Guna-Traya means three gunas. Vibhaga means division. In this
chapter we learn more about the three gunas called Raja, Tama and Sattwa,
how they are placed in the body and how they affect the nature of beings.
We have seen before, that these three are the tools in the hands of
Prakruti and they are responsible for all the actions in the world. If
your remember chapter 3, you will know that these three gunas make
of past lives
Krishna begins this
chapter by saying, "Again I shall tell you the supreme Dnyana, the
best among all things to be known, by knowing which all the sages have
attained perfection. By getting this Dnyana fixed in mind, people have
reached Me. These people are neither born at the time of creation nor
distressed at the time of dissolution."
All living beings
undergo the birth-death cycle, because of laws of Karma. There is no
escape from Karma. The three gunas force us into doing Karma. Our
attachment and the involvement of Purusha in every single Karma creates
a bondage, and the chain which binds the Purusha to Prakruti's game,
becomes stronger and stronger. Yet there is one way to get out of this
cycle. That is the way of performing Karma in a detached manner. It
means, not coming under the influence of these gunas. If you can do this,
you can reach God; and once you are there, there is no way you will be
All other beings, are
born millions of times over again in any one of the 8.400.000 species,
including a human being. This process does not stop even when one Yuga
ends and another starts. The Purusha, who is trapped in the cycle,
remains in embryo stage in the Prakruti, at the time of dissolution of a
yuga. Later, when it is time for the next Yuga to commence, the embryo
comes beck to life and is again thrown back in the cycle. Thus, do not
be surprised to know that you may have been born millions of times
before and will be born again and again; but not necessarily as a human
being always. And you retain your vasanas, nature, good and bad
qualities always in the mind.
Sometimes you observe
that a fellow human being is very cunning by nature. You may not find
any one with that degree of cunningness. Why is it that this man's
nature is like that? Probably in the previous life he was a fox, whose
nature is cunningness. When you show the qualities of explicit obedience
to your master, it is possible that one of your past life was that of a
faithful dog. Even though, you do not perform any Karma in any life
other than the life of a human being, your nature, associated with the
species in which you were born, remains with you. Because your body
changes, not your mind, when you are reborn. Yet it is only in human
life you can do something and beat the cycle. If you can do it, God says,
"You come to Me, never to return again."
In verse nos. 3 to 10,
we are given an explanation of the process of birth of Universe. From
our knowledge of birth of a being, what do we know? We know that when
male and female partners of a species come together and have sex, and
when the female egg is fertiled by the male sperm, a seed is sown,
embryo is born and the process of birth starts. The embryo grows. After
following certain routine pattern, the offspring comes out of the female
womb. We say, a child is born. This is true of all mammals. Even in
other species, the process is basically the same. Instead of an
offspring, you have the embryo in an egg. It remains there for some
period and then comes out of it. So, for the process of birth to begin,
we need a male and a female partner. Same rule applies to the birth of
God or Parama-purusha
is all male. He creates out of His own being a female existence called
Prakruti. Just as God has a universal form, which he showed to Arjuna,
His Prakruti can also be manifested in universal female form. The
reproductive organ of Prakruti is His own part called "Mahat-Brahma"
(Greater Brahma). Brahma is God Himself in unmanifested form. It
occupies everything. He plants His seed in "Mahat-Brahma",
which becomes the source of birth of the universe. In this way He
becomes the Father, Prakruti becomes the mother. But, since Prakruti is
none other than His own female form, He also becomes the mother, of this
Universe. As a mother He runs all the show, as a father He stays aloof
and sees that everything goes on perfectly well. As mother, He gives
birth to Brahmadev (creator), Vishnu (preserver) and Shankara (destroyer).
They are given a set of rules. Brahmadev appoints demigods, when His
process of creation commences. All of them owe their birth to the
Parama-purusha. He then stays aloof from Prakruti's Karma, yet sees and
knows everything. He is concerned with only one fact. He wants to ensure
that all beings follow their Dharma in all Yugas.
The Dharma in Kaliyuga
is the right performance of Karma. Whenever this Dharma is in danger,
whenever it is being trampled, He sends His high powered emissaries to
restore order. When He thinks that it is necessary for Him to get into
the act, He rides on His Prakruti and takes a manifested form. In the
last Yuga He came down on earth as Krishna, and killed the demons who
were posing a great threat to the Dharma in that Yuga.
