Within the Bhagavad Gita, three different types of natures, or Gunas, dominate humankind. Clearly understanding the context of the natures can help an individual to identify the context to transcend. Chapter 14 of the Bhagavad Gita teaches about three gunas meaning natures that comprise of qualities. The three gunas, or nature of disposition, not only relate to nature, but also correspond three underlying attitudes of the mind that shape human behavior. The three forces of nature exhibit a predominating behavior.
The three gunas are explained as follows: Sattvic Individual, (a rare type) untainted, free from sorrow, calm, and harmonized; Rajasic character, (the majority of humanity) restless energy, marked by passion, born of craving and attachment, always in motion; Tamas character, (also common) ignorance-born, deluded, indolence, lethargic, dwelling under the deceptive darkness. Each nature or behavior causes attachment, Sattvic can attach to joy, which is a pleasure; however, Sattvic is the goal compared to living in the lower two gunas. When Rajasic and Tamas are transcended, Sattvic will prevail. Rajasic ruling trait is based on desire and materialism that bonds attachment to the results of action. Rajasic feeds on cravings, greed, constant activity—leads to grief, sorrow, and disappointment. Tamas relates to utter darkness, laziness, dullness, stagnation, and confusion. When Tamas is the ruling trait the negative qualities bewilders the individual ensnaring them in the hole of darkness. Sattvic ruling trait provides an unobstructed view of our formless spirit, the inner core.
The subjecting of this world of material occurs when an individual is in harmony with the light of our true formless spirit—this individual has attained the nature of Sattvic. The pursuit of transcending the obstacles that relates to circumcising the heart will ascend above the current nature. The power of transcendence dwells within and streams from the Divine Source. Action is required for the individual to overcome the temptations and influence of the lower natures. Moses, The Buddha, Krishna, and Jesus taught acting within the context of integrity, honesty, and generosity conquers the darkness. An example is written at Genesis Chapter 4:6
Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
The darkness comprising of ego desires for control.
Once the individual can identify which guna is dominating, then that person can strive to rise to the nature of Sattvic, the Bhagavad Gita explains to go beyond the nature of Sattvic. The purpose of the earthly life is to transcend the two lower gunas and attain the serenity of Sattvic. The person that attains Sattvic is a rare person that has confronted and subjected this world of material. This person values wisdom, knowledge, and solitude. If a person can attain the nature of Sattvic, then one more step can be attained, but only the few have attained it. To give up and surrender even the nature of Sattvic, a person becomes the watcher of the gunas. Subjecting all objects of this world along with the gunas, a person can attain the state of pure consciousness, which the Buddha described this as nirvana; Jesus used the term Kingdom of God.
This state is indifferent to the nature of the gunas, not having a desire of the joyful calm of Sattvic, or the active nature of Rajasic. This state of pure consciousness is a state, or world of its own. The reality of pure consciousness is complete contrast to this world. An amazing concept: humans can enter and dwell in this reality of consciousness. The individuals that are granted the ability to maintain and cope with the reality of pure consciousness and the material world are the extreme few; however, this should be the focus and goal in a person’s life. The rare person that attains the nature of Sattvic is a person that has taken life seriously by digging for truth through studying all scripture that is available, giving up all attachments, indifferent to pain, pleasure, success and failure. This personality has an ability to uplift their consciousness above this world of materialism.
The Sattvic character reveres the Almighty Divine Source, clearly understanding his true source and his inner identity—the formless spirit. This individual will go out of his way for the stranger as a sacrifice without bonding to an attachment to the results of his action and does not expect anything in return. This individual gives their whole self within the context of generosity. The Rajasic character is concerned about results that stems from greed and selfishness. This individual serves the gods of materialism and of money. This personality may strive in religion only to serve the gods of religion. Always keeping oneself busy in the pursuits of the world—never taking time to seek what resides within. The Tamas character is undisciplined, stupid, stubborn, and disrespectful toward others, good for nothing. This personality is lazy, not having any concern for the consequences for their action; they go from ignorance to utter darkness never able to pull them out of the hole of delusion.
Considering that the few have entered the state of Pure Consciousness, the personal goal is transcending the natures of Rajasic and Tamas and attaining the nature of Sattvic. Attaining Sattvic a person will be blessed will the ultimate goal of their search and progress spirituality into a higher level of consciousness. Matthew wrote about the three natures, which Jesus taught at Matthew chapter 13:1-23.
“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
The same context of information the book of Matthew in relation to the Gunas, although, a different style of teaching. Jesus taught the three gunas within a different culture and era of time, although the context is identical.