The Three guNa-s

Shrinivas Gadkari sgadkari2001 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Dec 12 14:26:45 CST 2002


In this post an attempt is being made to shed some light on
the three guNa-s : sattva, rajas and tamas.

The viewpoint used here is that of shaiva darshana. shaiva
darshana can be regarded as a vedantic extension of sAmkhya

(This is based on my present understanding.)

Two basic tattva-s which are responsible for creation are:
shiva tattva and shakti tattva. shiva tattva is the chit
shakti of the (supreme) Being and shakti tattva is the
Ananda shakti.

The universe really exists in shiva tattva. But what exists
in the shiva tattva is a very abstract universe. Let us call
this plane of abstract manifestation P_c, c for chit. It is
best to refer to manifestation in the plane P_c as unmanifest!
Plane P_c might be what the scriptures refer to as avyakta,
or P_c might even be more abstract than avyakta.

shakti tattva gets modified based on the state of the plane P_c.
This creates a second plane of manifestation P_s, s for shakti.
That is, P_s is a projection of P_c. This projection is brought
about by mAyA shakti. This P_s is what the Being sees at the
universe. For this reason it is said that "shakti is the
mirror in which shiva sees itself (himself)".

Now we have three more fundamental tattva-s: icchA shakti, jnAna
shakti and kriyA shakti.

The ability of the Being to desire and thereby modify the state
of P_c is called icchA shakti.

The ability of the Being to know the state of P_c is jnAna shakti.

The ability of the Being to modify the state of P_c to rectify
imbalance between icchA and jnAna is kriyA shakti.

Now we have another fundamental tattva. That is attachment. This
is rooted in ignorance.

Attachment to the (desiring) activity of icchA shakti is
known as rajas.

Attachment to the (knowing) activity of jnanA shakti is
known as sattva.

Attachment to the (balancing) activity of kriyA shakti is
known as tamas.

Comments are welcome.

Best regards
Shrinivas Gadkari

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