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A very warm welcome to the blog of Madhwa Brahmins community.
We, Madhwa Brahmins are followers of Jagadguru Sriman Madhwacharya. We originally hail from places in Karnataka and the neighboring states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Our main dialects are Kannada, Tulu, Marathi, Telugu and Konkani.

A brief background of Jagadguru Sri Madhwacharya:

prathamO hanumAn nAma dviteeyO bheema Eva cha |
pUrNaprajna tRuteeyastu bhagavat kAryasAdhakaH ||

As the above shloka from khila vAyustuti explains, Sri Madhwacharya (also known by the names Poornaprajna and Anandateertha) is the third incarnation of Lord MukhyaprAna Vaayu, after Lord Hanuman and Lord Bheemasena. He is the chief proponent of TattvavAda, popularly known as Dvaita. He was born on Vijayadashami day of 1238 CE at Paajaka Kshetra, a small village near Udupi. He is the 22nd commentator on the Brahma sutras of Lord Sri Veda Vyasa.

Kindly note that this blog contains important topics discussed in our Orkut community and some articles on tattvavAda philosophy. All the topics can be found in the BLOG ARCHIVE (right side)

01 January, 2010

Satvik, Rajasik and Tamasik

sAtvik, rAjasik and tAmasik guNAs


Discussion about the three basic guNas of jeevas

Don :-

I am starting this interesting topic ...we are all here to gain knowledge ..and I guess if that knowledge starts from basic points ...I think, that will be really great ...
So I am starting this topic with basic entities ... SAATVIK RAJAS and TAMASIK

I request you all can you please put the basic differential points between these three and the properties of these 3 things ....besides bhakti how they differ .... lets start from this and as we get some info we can still further elaborate .....we will start from basic points n I have restricted myself from adding more things cause we should not deviate in between which happens usually ...so juts concentrate on basic points ...

thanks ....


Rajeshwari :-

Three gunas

Saatvik is the good quality and taamasic is all bad. Raajas are the undecided qualities which waver according to circumstances and environment. I think normal men of today have more of raajasic qualities. please say ur views


|Gµ®µ®äj| :-

Bhagwat Gita - Chapter 16, verse 1,2,3:

A person is called of Saatvik Guna when s/he has the following qualities -

1. Fearlessness
2. Pure heartedness
3. Established in the wisdom of discrimination of spirit and matter
4. Charity
5. Self-restraint
6. Austerity
7. Uprightness
8. Non-violence
9. Truthfulness
10. Aversion to Fault finding
11. Compassion to all being
12. Absence of avarice'
13. Gentleness
14. Modesty
15. Determination

I do not think I am even close to being a Satvik person, and I hardly know any.

There are similarities and differences when we consider the concepts of Sattvik/ Rajasic/ Tamasic; Id/ Ego/ Superego. The differences would seem mostly on stress; and on the "negativity" or "positivity" attached to each of these.


Dilip :-

If we are talking about the intrinsic nature of souls, it is impossible to know it until aparOkSha. Only sAtvika jIvas will get to know their svarUpa guNa.

The behaviour of us and others are all products of svabhAva (svarUpa) and prabhAva (external influence like genes, family, society, etc)


Don..:-

@ Dilip

so according to u .... we never know exactly which guna we belong to ??? like saatvik rajas n tamasic ......

ApRokshya is an ultimate situation where in u dont think of nything besides narayan ... n its unique position ... but in general ....

I think Saatvik AAtma can be in ny species like ....an ant was talking to Shri Vedvyasa ...can we say that she had saatvik aatma ?? ..


Dilip :-

so according to u .... we never know exactly which guna we belong to ??? like saatvik rajas n tamasic ......

This is what I have understood.

ApRokshya is an ultimate situation where in u dont think of nything besides narayan ... n its unique position ... but in general ....

aparOkSha is a state when one sees the Lord through his svarUpEMdriya. Literally it means "direct vision". At this state one is said to obtain what is called realisation. He gets to know his true nature. Until then it is difficult to differentiate svabhAva from prabhAva.

