Now More about Sattva, Rajas, Tamas- The Bhagvad Gita, Chapter 14

Krishna explains sattva, rajas and tamas- the three gunas/qualities, which tie us to our bodies.

Sattva- healthy and pure, connects us to knowledge and happiness.

Rajas or passion comes from desire and connects us to action.

Tamas comes from ignorance and confuses us, makes us lazy and sleepy.

By all the nine gates of the body, when knowledge shines, we are sattvic. When greed, activity, lust and restlessness hold sway, we’re rajasic. Darkness and inertia means we’re tamasic.

When our bodies die, those of us who are sattvics go to the world of knowledge. Rajasics are reborn in the world of action. Tamasics are sent to fools.

UpVisually, the sattvic goes up, the rajasic stays in the middles and the tamasic goes below.

Yogis who know that all action is a result of the gunas and transcends them is free from this cycle. How does she transcend them? By being detached. In all three states- knowledge, active and confusion, she is undisturbed, thinking the gunas are at work.

Self-reliant, she renounces action. She treats stone, gold and clay the same. For her, loved ones and enemies are equivalent. Praise is the same as blame.

This yogi with steadfast devotion transcends the guns and serves Krishna with bhakti yoga. She is ready to unite with brahman, the eternal law and supreme bliss.


My gravity pulls me down, K

I try to levitate

Light sattva is no match

For dense tamas.


I’ll try moving sideways

Detaching myself from the earth

To foil gravity

Catapault myself


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2 Responses

  1. Hari OM
    In the Yoga of Triguna, Sri Krishna proceeds to elaborate on the qualities of our nature, without having been asked by Arjun – demonstrating and importance of understanding our presiding qualities. It helps us to understand why there is such variance in the world; that there can be no constant joy – or sorrow. We all of us have all three within, but one will be our dominant. If we are of tamas, then we can seek not to go sideways, but to go up simply by adopting more of rajasa. Tamas may never do better than this, but rajas can certainly move into sattva (see my upcoming articles next week!).
    Blessings, YAM xx

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