In Kaliyuga, He limited
our lives to just 100 years and He oversees everything. The Dharma in
this Yuga is human behaviour. He expects one and all to understand, that
all beings are equal and nobody has any right or authority to degrade or
chide others. Each one will live by one's own Karma, die one's own death
according to the "Prarabdha Karma" and will be reborn in any
species as per his Karma. The basic human conduct rules such as honesty,
sincerity, trustworthiness, truthfulness etc. etc., are the pillars of
Dharma in Kaliyuga. Flouting them is behaving against Dharma. This act
of humans against Dharma is caused by the influence of the three gunas.
They do not attack from outside, though they do enter the body from the
sense organs. They attack from inside. Hence, He resides in every being
to give help when a person keenly desires to fight the evil in himself
or herself but does not succeed. Also, since Kali has been given full
power to do what he pleases with the beings in this Yuga, God stays
quiet. It is only when things will go beyond limit, when nothing but
anarchy will prevail and "Adharma" will be the order of the
day, He will descend on earth.
He has said that His
seed is sown in Prakruti, and thereafter all beings are born. In this
way, all the 8.400.000 species of life are made possible by birth in
material form. The source of all species is Mahat-Brahma. He therefore
is the Father of all of us, in theory, practice and technicality. Do we
not address Him as, "O' our Father in Heaven" when we pray? We
say heaven because our knowledge is limited. For most of us, there are
just three worlds viz., Earth, Heaven and Hell. We believe that our
Father lives in Heaven. He, the God almighty, is our Father but He is
not in Heaven. He is everywhere, very close to us. And He says, "do
not just think of going to heaven, because, you will again be reborn on
earth after your term in Heaven is over. Aspire, therefore, to go beyond
heaven. Come to Me."
He invites us with open
arms. The path is clear. Pray Him in any manner, any language, any words.
These are just channels. What passes on to Him through these channels is
your sincerity, devotion and love. If you lack these, He hears not. Even
if you do not pray, do not worship, do not go to any of His houses like
Mandirs, Churches, Mosques, Gurudwaras, Synagogs etc., He does not get
angry. All He says is, "follow your Dharma". Be honest. Treat
every other being as yourself. Help the poor and needy. Do not be greedy
and so on. Is it difficult? Think it over.
- nature and work
Once He plants His seed,
it percolates through all embryos. Prakruti is now armed with three
gunas to see that the living beings, either adhere to His proclaimed
Dharma and do their Karmas in a detached manner, or be subject to the
Raja, Tama, Sattwa gunas and be born again and again and again. The
Purusha in the body is, in fact, a free entity, He is chained by these
three gunas. That is the hold of Prakruti over Purusha. Their nature is
to get involved in Prakruti's creation. They do not know anything else.
They exist everywhere. They are in food and drink items, in plants and
trees, grass and flowers, leaves and fruits, animals and humans, in air
and water, fire and breeze, speech and sight, hearing and smell, touch
and taste; and everything else you can think of. They travel though
space. Each of these gunas has its own part to play in Prakruti's game.
It is very pure and the best. By its purity and goodness it illuminates
and frees one, from any sinful reaction. It conditions one with a sense
of happiness and Dnyana.
This guna is quiet by nature and peace loving. When it dominates,
it creates a sense of well being and turns one's mind to have the purest
and the best things in the world. It directs the senses to have higher
type of enjoyments and pleasures. When it is ruling the other two, all
the senses will turn to material things which are considered good, moral
It will make the mind
to look for high quality entertainment. Normally, it is mixed with
"Raja" guna. Depending upon the proportion of this mixture,
the effect of Sattwa varies. If Sattwa and Raja are nearly in same
proportion with Tama in negligible quantity, then it will be prompted to
work more on materialistic level. If the proportion of "Raja"
is much less, then Sattwa will lose interest in materialistic pleasures.
