What are the effects of Rajoguna, Tamoguna and Satvaguna (the three constituent qualities of nature) upon us?

In the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Arjun asks Shri Krishna, “Even though an individual does not intend to commit sins, then why does one do so? What induces one into sinful actions?”

Shri Krishna replies that lust, anger and greed induce sinful actions.

Arjun then asks,” where do lust, anger and greed arise from?”

Shri Krishna says that they arise from rajoguna (mode of passion). Rajoguna is already present in your body because nature consists of the three gunas (qualities): satvaguna (goodness), rajoguna (passion/activity) and tamoguna (inertia/ignorance). Our bodies are a combination of these three qualities.

Lethargy, inaction and sleep are the effects caused by tamoguna. Lust, anger and greed are the effects caused by rajoguna, impelling a person to act and making a person restless. Satvaguna inculcates peace and calmness making our mind and consciousness pure and peaceful. All the qualities of nature can be misused if one does not remain vigilant.

A person has to learn to invoke the appropriate quality for every activity. When rajoguna is to be invoked, make your work a sacrificial offering (yagya karma). When you are tired after working, invoke tamoguna and say, “like a mother, take me in your lap and put me to sleep so that I can begin my yagya karma in the morning. However, if you sleep during the day at your work place, this is a misuse of tamoguna. When you listen to a katha or pray you require satvaguna. If at that time you continue to do something else, for example, write down your petty cash account, you are coming under the influence of rajoguna at the wrong time.

If you wish your life to be peaceful, then attempt activities that will increase the influence of satvaguna in life. Satvaguna is abundant in the lives of ascetics, saints and devotees. Stay in their company, serve them, listen to them and tread on the path shown by them. As the influence of satvaguna increases in your life, restlessness will decrease and you will be tranquil and happy. On the other hand, staying in the company of people under the dominant influence of rajoguna will influence you to quarrel due to desire, anger and greed.

Sometimes, satvaguna overpowers rajoguna and tamoguna thereby becoming dominant in life. Similarly, sometimes rajoguna or tamoguna become dominant in life. Without rajoguna, we cannot act or do any work. Without tamoguna we cannot sleep at night and without satvaguna we cannot pray. God has not inculcated rajoguna and tamoguna to put problems in life, but to live life smoothly. However, you have to use them properly and sensibly for good work.

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