Episode # 357 – How do we understand which “Guna” dominates us over the other? An important accord!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how the three “Gunas” – Satva, Rajas and Tamas manifest themselves through our sense organs, in whatever action that we perform. Depending upon the dominance of each “Guna”, we perform our “Karma”. We had witnessed an analogy yesterday as to how different people view the same situation in different ways. We understood the reason behind some people having a totally negative ideology towards any situation that they come across in their lives. This is primarily because their “Rajo Guna” and “Tamo Guna” show their dominance over the “Satva Guna”. For a Yogi or a Mahatma, every situation that they come across would only give them a smile on their face and nothing else. This is because, as they had spiritually advanced over the years, their “Satva Guna” has also exponentially increased over time within them. It is only because of this, the Satva Guna is manifesting from within them, during whatever good or adverse situation they are passing through.

Moving on thus, we had concluded yesterday’s episode with a small but an important question thus – We’ve so far explained that the “Satva Guna” should dominate in whatever we do, isn’t it? How do we know this from whatever we do? What is the proof that the “Satva Guna” is increasing its dominance over the other two “Gunas”? Let us witness the answer for this set of questions today as we move further with this important discussion. There is of course a way to identify within ourselves, which Guna is dominating over the other. Here, we’ve to first observe our thought process – In whatever work that we’re doing every day, both personal and professional, if we’re not having unwanted confusions, tensions, etc., we can know for ourselves that our “Satva Guna” is flying high! If we’re able to maintain ourselves calm and composed at all situations, without getting angry, frustrated and irritated unnecessarily for small things, it means that we are very high on our “Satva Guna”. Whereas, on the other hand, if our “Rajo Guna” is trying to overpower our “Satva Guna”, we would be able to witness within ourselves that we get angry on others even for small things. We would get irritated and frustrated quite easily and thus, would lose our stability of mind in thinking and making decisions. This is exactly what we call “Short-tempered” attitude. In our daily life itself, we might be able to see some people bursting and fuming with anger even if a small object is not in its own place at the workplace, or even if there is a small mistake done by somebody. Some people even get so high on anger at that particular instance that they start throwing things around, breaking objects, etc. This is where, the “Rajo Guna” begins to dominate us too strongly. Thus, if this situation unfolds, our mind totally loses its stability and we tend to take wrong and momentous decisions, which might be extremely dangerous in nature.

This is where modern day leaders should learn their lesson – At any point in time, a leader should never give room for the “Rajo Guna” to manifest and exhibit dominance. We should realize that we have so many people who are dependent on the crucial decisions that we’ve to take. Employees’ families, livelihood, corporate careers, etc. are all tied to leaders’ key decisions. If the “Rajo Guna” in the leader is going to dominate too much, employees’ future is going to be at stake, isn’t it? This is where, if we’ve to become great leaders, we should always try and keep our emotions at check. If we’re keeping our emotions at check, automatically our “Rajo Guna” influence would start coming down. Once the “Rajo Guna” influence starts to come down, we would automatically have a balanced frame of mind, which would help us to take critical decisions in an effective manner.

If we look at the origin of “Rajo Guna”, it all starts from a small desire, which in turn manifests into a bigger desire, which in turn manifests into jealousy, which in turn manifests into anger and frustration if that desire is not fulfilled, and finally, this behaviour manifests into our day-to-day routine too. This ultimately would isolate us totally, and nobody would even want to strike a normal conversation with us. If this happens, where is the question of being a good leader? Thus, we’ve to be extremely careful here.

Now, let us look at the third “Guna” – The “Tamo Guna”. Three important characteristics from within us, exhibit to the world that we’re high on “Tamo Guna”. First is “excessive sleep”. Second is “laziness”. Third is “lack of concentration” in whatever we do. These three are the typical characteristics of the “Tamo Guna” dominance. Of course, we can ask a counter question here – If this is the case, shouldn’t we sleep at all? Should we be awake all the time? The answer is “No!” Sleep is important for the body. There is no denial about it. We’ve spoken about sleep in a very detailed manner during our “Vidura Neeti” episodes and readers can refer back and recollect it. Sleep is important, but excessive sleep is the problem. For instance, if we require a regular 6-hour sleep, and if we’re sleeping for 9-10 hours a day, this means that our “Tamo Guna” is flying high in us! If we’re reluctant to do any task and if we’re feeling lazy all the time, this also implies that we’re flying high on the “Tamo Guna”. As a consequence of this, if our concentration levels are extremely low in whatever task we perform, this also has the same implication as mentioned above!

Hence, it is upto us to understand the three “Gunas”, how they manifest in us at all times, and how they exhibit themselves with time and situation too. If we’ve to make sure that our “Satva Guna” is the dominating “Guna” amongst the three, we’ve to put our meticulous effort to increase it. It all starts from our regular food habits, till the various methods that we adopt to condition our mind. We shall talk about this in the next upcoming episode and for today, let us understand these important points! 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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