Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Three Gunas

There is three Gunas or qualities of the human mind. They are Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. When Sattva dominate, man is calm and serene. When Rajas dominate, man is agitated or excited. When Tamas dominate, man is dull and foolish. These Gunas are the primary constituents of Prakriti or Nature. They are the bases of substances. The purpose of Yoga is transcending these three Gunas.

The fruit of Sattvic action is happiness, the fruit of Rajastic action is pain, and the fruit of Tanasic action is ignorance. These three Gunas are present in all human beings. No one is free from the operation of any one of the three Gunas. These qualities of the Gunas are not constant. Sometimes Sattva predominates, sometimes the other two, Rajas and Tamas predominates. Rajas and Tamas are pitfalls on the spiritual path. When Sattva predominates, a man is endowed with discrimination, pure reason and pure understanding.

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