Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Three Gunas - Trinity
(Sattwa, Tamas, Rajas)

What is The Trinity, and what do the Three
essences which compose The Trinity truly represent?

Depending on the Ancient scripture we are referring to, The Trinity
can be presented to us in several different ways. In some Spiritual
texts it is explained to us as The Father, Son, and The Holy Spirit.
However, when we consider that Spirit by its very nature is "Holy",
we are left with the much simpler Principles of Father, Son, and

In other teachings, Trinity is described as Mind, Body, and Spirit.

And in Hermetic Instruction Trinity is presented to us as Nous,
Chaos, and Logos. Wherein Nous is the Divine Mind; Chaos is
the Infinite Subconscious, or the Eternal Womb; and Logos is the
Spirit, Breath, or Word of Divinity - the unseen creative energy of
The Absolute All. In some Esoteric and Sacred Lessons Logos is
referred to as the Master's "Lost Word".

Ancient doctrines all refer to The Trinity and to the sacred number
Three of which Trinity is composed. However, these same doctrines
often fail to fully explain the Shrouded mystery of The Trinity and
its deep and hidden Truth and Wisdom.

Symbolically, the number Three (Trinity) represents the Divine
Principle of Creation.

A very clear, and rather Simple, explanation of The Trinity comes
to us by way of Vedic and Yogic Instructions which refer to this
triangle of forces, or energies, as The Three Gunas. The Three
Gunas are called Sattwa, Tamas and Rajas.

Sattwa is the initial Thought; the mental Seed; the Creative
Principle. Sattwa also represents imagination, inspiration,
meditation, and the unmanifested idea. Therefore, Sattwa
represents the Father, the Mind, and Nous.

Tamas is that which is intended to be created or manifested; it is
the idea, creation, or desire which attracts our attention.
Additionally, Tamas can represent a resistance, an obstacle, inertia,
or laziness. Furthermore, Tamas can also be the doubts and fears
which stagnate us and prevent us from taking the Actions necessary
to realize our dreams and ambitions. Therefore, Tamas represents
the Son, the Body, and Chaos.

Rajas is the unseen Spiritual Energy which overcomes resistance,
obstacles, and stagnation so that Creative Thought can manifest
itself. It is also the physical effort required to complete a task.
Rajas is the energy and Action necessary for creative (or destructive)
manifestation. Therefore, Rajas represents the (Holy) Spirit, spirit
and Logos.

Consider the artist who wishes to create a statue of a Greek goddess
from a block of granite. In this instance the artist is Sattwa (the
creative principle; imagination) and the block of granite is Tamas
(that which is to be brought into creation; the obstacle). Without
the unseen Creative and Motivating Principle of Rajas providing
energy to the artist, the statue of the Greek goddess could never
be chiseled from the stone.

As a further example of the Gunas in action, let us reflect upon
something which all of us have probably experienced. A man
develops a keen interest in a woman he has recently noticed
(or a woman develops a strong interest in a man she has recently
noticed). In this example the man is Sattwa and the woman
is Tamas. Until Rajas helps the man overcome the obstacle between
himself and the woman, they will never formally meet.

To take this example one step further, let's consider the possibility
that the man and the woman have both noticed each other and both
have developed a strong interest in the other person. Until Rajas
helps either one of them overcome the obstacle, or resistance,
between them they will not become introduced to each other.

Now let us carry this same example even one more step forward.
Let us again presume that both individuals have a strong interest
in each other. However, both have fears or doubts that the other
person may not be interested in them. Now, because fear, doubt,
and interest reside within both the man and the woman, the man
and woman are both Sattwa and Tamas at the same time. And
until Rajas enables at least one of them to overcome their own
personal internal mental obstacle, the two of them will not become

As we can see, the creative process (Sattwa, Tamas, and Rajas) can
become quite complicated. However the important Lesson these
examples Teach us is that all Three of these spiritual forces are
necessary for creation to manifest itself.

Without Sattwa we have no imagination, inspiration, or Star to guide
us. Without Tamas we lack the object, or condition, of our desire.
Without Rajas there is no creative energy. All Three Gunas are
necessary for creation to occur. They are The Trinity; they are the
sacred number Three; They are the Secret of Creation.

So the next time we experience fear, doubt, laziness, or confusion
in any of our endeavors let us simply recognize these forces for what
they are. They are Tamas; they are one-third of a Divine creative
process. And because they are Divine Principles we should not
shun them. We should embrace these resistances, for without them
we could not create whatever it is that we wish to bring into
existence. We are our very own creative energy (Sattwa) and once
we recognize the Tamas which confronts and excites us we simply
need to invoke the active spiritual energy of Rajas to help bring our
dreams, Hopes, and desires into our lives.

See also: "Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh and The Three Wise Men"

Further suggested reading:
"How to Know God: The Yoga Aphorisms Of Patanjali"
by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2009
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1 comment:

JULES said...

Very interesting. I learnt it from a psychology perspective: thought (father) action (son) and manifestation (spirit).

At the time I thought I was an idiot coming up with such nonsense. But thank u for this