Lord Krishna gives clear lessons on how material nature controls us through three modes and how to rise above them.

The subject of the three modes of material nature is of great importance to souls who have taken birth in the material world because of envying God. In the fourteenth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead (the perfect spiritual master) instructs Arjuna (the perfect disciple) on the characteristics of the three modes of material nature: goodness, passion, and ignorance. Lord Krishna’s instructions include directions on how to transcend the three material modes and enter the spiritual realm.

In his commentary on the beginning verses of this chapter, Srila Prabhupada explains that the living entity, the spirit soul, is entangled in the material world because of association with the three modes of material nature. While the modes contaminate material knowledge, uncontaminated transcendental knowledge is available. By understanding transcendental knowledge, great sages have attained perfection and the spiritual world. Mere academic knowledge does not free one from the modes. One must acquire transcendental knowledge.


In text 14.6 Lord Krishna says,

tatra sattvam nirmalatvat
prakashakam anamayam
sukha-sangena badhnati
jnana-sangena chanagha