सत्त्वं रजस्तम इति गुणाः प्रकृतिसंभवाः।
निबध्नन्ति महाबाहो देहे देहिनमव्ययम्।।14.5।।
।।14.5।।हे महाबाहो प्रकृतिसे उत्पन्न होनेवाले सत्त्व? रज और तम -- ये तीनों गुण अविनाशी देहीको देहमें बाँध देते हैं।
14.5 O mighty-armed one-who are possessed of hands which are great and mighty, and extend upto the knees, gunah, the alities are named sattva, rajas and tamas. And they, prakrti-sambhavah, born of Nature, born of Maya which belongs to God; nibadhnanti, bind, as it were; the avyayam, immutable-the immutability has been spoken of in the verse, Being without beginning৷৷., etc. (13.31); dehinam, embodied being; dehe, to the body. The word guna is a technical term, and is not a ality like colour etc. which inhere in some substance. Nor is it meant here that ality and substance are different. Therefore they are ever dependent on the Knower of the field, just as alities are dependent (on some substance). Being of the nature of ignorance, they bind the Knower of the field, as it were. They come into being, making That (Knower) their sustainer. In this sense it is said that they bind. Objection; Was it not said that the embodied one does not become defiled (see 13.31-2)? So, why as it contrarily said here that they bind? Reply: We have rutted this objection by using the word iva (as it were) in they bind, as it were.
14.5 Sattvam etc. This embodied Soul is bound fast by Her (the Mother) by means of Her attributes of the Sattva, the Rajas and the Tamas for the formers enjoyment that continues till his emancipation. The nature of these is detailed one by one -
14.5 The three Gunas of Prakrti - Sattva, Rajas and Tamas - are inherent in the essential nature of Prakrti and are particular expressions of it. They can be known only through their effects such as brightness etc. They are not apparent in the unevolved state of Prakrti but become apparent in its transformations as Mahat etc. They bind the self, which is conjoined with bodies such as those of divinities, men etc., composed of the modifications of Prakrti beginning with Mahat and ending with the elements. The self is immutable, i.e., It is not in Its pristine nature conjoined with the Gunas. But the Gunas bind It when residing in the body. The meaning is that they bind It by virtue of the limiting conditions of Its living in the body. Sri Krsna proceeds to speak of the nature of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas and their modes of binding (the self):
Sattwam rajastama iti gunaah prakriti sambhavaah; Nibadhnanti mahaabaaho dehe dehinam avyayam.
sattvam—mode of goodness; rajaḥ—mode of passion; tamaḥ—mode of ignorance; iti—thus; guṇāḥ—modes; prakṛiti—material nature; sambhavāḥ—consists of; nibadhnanti—bind; mahā-bāho—mighty-armed one; dehe—in the body; dehinam—the embodied soul; avyayam—eternal