It will stabilise the mind and turn it inwards towards self. When it is
absolutely alone, it will enforce peace and quietude. It will make one
just sit and do nothing but meditate.
guna is also called passionate. It can never sit idle. It causes motion
and loves to please the senses. It is the cause of desire and lust. It
makes us do Karma. It also takes interest in every Karma and expects
favourable results. When it is on the top, you cannot sit quiet at one
place. If you are forced in a situation where you can do nothing, it
gets restless. It is essential for all who wish to be somebody in
You are on a long
drive. You come on a lonely stretch of road. All of a sudden there is a
leak and gas goes out. The car comes to a halt. There is no garage in
sight. You know something about car mechanism. You check and observe
that its a minor leak and can be fixed in a few minutes. If you have the
tools, you will feel happy. You will attend to the damage and fix the
leak, at least, temporarily. The car can run now but there is no
gasoline. If your Raja guna is dominant, it will make you think of the
ways to solve the problem, You cannot produce gas. You have to get it
from somewhere. You will start trying to stop the passing cars. Suppose
there are not many passers by, and those who pass are in a hurry. They
do not stop. The energy of Raja is getting exhausted. If it is at its
highest peak, you may lie down in the middle of the road trying to force
a passing car to stop. You may do anything but you will do something.
You will not rest till you can get the necessary gas from somewhere. If
you had "Sattwa" riding high, you may sit quietly waiting for
somebody to come and help you. This is no good. Your peace loving and
quiet nature is useless in this situation. You have to do something.
When it comes to doing anything "Raja" must dominate.
It is the most wretched of the three. It does not think rationally. It
loves ignorance and prefers darkness. It is very fond of sleeping and it
creates all delusions. When dominant, it produces conditions of lethargy,
sleep, and madness. It is directly opposite of Sattwa guna.
In the example given
above, if "Tama" is accompanying "Raja", it will
make "Raja" more boisterous. While trying to do something, to
get out of your situation, you will swear, abuse the car dealer or even
the government for not providing for a garage service on the road. You
will hurl abuses at other car drivers who do not stop to see what
problem you have. When it is at its peak and the other two are very low,
it will enjoy its kingdom. It will force you to sleep. Even if you have
had your required amount of sleep, it will not allow you to get up from
bed. You will just lie down like a lazy bum.
In this way, your
behaviour is determined by these gunas. They all work hand in hand, yet
compete with each other. Dominance of Sattwa conditions you to happiness
of pure type. Raja, when dominant will condition you to do Karma for
enjoyment and pleasure of sense organs. When Tama dominates, it engulfs
knowledge, produces ignorance, sleep or blinds you to madness i.e. loss
of common sense and reason.
All three compete each
with other. Sometimes Sattwa surpasses the other two. Most of the times
it is the Raja who controls and keeps the other two down. Other times
Tama rides high, defeating the others in the race.
Sattwa dominates, all the doors of the body get illumined. Dnyana is on
the increase. So when your senses stop indulging in sensual pleasures
but begin to take more interest in spiritual objects and subjects, you
can be sure that Sattwa guna is dominant. The doors of the body are
ears, eyes, nostrils, mouth, anus and genitals.
A friend calls you to
go with him for a party where many of your old friends will be coming.
This is an opportunity for you to rekindle your old associations,
compare notes and have a good time. The organiser of the party is a
wealthy person, a close business associate of your friend and he has
told your friend to bring any of his friends. So your friend convinces
you, that you should not hesitate to go because you don't the man
throwing the party. You do not have false ego problem. You can go. Your
friend says, there will be many women, a lot of booze, music and
dancing, and good food. The weather outside is murky and it is a Friday
evening. Late night and party hangover is not going to cause any problem
since you have the whole weekend off, and no jobs to do either in or
outside the house. What an ideal situation for a party! In your
profession, partying is a necessity and you have been to great parties
before. In the normal circumstances, you will be happy to accept the
But at this moment,
something is going on in your system. Sattwa is extremely dominant. The
other two are suppressed completely. Do you know what will you do? You
will thank your friend for the invitation but politely say,
"No" to him. Why? Because your eyes will not be interested in
seeing beautiful women, ears will have no pleasure in listening to loud
party music and gossip. Sense of touch will shy away from the prospect
of mingling with people, and sense of touch will abhor the idea of
drinks and good food. Even nostrils will say no to the peculiar
"party" odour emanating from perfumes of all kinds. On the
contrary, ears would love to listen to some devotional music, nostrils
will feel at home with the scent of sandalwood or incense. Taste bud
will be happy to have nothing to eat or drink. Eyes would rejoice in
seeing an idol of God or a group of devotees singing bhajans. In fact
all the senses of knowledge and those of action (hands, legs, voice,)
will take pleasure in doing an activity connected with spiritual work.
