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IS THE CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF THREE GUNAS (tendencies, qualities, attributes) ESSENTIAL FOR A YOGI


MEANING OF THREE GUNAS;- 06 FACTS;- 1-In the philosophy of Yoga, all matter in the universe arises from the fundamental substrate called Prakriti. From this ethereal Prakriti the three primary gunas (qualities) emerge creating the essential aspects of all nature—energy, matter and consciousness. 2-These three gunas are tamas (darkness), rajas (activity), and sattva (beingness).All three gunas are always present in all beings and objects surrounding us but vary in their relative amounts. We humans have the unique ability to consciously alter the levels of the gunas in our bodies and minds. 3-The gunas cannot be separated or removed in oneself, but can be consciously acted upon to encourage their increase or decrease. A guna can be increased or decreased through the interaction and influence of external objects, lifestyle practices and thoughts. 4-The mind’s psychological qualities are highly unstable and can quickly fluxuate between the different gunas. The predominate guna of the mind acts as a lens that effects our perceptions and perspective of the world around us. Thus, if the mind is in rajas it will experience world events as chaotic, confusing and demanding and it will react to these events in a rajasic way. 5-According to Bhagavad Gita ''All gunas create attachment and thus bind one’s self to the ego. “When one rises above the three gunas that originate in the body; one is freed from birth, old age, disease, and death; and attains enlightenment” 6-While the yogi/nis goal is to cultivate sattva, his/her ultimate goal is to transcend their misidentification of the self with the gunas and to be unattached to both the good and the bad, the positive and negative qualities of all life. WHAT IS GUNAS & VRITTIS?- The mind has three Gunas, viz., Sattva (light, bliss, goodness), Rajas (passion, motion) and Tamas (inertia, darkness). There are three Vrittis in the mind corresponding to the three Gunas. Santa Vritti (peace) comes out of Sattva Guna, Ghora Vritti from Rajo Guna and Mudha Vritti from Tamo Guna. Equilibrium or balance is Santa Vritti; anger is Ghora Vritti; laziness (Alasya), carelessness (Pramada) and drowsiness (Tandri) are Mudha Vrittis. DESCRIPTION OF THREE GUNAS;- 1-TAMAS GUNA(Darkness );- 05 FACTS;- Tamas is a Sanskrit word meaning "darkness." is one of the three Gunas, a philosophical and psychological concept developed by the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy. 2-According to yogic philosophy, tamas is also the name of one of the three gunas, meaning "quality" and referring to the basic qualities of nature. 3-The three gunas are always present in everyone. Regular practice of yoga and meditation can improve one's quality by balancing the three gunas as all three are essential to a certain degree. 4-Each guna is associated with certain characteristics. Rajas is associated with energy; sattva promotes intelligence; and tamas is associated with the color black, night time, negative/dark energy and inactivity. 5-Tamas is the quality of imbalance, disorder, chaos, anxiety, impure, destructive, delusion, negative, dull or inactive, apathy, inertia or lethargy, violent, vicious, ignorant. CHARACTERISTICS OF TAMAS GUNA;-– 05 FACTS;- 1-This refers to too much involvement in mental and physical exhilaration and exaltation with a loss of positive objective progression. Higher values of humanity are subdued and the life moves under too much enjoyment and inertia without any positive motive. These attributes are ruinous to the self and the society. 2-In Indian philosophy, these qualities are not considered as present in either-or fashion. Rather, everyone and everything has all three, only in different proportions and in different contexts. The living being or substance is viewed as the net result of the joint effect of these three qualities . 3-According to the Samkya school, no one and nothing is either purely Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamasic. One's nature and behavior is a complex interplay of all of these, with each guna in varying degrees. In some, the conduct is Rajasic with significant influence of Sattvic guna, in some it is Rajasic with significant influence of Tamasic guna, and so on. 4-Those with tamas domination are lazy, dull, ignorant, inactive and greedy. They have psychological blockages. Owing to lack of self-care, their energies remain stagnant, causing poor health conditions. They are also easily and negatively influenced. 