Gunas lead to actions

Published - September 15, 2019 09:25 pm IST

In the 14th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna describes the qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas, and says one of them could be the predominant quality in a person. A person’s next birth is determined depending upon which quality predominates in him at the time of his death, said Valayapet Ramachariar in a discourse. If sattva guna is the dominant quality at the time of death, then he is born in a family which has atma jnana in his next birth. In the next birth, he will worship the Lord, and will acquire more of sattva. If rajas is the dominant quality at the time of death, then in the next birth he is born in a family which engages in actions, with a view to attaining certain results. He will then perform more actions to enjoy the fruits thereof. This behaviour keeps repeating. How can such a man experience anything but sorrow? If at the time of death, tamas dominates, then in the next birth, he is born as an animal, or bird or even a piece of vegetation, thereby being devoid of the ability to acquire knowledge. The man with sattva guna, in his next birth is born in a family whose members have jnana, and he too moves higher up getting closer to the state of being a sthitapragnya. He eventually attains liberation. The man with rajas performs tasks to enjoy the results, and he reaches svarga, is reborn, and again dies and so the cycle repeats in his case. The man with tamas keeps moving lower down, until he is born not even as an animal, but as a lower form of life, like an insect or worm or a blade of grass.

Lord Krishna says that the person who understands that it is the gunas which make us perform acts, will attain His state. In other words, when one knows that the gunas are the motivators to action, then one is released from repeated births and deaths.

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