Self & Other-Than-Self, Continued – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 13, Vs 22

Half Male Half Female God
Half Male Half Female God

Three modes of action in nature come into play because You originally perceived Others like YourSelf as different than You. 

22
Purusha seated in Prakriti experiences the gunas of Nature. This causes attachment to the gunas and results in fortunate and unfortunate births.

  • Purusha (m) – Spirit, You, a Divine Individual
  • Prakriti (f) – Another Divine Individual
  • Gunas – The three modes of action in Nature: easy-going (sattva), fast or excited (rajas), and still or slow-moving (tamas)

Attachment 1The gunas come into play when Purusha experiences Prakriti as Nature. When you see Prakriti as Nature you see it as one or the other of these three gunas. The gunas are the building blocks of illusion, and their seductiveness get us attached to all kinds of things.

All things are energy in its various conditions, such as hard like a stone (tamas), soft like a pillow (sattva) or excited like the wind (rajas). In the same way we experience Nature in general as one or more of these three.

Once you (purusha) are embodied (prakriti) you experience prakriti as Nature in these three modalities—tamas (slow or dense), sattva (easy-going) and rajas (fast or excited)—individually or in various combinations, usually with one more prominent than the others.

The moment you want to experience something—to enjoy, be happy, etc.—the gunas accommodate you. Our desires have much to do with what guna predominates at any given time. In other words, your desire to be happy produces the means of getting happiness … and its opposite.

The three gunas can be seen in how we feel emotionally: sattva – indifferent, peaceful, relaxed and feeling good; rajas – exuberant, angry, wild, fast-moving, intense and passionate; tamas – still or slow-moving, lazy, quiet, withdrawn, gloomy, depressed, dark.

When you think about it, this is an amazing power that you have, that you probably don’t realize, or know how to use. But before you try to figure out how to use it, read the next paragraph:

The desire to experience is what gets you attached to the gunas. Once attached, you are compelled to be reborn, whether into good or bad situations. Liberation is lost. It’s your choice. 

Attachment - cuttingIn moments of genuine indifference, even though looking out onto “Nature” (prakriti), the gunas have no affect. This state disappears the moment you want to experience something. Thus has Lord Krishna repeatedly spoken of ‘indifference’ as the means of reaching His state. This state is called trigunatita, ‘free of the three gunas‘. One who has attained this state has transcended, or gone beyond, the three gunas and reaches Godhood.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

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3 thoughts on “Self & Other-Than-Self, Continued – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 13, Vs 22

  1. Thank you for your post. I appreciate your point about the choices we can make when it comes to liberation. I appreciate your teaching about consciously engaging the three Gunas — Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. Many blessings on your journey. Sat Nam!

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