अप्रकाशोऽप्रवृत्तिश्च प्रमादो मोह एव च |
तमस्येतानि जायन्ते विवृद्धे कुरुनन्दन || 13||
aprakāśho ’pravṛittiśh cha pramādo moha eva cha
tamasy etāni jāyante vivṛiddhe kuru-nandana
aprakāśhaḥ—nescience; apravṛittiḥ—inertia; cha—and; pramādaḥ—negligence; mohaḥ—delusion; eva—indeed; cha—also; tamasi—mode of ignorance; etāni—these; jāyante—manifest; vivṛiddhe—when dominates; kuru-nandana—the joy of the Kurus, Arjun
Darkness, indolence, inadvertence, delusion— all these arise, Ο descendant of Kuru, when tamas prevails.
The predominating quality of Tamas is darkness (i.e) absence of reason and true understanding. Inertness, disinclination towards activity of any kind, delusion and erroneous thoughts and opinions about things, all these arise from Tamo-guna. The man whose nature is dominated – by this guna can be discovered by what be eats, what he speaks, and by his general behaviour. The sourness of an unripe mango is a suitable comparison for Tamo-guna. Kumbhakarna is an example of Tamo-guna. It is quite possible for each individual to understand his own nature, whether it is Sattvic or Rajasic or Tamasic. It has already been pointed out that these qualities function in an endless cycle. The same man is Sattivic some times, Rajasic some times and Tamasic some times. When the Sattvic spell comes, to recognise it and confirm it in one’s nature is the way to eliminate the other two qualities gradually. Nothing can be done in a day. Perseverance will ultimately conquer all obstacles. So, the seekers have to be vigilant, and when the darker quality tries to dominate him, he should overcome it with all the strength and force of his will-power. The tree should be watered at the roots; If this is done, the unripe fruits become gradually ripe, their sourness is turned into sweetness, and they drop off from the tree of their own accord. The aim is to transcend the three Gunas and reach Atma. Devotion to the Lord, prayer meditation and good work, – all these are essential factors in Sadhana. By these, the Tamasic and Rajasic tendencies are eliminated from the mind. Sattva is purity. This state is very near to Atma, And so to come up to the plane of Sattva is the first necessary step. And later, the aspirant has to go beyond it also, and become a Jivanmukta by Self-realisation.
Question: What is the nature of Tamo-guna?
Answer: (1) Darkness (want of reason), (2) inertness, (3) heedlessness, (4) delusion, are the marks of the Tamasic man.