[Advaita-l] tamoguna

Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Mon Apr 13 10:21:37 CDT 2009

PS : Greek theology had an interesting explanation : the 'daemons', spirits,
were good and bad, but both under the command of the gods : the bad spirits
had the more difficult task -- they are sent to test us; but with sattvic
intent..! Rather like sanskara personiified..


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of
Bhadraiah Mallampalli
Sent: 13 April 2009 16:03
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Subject: [Advaita-l] tamoguna

Dear Michael,

Very good question. Devas and asura/rakshas were all children of prajapati,
meaning their origin same, but something in their nature differentiates
them. The question of daivi and asuri aspects of a guna is linked to the
definition of asura/rakshas. I always used to wonder why there are two types
of bad guys and what is the difference between them.

S.Br gives derives the word rakshas from the root raksh, meaning protect.
This is surprising because every day we worship day in and day out saying
'Amba, protect me'. How is this protection any different from rakshas?

IMO, rakshas are those who commit overuse or abuse of protection. You see
politicians walking around with tight security when common people have no
security. Or think of those who accumulate too much wealth at the expense of
other aspects of life.

The word asura is many times used in a positive sense. Varuna is called
asura. There is a vedic lady rishi named Asuri. (I am still looking for
etymology of asura.)

IMO, varuNa is the lord of inhalation. Inhalation always opens up new ideas,
but inhalation can also be aggressive, violent and overbearing. Asuras are
not over-protective like rakshas, and they may be pretty much open. But
being aggressive they err on the positive side. If some one tries to
dominate opinions on any topic on a message board you can call that an
asuric quality, however correct the opinions may be.

One who doesn't err on positive or negative side and uses them appropriately
in every situation, has the daivi gunas (satva, rajas and tamas). I hope
this is reasonable.



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