When Raja is totally
suppressed, hands and legs will be quietened, mind will lose its
instable nature. All kinds of motion will slow down. You would wish that
your friend leaves you. You will thank him profusely for thinking of you
and wish him a nice and happy evening. When he leaves, you will feel
relaxed because your Sattwa guna was reluctant to accept his presence.
It actually disliked to talk about the party. So when he leaves, you
feel inwardly happy for no reason. Then you will go in a room and may be
sit in meditation or do Pooja or chant His name, if Raja gives company.
In absence of this company, you will just sit and get lost in your own
inner quarters, happy, with yourself.
"Raja" guna dominates, passion increases. It stimulates
action. When you cannot sit at one place steadily and feel like doing
something, this guna is in prominence. When your desire of any kind gets
hold of your mind, consider that "Raja" is riding high. When
you crave for material things, hanker for them, "Raja" is
running the show.
It is a holiday. You
are at home. The time is one hour before noon. You are sitting quietly.
Suddenly you get a desire to have a cup of coffee. Raja is pushing the
others down. Sattwa is not keeping quiet. It races with Raja and is
ahead by an inch. You say to yourself, "forget it, this is not a
time for coffee." Raja is not somebody who would stay put. It
increases speed, overpowers Sattwa and goes far ahead. You get up, go to
the kitchen to make some coffee. Or you may give a shout to your wife,
daughter or cook to get you a cup of coffee.
Sometimes you pace up
and down the room for nothing. This is because Raja is dominant. It will
not allow you to sit quietly. All of a sudden you go to the telephone,
pick up the receiver and make a call. There was no need actually. But
your eyes see the telephone on the corner table. Raja, sitting in the
sense of sight gets activated and forces you to make a call. You may
call a friend and engage yourself in talking. Raja is in action. By this
time, the Sattwa which lagged behind, has caught up with Raja and
overpowered it. You lose interest in your telephone talk, put the
receiver down and go back to sit.
this guna is dominant, you lose all sense of reason, lose interest in
any kind of work. When you get a feeling of inertia or you feel too lazy
to do anything, or you start talking or doing anything which does not
stand to reason, consider yourself being ruled by "Tama" guna.
When your temptations increase, this guna is ruling.
You are working at your
desk in your company. There are many other staff, your colleagues, out
of whom you specially like one girl. You have friendly relations with
her. Whenever she can, she comes to your desk and chats. During tea
break, she prefars to sit by your side and have her tea. One day, you
see a young man, from another section of your company, coming to her.
You can see from your desk that he is trying to be familiar with her.
She does not respond. He goes away. So far so good. You go on a week's
leave. When you resume, you see him talking to her. She goes out with
him for tea. He comes often to your section, on some pretext or another
and finds time to stop by her desk and talk. She seems to enjoy talking
to him. You don't like it. Seed of anger is sown. You say to yourself
"I must warn the girl not to be so friendly with that boy." My
dear sir, Tama is dominating you. It is ruling your mind and thoughts.
It is because the
"Sattwa" in you is also high that you keep quiet and do
nothing. But if this Tama keeps "Sattwa" totally suppressed,
you will be boiling with anger. You will not be able to do your own
work. In that mood mistakes will be committed. If another colleague
comes to you to say something, you may retort "What do you want? I
am busy." He will be surprised and walk away. Your Tama is now
rising. If by chance, the "Raja" in you is also high and comes
to be level with "Tama", you may get up, walk to the girl's
desk and fire the boy. You may say "Don't you have any work? Let
her be alone. Go back to your section." This action will not stand
to reason. The girl and others may wonder what happened to you. Little
would they realise that the "Tama" in you dominated you. A
little later, when this fellow had played its part, and is quietened,
you will feel remorse. You may go to the girl and apologise. This is the
effect of "Tama" guna.
We have seen that unless a person is liberated from the Karmic bonds, he
or she remains in the cycle of birth and death. We also know that after
death in this world, our Karmas determine, in what species and where we
will take rebirth. We know that a being goes to that species which he or
she was thinking at the time the Atma leaves the body. In verse nos. 14
and 15 we learn about the world where we go after death.
