Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Three Gunas and the Kali Yuga

The Three Gunas and the Kali Yuga

Vedic teachings define three types of actions:

1. Sattvic actions that are colored by Sattva Guna.

2. Rajastic actions that are colored by Raja Guna.

3. Tamastic actions that are colored by Tama Guna.

Essentially, the Gunas are qualities that characterize energy.

In the interest of understanding life in the Kali Yuga, I believe it is important to recognize the difference between the Gunas as well as the dynamic relationship between them.

Sattva Guna impels and colors action with the quality of lucidity and purity. Its actions have the power to aid one in the pursuit of the ultimate goal, Gunateeta, which is described by Upasani Maharaj, as “the state devoid and beyond the Gunas” i.e. God- Realization. Sattva Guna is the golden chain that binds the real saints to this world.

Raja Guna impels and colors action with intensity and desire for worldly riches and power. It is ambitious, passionate, and self-seeking.

Tama Guna is the opposite of lucidity. Unlike Raja Guna, it pursues no ambition beyond destruction and cruelty. It thrives in darkness. It is ignorance personified.

In the other Yugas[1] there is a certain dynamic balancing of the three qualities, but in the Kali Yuga (our present cycle of time), Raja and Tama Gunas are very active and very powerful. That is why the yogis and masters are heard to counsel the cultivation of Sattvic qualities through Sattvic thoughts, words, and deeds.

As mentioned earlier, God-Realization is the state devoid and beyond the Gunas. It is the goal. To attain this state in the Kali Yuga, the help of a real spiritual master i.e. Perfect Master or Avatar is essential.

Meher Baba said, “The saint is bound by a golden chain, the sinner by a spiked one, but the goal is to be free of all chains.”

May the Compassionate One take mercy on us all and help us to attain the Guna-free state.

[1] See posting Embedded in the Kali Yuga