Episode # 361 – How does our sleep pattern get influenced by our “Gunas”? A detailed accord!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how our moods and emotions get influenced by the domination of our three “Gunas”, one over the other at different situations. We’re witnessing this as part of a larger discussion as to how the three “Gunas” – Satva, Rajas and Tamas play an important role in our every day life in shaping up our “Karma”. We’ve witnessed in the past few episodes as to how these three Gunas try to overpower each other, thus making us to do whatever we do. For instance, if we get frustrated and angry often, and if we’re constantly cribbing and yelling at people and situations that we come across every single day, it means that our “Rajo Guna” is dominating us more and more. Whereas, if we’re tending to have withdrawal behaviours at every situation and if we’re feeling too lazy to give in our 100% effort in whatever we do, it simply implies that our “Tamo Guna” is flying high. On the other hand, if we’re able to stay balanced at all times, with a calm and composed frame of mind, and if we’re able to perform our actions to perfection by dedicating the fruits of them to Bhagawan’s feet, it means that our “Satva Guna” is increasing its dominance day by day.

This is what all of us should strive for as we progress further in our lives. As our “Satva Guna” increases its dominance, all our actions would get streamlined automatically, and so do our moods and emotions. This is what we’ve discussed in the last episode as well. Thus, to continue this further, as our “Satva Guna” starts dominating, we would start getting the much required thought clarity in whatever we’re strategizing. We would be able to make the right decisions at the right time, and this would automatically make us great leaders. Moreover, as our “Satva Guna” grows further and further, we would become lesser and lesser lazy day by day. We would be able to streamline our sleeping hours. Normally, for a healthy human body, a minimum of 6 hours of sleep is required for a complete rejuvenation. However, if our “Tamasa Guna” is starting to dominate more, we tend to sleep more than six hours. Some people sleep for eight to ten hours too. Excessive sleep is also unhealthy for our human body and should be avoided. Thus, if we’re working on our “Satva Guna”, we would be able to control our sleeping habit too, which is extremely important for our spiritual progress.

I’m emphasizing a bit more on “sleep”, because this is one important parameter which we normally take for granted most of the time. Every passing day, our sleeping times are becoming erratic, owing to lot of “modernization” and “westernization” that we’re going through. Of course, I’m not saying that modernization and westernization are wrong, but the point here is that, we should not sacrifice our routine good habits, for the sake of going western! This is where the problem comes. Eventually as time progresses, we’re becoming a more “confused” society and are struggling to find a balance between our traditional and the western ways of doing things and going about life. There should be some clarity that we should possess. Of course, we should learn the good things from the western society, but it doesn’t mean that we would learn those by sacrificing our good things that we’ve been traditionally following for centuries now.

Thus, the point here is that, we’ve to give our human body the rest it requires, but at the same time it shouldn’t go beyond the permissible limit. However, if one is able to achieve a complete control over sleep, he / she is referred to as “Gudaakesha” and this is the highest level of “Satva Guna” one can achieve. Only “Mahatmas” and great Sages can achieve this level to perfection. Ideally for us, as normal human beings as part of our “Samsaara”, it is extremely difficult to achieve. We would be able to observe ourselves every day isn’t it? If there is an examination coming up and if we take our book to study after 10 PM at night, our eyes would automatically start swirling with sleep, isn’t it? In fact, Arjuna in the Mahabharata is also referred to as “Gudaakesha”. In other words, Arjuna had succeeded to win over his sleep completely and if required, he can be awake 24*7 continuously for days, months and years together. It is perhaps of this great achievement, had Bhagawan Krishna selected him for giving the great Bhagawad Gita. We might wonder within ourselves thus, “Oh! Why did Bhagawan Krishna select Arjuna, and not us for presenting the Bhagawad Gita?” Of course, this is a weird thought, but the answer to this is very simple – The Bhagawad Gita comprises of around 700 slokas, and one has to be awake to listen to and make sense out of all the seven hundred slokas, isn’t it? For this atleast, we should win over our sleep isn’t it? Arjuna was totally qualified in this aspect and we’re not! This is why, perhaps Bhagawan Krishna selected Arjuna for this great mission!

Moving on further thus, Uddhava continues his questions to Bhagawan Krishna. It should be remembered here again by readers that this entire conversation is happening between Bhagawan Krishna and Uddhava and Bhagawan Krishna is explaining various attributes pertaining to “Detachment” in this world. Now after listening to all these important points, Uddhava asks Bhagawan Krishna thus, “Oh Bhagawan! Till now, I’ve learnt various aspects of detachment! I’ve learnt the various aspects of our three Gunas too, and moreover a detailed accord on the three types of Atmans. You’ve repeatedly emphasized that we’ve to somehow increase the dominance of our “Satva Guna”, thereby paving our way for attaining the highest “Moksha”. However, my question now is that, what should we do, so as to develop this “Satva Guna” within us? What are the best practices that we should adopt, so that our Satva Guna increases its dominance?”

I’m sure many of us would have this question burning in our minds by now, especially after discussing so much about how the three Gunas try and dominate over each other, thus influencing our everyday activities, moods, emotions, etc. An interesting and a detailed accord from Bhagawan Krishna awaits us in the next episode! 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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