Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamasic Life
Gunas are the three forces of material world, which penetrate everything in our life. To understand more about Sattva, Rajas and Tamas read the following articles: The three Gunas and Three Cosmic Forces.
The destiny of all living beings is to recall their true nature, get rid of material bondage and return to the spiritual world, which is our true home. Never is it too late to start improving the quality of inner life, promoting from low gunas to higher ones. It is said that every saint has his past and every criminal has his future.
But what actually should we do, to start from the point one is right now? It’s important to realize, where the three gunas come from, and be able to do appropriate choices.
Sources Sattva, Rajas and Tamas come from:
- Food and drinks. Only few food have a singular guna, most of them combine two gunas. When processed, food can change guna. Fresh apple is sattvic, canned – rajasic, and precooked, frozen and microwaved apple pie is tamasic. Examples of pure sattvic food are dairy, honey, rice and figs. Rajasic food: canned fruits, sour food and any food that is too salty or too spicy. Tamasic food: old food, meat, fish and eggs. Sattvic drinks: pure water and milk, rajasic – coffee, tea, coke; tamasic – alcohol. Full list of food in three gunas you can find in the article “How food affects our mind”.
- Places. Country side, temples, places where spiritual wisdom is taught are sattvic. Cities, offices, sporting places and probably 90% of all locations we attend are rajasic. Pubs, bars, jails, cemeteries are tamasic.
- Time of the day. Early morning is sattvic. Day is rajasic, and night – tamasic. It is very important to take advantage of early morning hours (from 4 to 8 am) to purify from nightly tamas and create protection for the rajas of the day. People who sleep up late miss the sattvic part and jump from tamas (ignorance) into rajas (passion). Early sattvic hours are meant for prayer, meditation and studying of holy scriptures. Day is meant for fulfilling one’s duties towards family and society. The evening is supposed to be spent with family, doing together things that promote evolution of all family members, such as reading, sharing important matters, showing love and interest in each other.
- Communication. Communication with someone who seek spiritual progress, with righteous people introduces us to sattva guna. Every contact which includes competition is rajasic. Communication related to drinking spirits, criminal activities or gossiping binds us to tamas.
- Activities. Meditation, prayer, taking care of others – are sattvic activities. Too much working, playing and watching competitive sports – is rajasic. Stealing, killing, depravity – are tamasic actions.
- Rituals, holidays, ceremonies. How you spend your spare time, which rituals and ceremonies go to, determine which guna you are aspire to.
- Books and movies that advocate high values are sattvic; action, detectives, adventures are rajasic; horror and pornography – tamasic.
- Songs, mantras. What is constantly spinning in your head is your mantra. Holy mantras or thoughts like “May all beings be happy” are sattvic. Patriotic songs are rajasic. Almost everything that is pouring on us out of the radio and TV is tamasic.
- Meditation. Meditation is not limited to the time we spend on our yoga mat in lotus posture. What we are thinking of, what plans do we work out, that is our meditation. To think about helping others, about improving ourselves is sattvic; belief that other people need to be changed is rajasic; aggressive or lustful meditation is tamasic.
- Birth. Vedas state that as soon as a person in search of wisdom is ready, he or she will find a teacher without fail. Following a guru is called the second birth. Unfortunately guru as everything in material world can be in all three gunas. True, sattvic guru represents a chain of teacher-diciple relations and follows ancient scriptures not only in words but also in his every day life. He doesn’t criticize other religions nor he promises an easy and rapid way. Rajasic teachers are prone to criticism and separatism, often invent their own ways or “improve” already existing old practices. Tamasic leaders are violent and extreme.
Freedom of choice is an absolute rule in both material and spiritual world. Even us don’t want forced love, not to say God. What choices we make every minute will determine in which guna we live and settle our next birth. All three levels of our planetary system as well as non material spiritual world are approachable. Entering pass to any place in the universe is the subtle body we have formed to the end of a certain life cycle. See “Fulfillment of all Desires is the Cosmic Rule”.
Vedas teach that after realizing the impact of gunas and the importance of sattvic living we should incorporate righteousness in our lives. It is a common mistake to rush into sattva, abandoning the family and whoever is dependent on us. This is no use in any sattvic activity when your dependents are in need. Here are three practices,which might gradually lead a householder to sattva guna:
- Try to work in spiritual field.
- If not possible, working in material sphere support spiritual activities, offering money, time or labor.
- If you are unable to provide any kind of above mentioned actions, one thing is always affordable. Cook sattvic meal saying mantras or prayers and offer it to God before consuming. In this way sattva will penetrate your body and mind.
TODAY’S TIP: Sattva guna is the purest quality of the material world. Living in sattva pays doubly. One enjoys the best of the material world and has an access to the spiritual one. See also “Features of Sattvic Person”.