Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 14 – The Gunas of Nature

 

The Gita has continually addressed the subject of Action. This chapter is an expansion on Action, revealing its subtler components, called gunas.

The nature of Nature is to move. There are three characteristics of Nature’s movements, three ways that Nature moves, called gunas.  

In Sanskrit literature one often finds things described in twos or threes. Twos tend to be used to present the extremes of opposites. Threes tend to be used to suggest a middle between opposites. An example of twos might be good and evil, like and dislike, or attraction and aversion. Threes might be beginning, middle and end; gross, subtle and subtlest; good, better and best; or slow, easy-moving and rapid. These last three are one way to describe the gunas, or modes, of Nature. 

Hurry-up Rajas
Hurry-up Rajas
  • Still – tamas, slow, dark, unenlightened
  • Easy-movingsattva, easy-going, sunny, pleasant
  • Rapid rajas, fast, passionate, intense

Nature seems like something separate from us, but this is not so. Nature is all of Us, as seen by all of Us. It is a manifestation of Divine Individuals seeing other Divine Individuals as different than themselves — not the same. But as Divine Individuals, we are all the same. This discrepancy is the root cause of Creation.

Look out your window. What do you see?

What you are looking at is Divine Individuals who do not see Others as the same as themselves. They do not see what others, or themselves, really are — absolute, perfect, happy, sovereign, imperishable, individual entities. Instead, they see others as different than themselves. Nature is that difference manifested. 

Now what if you became enlightened as to the Truth of this Creation that you behold with your eyes? Would the trees go away? the people? the roads? the houses? No, because everyone else is still in the dark. You will continue to experience life as a human being, while knowing what all this world really is.

Gloomy Tamas
Gloomy Tamas

The three gunas are the three ways Nature moves to varying degrees, and in different combinations. Like weather fronts that cause various kinds of actions in subtle and gross matter when they interact, the gunas cause various kinds of actions in the world and in people. All action occurs in Nature; the three ways Nature moves are called gunas. For instance, when a cold front meets a warm front there will be rain. In the same way, the interaction of the gunas produce certain effects in beings. This is the subject of this chapter. 

The gunas are all about action, but the Real You is not involved in action. It is the varying degrees of predominance of the gunas that cause all action, not You. This chapter gives examples of how the gunas keep us enslaved, influence us and our states of being, and how all this affects our life, death and afterlife.

Lastly, we are shown how to rise above the gunas. The state in which one surpasses the gunas can only arise when the individual is not in the role of doership — when there is no sense of action as one’s own doing. This takes place over time through complete surrender of oneself to Absolute God in meditation.

Sunny Sattva
Sunny Sattva

It is not possible to reach this state any way other than through this surrender, regardless of your path. If you have surrendered yourself to God, during that time, you are obviously not the one doing anything. 

Short of this surrender, there is no escaping the gunas for human beings. The best we can do is to aspire to become more sattvik overall, for sattva is the guna closest to what we really are as Divine Individuals, from a human point of view.

There is, however, a state called trigunatita (‘three-gunas-gone beyond’) in which one is not in a state characterized by any of the gunas; one’s state is Real rather than phenomenal. Attaining this state, we are freed from the bondage and influence of the gunas and can finally reach the Highest Goal of our journey: Home, freedom and the eternal happiness of Divine Union.

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

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of reaching a true meditative state without any effort and without using your will.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were eventually derived.

Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, Surrender Meditation. Though correct knowledge you will increase your progress by a thousand times, and bring about even deeper meditation and amazing experiences.

Shaktipat Intensives with Durga Ma are held in Phoenix, Arizona


“Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.”

The Whole World Is One Family

 

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Messages to You from God, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 13, Vs 31-35

Radha & Krishna
Krishna & Radha, Spirit & Nature

30
When you see that all actions are performed by Nature and that you do nothing, you truly see.

At the point of Self realization, your state will be one in which your reality includes the understanding that all actions occur in Nature, and that what You really are does nothing and never has.

31
When you see all the different individual living beings situated in the One Absolute from which they are spread out, you enter into Brahman (Absolute God).

  • Enter into Brahman – you attain Godhood

32
The Imperishable Paramatman being without beginning and without gunas, even though situated in a body, does not act and is therefore untainted by action.

  • Paramatma – Highest Self
  • Gunas – the three active modes of Nature

Where there is no doing, there can be no karma. The word karma means ‘action’ and ‘to do’. Thus, karma is understood as the cause and effect phenomenon that binds us, regardless of whether for good or ill. The only escape is to fully grasp that all action is Nature’s doing, not ours. This is the meaning of ‘enlightenment’.

33
Just as subtle all-pervading space is not mixed with anything, the True Self is not mixed with the body, even through situated within it.  

  • Mixed – contaminated, corrupted, impure.

34
Just as the sun alone illumines the whole world, the Lord of the Field illumines the whole Field. 

We each have a tendency to assume identity with the body as ourself. You are the cause of the appearance of your body, but you and your body are not the same. The body appears because of You, but it is not You. You are the Lord of the Field, the Field Knower, who makes the body visible.

35
When you correctly see through the eye of knowledge, the difference between Nature and Spirit and the means of liberation from Nature, you will go to The Highest. 

Alternate translation:
When through the eye of knowledge, you perceive the difference between the Field (prakriti, Nature, Others) and the Field Knower (purusha, Spirit, Self), as well as the means of liberation of beings from the Field (material nature and the body), you go to The Highest Goal (you get beyond all this).

The means of rising above the influences of the gunas and karma is the realization of non-doership — all action occurs in Nature and You are not Nature. 