5-Tamas is a state of darkness, inertia, inactivity and materiality. Tamas manifests from ignorance and deludes all beings from their spiritual truths. To reduce tamas avoid tamasic foods, over sleeping, over eating, inactivity, passivity and fearful situations.Intelligently curtail tamas and make it compatible with sattva; enjoyable spiritual elevation would take its course. Tamasic foods include heavy meats, and foods that are spoiled, chemically treated, processed or refined. 2-RAJAS GUNA (passion and activity) ;- Rajas is a state of energy, action, change and movement. The nature of rajas is of attraction, longing and attachment and rajas strongly binds us to the fruits of our work. To reduce rajas avoid rajasic foods, over exercising, over work, loud music, excessive thinking and consuming excessive material goods. Rajasic foods include fried foods, spicy foods, and stimulants. CHARACTERISTICS Of RAJAS GUNAS;- 07 FACTS;- 1-Rajo Guna is a hostile force to pull you down into Samsara. Vices(Asuri Sampat) like anger, jealousy,proud (Dambha, Darpa, Krodha) etc.-will drag you down into hell. A mind endowed with Sattva Guna will make a man still and inactive, while a mind with Rajo Guna will make him restless. It will not allow him to sit idle and will force him to work. 2-The Rajasic mind always wants new sensations and variety. It likes certain persons, objects and places now and, after some time, it becomes disgusted with them and wants new persons for company, new vegetables to eat, new books to read and new places to see (finds pleasure in sightseeing). 3-The mind of Rajasic type wants always company and talk. These are the two defects which distract the mind much. Avoid company. Live alone. Observe silence(Mouna). You will get peace of mind. Most of the pain comes from bad company. Be careful in the selection of your companions. You will rarely find a good, sincere friend. Never take a friend into your close confidence without testing him for a long time. 4-The Rajasic mind has a tendency to look into the defects of others. It also remembers the bad deeds or wrongs done by others and forgets easily their good acts. These two tendencies intensify hatred and cause frequent disturbance in the mind. 5-A mind which is devoid of Sattva Guna will not be good enough to consider others' happiness as its own and will, therefore, be ever reeling ( to pull by the use of a reel). Again, as this mind has not the complacency to rejoice at another's virtues, there is no internal contentment. Then, as it does not consider others' sufferings as its own, there arises in it no compassion for them. 6-It is the Rajasic mind that splits, separates, divides and deceptively shows plurality (Nanatva). The sun is one. The moon is one. Akasa is one. The idea behind languages is one. The feeling of sincerity is one. There is no inside or outside. Husband and wife become one in heart. Intimate friends are one in heart. Matter is one. Energy is one. Sattvic mind is one. It unifies. Cosmic Mahat is one. Karma (law of cause and effect) is one. Dharma is one. Religion is one. Truth is one. Brahman is one. Ekameva Advitiyam Brahma (Brahman is one without a second). 7-Intense Rajas takes Sattvic turn. Dacoit Ratnakar became the sage Valmiki. Jagai and Madhai, who were intensely Rajasic and who pelted stones at Lord Gouranga, became his first disciples. 3-SATTVA GUNA(purity, goodness);- Sattva is a state of harmony, balance, joy and intelligence. Sattva is the guna that yogi/nis achive towards as it reduces rajas and tamas and thus makes liberation possible. To increase sattva reduce both rajas and tamas, eat sattvic foods and enjoy activities and environments that produce joy and positive thoughts. A-Sattvic foods include whole grains and legumes and fresh fruits and vegetables that grow above the ground. All of the yogic practices were developed to create sattva in the mind and body. Thus, practicing yoga and leading a yogic lifestyle strongly cultivates sattva. CHARACTERISTICS Of SATTVA GUNAS;- 04 FACTS;- 1-Sattva Guna is purity, illumination, light. Sattva Guna is a force favourable for the attainment of Moksha.Virtues (Daivi Sampat)such as fearlessness, purity of heart, etc.,-will confer liberation on you. The effect of Sattva Guna is enquiry or search for Truth; differentiation between Sat and Asat, what is real and what is unreal(Brahmavichara ). 2-A Sattvic mind is always steady. It finds delight internally. It may stick to one place indefinitely. It keeps friendship with persons for a long, long time. It can read the Gita or the Yogavasishtha any number of days. It can live on Dal-roti for years together without any grumbling. 