I think Saatvik AAtma can be in ny species like ....an ant was talking to Shri Vedvyasa ...can we say that she had saatvik aatma ?? ...

yeah sAtvika souls can be in any body.


Muralidhar :-

Is this not similar to vaata pitta kapha in aayurveda? For a healthy person all 3 are required in right proportion.

Similarly in this world, dont we require people with all these in right proportion (of course different people need to have different proportions)

For ex. If all are saatvikas, then they would focus their mind on aadhyatma and would not show any interest in doing "samsaara".

The above guna may be important in a saint but the samsaara fails if samsaaris are pure saativikas.


Dilip :-

There is no soul of 100% sAtvika nature. Manushyas are under the rAjasik category and amongst them rAjsik-sAtvika souls are eligible for mOkSha (RSS, RSR and RST)

For ex. If all are saatvikas, then they would focus their mind on aadhyatma and would not show any interest in doing "samsaara". The above guna may be important in a saint but the samsaara fails if samsaaris are pure saativikas.

This is always not the nature of sAtvika souls. They can be in samsAra (I mean married with kids). shAStras don’t say that mOkSha is only for sanyAsis.

There are two modes of sAdhane, pravRutti and nivRutti. The former involves sAmsArik life and the latter involves sanyAsa.

Constant focusing of mind on God is required for everybody


Muralidhar :-

Is there a more detailed explanation about these sAtvika, rAjasika and tAmasika qualities? The one above tells in brief about sAtvika guna in Bhagwat Gita. But, without further understanding, these are misleading.

Also, these qualities - are they same for all? or different for brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya and shudra?


Hesaralli :-

Linga Deha

(A slight deviation from the topic. This is response to Mr.Muralidhar's question regarding what Linga Deha is in another thread)

Linga Deha, or primal body, is a cover around the soul. This linga deha is as old as the soul itself (i.e Anaadi = without beginning). The relation between the soul and its lingadeha is like that of a bean and its cover. The bean is completely enclosed inside the cover, but yet there is not attachment to it.

This lingadeha prevents the soul from realising its true sVarupa. The lingadeha fully resembles the form of the soul it covers. It can be gotten rid of only by His grace, through saadhana marga. And each soul, of course, attains mukti according to its Yogyata.

The linga deha of Tamasa Jeevas are destroyed by the mace of Sri Vaayu Devaru.

The Rajasika Jeevas lose their lingadeha by listening to the Hoonkara (voice) of Sri Vaayu Devaru.

The Satwick Jeevas cast off their lingadeha by bathing in the River Viraja along with Brahma.

{This is the extent of my knowledge and understanding. I request the learned members to enlighten us more regarding the topic}

{Reference: Su_Jnaana by Satyavati Harikrishnan, translated by Dr.S.Harikrishnan}


|| Sri Bharati Ramana Mukhya PraNAnthargatha Sri Lakshmi Hayagreevaya Namaha||


Dilip :-

Is there a more detailed explanation about these sAtvika, rAjasika and tAmasika qualities?

I am not aware of any source. You could try searching dvaita list archives.
We should note that the 3 guNas of prakRuti are different from the intrinsic guNa-s of souls. The soul and its guNa are inseparable and these guNa-s are different from that of prakRuti. At mukti, the influence of prAkruti guNas is absent, but the intrinsic nature remains.

The one above tells in brief about sAtvika guna in Bhagwat Gita. But, without further understanding, these are misleading.

The gItA gives a lot of information on these 3 qualities.

Also, these qualities - are they same for all? or different for brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya and shudra?

In case of mukti yOgya souls, only manuShya-s have these 4 varNas (as part of jIva svarUpa). This is different from the 4 varNa-s practiced in society. Since manuShyas are of RS type, a combination of RSS, RSR and RST make the 4 varNas.

The Rajasika Jeevas lose their lingadeha by listening to the Hoonkara (voice) of Sri Vaayu Devaru.

I too have read this piece of information in a treatise on HKAS. I have also heard from some scholars that this is not very correct.

The vAyu stuti says

“Adhatse mishrabuddhi.n stridivanirayabhUgocharAnnityabaddhAn.h |”

It refers to “nityabaddha” souls, eternally in bondage. When this is the case where is the question of getting rid of liMga dEha?


