Lord Krishna said: I shall expound once more the supreme knowledge, the best of all knowledge acquiring which all sages have attained highest perfection. Those who by practising this knowledge have entered into my being are not born again at the cosmic dawn nor feel disturbed even during the cosmic dissolution (pralaya). My primordial nature known as the great brahma is the womb of all creatures. In that womb, I place the seed of all life; prakriti or nature is the conceiving mother, while I am the seed-giving father.
Sattva, rajas and tamas are the three gunas born of nature which tie down the imperishable soul to the body. Of these, sattva being immaculate is illuminating and flawless. It binds through attachment to happiness and knowledge. The quality of rajas which is of the nature of passion as born of desire and attachment. It binds the soul through attachment to actions and their fruit. And know tamas as the deluder of all those who look upon the body as their own self as born of ignorance. It binds the soul through error, sleep and sloth. Sattva draws one to joy, rajas to action and while tamas as clouding wisdom, impels one to error, sleep and sloth. Overpowering rajas and tamas, sattva prevails; overpowering sattva and tamas, rajas prevails; even so overpowering sattva and rajas, tamas prevails. When a man dies during the preponderance of sattva, he obtains the stainless ethereal worlds (heaven etc.) attained by men of noble deeds. Dying when rajas predominates, he is born among those attached to action. Even so, the man who has expired during the preponderance of tamas is reborn in the species of the deluded creatures such as insects and beasts etc. Wisdom follows from sattva, greed undoubtedly from rajas and obstinate, error, stupor and ignorance follow from tamas. When the discerning person sees no one as doer other than the three gunas and realises me as the supreme spirit standing entirely beyond these gunas, he enters into my being.
Arjuna said: What are the marks of him who has risen above the three gunas and what is his conduct? How does he rise above the three gunas?
Lord Krishna said: He who is sitting like a witness, not disturbed by the gunas and knowing that the gunas alone move among the gunas remains established in identity with god and never falls of from that state. He who is ever established in the self takes pain and pleasure alike, regards a clod of earth (a stone) and a piece of gold as equal in value is possessed of wisdom. He accepts the pleasant as well as the unpleasant in the same spirit and views censure and praise alike. He who is equipoise in honour or ignominy is alike towards a friend or an enemy and has renounced the sense of doership in all undertakings is said to have risen above the three gunas. He too who constantly worships me through the yoga of exclusive devotion transcending these three gunas becomes eligible for attaining brahma.