The seventeenth chapter, entitled "Sraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga" or "Yoga in relation to the Threefold Path" contains a discussion of the character of the three Gunas of Prakriti. It tells of the kinds of food associated with each of the three Gunas, examines the idea of Sacrifice, Penance and Gifts in the light of the three Gunas, and tells us how, while remaining in the world and acting in conjunction with the Gunas, one can still achieve freedom from the bondage of action. Ultimate Truth, we are told, consists in Faith, Penance, Gifts and Sacrifice.
O Krishna what's the state of those
The Blessed Lord said:
The faith of all embodied ones
The faith of each, O Bharata,
The Sattvic worship but the gods;
The men who practise penances,
And heedlessly who torture all
And know that food to each one dear
The food, augmenting vital power,
And bitter, sour, and saltish, hot,
The food that's raw and tasteless all,
The sacrifice, by ordinance,
What is performed, desiring fruit,
Devoid of gifts to Brahmans, food,
Worship of gods, of Brahmans wise,
The speech that is from sorrow free,
Calmness of mind and kindliness,
This threefold penance done by men
The penance practised with the aim
The penance born of foolish thought,
Verily Sattvic is that gift,
And what is given but with the aim
That given to a worthless man,
Threefold has Brahman been declared,
Therefore those who follow Brahma,
Seekers of final freedom too,
The Real thing is Sat indeed,
And Sat is also steadiness
Whatever is done, devoid of faith,
Those who torture their bodies in doing penance, torture their God who dwells therein.
Om, Tat, Sat: Om refers to Prana or the soul, as has been explained. Tat means "all that" and refers to the manifest life that is around us, which may be so described. Hence we have the classic expression, "Tad i tvam asi", referring to God as comprehending everything we see around. Sat means "Being, life, goodness or truth".
God is made manifest in the Soul or Prana (Om); he is everything that we see around (Tat); and he exists, he is goodness, and Truth (Sat).
Om and deeds: All actions are performed by Prana or Breath, which refers also to Air, the element of action.