Three worlds are known,
or in other words this universe is divided into three parts. In Vedas
they are together called Trailokya (Three worlds). Gita chapter 3, verse
22 also mentions three worlds. Every living being after death on earth
goes to one of these. The deciding factor is these three gunas. If
sattwa dominates, you go to the world which is illuminated by light, the
world where great sages and Yogis live. There are many planets in which
life exists, though it may not be in human form that we know. The higher
world is governed by purity. It contains several planets, such as
"Tapaloka" (Tapa means austerities, loka means
"Gandhrvaloka" etc. The races which live on these planets are
Gandharvas, Yakshas, Kinnaras, Vidyadharas, Devas, and many others.
Indra is the king of Swargaloka which we refer to as heaven. When Sattwa
is high, the mind is cut off from material world. It may be attached to
some sage, may be thinking of a great departed soul or that of a
demigod. Depending upon the attachment of the mind to particular deity
or great soul, at the time of death, the Sattwa guna will cause the Atma
to go to that planet.
guna is dominating, the person is engulfed in worldly desires and is
attached to them. Every desire is prone to Karma so the person is taken
to the world, known as "Karmabhooni" or Bhuloka i.e. our
earth. The species in which he will be born on rebirth will depend upon
his mind's most dominant thought at the time Atma leaves the body. If
you think of the painter who was doing painting job for your house, but
left it unfinished, and the Atma leaves at that very moment, you may be
born in a painter's family, or somewhere connected with that unfinished
When Tama guna
dominates, you are born in animal kingdom, where there is no Dnyana.
Tama is the characteristics of total ignorance, action without using
intellect. So you go to become an animal which does not have intellect.
Animals have instinct. So be very careful. Generally, that guna which
has dominated most of your life will tend to surface up when the end is
in sight. If you have been lethargic, very lazy, averse to do any kind
of work, a lover of idleness, or with angry disposition, a person
succumbing to passions without bothering about results, your life is
dominated by "Tama". It is very likely that just at the time
of death, this guna will suppress the other two and surface on the top.
When it does and you breathe your last, you are gone to spend some years
of your existesue on earth as some animal. Your nature will determine
In actual practice, the
laws determining your rebirth place, and species are so meticulously
framed that there is no room for failure. It is not easy for us to
pinpoint exactly where will we be reborn, and as what. However, these
three gunas give us a clue. We know now that we are the makers of our
destiny, in this world as well as the next.
All of us are always doing some Karma or another all the time. It would
be physical action, word of mouth or thought. Even senses by themselves
are involved in the performance of Karma. Each Karma is labelled in the
name of the respective guna under which influence, the Karma is done.
Karma done by two persons may be same but the influencing factor could
be different. Raja guna will make you take action but Sattwa or Tama
will dominate it, if Raja is indifferent to it.
You are working in an
organisation or a factory where work is carried out all seven days of
the week. Workers are given weekly offs which differ from shift to
shift. You are working regular hours, five days a week, Monday to
Friday. Saturday and Sunday are your two weekly off days. But your
contract says that in case of emergency, you could be called on duty on
your off days, for which you will be adequately compensated. You plan an
outing with your family on one of the weekends. Two days before your
weekend starts, your boss calls you and asks you to come to work that
weekend, and take next two days off. You tell him your plans and express
your inability to work on that weekend. The boss is very sympathetic and
understands your difficulty but he can't help it. You argue your case
but in the end he wins and you have to postpone your outing. Your family
is upset. But that is life.
You go to work on the
weekend. If you work with an injured mind, abusing the company or the
boss from time to time, or being totally displeased with the whole
episode, you will be working under the influence of Tama guna. If,
however, you have forgotten your argument with the boss and after
thinking in your mind or talking to your wife, have come to a conclusion
that the boss was right, your attitude will change. Let us say, you feel
that the job is such that only you can be trusted with it to get it
accomplished efficiently. You actually feel happy about it. You go to
work in a good mood and devote all your attention to the job, thinking
all the while of justifying the trust placed in you by your boss. You
will do your Karma under the influence of Sattwa guna.
