opportunity to further increase his vairagya or dispassion towards the world. Any time the thought that “I did this” or “I earned this” enters his mind, he immediately discards it and brings back the awareness that everything is happening in Prakriti, the three gunas.
 
So, with this shloka and the previous one, Shri Krishna answers the question, what is the conduct of one who has transcended the gunas.

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