pravRttiM ca nivRttiM ca kaary’aakaarye bhay’aabhaye |
bandhaM mokshaM ca yaa vetti buddhiH saa paartha saattvikee || 30 ||
yayaa dharmam adharmaM ca kaaryaM c’aakaaryam eva ca |
ayathaavat prajaanaati buddhiH saa paartha raajasee || 31 ||
adharmaM dharmam iti yaa manyate tamasaa’vRtaa |
sarv’aarthaan vipareetaaMs ca buddhiH saa paartha taamasee || 32 ||
Paartha – O son of Prthaa!; pravRttim ca – self-centered activity, wordliness; nivRttim ca – renunciation; kaaryaakaarye – what should be done and what should not be done i.e what is the moral and what is the immoral; bhayaabhaye – what is to be feared and not feared; bandhaM moksham ca – bondage and freedom; yaa – which; buddhiH – intellect; vetti – knows; saa – that (buddhiH – intellect); saattvikee – is of the nature of Sattva.
Paartha – O son of Prthaa!; yayaa – by which; dharmam – the moral, the right; adharmam – the immoral, the wrong; ca – and; kaaryam – what should be done; ca – and; akaaryam – what should not be done; eva ca – and also; ayathaavat – not as they are, in a distorted manner; prajaanaati – understands; saa buddhiH – that intellect; raajasee – is of the nature of Rajas.
Paartha – O son of Prthaa!; yaa – which; tamasaa – by darkness; aavRtaa – covered; adharmam – the immoral; dharmam – the moral; iti – as; sarvaarthaan – all things; vipareetaan – in a contrary manner; ca – and; manyate – understands; saa – that; buddhiH – intellect; taamasee – is of the nature of Tamas.
O son of Prtha! That intellect is said to be of the nature of Sattva which grasps the distinction between the worldiness and renunciation, between the moral and the immoral, between what should be feared and what should not be, and between knowledge and freedom.
O son of Prtha! That intellect is said to be of the nature of Rajas, which takes a distorted and confused view of the moral and the immoral, of what should be done and what should not be done.
O son of Prtha! That intellect is of the nature of Tamas, which, covered by the darkness of ignorance, understands the immoral as the moral and thus reverses all values.
Shri Krishna is talking here about three different natures of “intellect”. One kind of intellect allows us to see things as they are, second kind gives us a distorted view of things and the third kind totally deludes us and shows things in opposite way. I guess wise men/ancient sages/saints/prophets are sometimes called as “seer(s)” because they see things for what they are.