Suppose, the weekend
job comes to you in turn, as every once a while everybody has to work
one weekend in two months. You are aware of it but you think that your
turn is not due yet. You come to know of it when your foreman reminds
you on a Wednesday that the coming weekend is your working time. You get
a shock. You check and find that there was a mistake. It was your own
mistake in calculating the off days. Anyway, you have to work. You
postpone your outing and report for duty on Saturday. You are not
enthusiastic about it nor do you grudge anybody. You just do your work
and do it well. Your Raja guna makes you do the Karma, the other two are
So we see that every
Karma is influenced by one of the three gunas. Suppose you are reading
this book and you feel like listening to music. You get up and switch on
your music system. This action was prompted by Raja guna. You are not
particular about what kind of music you want to hear at that time. You
just want some music to fall on your ears while you read. Your Karma is
done under influence of Raja guna. Karma done to obtain sense pleasures
is due to "Raja"
guna. Your daily job or business or profession is done to earn money
which is required for living as well as pleasures. Raja guna is the
cause for it.
of Karma and the fruit
Karma, therefore gets labelled as per its ruling guna. The labels are,
Rajas Karma -
Done under the influence of Raja guna.
Sattwa Karma - Done under the influence of Sattwa guna
Tamas Karma -
Done under the influence of Tama guna.
As each Karma bears a
fruit, unless it is done in a detached way, and as there are three
different types of Karma, the type of fruit also is different.
Sattwic Karma i.e. any
pious Karma results into goodness
and happiness. Rajas Karma results in misery and distress while Tamas
Karma results in foolishness. Sattwa terminates into Dnyana, Raja ends
into greed and the end of Tama is madness, delusion and ignorance.
Sattwa's disposition is towards Purusha while the other two are inclined
towards Prakruti. These are three brothers, each with some difference in
behaviour. One is quiet, the other cannot sit at one place, the third
enjoys sleep and laziness. The first one has tolerance, the second is
always excited, the third one loses his shirt for trifle reasons.
Persons with dominance
of Sattwa, go upwards after death. Those with dominating Raja stay on
earth while Tama-dominated persons go to hell.
From what has been
mentioned above it is clear that you must strive to develop Sattwa guna
in you, if you wish to go to higher world after death. However, if you
wish to come back to earth, then development of Raja would be ideal. And
if you do not care about what happens after death, and, therefore
indulge in lust, fulfilment of desires at any cost, then you are likely
to develop Tama which will promptly take you to hell.
Krishna says in verse
no. 9 "One who sees that the doer of Karma is not different from
these three gunas and knows that he is different from them,- comes to Me
in the end."
This is the basis of
performing Karma with non attachment. Atma which is you yourself, also
called Purusha, is tied with Prakruti. But all the Karma is caused by
these three gunas which are no part of you. It is because you always
think that you are the body and the mind, these gunas affect you. If you
are convinced that all actions are caused by these three culprits, and
you can live without, them your way up will be easier. Yet it is not
easy to do so. Hence you can try and divide them. Take the help of
Sattwa who is quiet by nature and has affection for you. With your
intelligence you can make him prominent. You cannot discard the other
two because Sattwa is associated with them and is their blood relation.
So you entertain the others to some extent and slowly, take away Sattwa
from them. Bring him into your camp and give him all that he wants. Of
course, when you try to do so, Prakruti, the mother will not like it. It
will instruct its another powerful child, the mind, to rebel. But you
can make use of intellect which is superior.
Depending upon what one
wants in life, one should try and develop respective gunas. How to do so
is explained at the end of this chapter. When you are able to conquer
all the three gunas and remain aloof from them, you can become free from
birth, death, old age and their troubles. You come out of the cycle and
can conquer Gunas?
When Krishna revealed
this most precious Dnyana to Arjuna, the latter asked how one could
find, who has successfully conquered the gunas. Arjuna wanted to know
the symptoms of such a person, his behaviour and also what means he uses
to cross the barrier of gunas.
In verses nos. 22 to
25, Krishna answers this question thus,
"He who does not
hate illumination, attachment and delusion when they are present in him,
or does not crave for them when they are absent or when they disappear;
who remains neutral to the effects of gunas and understands that the
gunas are doing their work, and therefore, does not get disturbed, but
remains steady, who treats both happiness and sorrow equally; for whom a
lump of earth , a stone and a piece of gold have no difference; who has
same disposition to likes and dislikes; who is not affected by censure
or praise, honour and dishonour; for whom both friend and enemy are
alike; and who has renounced all material Karma, is said to have crossed
the three gunas."
What we learn from
above is that the cause of everything that happens in the world and in
our body, is these three gunas. They are the cause of Karma. If they can
be controlled, we can achieve great things. Controlling them is
controlling mind and taming ego. Even senses are prompted to act under
their influence. Their importance cannot be overlooked. Above four
verses tell us about a person who has controlled the gunas. Now in the
next verse no. 26, Krishna tells us how to conquer them. He says,
"One who is devoted to Me totally, definitely conduers these gunas
and becomes eligible to reach Me."
