YYou can call them qualities of matter, mind, body and astral body. These qualities or classifications are present in different variables in nature. Nature includes the physical and mental. This includes temperaments, attitudes, attributes, etc.
1. Tamas – inaction, procrastination and confusion.
2. Rajas – action, movement, dynamism, great attachments, desire.
3. Satva – contentment, equanimity, duty, dispassion , detachment.
The combination of these three qualities and their respective percentages define the nature of people and things.
For example, a person would have the predominance of one Guna over the other two. This could change and alter from time to time. A typical Tamasic person would be quite different from a Rajsic or Satvik one. And so with the other two.
Let us look at a few aspects of each GUNA and finally let us examine how they can help us to better our Karmas. How they can help to
NATURE OF WORK
The kind of work that tamasic people do is more to do with lower end sensual pleasures, degenerative thinking and behavior. People in the business of selling sexual favours, bribery and corruption, going against their sense of fair play, etc. Owners and patrons of casinos, bars, brothels, thieves, terrorists, corrupt cops, pimps, prostitutes, cheats, conmen, Drug dealers, addicts, alcoholics, religious perverts, compulsive liars, all are honorary members of the TAMASIC CLUB. Notwithstanding that they would have a few Rajsic and Satwik qualities too.NATURE OF DEEDS
They would be the kind of people who would do less than they can. They would be negative in their attitude, heedless of the consequences, blissfully confused, prone to procrastination, inattentive, insulting and badly behaved. They would not bat an eyelid in knowing that their actions would be harmful to others. Killing and butchering animals, physically assaulting others, hurting other people mentally, would not be a obstacle to their behavior.
Even when it came to religion, they would be dogmatic, inflexible, harmfully ritualistic, like partaking in black magic, voodoo and such.
NATURE OF PERSONALITY
Their attitudes would be careless, unfair, vicious. They would have harsh looks, deceptive body language and acidity of the tongue. They could be depressive, schizophrenic, have character defects. Tamasic people have a defective power of discrimination and an unfocused intellect.
These people do not see themselves as a part of the oneness of the universe. They see the world as a plurality. With divisions, aspects, segmentation. They are magnetized by desire and rewards. They are obsessive and bonded to their ambitions. Their sense of entitlement is another aspect of their beings.NATURE OF WORK
They are business people, corporate executives, warriors, kings, rulers and people with power. Growth, success, competitiveness, glory, self projection, strategic thinking are some of their attributes.
NATURE OF DEEDS
Their aim is self gratification and profit. Doing things that will give them an edge over others, negotiating in their best interest. Expanding their line of work and creating solid institutions. In a worldly way, they are brilliant.
Religiously they are contributors to charitable institutions, builders of schools, hospitals and other such institutions.
NATURE OF PERSONALITY
They are quite impressive, inclined towards the fruit of their actions. They could be self-absorbed and want as much attention and praise. They would normally be hard working, committed, sincere in their work. Shrewdness and craftiness mostly go with their traits. They could be very good as friends and oblige others.
Wisdom goes hand in hand with Satwa.NATURE OF WORK
People of all three Gunas may do the same job, but they would do it differently.
Their sense of creditability and fair-play are high. They are highly motivated with a sense of duty and fulfil their obligations. Artists, research scholars, nobel laureates, spiritual people, teachers, doctors, philanthropists, and such others, normally have a Satwik mindset. Good human relation managers, benevolent heads of organizations, motivators, example-setters have a lot of Satwik content.
NATURE OF DEEDS
Working for the benefit of not only themselves. Fulfilling their obligations, trying to find solutions, helping others to fulfil their goals, pushing people upwards are Satwik actions.
Religiously they believe in higher values and are willing to evolve to greater levels by investing their time and effort. They are the great philosophers, philanthropists and do-gooders. They do a lot of sewa and at more evolved levels; they do not even credit themselves for it.
NATURE OF PERSONALITY
Kabir, the great saint who was satwik in nature, clarifies his philosophy in one amazing sentence.
“Kabira Khada Bazaar mein, mange sabki Kher. Na Kahun se prem aur no kahun se baer”.
This shows his transcending relationships connected only to his physical incarnation and sensing a relationship with all, everyone, everywhere. He identifies beyond himself.
One phrase I heard my grandfather repeat a few hundred times was “Neki kar aur daryah mein daal” or “do a good deed and bury it in the sea”.
The Satwiks are not arrogant and egoistic people. Humility is a strong point. Their power of discrimination is highly advanced. Their conscience is loud and clear.
Change your Guna Mix
The three Gunas nevertheless are knots or binding forces that bind the atman (individual consciousness) to matter. For a final emancipation, it is important to transcend the three Gunas. Satwik included.The Phase I of the process is to watch yourself from the outside and become aware of your GUNAS. Judge Thyself!
Notice the play of Tamas and Rajas and the stability of Satwa. You need to change some of your Tamasic qualities to Rajsic ones and Satwik ones. You have to work towards pure or almost pure Satwik qualities.
Watch your thoughts
It is the seed of your action or inaction. If you allow the thoughts to turn into feelings, the deed may not be far behind. The eight-fold path of yoga, as outlined in the Yogasutras of Patanjali, is a great way ahead. If you refer to the article on Kleshas, you will notice that Ragas and Dweshas i.e. attractions and aversions are fuel injections for Rajas & Tamas and obstacles to Satwa.
Following of Niyams and Asanas as listed in Yogasutras can be a help in reducing the Tamas and Rajas content in your GUNAS. Pratyahara, or withdrawal of consciousness from your senses can take you on a fast track to Satwa. In order to evolve to Satwa predominance, you need intent, effort and prayer. When you are mostly Satwa in your GUNA quotient, the Satwa itself will someday propel you beyond itself. Help you achieve great Sadhna and make you transcend your mind and intellect.
Gunas of Spiritual Practice
The kind of spiritual practice a person indulges in also depends on his or her Guna mix. People who have more of the Tamasic qualities will probably be attracted to lower levels of spiritual practices like black magic, Tantric practices, Voodoo, using mantras that are meant to get quick attainments and selfish results. They practice more of the dark arts for the purpose of personal gain. In the villages of India, Africa, South America these are common practices.
People with a Rajasic background, add their dynamism and adornment even to their spiritual practice. They believe in religious events, impressive-looking temples and musical incantations. There is a lot of ritualism and religiousness in their practice.
People who are Sattvic in nature, know for a fact that sense pleasures, which include sensuality, are certainly not beneficial to their process of evolution. They do not indulge in music and get into the trap of the sense of hearing. That is why their prayers are soft and mental and do not consist of Holy songs with music. They do not adorn their place of worship with multiple colourful flowers and religious artefacts. They do not give value to aesthetics and stay away from the sense of sight and its entrapment. They eat to live and therefore food is a matter of sustenance, not a doorway to indulgence.
Self-evolution, self-analysis, self-cleansing, Tapasya, are some of the common Sattvic practices.
People with Rajasic temperament normally ask for wealth, luxury and material gains. People with a Sattvic temperament aspire to attain Atmic heights and spiritual gains. People with Tamasic temperament may ask for vengeance, sustenance and selfish gains.
It’s time to look at your own petitions to the Consciousness Supreme and figure out what you should really pray for, short-term or long-term gains?