Tamas guna, almost synonymous to lethargy or inactivity, when dominant results in excessive eating and sleeping, replaces ambition with self-doubt. Honest observation and guidance helps us overcome Tamas Gunn.
There are three major gunas or tendencies that govern the moods and thoughts of the body-mind-intellect mechanism. These are known as Rajas (over-activity), Tamas (inactivity) and Satva (neutral activity). In this blog we will explore the tendency or guna of Tamas (inactivity).
If you haven’t read the blog on Maya, that explains the way these teachings are brought to life in our being, I would suggest you to take a pause here and read it first. Here’s the link: Maya, the illusion.
What does Tamas guna (tendency) mean? What are the symptoms and effects of tamas?
Tamas is the tendency of inactivity. It is usually taken as synonymous to lethargy. When tamas is dominant the other tendencies are almost absent. In such moments, it feels like our energy is sapped, we feel drained. There is hardly any ambition left at that moment. The climate created by Tamas doesn’t have the fuel for ambition to exist. The fuel that Rajas guna provides is now absent and the experience is, instead, replaced by that of lethargy in the dominance of tamas guna. So, ambitions are not very important at this moment, we usually just feel like wanting to eat and sleep. Excessive eating and especially excessive sleeping is a sure sign of us being under the influence of tamas. We don’t do much and usually might justify that our body needs rest. The mind is powerful enough to even create a health issue so that this justification seems legitimate.
There may have been moments in your life when you have doubted yourself, when you had self-doubt and as a result you went into in-action, when you did not believe in the universe and the world around, when you did not trust them, saw them through a perspective that the world is not good, not fair, nobody is going to help me… and so on. These were the moments when Tamas guna has dominated. There may have been dull moments when you have felt inferiority complex, when you didn’t feel that, you could be your greatness when you could not take actions according to your potential, when you are blinded to your own potential, when you’re blinded to how the world supports us, can be with us, towards our wants and our endeavors. These are the moments when Tamas was dominant. The energy of tamas is said to give rise to physical objects, to the physical body.
So far we have gained information on tamas, it’s symptoms and effects. This information remains theoretical if just read and understood. To bring the benefit of this subject to our real life we now have to engage in the practical aspect. As we discussed in the blog ‘Maya: the illusion’, the tool we would use to bring a concept from intellectual understanding to experiential understanding is Observation. Without this experiential understanding we are left with no power to choose if we stay under the impact of tamas or move out of it.
So then, observation, in the case of Tamas, needs to be around – how does it feel when Tamas is dominant? How does lethargy feel?
You might be interested in reading this blog.
How does my perspective change towards objects and things and towards myself? How do I see myself when I’m in the climatic condition of Tamas? What are the thoughts that come up? What are the emotions that come up with this entire observation around Tamas? This will give great clarity on how the mechanism of tamas operates to dominate us. Observe.
I wish you live with Clarity.
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Shoonyo is a Self-discovery facilitator and mentor. He has been guiding spiritual seekers from all over the world. In 2019 Shoonyo authored the book ‘Looking for the Obvious’, an enchanting spiritual journey of love, death and resurrection. He is Amazon bestselling #3 authors and is cherished by elite readers. He is an honorable board member of India’s only NLP board (IBHNLP). He is a co-founder of Shoonyo Foundation that in the last decade has inspired and enriched 1000s of lives all around the globe. More about Shoonyo Foundation