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 everything work.

Karma 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 reborn.

            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."

Birth of universe

            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 the universe.

            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.

Protection of Dharma

            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.

Gunas - 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.

            Sattwa: 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 and honourable.

            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.

            Raja: This 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 material life.

            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.

            Tama: 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.

Effect of Gunas:

            Sattwa: When 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 invitation.

            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: When "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.

            Tama: When 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.

Habitat after Death

            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 world),"Janaloka", "Indraloka", "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.

            When "Raja" 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 job.

            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 your species.

            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.

Fruit of Gunas

            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 lying low.

            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.


Types of Karma and the fruit

Each Karma, therefore gets labelled as per its ruling guna. The labels are,

a)      Rajas Karma      - Done under the influence of Raja guna.

b)     Sattwa Karma     - Done under the influence of Sattwa guna

c)      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 attain Moksha.

Who 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 Dharma."

            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.

Development of Gunas

            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 wants.

1. 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.

(a)    For content of Raja

1)     Be associated with people who are industrious.

2)     Avoid the company of lazy people and those who do    not understand value of time.

3)     Avoid late nights and hangovers.

4)     Follow all rules of Karma mentioned in chapter 2.

(b)    For content of Sattwa

1)     Drink milk and eat milk products, though not in excess.

2)     Associate with devotees of God.

3)     Do some work for God.

4)     Form a habit of visiting House of God, worshipping, praying.

5)     Read holy books and life stories, of incarnations of God.

(c)    For content of Tama

1)    Participate in social parties, but do not go    overboard.

2)     Indulge in pleasing senses but to the minimum.

2. 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 following

1)     Do not eat any kind of meat or flesh.

2)     No alcoholic drinks.

3)     Avoid onions, garlic and spicy food.

4)     Spend more time in worshipping, meditation etc.

As you grow old, try and break away from routine life and spend more time in solitude.

3. Interest in Spiritual life

Karma must be done. But it must be without attachment. Observe following

1)    Meditation, worshipping as much as possible.

2)     Read spiritual literature.

3)     Avoid social life as far as possible.

4)     Do every Karma with non attachment.

5)     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.

            Finally, on advice. Avoid animal meat, especially that of the cows and buffaloes and pigs completely. Eating of beef does you untold harm in next life. Your Tama percentage goes high and if it remains high at the time of death, you are sure to get animal body in the next life, maybe next few lives, and that will be mercilessly slaughtered by human being, who will follow the same path.

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R.P.L. Kornet®
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