Hesaralli :-

@ Dilip,

In that book that i mentioned, it says - Rajasik Jeevas lose their lingadeha by listening to the hoonkara of Sri Vaayu Devaru, and then realise their true sVarupa. After this, even in their state of mukti, they continue to experience happiness and sorrow alternately, as this is only the ultimate fate of rajasik souls. Hence they are also called Nitya samsaaris.


Adi :-

The Satwik Jeevas cast off their lingadeha by bathing in the River Viraja along with Brahma.

According to VaikunTha VarNane pravachane by Sri Sri Suvidyendra tIrtharu its only Uttama jIvAs who bathe in River VirajA..otherwise thro the grace of the Lord other sAthvika jIvAs shed the linga deha just like how a snake sheds its old skin


Dilip :-

Rajasik Jeevas lose their lingadeha by listening to the hoonkara of Sri Vaayu Devaru,

This gives rise to a question: how does one define the completion of sAdhane for a rAjasik soul? If they walk 'n' steps towards God, they also take some 'n+m' steps backward (away from him)
and then realise their true sVarupa.

This cannot be the case. rAjasik souls are filled with samshayAtmaka j~jnAna. In this case how can they realise svarUpa?

After this, even in their state of mukti, they continue to experience happiness and sorrow alternately,

For this they needn't shed liMga dEha.

as this is only the ultimate fate of rajasik souls. Hence they are also called Nitya samsaaris.

I dont think so...nitya samsAris are eternally bound to samsAra. If we accept the fact that they too have liMga-bhaMga, a lot of unanswered questions would arise.

As i said earlier, some commentaries on HKAS support this and even mention a 'sAMtAnika lOka' for them. I am not sure what kind of pramANa-s they quote.


Hesaralli :-

rAjasik souls are filled with samshayAtmaka j~jnAna. In this case how can they realise svarUpa?

So do rajasik souls never realise their true sVarupa?

After this, even in their state of mukti, they continue to experience happiness and sorrow alternately,

For this they needn't shed liMga dEha.

Even i got the same doubt after i put my previous post. How is it mukti for them if they continue to experience the same thing after shedding the linga deha also?

So what exactly is the state of moksha for rajasik jivas according to our scriptures? And so they go to the same place as satwik jivas do, after attaining mukti? (wherever that might be...pls do enlighten me about the satwik mukti state as well...)

What is HKAS?


Vinod :-

@ lingadeha

it will be complete deviation from main body of this conversation. ling deha is used to take our Atma out from our body itself when we r fully conscious. at that time we can see our linga deha standing near to us. it exactly looks like mirror image. during transfer of Atma from sthool-deha to lingideha a feeling of weightlessness comes as in giant wheel or jumping from a hight. when our Atma is transfered to linga deha, we can see our body sleeping. then we can wonder anywhere like having akash-gaman siddhi.

caution.:- do not try to take out Atma till u r fully confidant that u can re-enter in the body.


Hesaralli :-

ling deha is used to take our Atma out from our body itself when we r fully concious.

I've never heard this about the Linga Deha till date!

Please provide references, and whether u know anyone who has done this.


Vinod :-

i do not remember the name and author of the book. i have read it around 15 years back. it was a marathi book and i had started to practice it. but eventually dropped due to some reasons. i can give the procedure for it. but it is too dangerous!!!

that vidhi was called as prakshepaN in that book. also it was mentioned that it would take at least six months or more just to see our linga deha in this procedure. initially one can observe smoke/ fog coming through abdomen. that day onwards it will start taking shape. then after practice for lonjg durations, it will start looking like our own mirror image. then we will feel weightlessness and our soul will get shifted to ling-deha. at this stage one can see and feel all the invisible things like spirits roming around. and one can visit to any place through this body.

u might have heard that some people feel like they have visited various places in dreams. and their explanation of that places matches to considerable amount. that is also prakshepaN done un-knowingly. such people wake up in night screaming and feel like they have been pushed or a weight had been put on them. in that case it is suggested to them to sleep sideways. and not to put the palms on chest area while sleeping.

i have heard about a lady from Sanatan group in visakhapatnam practices this. but never met her as i am not member of sanatani. i'll let u know about her name. she had visited some places in goa.