The Three Gunas

 

God’s Messages to You

Before you came into embodiment, you had no sense of your own existence. Then there came a time when you became aware of your existence. This precipitated an interest in the possibility of there being others like you. Upon discovering that indeed there were, the first Individual known to you was a different one than you, but nevertheless the same as you. Your acceptance of this Other, who had also accepted You as the same as Itself, was a marriage made in heaven, and the beginning of a journey you would take together through many lifetimes.

This event unwittingly created a longing for a soul mate in the present state of being human. But the reality is that you need not long for this anymore. Your soul mate is already with you as Ishvara, the Divine Other within who carries the template of your perfect form, the vehicle for your journey. 

On your journey, and rounding the bend to find this Song of God (Bhagavad Gita), you will be attempting to place yourself on the map. Where are you now? How far have you come? How close to Home are you? What will be next? 

These questions are being answered in this Song, a song written in such a way that it applies to you and your travels, and can be heard by you to ease your journey. It sings its words in layers of meaning within each cluster of verses, and even each individual verse, so that you can listen to God’s messages to you, and be guided. What a wonderful gift is this Song of God!

End of Chapter Thirteen
The Field and the Knower of the Field

Durga Ma
durgama.com

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of reaching a true meditative state effortlessly, and without using your will.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were eventually derived.

Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, Natural Surrender Meditation. Though correct knowledge you will increase your progress by a thousand times, and bring about even deeper meditation and amazing experiences.

Shaktipat Intensives with Durga Ma are held in Phoenix, Arizona


“Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.” 

The Whole World Is One Family


The Self is the Same in All Beings – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 13, Vs 27-31

Spontaneous Creation - Shakti

The Self is the Same In All Beings

27
Know that anything that comes into being, whether standing still or moving, exists due to the union of the Field and the Field Knower.

“The union of the Field and the Field Knower” is a reference to a previous verse in which the Field Knower is said to be the Real You (a Divine Individual, purusha), and the Field is said to be the body (Nature, prakriti).

It is fair to say that both Prakriti and Purusha are God. All Divine Individuals are God. All of Us are God as both Purusha and Prakriti, the Seer and the Seen. We are each who we are as Individuals who can know, or see, Others like ourSelves. And we are each Individuals who can be known, or seen, by Others like ourSelves. All that truly exists is Us — All Is God.

To understand this, you must consider it in the context of The Absolute, that Reality in which there are no mirages, no things, and nothing going on but eternal bliss — imperishable Us in our natural state of divinity, eternal happiness and joy. From this Absolute God came spontaneous Creation. And so it is said, “All Is God.” 

In the Absolute before Creation, once we each became aware of our existence, it was inevitable that we consider the possibility that we were not the only ones in existence. The process of making this discovery is the first cause of Creation, and is the first cause of our Liberation now. Now we must follow the string we unrolled behind us, back the way we came. When we finally get Home, one thing will be different: we will be conscious of it all. We will be conscious of our True Selves, and our relationship with eachOther, existing in mutual Eternal Love and Happiness. Because this is our Natural State.

Spontaneous Creation 1When in The Absolute (before Creation) you perceived Another, you might either have accepted this Other or not. 

Your first acceptance of Another Individual who also accepted You, united You with that Other. This first Other that you accepted is called IshvaraThis union brought about your coming into Being. There is no identifiable difference between you and Ishvara, and yet your sense-of-self is singular (asmita, ‘I am’).

The subtle, intuitive sense of this truth is what is behind your pursuit of a loving relationship in your life, a soul-mate if you will. One expects to find that divine one here on Earth, but it is already found. This divine one is within you as the witness experiencing everything, when all the while you have believed this to be you.

I am That I am

28
One who sees that Great Ishvara as the same in all beings, imperishable among the perishable, truly sees.

The Field & the Field Knower - The Embodied One & the Being“One who sees that Great Ishvara as the same in all beings”
You see that everyone in a body is in the same situation as you: This Great Ishvara is the first Divine Individual in the Absolute that you accepted as the same as you, and who has also accepted you. Both are equally unlimited in their presence. This situation is the same for all embodied beings.  

“Imperishable among the perishable” refers to You and your Ishvara as you really are: Divine Individuals that are imperishable, living as One Being that is perishable.

When you see that WHAT you really are is a Divine Imperishable Individual residing in a body, and that this situation with Ishvara is the same for all of us, you see Truly.

Every Divine Individual is an individual just like You.

29
Seeing this Great Ishvara as the same in everyone, one does not degrade himself and reaches the Highest State.

When you harm or degrade yourself, hurt or put yourself down, you do the same to Ishvara. Now remember who this is, and you will see how important it is that you become enlightened about this situation, so that you never harm or degrade yourself in any way. Ishvara, whom you love, is your ‘witness within’ who experiences everything you experience, and will also experience any harm you do to yourself or others. 

Our attention is being called to how degrading or harming ouselves affects everyone else. Both you and Ishvara are also present in everyone else, so what you do affects not only Ishvara, but everyone else as well. By knowing and understanding this, you can reach the Highest State, the basis of which is the first Universal Spiritual Principle (the first yama), ahimsa — harmlessness toward all beings, including yourself, physically, mentally (not bearing malice) and emotionally (through speech). In this Highest State, one knows the Self to be the same in all Beings.

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

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of reaching a true meditative state without effort or stress, and without using your will.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were eventually derived.

Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, Natural Surrender Meditation. Though correct knowledge you will increase your progress by a thousand times, and bring about even deeper meditation and amazing experiences.

Shaktipat Intensives with Durga Ma are held in Phoenix, Arizona


“Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.” — Durga Ma

The Whole World Is One Family

Sanatana Dharma, the Way of Eternal Truth