Goals of Life: The Three Gunas
THREE GUNAS — MODES
All the variety of species of life created be,
By combination of three basic material energy;
- 45 —
These Guna modus operandi of material energy,
They are called tamo, rajo and sattva clearly;
- 46 —
Tamo-guna associated with inertia, ignorance be,
The rajo-guna associated with passion, activity;
- 47 —
Sattva-guna associated with goodness, harmony,
And all three of them associated with thinking truly.
- 48 —
The term ‘guṇa’ in the hoary sacred text does be,
As in the Mahabharat and Bhagawat Puran clearly.
- 49 —
Term for the five elements, mahabhutas, surely,
Also five senses, five associated parts of body.
- 50 —
Akasha or space, associated with sound and ear be,
Vayu or air, associated with feeling and skin does be.
- 51 —
Tejas, Agni or fire, linked with appearance and eye be.
Apas, Jala or water, associated with taste and tongue be.
- 52 —
Prithivi or earth, associated with all preceding guṇas be,
As well as ‘guṇa gandha’ or smell and with the nose be.
- 53 -
1. Three Qualities
All worldly qualities have been identified clearly,
As three basic gunas — tamas, rajas, sattva surely.
- 54 —
Tamas darkness, Rajas passion, Sattva goodness be,
Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas together called three qualities.
- 55 —
Tamas quality is controlled by the Maha-devi Kali,
Rajas by Laxshmi Devi, sattva by Saraswati Devi.
- 56 —
‘Tamas’ guna is inertia, ‘rajas’ but activity does be,
‘Sattva’ guna transcendence most certainly truly.
- 57 —
Without all these three there is no physical entity,
Not a single atom is free of these dimensions truly.
- 58 —
They of certain static nature, vibrancy and energy,
Without them nothing is together — breaks surely.
- 59 —
You will be asleep all the time if its ‘tamas’ only,
Just rajas — only relax; just sattva — you gone be.
- 60 —
So all three qualities present in everything but be,
It is just to what extent you mix these things finally.
- 61 —
The nine days of Navaratri — prayer for the Devi,
Classified they as to three basic qualities do be.
- 62 —
We have the ability to alter guna levels willfully,
Controlling them bringing awareness consciously.
- 63 —
Tamas is just a state of inertia of but inactivity,
The state of gratification of the five senses only.
- 64 —
Tamas symbolized by darkness, ignorance be,
Distracting humans from spiritual growth clearly.
- 65 —
To reduce tamas avoid ‘tamsik’ foods readily,
As onions, garlic, — with natural steroids plainly.
- 66 —
Meats, food: stale, processed, treated chemically,
Excess emotion, sleep, eating, inactivity, passivity.
- 67 —
Rajas is a state of the energy, change and activity,
Binding to efforts ensuing longing, attachment truly.
- 68 —
To cut rajas avoid rajasik food stimulant, fried, spicy,
Extreme — exercise, work, music, thinking, desire truly.
- 69 —
Sattva state of intelligence, balance, contentment be,
Reduces rajas, tamas — so enlightenment possible be.
- 70 —
Sattvic food, action begets positive thinking, bliss truly,
Yogic practices create ‘sattva’ in the mind and body.
- 71 —
Sattvic foods whole grains, pulses, lentils be surely,
Fresh fruits, vegetables that grow above ground only.
- 72 —
Practice of yoga, controlling desire and wants truly,
With a yogic lifestyle will lead to ‘sattva’ undoubtedly.
- 73 -
2. In Bhagwat Gita
Triguna appears in discourse of Krishna prominently,
To Arjuna upon the battlefield of Kurukshetra clearly;
- 74 —
That the backdrop for the Bhagwat Gita surely be,
All three gunas so held to delude the World clearly:
- 75 —
त्रिभिर्गुणमयैर्भावैरेभिः सर्वमिदं जगत्।
मोहितं नाभिजानाति मामेभ्यः परमव्ययम्॥ ७.१३॥
tribhirguṇamayairbhāvairebhiḥ sarvamidaṁ jagat |
mohitaṁ nābhijānāti māmebhyaḥ paramavyayam || 7.13||
World deluded by Three Gunas does not know Me:
Who beyond these Gunas, imperishable does be.
- 76 -
The unique work of Munindra (Munnan) Misra in English rhyme on Hinduism and Hindu culture, provide the global English reader, an understanding of the Sanatan Dharma (Hindu culture).