In these talks, Swamiji does a detailed discussion of the three-Guna model presented by Sri Krishna in Chapter 14. He says that the Guna discussion does not end with this chapter. The 14th chapter is the basis for further discussion of the three-Guna model in the 16, 17 and 18th chapters. In the 17th Chapter Shraddha is categorized according to the three Gunas. And in chapter 18, Krishna categorized the three kinds of Sukha, buddhi, Jnana, Dhriti, Karma, Karta, Tapas and Tyaga.
Swamiji discusses in detail the Varna division—Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra-- in the 18th chapter. He helps us understand that this division has been created on the basis of the Sattva, Rajas and Tamas combinations in one’s personality. Work was divided among people in the society based on their Guna constitution. Each of these social groups took up activities according to their tendencies and skills, and contributed to the welfare of the society.
Depending on his natural tendencies (Svabhava), the three Gunas (Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas) will function in a human being. These may be present in different permutations and combinations in a person. But this Guna constitution is not absolute, says Swamji. One may have been born with a certain Guna constitution but it can be changed by self-effort. If one wants to cultivate Sattva Guna, then he will have to imbibe more and more Saatvik inputs”.
By determined effort, one can reduce Tamas and Rajas and increase Sattva.
Swamiji concludes with a defining statement that if everyone does all work fully knowing that it is all a play of the Gunas and works without any ego, attachment or expectation of happiness, it is possible to attain the heights of spiritual perfection.
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Narayanashrama Tapovanam, an Ashram located in Thrissur, Kerala, embodies the unique tradition of Guru-shishya Parampara, disseminating Brahmavidya (Science of Self-knowledge) through regular classes, satsangs, and above all, through learning in the association of a realized spiritual master.
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Those days, there were many rats staying in various pockets of the tiled roof. My room had a very low ceiling and I could even touch the roof tiles. At night, I would see big, big rats running around just near me.
I got back to my daily chores, but the scene remained in my mind – the old man’s wrinkled face, his gleaming eyes, the contentment he enjoyed, his refusal to accept more than ‘his minimum needs’! How many of us can take such a stand?
Bhakti is not so much in the worship with flowers, garlands, lamps or incense sticks. Neither it is in chanting His names and praises. It is verily in living and acting according to the wish of the Lord, pleasing Him, imbibing qualities and attitudes that He wants us to imbibe.