Hesaralli :-

Please do try to let us know the book name and author and whether it is authentic if possible. Because till now i've only heard that Linga Deha is the last covering of the soul which prevents its realisation of Nija sVarupa and it is shed after the prarabdha karma is also exhausted.

I have heard of this prakshepan practise, but not heard the Linga Deha being associated with it. And i have a Q - what is the point of doing this thing? Why would someone get their soul out of their body? And is this a scripturally accepted ritual? Because it sounds like what people who practise Mata-mantra, would do - gettin the soul out of the body and communicating with spirits and all that...


Srivatsa :-

How is sleeping on the back and putting the palms on the chest related to prakshepan?

And i have once experienced that feeling of a weight. I was sleeping on my stomach, and i suddenly awoke and i felt like something really heavy was kept on my back and i wasnt able to turn around. I tried calling out, but couldnt. The feeling just passed after a sometime (i dunno how long). But i didnt dream about any place like you've said....


Vinod :-

In prakshepaN, after practicing traTak (concentration on particular point viz bindu, jyoti, murti, nakshatra, or own mirror image these are five ways of traTak), one has to sleep on back keeping both palms on chest, making a straight line of both fore arms and concentrate on naval area (third chakra of kundalini). within few days a smoke or fog will be seen coming from the abdomen. eventually it will take shape as our mirror image. This is linga deha. after a period soul will be shifted to this ling deha.

but - pleaaaaase do not practice it without guru.

because when our soul is out from body other wondering spirit may try to capture it. at that time we may lose our mental balance. so before leaving the body we have to make sure that it is safeguarded.

this practice was used by the author of the book for curing persons from possession of spirit. in such cases if we have enough power can come out from body and give a fight to spirit who has possessed patient.


Hesaralli :-

And is this a scripturally accepted ritual? Because it sounds like what people who practise Mata-mantra, would do - gettin the soul out of the body and communicating with spirits and all that...

Please answer this also.

And just because someone sleeps on their back with the palms across the chest, does it resort to doing prakshepan, or will it cause any harm? Because that posture u have described is the natural sleeping position of many people...


Vinod :-

answer is yes. it will resort prakshepaN. like in case of hypnotism, few people get hypnotised quickly and few take a long time. in the same way prakshepaN will also start in some people at early stages and someone has to practice a lot. for this reason, before practicing prakshepan, traTaka (concentration) is to be practiced.

many people sleep on their back with palms across the chest. such people never get sound sleep. they get up frequently in their sleeps. such people dream about visiting to various places like gardens, cities, temples etc.

even sleeping in that position is not advised. i'll have to check again for which way a man should sleep and a woman. it is also presribed in books.

about the experience of feeling heavy weight on body

several things are to be checked before making any comment.

A) were u feeling headache or fever before sleeping?
B) were u too tired?
C) were u emotionally stable andin normal conditions?

if u wre physically and mentally perfect then we will consider about supernatural things
A) where were u sleeping in ur home orsomewhere else?
B) were u sleeping in passageway, near to door, in a corner etc.
C) what was the time say suryodaya. surasta, madhyanha, madhyaratri?

in one house also there are places where u do not get sound sleep just try to shift ur bed by one inch also and u will enjoy the sleeping.


Srivatsa :-

I was in perfect health, physically and mentally, in normal conditions only.

I was sleeping my house, in my room, in the usual place where i always sleep. Its in the middle of the room, not a passageway, nor opposite a door, nor in a corner. And i sleep soundly always. I think it was past midnight when i woke up...mebbe around 2am or so....


Dilip :-

ling deha is used to take our Atma out from our body itself when we r fully concious.

The destruction or separation of the svarUpa/soul from the liMga dEha happens only at mOkSha and not before.

at that time we can see our linga deha standing near to us. it exactly looks like mirror image. during transfer of Atma from sthool-deha to lingideha a feeling of weightlessness comes as in giant wheel or jumping from a hight. when our Atma is transfered to linga deha, we can see our body sleeping.

liMga dEha is anAdi i.e., it is present since eternity. There is no question of transfering from liMga sharIa to elesewhere.

