Episode # 355 – Why do different people react to a same situation differently? Sanaatana Dharma explains!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a very important point of discussion wherein, we had emphasized the significance of “neutralizing” both our “Paapa” and “Punya” Karmas, so as to attain the highest “Moksha”. Of course, we’ve understood that we can still restrain ourselves as much as possible from performing “Paapa” Karma, but when it comes to the “Punya” Karma, we can still escape the benefits of it by surrendering all of our actions to Bhagawan’s lotus feet. In this way, we would still be performing “Punya” Karma, but without getting the benefits or the effects of them to stick on to us. If we allow the benefits to stick on to us, we would again go to the “Svarga Lokha” and eventually come back to this world to take a re-birth, once the benefits of our “Punya-Karma” are over. This is why we often chant “Sarvam Krishnaarpanamastu!” at the end of every auspicious spiritual practice or offering that we do to Bhagawan. This is to signify the very concept of surrendering all our “Punya Karma” onto Bhagawan’s lotus feet, thereby making us eligibile to attain the highest “Moksha”.

We concluded the yesterday’s episode by asking a question thus: What makes us perform any action that we keep performing day in and day out? Let us look at the answer for this important question in today’s episode, as we move on. By this time we might be knowing that there are three important “Gunas” (Characteristics) that are imbibed into us at every time – The “Sathva Guna”, “Rajo Guna” and “Tamo Guna”. All these three “Gunas” are present within our physical body at all times. All our sense organs, inclusive of our eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin are engulfed into these three “Gunas”. Most importantly, our mind is also deeply immersed into these three “Gunas” as well. Thus, these three “Gunas” are omni-present everywhere within us and around us. It is ultimately the “Atman” of ours which is the “Guiding light” for all these three “Gunas” to express and manifest themselves through our physical body at different times, depending upon the situation. With the help of the “Atman”, the three “Gunas” manifest themselves through our eyes, our ears, nose, etc. as per the requirement at that instant of time. For instance, if we’ve to identify people standing or sitting in front of us, the three “Gunas” transcend through our eyes, so as to identify who are these people – Whether are they strangers or known people. Thus, with the help of the Atman’s knowledge, our eyes start taking a “statistics” of all people who are in front of us and eventually submit these statistics to our mind to take it further. Once the statistics reach our mind, it starts manipulating why have these people come here in front of us, what are they wanting from us, etc.

Thus, we can see here that the three “Gunas” manifest themselves in our physical body everywhere and when it comes to identifying people or things, etc. the “Gunas” transcend through our eyes, make calculations, send it to our mind, which makes the “analysis” to find out who is what. All this “analysis” is possible only because of the help rendered by the “Atman”. Similarly, if we listen to sweet music, again our three “Gunas” are manifested through our ears, so as to identify which song is being sung and who is singing it. This data is sent to the mind and thus, with the help of the knowledge from the Atman, we’re able to enjoy the music. Now that we’ve understood this concept, we shall witness where the real problem exists. If our sense organs transcend and manifest the “Satva Guna” more than the other two “Gunas”, while collecting data and if our mind does its “analysis” only with the domination of the “Satva Guna”, then everything would be smooth and normal, without any unwanted problem. But the issue comes now when the other two “Gunas” namely the “Rajo Guna” and “Tamo Guna” start dominating their presence in both our sense organs and our mind. If for instance, our “Rajo Guna” is trying to overpower the “Satva Guna” in the process, we start feeling angry and frustrated even over small things. Whereas, when the “Tamo Guna” starts dominating over the “Satva Guna”, we start feeling lazy, and unwanted thoughts of experiencing physical pleasures come our way.

If we look at it closely, the situation might be the same. But different people grasp the same situation differently and it is only because of the domination of one “Guna” over the other. For instance, we have nice tasty food in front of us in a banana leaf. Three people are sitting next to each other. It is quite normal to witness three different views on the food coming from the three different people who are consuming it, isn’t it? Perhaps, for the person who is dominated by the “Satva Guna”, would respect the food that is on the plate and consume it without any hiccups. Whereas for the other people, who might be dominated by the “Rajo Guna” and “Tamo Guna”, would start complaining about the food by saying that the salt / sweet content is more / less, quantity of food is more / less, etc. This is how we see that for different individuals, different Gunas try and dominate, which results in differences in opinions amongst people, even though the situation might be the same. This is why even in Management, we often keep saying that different individuals view the same situation differently in an organization and it is important for managers / leaders to draw a concensus amongst a majority of their employees when crucial decisions are to be taken.

So for today, let us understand this important point and we shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further. Stay tuned! 🙂


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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