Sway of Gunas

The three gunas, satva, rajas and tamas are intertwined in

Prakriti and none in this creation can escape their impact.

Even the Supreme Brahman, whose fundamental form is

believed to be Nirguna — that is, without attributes and

qualities — manifests as Vishnu, Brahma and Siva to indicate

satva, rajas and tamas respectively, said Swami

Omkarananda in a discourse. The wonder of creation is the

fact that the atma, which is divine in nature and the essence of eternal bliss and consciousness, is bound by three gunas when it takes a body and is placed in this material world.

The Gita teaches that one should be aware of the forms of

these gunas and the manner in which they manifest in

individuals. Satva stands for all that is pure and fine, and

expresses as tranquillity, purity and calmness; rajas is the

active principle, and is seen as passion, restlessness,

aggressive activity; and tamas, the principle of solidity and

resistance, finds expression as inertia, stupidity, laziness, etc.

One should constantly retrospect on which guna is to be

consolidated and how to transcend this guna as well.

It is shown that satva guna, recognised by its purity,

without the influence of rajas and tamas, is the ideal to be

aimed. It is bright and motivates one to do more good. Each

guna has negative and positive aspects. For instance, one in

satva is able to consolidate his mind and energies into

accomplishing tasks with perfection and precision. But what

happens when all this energy is directed to a negative

purpose such as indulging in unethical and harmful acts like

robbery, murder, etc.? Conversely, satva helps in the control of senses and mind, inducing one to do good deeds and practise virtues such as justice, temperance, prudence and fortitude. This will ultimately confer peace of mind.