However the soul along with liMga sharIra and aniruddha sharIra can get from one sthUla sharIra to another. This anyways happens after death naturally.

then we can wander anywhere like having akash-gaman siddhi.
caution.:- do not try to take out Atma till u r fully confidant that u can re-enter in the body.

This is not as easy as said.


Vinod :-

once i had been through such experience. it was 6:00 pm. on amavasya in the month of june 2004. i was lying in a room with closed eyes. suddenly i felt like i was standing there. at the same time i also saw myself sleeping. went near window and had a look of sunset. then one of my friends came inside and opened a coupboard. then he took out his wallet, bike keys. picked up my helmet from the corner and left. then another one came in. he had brought bottle of water. took out his cell-phone. then he went near me to the bed. touched my hand to shake it. same time i felt like something has pulled to me towards the bed and i opened my eyes. it was almost 10 minutes experience.

what would u like to say about this?

and as i have mentioned earlier there is a lady of sanatan group in vizag who practices this.


Dilip :-

namaste,

I had an oppertunity to meet pujya Shri Bannanje Govindacharya recently. He clarified the doubt on "linga bhanga of rAjasik souls'.

Rajasik souls do not have linga bhanga. Below are the reasons:

1. rajasik souls are called nitya samsaris or as per vAyus stuti, they are 'nitya baddha'. The very word 'nitya' indicates eternal. They are bound to samsAra eternally.

2. madhvAchArya has made it very clear that there are only 2 types of mukti. One is for sAtvik souls and the other for tAmasik souls. If there was linga bhanga for rAjasik souls, he would have mentioned a third type of mukti....which he doesnt.

3. The property of linga sharIra is to provide the experience of sukha as well as dukha. Therefore satvik souls who experience pure bliss in mOkSha have to shed this body. And tAmasik souls who experience pure suffering/sorrow in their mOkSha also have to shed their linga dEha. However, rAjasik souls who experience a combination of sukha-dukha for eternity need not shed their linga sharIra since this body itself gives them that experience.

4. The pramANa-s that are quoted from purANa-s for the support of linga bhanga of rAjasik souls could be interpolations. If not, shrImadAchArya wouldnt have spoken against shRuti-smRutis and clearly defined just two types of mOkSha.

Therefore rAjasik souls are nitya baddha - eternally baddha or bound to this samsAra. They are born again and again, eternally. They are never freed from the bondage of samsAra!


Srini :-

@ Dilip

Rajasic souls need not be born again and again. they are samsaris in the sense that they do have "dhuHkha" in salvation or moksha. i believe it is called santanvika loka. please clarify...

one more doubt. Guna is neither bad nor good. in fact if there are bad guNas, then Narayana cant be called sarvaguNaparipoorNa! so a tamasica guNa is not bad. the usage of which can lead to bad results if misused can be called tamasic gunas is what i believe. please clarify...


Dilip :-

Rajasic souls need not be born again and again.

Then the word “nitya” baddha doesn’t make sense otherwise. The souls have to be bound to something when they are called nitya baddhAH and that something is samsAra.

they are samsaris in the sense that they do have "dhuHkha" in salvation or moksha.

But it hasn’t been defined by madhvacharya in any of his works.

If we still go ahead and define a mOkSha to rAjasik souls, how do we define their sAdhane? A sAtvik soul moves towards God and a tAmasik soul moves away. If a rAjasik soul moves five steps towards God, he would also moved 10 steps away. One cannot define any sAdhane for such souls!

i believe it is called santanvika loka. please clarify...

The concept of sAntAnika lOka seems to be a later addition. Madhvacharya doesn’t mention about this in any of his works.

one more doubt. Guna is neither bad nor good.

If you are referring to the prakRuti guNas, all the three are bad. They are baMdhaka to mOkSha.

In the gIta (cha- 14) the Lord says, all the three guNas prevent a person from attaining mOkSha:

satvaM rajas tama iti guNAH prakRuti sambhavAH|
nibadhnanti mahAbAho dEhE dEhinam avyayaM|| 14-5

in fact if there are bad guNas, then Narayana cant be called sarvaguNaparipoorNa!

