TriGuna Vibhava

TriGuna Vibhava is the yoga of the three gunas or qualities of consciousness. The gunas are the fundamental shaktis or energies of creation and combine in very systematic ways to form the five subtle and gross elements, which make up the subtle (mind, intellect, ego and memory) and gross (physical) bodies. The three gunas are sattva (intelligences clarity and purity), rajas (creativity and activation), and tamas (the material of consciousness). Sattva reveals, rajas projects and tamas conceals.


To understand the way the gunas work, consider a clay pot, with the intelligent design of the pot being sattva, the clay or material being tamas and rajas, the creative power that takes the design and material and makes the pot. Everything within the manifest universe is a mixture of the three gunas.

Guna also means rope. The three gunas bind us to creation with a gold chain (sativa), a silver chain (rajas) and bronze chain (tamas). The essence of the Vedantic sadhanas or practices (three yogas) are to help us cultivate predominate satva which is necessary for liberation.

Our actions in the present moment affect the which of the gunas predominate in the future.

Sattvika Karmas: Those actions that cultivate maximum punya karma. These actions are compulsory for those desiring moksha. They include honoring and serving: 

  • The creator Isvara
  • Our parents and family, 
  • The teacher and scripture
  • Our fellow divas
  • The natural world. 

Rajasic Karmas: Those actions that support our dharma/duty in work and family. Example, working the job that helps pay the bills and put food on the table. These karmas are not compulsory but necessary for a householder.

Tamasic Karmas: those karmas that create papa or negative karma. An example being, those actions that magnetize our fears and desires. 

TriGuna Vibrava: The Yoga of the Three Gunas

The first step of this practice is recognizing which guna is predominate in each moment. We then look to the past for the cause. If the mind is overly rajasic or tamasic, consider what previous actions may have led to the present state of being. For example, if you feel tamasic, did you stay up too late last night? If you are rajasic, did you drink too much caffeine.

Though all  three gunas are present in every facet of creation, a sattvic mind is necessary to assimilate the knowledge necessary for moksha or freedom.

More to come…



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