Born of ignorance, tamoguna (or darkness inducing properties) causes delusion to all living entities, says AJIT KUMAR BISHNOI
The Bhagavad Gita explains tamoguna: “The mode of darkness, that is tamoguna is born of ignorance. It causes delusion to all living entities. It binds with carelessness, laziness and sleep. (14.8) Darkness signifies anger (intolerance), greed, idle talk, violence, being a parasite, hypocrisy, excessive physical efforts, quarrel, lamentation, illusion, depression, being pathetic, excessive sleep, false expectations, fear and laziness. (Bhagavad Gita 11.25.4)
When this mode is predominant, absence of illumination, lack of motivation towards duty, carelessness, delusion and foolishness all these arise. (14.13) Consciousness gets covered with foolishness and dullness. Given to lamentation and getting deluded, one sleeps excessively; indulges in false hopes; and displays violence towards others. Awareness gets limited and one is unable to concentrate. The mind gets affected and there is preponderance of ignorance and depression. One, who dies predominantly in this mode is hell-bound, and, ultimately, is born in lower species. Work is impelled by violence and envy, and the strength of wicked people increases.
How do we identity if someone is essentially in tamoguna? One will get angry readily; worships God seeking His help for causing harm to one’s enemies; considers oneself a material body, not the soul that one is; takes shelter of a gambling den; performs acts without considering their consequences; is unable to tell right from wrong; eats food, which is unclean and which causes distress; is hardly conscious during sleep and has faith in irreligious activities. One’s happiness is in delusion and being pathetic; knowledge is at the material level and spiritual knowledge is alien to such a person.
We all have a percentage of this in us besides the mode of passion (rajoguna) and the mode of goodness (sattavaguna). Together they constitute us, and they always try to overpower one another. (14.10)
Have you ever wondered as to why some people commit suicide? Because the tamoguna in them overpowers them. This tamoguna, when it is at its peak, completely possesses and make one do what goes entirely against even our basic instinct of survival. How does it become so powerful inside of us? Because we associate with it its various forms. Beginning with the mind, we harbour sexual thoughts, angry feelings, greedy plans and hateful ideas, etc. One may feel that these are harmless. They are not; they reinforce tamoguna in us. And the punishment is from inside; one implodes. They cause fear, anxiety depression, etc. When such feelings peak, one harms the self helplessly, even to the extent of killing one’s own self.
How should one deal with this vicious internal enemy? Try to avoid associating with it. The mind should be controlled and no illicit or harmful thoughts should be encouraged. Nothing is harmless. Thoughts are also karmas and they cause karmaphalas. Similarly, we have to be careful in what we eat, see, hear, speak, etc. They all count. Eating meat and drinking alcohol reinforces tamoguna. Lust also enhances tamoguna in oneself. The same goes for hearing and speaking. Then the enhanced tamoguna acts from within. It causes fear, anxiety, depression, etc. Once it becomes highly potent, it can kill or force one to commit suicide.
I have realised the dangers associated with tamoguna, and have taken shelter of God. I pray regularly seeking God’s help in controlling my mind and senses. Whenever my mind strays, I chant. Similarly, when I have to make choices in what I eat, see or hear, I seek God’s guidance, and He obliges with the right intelligence. I am determined not to allow tamoguna inside me to cause havoc; I fully intend to tame it with my Lord’s help.
Bishnoi is a spiritual writer and can be reached at email@example.com