Gita Series – 138: Bhagavad Gita Chapter XIV. Verse 4 – 8
“Of all embodied beings, prakṛuti is the mother who conceives and I am the seed giving father. Sattva, rajas and tamas born of prakṛuti, tie down the imperishable soul to the body. Of the three guṇas, sattva is pure, illuminating and immaculate and binds a soul with joy and wisdom. Rajas is of passion, avariciousness and attachment and binds a soul through actions and their fruits. Tamas is of ignorance and binds a soul through delusion, laziness and slumber.”
Prakṛuti has two aspects, combined or samaṣṭi, the aggregate aspect of māyā and individual or vyaṣṭi, the partial aspect of māyā on an individual soul. When an individual soul interacts with primordial prakṛuti, when all the three guṇas remain in equal proportion, the equilibrium gets disturbed and creation commences. The equilibrium gets disturbed, only when a soul conjugates with prakṛuti, and the creation comes about in prakṛuti, the womb of all creations. Every creation is born only out of prakṛuti which is fathered by puruṣa. Hence, Kṛṣṇa says that He is the father and Prakṛuti is the mother of the universe. Soon after a form is created, it begins the process of evolution, undergoing modifications. During the process of evolution, one of the three guṇas alone become prominent and accordingly, the character of a person is determined. Sattva guṇa means the quality of purity and knowledge. The presence of other two guṇa-s is not very prominent in sattva guṇa as this guṇa is endowed with the highest purity. Rajo guṇa is the activity of passion. Tamo guṇa is inertia or ignorance. These two guṇa-s have higher trace of other guṇas. Guṇas are the inherent qualities of Prakṛuti. Ego and intellect originate from guṇa-s that are present in all the evolutes of prakṛuti, but distributed in unequal proportions in each individual. The predominant guṇa that prevails in an individual is reflected through his thoughts and actions. Guṇa of a person is susceptible to changes, based on his thought process.
Kṛṣṇa says that guṇas are the cause to bind a soul, because creation happens due to the disturbance in the equilibrium of the three guṇas that happens in prakṛuti, due to the conjugation with a soul.