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Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 17, Verse 14

Chapter 17: The Divisions of Faith
Verse: 14
pujanam saucam arjavam
brahmacaryam ahimsa ca
sariram tapa ucyate

Austerity of the body consists in worship of the Supreme Lord, the brahmanas, the spiritual master, and superiors like the father and mother, and in cleanliness, simplicity, celibacy and nonviolence.

In six verses Krishna will now describe the austerities in the modes. Austerities can performed, in order of progressive difficulty, with the body, speech and mind. In other words, it is simpler to fast (austerity of the body), than to control one's speak (of the speech) which is easier than controlling the thoughts in the mind (of mind). The three types of austerity (body, speech, mind) are equally application to the three modes in which they could be performed. Krishna will first speak of the three types of sattvika austerities in three verses.

Austerity of the body is worship (in order from superior to inferior) of the devas (like Vasus, Rudras), the best of brahamans, the gurus like mother, father and teacher, and of the vipras who know the Vedas.

There should also be cleanliness (saucam) of two types, internal and external. Srila Prabhupada comments, "One should practice cleansing oneself externally and internally, and he should learn to become simple in behavior. He should not do anything which is not sanctioned by the scriptural injunctions. He should not indulge in sex outside of married life, for sex is sanctioned in the scripture only in marriage, not otherwise. This is called celibacy. These are penances and austerities as far as the body is concerned."

Please read the Sanskrit Verse and the Prabhupada's Purport.

You can view the previous verses at the following address:http://groups.google.com/group/sloka-a-day

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