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(Continued from the previous issue)

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26. ‘Let Me now get back to the subject of Gunas and fill in with a few details I have not covered earlier. I shall explain, with examples, how Gunas colour what people feel and do.’

Sai Gita for Children

27. ‘Let Me start with food. As you know, some people live to eat while others eat to live. The Sattvic person is basically of the latter type. He is extremely careful about his food habits.’

28. ‘To start with, a Sattvic person does not eat anything and everything. He eats only that which is healthy for the body. Not for him the popular junk foods!’

29. ‘Next, he is very careful about cleanliness. Not only does he insist on the food itself being clean, but also his body. Thus, he would not eat without bathing, and would further take care to wash his hands and mouth before starting to eat.’

30. ‘The Sattivic person would eat only at regular times, and in perfect moderation. No overeating for him. Further, before eating, he would reverentially offer the food to God, and while eating he would remain silent, thinking about God.’

31. ‘The Rajasic person is very different in his food habits. Addicted as he is to the pleasures of the world, he lets his tongue dictate his choice of food. He eats like a gourmet but pays for it all in the end! He does sometimes realise his mistake but by then it is too late!’

32. ‘The Tamasic person is even worse. He is ready to eat anything and everything, and one shudders even to mention the kind of stuff he eats! Fool that he is, he doesn’t even bother to check if the food that he eats is adulterated or not.’

33. ‘Let Me now turn to the different attitudes that people have to Yajna (sacrifice). The Sattvic person performs Yajna mainly to invoke the blessings of God on one and all, which is very commendable.’

34. ‘The Rajasic person performs Yajna both for show and to demand benefits from God. He almost considers the Yajna to be a business deal – “God I perform the Yajna and therefore You give me this and that!”’

35. ‘The Tamasic person sinks even lower, getting even the procedures all wrong! As if this is not enough, he dares to makes evil demands on God! That is to say, he tries to convert Yajna into witchcraft!’

Sai Gita for Children

36. ‘Next, I shall discuss the attitude of the three types to austerity. Austerity, as you know, is a kind of strict discipline, both mental and physical, aimed at internal purification, that is, purification of the Mind and the senses. Austerity covers all aspects – thought, word, and deed.’

37. ‘Let me start with fasting, a common type of austerity. In accordance with the command of the scriptures, the Sattvic person not only fasts but also chants the Name of God all the time. This way, his stomach not only gets some rest – by the way, it is a good idea to give some occasional rest to the stomach! – but by chanting the Name the man also sanctifies the act of fasting.’

38. ‘Some Rajasic people also fast but all the time their mind is on when the fast would end and what type of goodies they can eat after that! One is at a loss to understand why these people fast at all! By the way, some even fast for pure stunt value!’

39. ‘The Tamasic fellow too is perverted in his own way. Unable to understand what moderation means, he sometimes literally tortures his body in the name of observing austerities. This fool does not realise that by doing so, he is actually torturing Me!’

40. ‘Thus Gunas make people do the same thing in many different ways, and with very different attitudes too. Let Me now move on to the subject of charity.’

41. ‘Properly performed, an act of charity is an expression of compassion. That is why the scriptures commend charity. While the Sattvic person offers charity the way it should be, with humility and no expectation of reward or benefit, the Rajasic person will make every effort to get all the mileage he can. He is a real stunt man, and goes all out for publicity! As for the Tamasic person, he makes sure he gives the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time! Not only that, he often gives with utter contempt for the receiver!’

42. ‘Arjuna, this world is a deceptive mix of Sat or Truth and Asat or untruth. Life is a journey where man has to avoid untruth and be guided by Truth. If man thinks he can do it all by himself, he is sure to get into all kinds of trouble and problems. But if he reposes total faith in Me and worships Me with one-pointedness, then I will drive him through, even as I am now driving your chariot!’


End of Chapter 17

(To be continued...)


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Vol 5 Issue 11 - NOVEMBER 2007
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