Karma Yoga and the 3 Gunas: A Samkhya Primer – Br. Shankara

Sunday, June 30, 2013

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Sattva Rajas TamasIn Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says that when we gain true insight into the operations and functions of the three Gunas (sattwa, rajas, and tamas), we will be free of all attachment – and therefore free of suffering.

How can this be? When Sri Ramakrishna insisted, “God alone is the Doer. Everything happens by His will,” he was correcting our misunderstanding that the actions we take and the thoughts we think are “our own.” Ramakrishna taught that Maya causes us to believe we are the doers, when in truth it is the Gunas, which are under God’s control, that “act.”

Br. Shankara explains the Gunas – their source, their effects, and their mesmerizing hold on our attention – as part of a primer on Samkhya’s philosophy’s explanation of “how Reality works.”