3-During Sattvic moments, when there is preponderance of pure Sattva in the mind, you are in touch with the Divine Source owing to the cleanness of the mind-mirror. You will get inspiration. You will compose beautiful poetry, etc. 4-Sattvapatti is a state of mind wherein the mind is full of Sattva or purity. There is purity of thought (Bhava-Samsuddhi) and purity of heart (Sattva-Samsuddhi). It is the fourth Jnana-Bhumika or fourth stage of Jnana. SIGNIFICANCE OF SATTVA GUNAS;- 05 FACTS;- 1-The real peace of mind does not come from outside. It is produced in the same mind when the mind is controlled and its thoughts are checked. You must put forth great efforts to check the passions and desires. Then alone will your aptitude for activity be subdued and you will be at rest and your thoughts will be stilled. Develop, therefore, Sattva Guna by Japa, Vichara, Satsanga, meditation, light Sattvic food, Tapas and Svadhyaya. 2-An ordinary worldly-minded man can hardly hear the inner voice of Atman. He cannot get pure thoughts or Vichara (enquiry into Self) also. Every Sattvic (pure) thought emanates from Sattvic Buddhi (pure intellect). In the case of worldlings, all thoughts proceed from the mind only. 3-He who does Nishkama Karma Yoga (selfless service) and has purity of the mind, begins to entertain thoughts of God and meditation. Generally, the mind raises various sorts of curious, fantastic thoughts. It deludes all. It may pretend to do Vichara also. But, when it comes to actual practice, it will do nothing. 4-If there is a serious determination in you to concentrate and, if you put it into actual practice for months steadily and, if the longing for Darshana of God or Self-realisation becomes keen and acute, then alone think that all these kinds of thoughts proceed from your Sattvic Buddhi only. 5-All Sadhanas aim at the development of Sattva Guna and the attainment of pure, irresistible Will. This will bring about removal of ignorance (Avidya Nivritti ) and Sat-Chit-Ananda state (Paramananda-Prapti). Increase of Sattva Guna and pure, strong, determined Will pave a long way in achieving God-realisation. In the world also, there are persons with a few Sattvic virtues such as patience, generosity, forgiveness, etc. But, a spiritual aspirant tries to develop the mind as a whole, to acquire all Sattvic virtues. SIGNIFICANCE OF THREE GUNAS FOR A YOGI (THE KEY POINTS);- 18 FACTS;- 1-A clear understanding of the three Gunas and their operations is very necessary for a Karma Yogi. He who has knowledge of the three Gunas can do his work in a better and more efficient manner. 2-Prakriti is composed of the three Gunas or forces .During Cosmic Pralaya these three Gunas exist in a state of equilibrium. During projection or Srishti a vibration arises and the three qualities are manifested in the physical universe. The three qualities bring bondage to the Jiva or the individual soul. 3-Though Sattva is a desirable quality, yet it also binds a man. It is a golden fetter. Rajas is the source of attachment and thirst for life. It causes attachment to action. Tamas binds man to heedlessness (Pramada), laziness (Alasya) and sleep (Nidra). 4-These three qualities are inseparable. No one is absolutely Rajasic or Sattvic or Tamasic. Sometimes Sattva prevails in man. He is calm and serene. He sits quietly and entertains sublime, soul-elevating thoughts. He studies religious scriptures. He talks on divine topics. 5-When Sattva prevails, the other two qualities are overpowered for the time being. At other times Rajas prevails. He does action. He moves about. He plans, schemes, speculates. He craves for power, wealth and action. 6-When Rajas prevails, Sattva and Tamas are overpowered for the time being. Sometimes Tamas prevails and the man becomes slothful. He feels lazy, indolent (slow-moving) and lethargic. He is dull and feels sleepy. 7-When Tamas prevails, Sattva and Rajas are overpowered for the time being. In some people Sattva is predominant; in others Rajas is predominant; and in some others Tamas is predominant. 8-When the wisdom-light streams forth from all the gates of the body, then it may be known that Sattva is increasing. Greed, outgoing energy, undertaking of action, restlessness and desire-these are born of the increase of Rajas. Darkness, delusion, stagnation, heedlessness-these are born of the increase of inertia. If Sattva is predominant at the time of one's death, then he goes to the spotless world of sages. 