The question is how to
be totally devoted to God? In this statement of Krishna we see Karmayoga
with Devotion and Dnyana. Every Karma must be dominated by Sattwa, so it
is easy to develop non attachment. The mind must be directed to Him,
which means worship, chanting of His name and all the devotional Karmas,
the basis of which is Sattwa. The intellect must be used to remind us
that we are not doers of Karma. "I am different from my body and
mind" - this maxim must be realized and remembered constantly. We
have been given ways and means in preceding chapters to achieve this. We
must start developing Sattwa guna to facilitate our efforts.
In the final verse no.
27, Krishna says, "I am the impersonal Brahma, which is immoral,
imperishable and eternal. I am the ultimate of happiness and
Thus, doing our Karma
with non attachment and thinking of God all the time, is the way to attain Moksha. It must be
understood that only worshipping Him and refraining from doing our other
Karmas which we are responsible for, is not right. Karma, whatever comes
in life, with attachment to God is, in short, the way to Moksha.
Majority of people do not worry about Moksha. They want good and trouble
free life on this planet and better life after death. If rebirth on
earth is definite, then they want next birth in a good family with lot
of money and better facilities. They want more happiness and less
sorrow. They do believe in God but only because He could help them in
their difficulties. Nobody loves God. Who has the time? There are some
who want both, material benefits as well as Moksha. They wish to lead a
good life on earth but do not want to be reborn. They want to be
liberated. Then there are others, who do not care much for what life
they live on earth. They say "everything is as per one's
fate". They want to have Moksha. Very few people, however, know
what is Moksha. So, now let us see, what one has to do to get what one
Interest in Material world only
Since Karma is the
basis for everything any person
desirous of having good life must work hard. There are people who have
inherited wealth and they need not work at all to enjoy a good life. But
these people also must work. Because what they do in this life will
determine their next birth. So hard work is essential. Raja is the guna
responsible for action and desire. Hence you
should develop Raja guna in you. But only Raja will not help.
Because then you will only work and end up with loss of peace,
dissatisfation, anxiety and worries, inspite of having plenty of money.
So you need to have both Sattwa and Tama also. Sattwa is necessary to
make you distinguish between good and bad quality while Tama is
necessary to have a little bit of anger. It is no good if you cannot
become angry. Since all the three gunas live together, each one trying
to suppress the other two, you should endeavour to have 70% Raja, 20%
Sattwa and 10% Tama. How do you do this? Observe following.
For content of Raja
Be associated with people who are industrious.
Avoid the company of lazy people and those who do
not understand value of time.
Avoid late nights and hangovers.
Follow all rules of Karma mentioned in chapter 2.
For content of Sattwa
Drink milk and eat milk products, though not in excess.
Associate with devotees of God.
Do some work for God.
Form a habit of visiting House of God, worshipping, praying.
Read holy books and life stories, of incarnations of God.
For content of Tama
Participate in social parties, but do not go
Indulge in pleasing senses but to the minimum.
Interest in Material world with desire for Moksha
If you are really
interested in attaining Moksha, then you must have high content of
Sattwa. At the same time, for your rise in material world you need
greater content of Raja. It is obvious that in your youth, you will not
be inclined towards attaining Moksha. You would turn your mind away from
material world, may be after 55 or 60 years of age. You need to develop
both these gunas in same proportion, and then start increasing the
content of Sattwa in later years. So observe following. Follow the rules
given in (a) and (b) mentioned above. Avoid (c) completely. Because it
is extremely difficult to get rid of Tama, once you develop liking for
it. Hence in addition to following (a) and (b) you should observe
Do not eat any kind of meat or flesh.
No alcoholic drinks.
Avoid onions, garlic and spicy food.
Spend more time in worshipping, meditation etc.
you grow old, try and break away from routine life and spend more time
Interest in Spiritual life
must be done. But it must be without attachment. Observe following
Meditation, worshipping as much as possible.
Read spiritual literature.
Avoid social life as far as possible.
Do every Karma with non attachment.
Do not eat meat, flesh and spicy food.
It must be understood
that above mentioned recipies are to be taken as guiding principles
only. Each individual must follow one's own rules. Your own intellect is
the best judge. You may take advice from experts in your field.