What is Sattva, Raja and Tama?


What is Sattva (spiritually pure sublte component), raja and tama (spiritually impure subtle component)?

What are the benefits of increased sattva component?

The three subtle basic components of sattva, raja and tama are the very fabric of creation. Unknown to modern sciences, they permeate through all living and non-living, tangible and intangible things. According to modern sciences, the Universe is made up of basic physical particles such as electrons, protons, neutrons, mesons, gluons and quarks. At a spiritual level the Universe is made up of even more subtle particles and they are known as the 3 subtle basic components (trigunas) namely sattva, raja and tama. Each and every one of us is made up of these three subtle basic components (trigunas). However the proportion of each of the three subtle basic components (trigunas) within each individual varies according to the level of spiritual evolution/maturity in a person. In today’s world the average person is filled more with the raja-tama component. The proportion of these components in human beings can only be changed by spiritual practice.

Saattvik person: Sattva is the most subtle component. It is the component nearest to divinity. Hence its predominance in a person is characterized by happiness, contentment, virtues like patience, perseverance, ability to forgive, spiritual yearning etc. A saatvik person lives in service for the society and has no expectation of recognition, reward and does not have any ulterior motive. He gains happiness by acquiring knowledge, skills, helping others, meditation, increasing spiritual level. Finally he goes beyond happiness-unhappiness towards Bliss. He sleeps for 4 to 6 hours.

Raajasik person: He lives more for personal gains and achievements. This type of person is industrious but makes directionless efforts in terms of spiritual growth. He is self-centered or helps others with a lot of ego about the help being given. He gains happiness by gaining authority, worldly possessions etc. He sleeps for 7 to 9 hours.

Taamasik person: The predominance of tama in a person is reflected by laziness, greed, attachment to worldly matters etc. He has no problem in stepping on another’s toes to go ahead or harming society. Taamasik person is inactive, depressed, extremely selfish, not thinking about others or even harming them when fulfilling one’s selfish ends, and irritable. He gains happiness by eating, drinking, sex etc. He sleeps for 12 to 15 hours.

• Benefits of increased sattva component:

As one does spiritual practice, the tama component gets converted to the sattva (purity) component and even the raja component gets purified. As we grow spiritually, the darkness of the five senses, mind and intellect begins to reduce and consequently the Soul (i.e. the God) within us begins to illuminate. The company that we keep is a strong influence in helping us in our spiritual practice. By chanting the Name of God continuously, the sattva attribute in a person increases and the raja-tama attribute decreases and a protective sheath is formed around him that resists the entry of any negative energy in him. When we chant, we receive the divine energy from the Name we are chanting. This increases the sattva component (i.e. the spiritual purity) within us. Most people are however raja-tama predominant. This raja-tama clashes with the sattva component and the person feels discomfort when chanting. Along with this, if there is any negativity or ghosts troubling us, they begin to get distressed with the increased positivity. There is a subtle fight that goes on between the positive vibrations of the chant and the negative vibrations of the ghost. This subtle friction manifests in some form of physical or mental discomfort when chanting.
As ghosts are raja-tama predominant, they frequent raja-tama environments on Earth as they are most likely to find raja-tama predominant people there. These like minded people are ideal targets for possession and carrying out the plans of ghosts on Earth. In other words, a person who is predominantly tamasik and who has a liking for harming others stands a high risk of being controlled by ghosts to harm society. Ghosts take advantage of tama predominant environment and people to carry out their activities of harming society and reducing Righteousness in the world. If there is an increase in the raja and tama in the world, it translates into increased wars, terrorist activities and natural disasters. The increase in raja and tama in the world causes a destabilization of the five cosmic elements resulting in catastrophic natural disasters.
We can protect ourselves against a ghost by increasing sattva component in us through spiritual practice. As ghosts are tama predominant, they cannot tolerate high sattvik environments or people. It is for this reason they simply cannot possess a higher level Saint or a Guru.



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