न तदस्ति पृथिव्यां वा दिवि देवेषु वा पुनः।
सत्त्वं प्रकृतिजैर्मुक्तं यदेभिः स्यात्ित्रभिर्गुणैः।।18.40।।
18.40. Whether on the earth, or again among the gods in the heaven, there exists not a single being, which is free from these three Strands, born of the Material-Nature.
18.40 Na tad asti etc. In this manner, the agent, the object and the instrument, the intellect and content, and happiness are classified under different heads of the Sattva etc. Because they have a mutual relationship of subordinate-and-principal or of the oppressed-and-opressor or of the togetherness; becuase they have modifications occuring either together or in a specific seence; and because they, on that account, have varieties beyond all counting; they are capable of bringing forth fruits (results) of umpteen variety. This (statement) logically demonstrates in detail the uncomprehensibility of actions (their results) which has been indicated earlier (above IV, 17ff.). All these beings, starting from the gods down to the immovables, do not transcend the relation with the traid of the Strands. Indeed it has been said - Commencing from Brahma (personal god) down to the [insignificant] worm, no one is really happy; all, without exception, having desire to live, undertake different acts of agitation (or commit different frauds to appear to be happy). Indeed the real happiness is [only] to him whose mind has gone beyond the Strands and not to anyone else. This is what is intended here. So far, the three-fold nature of each of the six items and also of the content etc., has been explained. Among them, he who is occupied with the group of the Sattva (Strand) and who has attained the divine wealth is fit for the subject under study; and you are of that sort - telling in this manner, Arjuna has been encouraged. Now the following is declared : If you engage yourself in the action with this reslove for correct knowledge, then because of your undertaking of your own righteous action and because of your sanctity through wisdom, there is no bondage of aciton for you. On the other hand, if you dont follow this, [even] then there must necessarily be some activity in you; because your birth itself stands to that effect. Since, being controlled by its own intrinsic nature, everything, though it may have, for a short while, its nature concealed due to some fault, regains its own nature that becomes perceivable when the concealing agent disappears. For example, the nature of the castes is of this nature. Thus when an effort necessarily takes place, there would be [for its agent] its fruit. This [the Bhagavat] says-
Na tadasti prithivyaam vaa divi deveshu vaa punah; Sattwam prakritijairmuktam yadebhih syaat tribhirgunaih.
na—no; tat—that; asti—exists; pṛithivyām—on earth; vā—or; divi—the higher celestial abodes; deveṣhu—amongst the celestial gods; vā—or; punaḥ—again; sattvam—existence; prakṛiti-jaiḥ—born of material nature; muktam—liberated; yat—that; ebhiḥ—from the influence of these; syāt—is; tribhiḥ—three; guṇaiḥ—modes of material nature