4.477. I said “Bhagavat Geetha devotes a whole chapter (14) on the subject of Guna. In fact this is an understatement.
4.478. Actually the entireBhagavat Geetha talks of the Guna stuff ad nauseaum.
4.479. Essentially Bhagavat Geetha teaches us a simple fact that the Aathman that happens to be the very crux of you and me is full and complete and therefore no activity would add or diminish its fullness.
4.480. The activities that we see around us and those that we indulge in are caused by ignorance of our true Self by each of us identifying ourselves to a body.
4.481. That very moment we find ourselves in a complicated world which essentially is composed of the thrigunas.
4.482. Even though I have said that the thrigunas are the bricks and mortar of the universe, they are really nothing physical to be identified as entities by sense perception as senses are as much guna stuff as the objects sensed.
4.483. The Universe is that which is totally and completely made up of these Guna stuff.
Sri Krishna says in Gita:
न तदस्ति पृथिव्यां वा दिवि देवेषु वा पुनः |
सत्त्वं प्रकृतिजैर्मुक्तं यदेभिः स्यात्त्रिभिर्गुणैः ||१८- ४०||
4.485. (There is no entity either on earth or again in heaven among the divinities that could be free from these three gunas (modalities) born from prakrthi (nature)).
4.486. If guna is all and it eludes apprehension because there is nothing different from it through which you can know it in this universe, then how do we know of this guna stuff?
4.487. Bhagavat Geetha therefore lets us know the play of the gunas by sheer inference.
4.488. I am detailing some of them that would impress on us the existence and role of these gunas by which we the humans can be identified.
4.489. Take for example the act of giving.
4.490. While a lot of people are stingy there are equal number of people who are giving because such an act of gifting purifies them.
4.491. But those who give do so not necessarily in a uniform way. There are differences in the manner in which they give.
4.492. The Lord tells us in Geetha (chapter 18) indicating the play of Guna in the act of giving.
4.493. A person who gifts something without expecting anything in return is Saathwik.
4.494. A person giving expecting something in return is Rajasic and a person who gifts with scant respect to the recepient and who would even threaten to take it back is thaamasic.
4.495. In this example we come to understand that the karma viz. the act of giving is not taken as an activity but action that conforms to certain pattern of behaviour.
4.496. This pattern of behaviour that a person consciously adopts tend to have repercussions on his thought.
4.497. THIS PATTERN OF BEHAVIOUR IS THE GUNA STUFF WITH WHICH EACH ONE IS MADE.
4.498. As in the example above the act of charity that was seen in three different behaviours is actually in an extended sense a counterpart of the actor i.e. the karmi or the doer.
नियतस्य तु संन्यासः कर्मणो नोपपद्यते |
मोहात्तस्य परित्यागस्तामसः परिकीर्तितः ||१८- ७||
4.500. In the dhaarmic concept each person has set of duties to be performed.
4.501. Even as we live in a non-dhaarmic world there are nithya karmas or the inevitable duties that we have to carry out.
4.502. A person happens to avoid these inevitable duties as if he is unaware of his responsibility.
4.503. What causes it? It is due to moham or delusion. We have to understand that one does so is driven by Thaamasa guna.
दुःखमित्येव यत्कर्म कायक्लेशभयात्त्यजेत् |
स कृत्वा राजसं त्यागं नैव त्यागफलं लभेत् ||१८- ८||
4.505. A person who knowingly avoids performance of nithya karma to avoid bodily pain or other reasons of dhukkam or misery caused by egoism, laziness etc.
4.506. What causes him to do that? It is his passion to his body. We have to understand that one does so is driven by Rajo guna.
कार्यमित्येव यत्कर्म नियतं क्रियतेऽर्जुन |
सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा फलं चैव स त्यागः सात्त्विको मतः ||१८- ९||
न द्वेष्ट्यकुशलं कर्म कुशले नानुषज्जते |
त्यागी सत्त्वसमाविष्टो मेधावी छिन्नसंशयः ||१८- १०||
4.509. A person who does things without attachment to the action and who performs without caring for the benefits that accrue from such actions is a thyaagi or renouncer. We have to understand that one does this type of actions is driven by Sathwa Guna.
4.510. Sathwa Guna enables a person to be pure and clear and to have strong intelligence that enables him neither to be attached to the pleasant nor to hate that which is unpleasant.
4.511. Now let’s try to understand some of the characteristics of the four Varnas.
ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशां शूद्राणां च परन्तप |
कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि स्वभावप्रभवैर्गुणैः ||१८- ४१||
4.513. The nature of Brahmanas, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras are due to their respective inherent dispositions (guna).
4.514. The meaning is that their past Karma has been the cause of determining births as Brahmanas etc.
4.515. The Sattva and otherGunas are the result of such Karma.
4.516. The Sattvaguna is born from the inherent nature of the Brahmana becoming dominant by suppressing the qualities of Rajas and Tamas.
4.517. The quality of Rajas originates from the inherent nature of the Ksatriyas becoming dominant by suppressing qualities of Satthva and Thamas.
4.518. Thamo guna arises from the inherent nature of the Vaisya, becoming dominant in a little way by suppressing Satthva and Rajas.
4.519. The duties and works assigned to them according to the Gunas constituting their inherent nature, are expounded and allotted by the Sastras in the order described.
4.520. For, the Sastras analyse that the Brahmanas etc., possess such and such attributes and such and such are their duties and occupations.