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(Continued from the previous issue)

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Chapter 18

24. ‘Let Me now turn to certain subtle aspects of action that I have not mentioned so far. Here also many factors are involved. They are: 1.) the Knowledge possessed by the person involved in the action, 2.) the action itself, and 3.) the nature of the person performing the action. Thanks to the play of the Gunas and the combination of these factors just mentioned, one gets a wide variety.’

25. ‘A Sattvic person always tries to see Unity in diversity. That is to say, the knowledge-base of this person and his motivation for action are both shaped by his desire to see Unity in diversity.’

26. ‘The person of Rajasic temperament is just the opposite. His vision is clouded by ego, pride, ambition, attachment and also greed. The net result is that he keeps on seeing only diversity even when there is Unity.’

27. ‘As for the Tamasic person, how at all can one talk about his knowledge? Steeped in ignorance, wallowing in sloth, his perceptions are extremely superficial. Consequently, his actions are frequently irrational, often born out of sheer pig-headedness!’

Sai Gita for Children

28. ‘So much for the knowledge aspect that triggers action. Let me now say a few words about the actions performed by these three types. Starting with the Sattivic type, I am sure you would, even without My mentioning it, guess that his actions would be gentle, in accordance with the scriptures, and performed with love and compassion. They would in general reflect virtues that are an ornament to man.’

29. ‘The Rajasic person is, of course, a live wire, bursting at the seams as they say, with energy. That is because he is ever driven by self-interest and selfishness. Ambition is a great driving force, you know. But invariably, it lands one in deep trouble and this people forget. That is what Maya is all about! People refuse to see what is to be seen and insist on seeing what does not exist! Given the selfish nature of the Rajasic person, it should be no surprise that he is ever ready to trample on the feet of other people.’

30. ‘The actions of a Tamasic person are rash, reckless, and absolutely foolhardy. But that should not come as a surprise.’

31. ‘Now about the doer of the action. I have already described the three types in several contexts and shall therefore be brief. The Sattvic person goes about performing tasks in a cool and collected manner, accepting whatever is the outcome as God’s Will.’

32. ‘Driven as he is by ego, the Rajasic person exhibits brashness while engaged in action. Not for him the virtues of humility and politeness. He is happy when successful and becomes depressed when he fails.’

33. ‘The Tamasic person is totally disorganised, lacks even elementary discipline, is vulgar and also stubborn. He is so rash that he does not even bother whether his actions would cause harm to himself! As if all this is not enough, he can also be deceitful!’

34. ‘Let Me now move on to how Buddhi operates in these three types - if at all! The Buddhi of a Sattvic person is generally sharp, because he makes good use of it! He can clearly distinguish between good and bad, what ought to be done and what ought not to be done.’

35. ‘The Rajasic person is a tragic figure really. In his Heart he knows for sure what is right and what is wrong. In fact he wants to do the right thing, but so powerful is his ego and so strong is his ambition, that he ends up doing the wrong thing, making it worse by justifying it with untenable excuses!’

36. ‘As for the Tamasic person, the fool that he is, he does not know even the elementary difference between right and wrong. Thus, he has no compunction about hurting others. Cruelty comes easily to him.’

37. ‘Actions are closely linked to the convictions that people have. People are very much influenced by their capacity for understanding, belief and faith; all these add up to conviction one might say.’

38. ‘What is the meaning of understanding? What is it that one must understand in the context of action? Well, one must understand clearly what is right and what is wrong. Once one is clear about this, one can make sure that one’s actions are in conformity with Dharma. This is where understanding becomes important.’

39. ‘Obviously, the understanding of a Sattvic person is good and that is why he shines in Society as a pillar of Dharma. By contrast, the understanding of a Rajasic person is a bit clouded. He imagines he is free to do what he pleases, little realising that the Law of Karma would bind him to the consequences of his actions. As for the Tamasic person, where is the question of his having any understanding, when he is deep in the darkness of ignorance?’

Sai Gita for Children

40. ‘Now about the quest for happiness. As you know Arjuna, everyone wants to be happy and seeks happiness in his own particular way. There is a deep and fundamental reason why man wants to be always happy. You see, man has come from Me and I am the Embodiment of Bliss. No wonder then that man too wants to be Blissful always.’

41. ‘But unfortunately, man does not quite understand what Bliss really means, much less where to look for it. Indeed this is the root cause of most of man’s problems. In the end, almost everyone ends up with counterfeits! Bliss comes when you become united with God, that is, within your Heart; it cannot be found in the outside world, as people mistakenly imagine, despite being told any number of times that they are wrong. That is the tragedy of mankind.’

42. ‘Let Me amplify. The world is full of things that attract and promise pleasure. They are all nothing but sugar-coated poison. The Sattvic man is careful; guided by his Buddhi he opts for things that most consider “bitter”. The Sattvic man does not mind. He foregoes worldly pleasures for the sake of pleasing God, and in the end he reaps huge benefits. In short, what starts off as honey turns into poison in the end and what seems like bitter neem turns out finally to be Nectar. This truth the Sattvic person understands.’

43. ‘The Rajasic fellow goes after pleasure consciously. He firmly believes that life is meant for enjoyment and nothing else, and that life would be a waste if one did not seek pleasure. Sense gratification thus becomes an important goal for him. Needless to say that in the end he pays, heavily too, but by then it is too late to become wise!’

44. ‘I don’t think I have to spell out the attitude of the Tamasic fellow! Arjuna, man is given the opportunity for pleasure on earth on account of good deeds performed earlier. It is foolish to waste past merit by falling for this bait. Misery that people complain so much about is the treasure for the future. Accumulate merit; do not exhaust it. Welcome misery, add to your merit, and use it all to come to Me. You can then be happy and Blissful for ever!’

45. ‘Arjuna! All along, I have, in one manner or the other, been telling you about how to sanctify action. Life is one unending sequence of actions, and if these are sanctified, then you will go where you really ought to. But unfortunately, the journey to God is not smooth because the Gunas come in the way as road-blocks. That is why I have spent time explaining the various nuances of the Gunas.’

(To be continued...)


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Vol 6 Issue 01 - JANUARY 2008
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