Episode # 372 – Classification of “KARMA” – “Saathvika Karma”, “Raajasic Karma” & “Taamasic Karma”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the classification of the three Gunas – Satva, Rajas and Tamas with respect to “Kaalam” or “Time period”. We had witnessed this categorization with regards to the different times of a day. We had seen that the early morning time from 4 AM to 6 AM is the most “Sathvic” in nature and is referred to as “Brahma-Muhurtham”. All important tasks that we perform in a day, like learning, practising arts, etc. yield maximum benefit when performed during this time. Of course, the greater part of the day – From 6 AM to 6 PM is classified as the “Raajasa Kaalam” and this is where we run here and there, go for work, etc. Similarly, the time after 6 PM in the evening, till 4 AM the next morning is classified as the “Taamasa Kaalam”, wherein we’ve to give sufficient rest to our body after the day’s long and packed schedule. This is where we found ample justification to the modern-day proverb – “Early to bed & early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. We say that this practice makes us healthy because, if we wake up at 4 AM, it gives us an opportunity to inhale fresh oxygen from the Ozone layer, which directly has a positive impact on our physical health and mental capability. Obviously, if we’re going to use this early-morning time for our work, we’re going to be more productive than usual, which is directly going to increase our wealth and status. Finally, we’ve also witnessed that by making full use of the oxygen-rich atmosphere around us in the early morning, our brain gets activated more and more, which directly results in our intelligence factor rising up exponentially.

In fact, this is why in the “Paatashaala” or “Gurukula” system of education, even today we have the practice of getting up at 4 AM in the morning and chanting Vedas, Upanishads and other lessons. The more we chant and try byhearting the Vedas in the early morning, it becomes easier for us to retain all the verses in our memory. This is the reason why we find these people to be extremely intelligent in all their endeavors. We often mistake that the “British system” of education that we follow today in schools and colleges is making us more intelligent. Indeed, this is a huge myth. This system of education literally gives us nothing but laziness and complacency. Indeed, whatever the so-called “English” mode of education teaches today, all of it is already present in our Vedic education. In due course of time, the unfortunate reality is that, we’ve moved away from our traditional form of education to something that doesn’t add any sort of value to our lives.

Thus, the point here is that, as descendents of our great “Bhaarata Desha”, we should be able to atleast appreciate our traditional Vedic education system and strive towards learning our Vedas and Upanishads atleast a little bit. If not for a formal Vedic education, we can always spend some quality time amidst all other personal and professional commitments in learning Sanskrit and our Vedas. This, not only enhances our knowledge about our “Sanaatana Dharma”, but also gives us an opportunity to enhance our intelligence and memory power. Ultimately this is what is supposed to be the outcome of any educational system, isn’t it? So, let us take this opportunity to begin this atleast today, nevertheless if not till now.

Now moving on further, we shall now witness the same classification with respect to our “Karma” that we do every day. All the “Nitya-Karma-Anushtaana” that we’ve been witnessing for the past few episodes would automatically fall into the “Saatvika Karma”. This of course goes without saying – All that we do for Bhagawan, inclusive of our regular “Sandhyavandanam” to chanting slokas, Vedas, Upanishads, etc. are all “Saathvika Karma” and we should make sure that we’re in for all of it. Secondly, “Kaamya Karmas”, which include performing all what is required for child birth, performing “Putra-Kameshti Yaaga”, performing “Jotishta Homa” to pray for getting a place at “Svarga Lokha”, performing some other “Yaagas” and “Yagnas” for obtaining lot of money, etc. fall under the “Rajo Guna” classification.

Now coming to the third important classification – In fact, this is mentioned in the “Atharvana Veda”in detail. For instance, if we’re going to do some bad activity in the name of “Pilli”, “Shunya”, etc. so as to destroy others for our own personal gains, all of this falls under the category of “Tamo Guna” or “Taamasa Karma”. We would have often heard that some people are experts in using some “Mantras” to gain some powers with which they can spoil or adversely impact people in many ways. In fact, some people use these powers to even kill others. All of these come under the classification of “Taamasa Karma”, and these are obviously some things that we should avoid at any instance in life. Even if we come across such people, we should make it a point that we stay away from them. Else, this is going to be extremely dangerous for our sustained life.

Thus, we can witness here in a nutshell that those activities (Karma) that we perform as part of our regular spiritual duty and for world peace and harmony, come under the “Saathvika Karma”. Those activities that we perform for obtaining some selfish needs for our personal happiness are classified under the “Raajasa Karma” and finally, those activities that we might perform for the detrimental effect of others are classified under the “Taamasic Karma”. So for today, let us understand this important classification. 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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