The Gunas, Attributes of Life
Contributed by Yoga Baba Prem
By Yogi Baba Prem Tom BealVeda Visharada CYI, C.ay, C.vahttp://www.floridavedicinstitute.com/ The Sanskrit word "guna" means attribute. These "attributes" serve as a powerful indicator and formulator of the physicalprinciples of the earth. The concept of guna, is one of the more important teachings from India. These attributes providepowerful insight into our spiritual growth, worldly manifestations, and the formation of matter from the subatomic level intomore dense levels of matters manifestation. But most importantly they provide a powerful tool to accelerate personal andplanetary transformation.Within the yoga tradition, the focus is on three primary gunas:1) Sattva2) Rajas3) TamasSattva is balance, harmony, peace and similar qualities. Rajas is activity and movement. It is dynamic. Tamas is inertia,non-moving, and sometimes lethargy. Of these three gunas yoga embraces the cultivation of sattva. Though it realizesthat one may embrace other gunas at times. As an example, if a person were stuck in a rut (tamas) they would need toembrace some form of activity (rajas) to move from their position of immobility. Our society is largely a tamasic-rajasic society. We are "on the move", active, dynamic, and changing, but at the sametime moving very slowly spirituality, and consumed by decay oriented activities. While this is not initially a problem as lifeis a journey, it is leading to a variety of disorders due to over work, and various strains on our nervous system. Even ouryoga systems are often more Rajasic than Sattvic. These are the more dynamic yogas common in western society.These are systems such as the power yoga systems, some kundalini systems, and various aerobic type yogas. Thoughthey clearly serve their purpose. They importantly and primarily serve two types of people:1) Lethargic or tamsic people that require the intense activity to help them break free from their daily patterns.2) Rajasic people that are stimulated, active, and don't know how to slow down. This can eventually become unbalancingto this group of people unless it is tempered with relaxing meditation.
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