9- If Rajas is predominant at the time of one's death, he will doubtless be born among those that are attached to action. If one dies when Tamas is predominant, he will be born in the womb of the senseless. 10-The fruit of a Sattvic action is harmonious and spotless; the fruit of a Rajasic action is pain, and of a Tamasic action is ignorance. Those who are established in Sattva rise upwards. The Rajasic people occupy a middle place and the Tamasic people go downwards, shrouded in the vilest of qualities. 11-Intense Rajas takes a Sattvic turn. A man who is immersed in deep Rajas will take to Nivritti Marga or the path of renunciation. He will, as is the law, be fed up with activities. According to Bhagwat Gita :-"For a sage who is seeking Yoga, action is called the means; for the same sage when enthroned (to assign supreme virtue) in Yoga, serenity(peace), is called the means." 12-It is impossible to rise or jump to Sattva all of a sudden from Tamas. One should convert Tamas into full Rajas first. Then he can reach Sattva. Sattva is intense activity. Just as the wheel of an engine appears to remain stationary when it moves very swiftly, so also a Sattvic man appears to be calm through his self-restraint or control. A Sattvic man is most active. He can turn out tremendous work within the twinkling of an eye. He has full concentration. 13-Prakriti does all action. It is the Gunas that operate. Owing to ignorance the body is mistaken for the Self. Egoism of man asserts at every step, nay, at every second. Just as the motion of the clouds is falsely attributed to the sun, so also the movements of the body and the Indriyas are falsely attributed to the Self. The Self is always silent and is the witness of all actions. He is inactive (Nishkriya or Akarta). 14-According to Bhagwat Gita :- 1-"All actions are wrought by the qualities born of nature only. The self, deluded by egoism, thinketh: 'I am the doer.' But he, O mighty-armed, who knoweth the essence of the divisions of the qualities and functions, holding that the qualities move amid the qualities, is not attached." 2-"'I do not do anything' should think the harmonised one, who knoweth the essence of things. Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, speaking, giving, grasping, opening and closing the eyes, he holdeth: 'The senses move among the objects of the senses.'" 3-"He who seeketh that Prakriti, verily performeth all actions, and that the Self is actionless, he seeth(To be in a state of turmoil ). 4-"When the seer perceiveth no agent other than the qualities and knoweth That which is higher than the qualities, he entereth into My nature." 15-The mind and the five organs of knowledge, viz., ear, skin, eye, tongue and nose, are formed out of the Sattvic portion of the Tanmatras or rudiments( the simplest and most basic facts) . Learn more.of matter. The Pranas and the five organs of action, viz., tongue, hands, feet, genitals and anus are formed out of the Rajasic portion of the Tanmatras. This physical body is formed out of the Tamasic portion of the Tanmatras. 16-By meditation on the significance of the above Slokas of the Gita, one can transcend the three Gunas. The Atman or Brahman is beyond the three Gunas (Trigunatita). One should increase his Sattva Guna by development of virtuous qualities, by taking Sattvic food, doing charity, practising austerities, doing Japa and meditation, controlling the Indriyas, and studying religious books. Then he should go beyond Sattva Guna also by identifying himself with the Atman or Sakshi, and practising Brahma Abhyasa or Atma-Chintana or Nididhyasana. 17-When the dweller in the body has crossed these three qualities whence all bodies have been produced, liberated from birth, death, old age, diseases and sorrow, he drinketh the nectar of immortality. 18-He who has crossed the three qualities has the following signs as described in the Gita: "He who hateth not radiance nor outgoing energy, nor even delusion when present, nor longeth after them when absent; he who, seated as a neutral, is unshaken by the qualities; who saying: 'The qualities revolve', standeth apart, immovable; balanced in pleasure and pain, self-reliant, to whom a lump of earth, a rock and gold are alike; the same to loved and unloved, firm, the same in censure and praise, the same in honour and ignominy (disgrace), the same to friend and foe, abandoning all undertakings-he is said to have crossed over the qualities. And he who serveth Me exclusively by the Yoga of Devotion, he, crossing beyond qualities, is fit to become the Eternal." ....SHIVOHAM...