Gita Series – 139: Bhagavad Gita Chapter XIV. Verse 9 – 13
“Sattva leads one to happiness, rajas to actions and tamas shrouds knowledge and makes one, an evil doer and slothful. Sometimes, sattva is predominant overpowering rajas and tamas; sometimes rajas prevails over sattva and tamas and yet another time tamas prevails over the other two. When a person beams with knowledge, it means the prevalence of sattva guṇa. When a person is greedy, indulges in activities with selfish motive, restless and with desires for enjoyment, it means the prevalence of rajo guṇa. When tamo guṇa is predominant, one is afflicted with sloth, negligence of duties and delusion and gets drowned in darkness.”
When a person is endowed with sattvic nature, he becomes soft and sweet and commands love and respect. A person with rajo guṇa is aggressive, even though for selfish interest, commands only respect and not love. But a person with tamo guṇa is not liked by anyone as he is filled with the thoughts of slumber and hatred. All the three guṇa-s are present in all the men, but one among them dominates. A person’s quality is determined only on the predominant quality.
When one decides to pursue the spiritual path, sattvic guṇa alone should prevail. The other two guṇa-s make a person to indulge in actions with selfish motive. As selfishness has no place in spirituality, these two guṇa-s do not help and are surely to be abandoned.
One’s karma also plays a significant role in deciding one’s qualities. A person endowed with bad karmas cannot become sattvic in nature, as a result of which, he will not be able to pursue the path of liberation. That is why, it is said that one should always nurture good thoughts and perform good actions. Sattva guṇa is that state of mind, where compassion and love for fellow beings are predominant. If one learns to love fellow beings, sattva guṇa automatically blossoms forth. The transition of the mind from the lower guṇa-s to sattva guṇa is possible by positive thinking.