Transcending the Gunas

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

A soul experiences the objects of this world
through the mind and senses, when it is awake.
The same soul experiences the samskaras of this world
through the medium of the mind,
when it is overcome by sleep.
When the soul is freed from the effects of experiences
born of the mixture of sattwa, rajas and tamas,
and when nothing but pure sattwa remains,
then it stands as it is.
Hence, all sadhanas have a twofold mission:
cultivation of sattwa and eradication of rajas and tamas.
Desire and its retinue constitute the body of rajo guna,
inertia and dullness, the body of tamo guna,
serenity and peaceful equilibrium, the body of sattwa.
When desire and restlessness capture your mind,
you are certainly overpowered by rajo guna.
When you feel like sleeping and sitting idle,
you are captured by tamo guna.
And when your mind is saturated in divine thoughts,
then you are in the realms of sattwa.
Tamo guna is eradicated by rajo guna,
that is why karma yoga is prescribed.
Desires which represent the body of rajas
become feeble in the presence of vairagya,
which is an outcome of the death of tamas.
With vairagya on the one side
and ever growing peace,
contentment and equilibrium on the other,
desires are defeated and sattwa at last prevails.
But sattwa too must be transcended.
This is accomplished by paravairagya which arises by itself
just as the light appears spontaneously
with the rising sun.