Sarva-guNa-paripUrNa refers to “virtues” or His mahima and not prAkrutik guNas. The Lord is guNAtIta and is unaffected by the guNas of prakRuti

so a tamasica guNa is not bad.

It is bad.
Refer to chapter 14 of the bhagavdgita. The Lord gives the details of the effects of tamasa guNa.

the usage of which can lead to bad results if misused can be called tamasic gunas is what i believe. please clarify...

The guNa itself is bad. It causes lethargy, ignorance, sorrow, sleep, etc.
However being in samsAra we cannot do away with this guNa. For example, sleep.
Everyone in samsAra is always under the influence of the three guNas.


Adi :-

Lord Narayana also transcends 3 guNAs and therefore hes called NirguNa as present in Vishnu SahasranAma Stotra..


Vinod :-

recently i had found some more info about astral traveling or prakshepaN. and came to know that both are same. this astral traveling is known in india as linga deha prakshepaN. and there is lot of stuff about it on net. which says linga deha can leave the sthool deha.


The discussion is open ....

6 comments:

Hersh Chaturvedi said...

Interesting information. Alas, very little on Vedic knowledge. I have been wondering about Ishopnishad-- why is it that the Wrishi says that knowledge leads to as bad a hell as does ignorance?

On Tatvavaad itself-- dualism seems less compelling than Advaitvaad. Do you accept Tatvavaad as a belief system (nothing wrong with that,) or is it a position arrived at through analysis and exploration? If so, I'd like to know where Tatvavaad disagrees with Advaitvaad. Needless to say I am persuaded more to the truth of Advait-philosophy. However, I am possibly less knowledgeable than you.

Madhwa Brahmins said...

dualism seems less compelling than Advaitvaad.

So be it. Only the chosen few who are really blessed and are at their last stage of sAdhane can really appreciate it.

Do you accept Tatvavaad as a belief system (nothing wrong with that,) or is it a position arrived at through analysis and exploration?

It is the position arrived at through research on Vedic literature. This ancient and ultimate philosophy was revived and propagated by Acharya Madhwa. (Read his biography if you are inerested)

If so, I'd like to know where Tatvavaad disagrees with Advaitvaad.

For this you need to do your homework. Study TattvavAda thoroughly (hoping that you have already studied Advaita) and you yourself will realize the differences; of course, if interested. There is no shortcut to knowledge.

Needless to say I am persuaded more to the truth of Advait-philosophy.

Only TattvavAda is True. This has been long established through numerous scholarly debates.

I am possibly less knowledgeable than you.

That I can very well see for myself.

shrik said...

Can anybody post a document or anything of its kind or provide a link that details the complete life cycle of a jiva (i.e starting from its first birth into this world to its attainment of Moksha)? From the above discussions, I noted that the jiva's inherent gunas are different from those of Prakriti's gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas. What are the various gunas that a jiva possesses? What drives a jiva towards its very first karma that triggers the chain of karmas?
My sincere thanks to Madhwa Brahmins for maintaining this very informative blog.

Makarand Gurav said...

The 3 Gunas were prescribed by Vedanta for disciplining the wobbly minds of Mortals. Vedanta is the knowledge trying to lead you to the ultimate fabric which synthesizes the universe. It is the means not the end. To better understand what our great sages and thinkers were trying to say through Vedanta (Ved : Knowledge, Anta: End, Vedanta: End of Knowledge.) Please do not fall pray to any human being proclaiming this knowledge as his and his line of teaching. Vedanta is a collective knowledge pooled in by many thinkers who were seeking the answer. Take from the Vedas, what you believe will serve you to the ultimate fabric of being/perceived actuality and thus realizing the first stage: to know what we are. Watch the documentary "What the bleep do we know".

Bhavesh Patel said...

all three are bad ..tamas creates anger ..rajas creates attachment towards worldy objects and last satvik creates ego .we should be free from all and become nirgun

Balachandra Achar said...

Ego is not satvik. Nirgun is not becoming free from all.