ऊर्ध्वं गच्छन्ति सत्त्वस्था मध्ये तिष्ठन्ति राजसाः।
जघन्यगुणवृत्तिस्था अधो गच्छन्ति तामसाः।।14.18।।
14.18 People who conform to sattva go higher up; those who conform to rajas stay in the middle; those who conform to tamas, who conform to the actions of the lowest ality, go down.
14.18 Thus, in the manner explained, those who rest in Sattva rise upwards, namely, they attain liberation from the bonds of Samsara gradually. Those who, abiding in Rajas which produces greed for heaven etc., engage themselves in actions which constitute the means for obtaining such results. Experiencing those results, they are born again and engage in, and perform, the very same acts. So they remain in the middle. This is mostly suffering, as it is characterised by rirths. Those of Tamasic nature stoop down into lower levels, as Tamas grows ever worse in them. They go downwards i.e., to the lowest state among human beings, then to the condition of animals; then to that of worms; insects etc., then of immovable things, and even to the condition of shrubs and creepers, and ultimately to the condition of stones, wood, clod of earth, straw etc. Sri Krsna now teaches about the manner of those in whom the Sattva has gradually increased by adopting special holy food and performance of special disinterested deeds, and who thus rise upward by transcending the Gunas.
Oordhwam gacchanti sattwasthaa madhye tishthanti raajasaah; Jaghanyagunavrittisthaa adho gacchanti taamasaah.
ūrdhvam—upward; gachchhanti—rise; sattva-sthāḥ—those situated in the mode of goodness; madhye—in the middle; tiṣhṭhanti—stay; rājasāḥ—those in the mode of passion; jaghanya—abominable; guṇa—quality; vṛitti-sthāḥ—engaged in activities; adhaḥ—down; gachchhanti—go; tāmasāḥ—those in the mode of ignorance