Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 11 May 2024


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Are the people not oriented to spiritual knowledge due to sattvam or tamas?

[Smt. Chhanda Chandra asked:- Paadanamaskaram Swami, in reply to Miss Thrylokya’s question related to Sattvam and intelligence, You said, “there is a set of people involved in worldly business who are made of predominant rajas and lesser tamas with a trace of sattvam. Due to lesser tamas, they are not much oriented to spiritual knowledge, which is due to the ignorance caused by their tamas”. I think they are not oriented to spiritual knowledge due to just trace of sattvam, not due to less tamas as determination comes from tamas. Please correct me.]

Swami replied:- Here, the rajas is 60%, tamas is 35% and sattvam is 5%. You are correct in saying that this soul is not inclined to spiritual knowledge due to least sattvam because sattvam is for spiritual knowledge. Even if 5% interest comes on spiritual knowledge, that 5% interest is also damaged because of the ignorance caused by the 35% tamas. Ignorance means lack of knowledge of a concept, which is that sattvam always gives tremendous spiritual progress. Since tamas is in much higher percentage compared to sattvam, such type of ignorance drags back the soul from stepping to the spiritual side. Certainly, tamas gives determination and in this case, the determination given by tamas is that the soul shall divert itself towards worldly affairs only. Another type of determination is that the soul shall not proceed to spiritual side. In this way, the determination is generated towards the side of the world because the highest component, rajas diverts the soul mainly towards greediness for wealth (Rajaso lobha eva ca - Gita).

Hence, the whole process in the soul with the above-mentioned composition is:- Rajas diverts the soul towards worldly materialism and greediness. Rajas also diverts the soul towards hard work (Rajaḥ karmaṇi bhārata - Gita). Such a person will do hard work for earning wealth saying that work is worship and wealth is God. The same rajas develops tremendous greediness and the soul will never do even a trace of charity. The next predominant component is tamas, which generates determination of the soul to proceed in the line of rajas. Due to the predominant influence of rajas and tamas, sattvam becomes totally ineffective. Such a soul is said to have both rajas and tamas as predominant qualities and the trace of sattvam can be considered as almost nil. This soul may worship God, but such worship is only for the benefit of its worldly materialism and its devotion is never without aspiration for materialistic benefits to be achieved from God.