The Three Gunas –

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The Three Gunas

Posted by Holger:


• What are the 3 Gunas?
o Guna means texture or quality.
o Satvika or Sattva
o Rajasam or Rajas
o Tamasam or Tamas


• What is the purpose
of studying the Three Gunas?

o All humans have thoughts and all thoughts
are classified into 3 textures.

o All humans have all the 3 Gunas.
The combined proportion accounts
for the diversity in human beings.

o No Guna exists on its own.
All 3 Gunas co-exist.

o To know the proportion of each of the 3 Gunas
in one’s personality as a starting point.

o Transcending the Gunas
helps to find fulfillment in life.

• What is meant by understanding
action as an expression of thought?


• What is Sattva and how does it express in Action?

o Action continues with mental equanimity and clarity.

o Swami Rama Tiratha said “Intense Work is Rest”.

o Action performed from the position of a Giver
detaches the Doer from the attitude of ‘doer-ship’
and hence promotes Sattva.

o Understanding that the Right (Adhikara) of the Doer
is on the Action only, and not on the Fruit of Action, promotes Sattva

o Performance of one’s bounden duty with the understanding
that the Goal is Liberation (Moksha) and not Wealth (Artha),
Enjoyment (Kama) promotes Sattva.


• What is Rajas and how does it express in Action?

o Action continues but with a disturbed mind.

o Agitation is the disturbance that is created by both joy and sorrow.
The mind is not available to perform normal action.

o There is confusion as the mind is preoccupied with its disturbance.


• What is Tamas and how does it express in Action?

o While it is defined as inaction it may not be literally so.

o Tamas is mental resistance to Action, resistance to
performing Obligatory Actions and may result in Inaction.

o There is a sense of Delusion backing the Action and the individual
may derive pleasure out of an irresponsible attitude.


• What are the properties of Delusion?

o Recklessness with no understanding of consequences or damage to oneself and others.

o Procrastination resulting in thought of doing action but the action never happens

o Postponement of the action without any reason

o Action stays at the level of thought


• How do Sattva, Rajas and Tamas express at the level of Emotions?

o Sattva is pure emotion.

o Rajas leads to attachment and selfishness, followed by possessiveness, agitation and violence

o Tamas expresses as indifference and vulgarity


• Why is it important to keep Rajas under check?

o As Rajas increases so does the level of Agitation

o When the individual cannot contain the agitation anymore, action stops

o Lack of action is Tamas. Hence Rajas and Tamas are only a difference in degree.


• What should be one’s direction in life based on the principles of the Trigunas?

o Promote Sattva.
Check Rajas.
Resist the free manifestation of Tamas

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Created: December 18, 2022 
Last modified: December 18, 2022

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