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Nature is the material manifestation of the consciousness supreme. Any creative matter, living or non-living, is made up of three types of subtle energies or gunas: tamas, rajas and sattva. Each guna has unique characteristics that bind a person to his I-ness or ego and limit his identification with the param-aatma. In everybody, these gunas constantly interact with each other, and at any given time, one of the three dominates the other two. The interplay of the guna mix in a jivaatma determines its disposition and individuality at both the gross and subtle levels.

Just as an artist can create a million different combinations of the three primary colours – red, green, and blue, the guna mix can also have multiple combinations.

The intent should be to balance the gunas in your body-mind-spirit complex so that sattva dominates and rajas and tamas are minimal. Tamas must be transformed into rajas before it can be transformed into sattva. This is because the dynamic action of rajas provides the energy required to break the inertia of tamas. Conversion of rajas to sattva can be accomplished through sense control and emotional detachment. Ironically, while detachment heightens sattva, the pleasure of being detached becomes a bind by itself.

Those in the sattvic state for prolonged periods perform a great deal of seva. However, instead of surrendering their seva to their guru or jivaatma, they tend to take credit for their actions, tying themselves to doership. As a result, the ‘I’ that performs seva is distinct from the ‘I’ of the param-aatma. Only by transcending sattva can this existential duality be resolved.

Gurudev had renounced his siddhis before accepting Malhotra ji as his first disciple. He released them by taking a dip in the river Ganges at Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar. And by immersing his siddhis, he washed away the last vestiges of attachment. The ultimate letting-go was the genesis of his transformation from an ordinary seeker to an extraordinary guru.

While my attempt is only to introduce you to the mahaguru’s philosophy and not spoon-feed, one aspect of karma must be articulated to explain the practical transcendence from sattva. That aspect is acceptance – the unwavering ability to neither avoid negative karmas nor remain attached to positive karmas, performing every action solely as your duty and nothing more. If this happens, there will neither be the indifference of tamas, nor the pain of rajas, or the pleasure of sattva. Until you can transcend sattva, you cannot rise above the stages of gyan and bhakti. For ascension into the stage of divya gyan, the gunas must be stabilised and deployable at will.

Let’s look at a simple example to help you understand this concept. To stay awake, you may drink coffee or tea. However, if you learn to manage your gunas consciously, you will no longer require eternal stimulants and will be able to summon tamas when you want to sleep or rajas when you choose to stay awake.

A verbatim account of Virender ji, an ardent devotee who spent years learning from the mahaguru, shines a light on the great guru’s gunas. “In Gurudev, I saw the finest self-control. He wouldn’t be attracted by money or women or praise. Nothing attracted or affected him. Can you imagine queues of people going up to a kilometre, and he would be standing for eighteen to twenty hours a day showing absolutely no sign of fatigue or anxiety? He would come inside the room, have a glass of water, sit for five minutes, and again go outside to bless the people. And the way his blessings worked, miracles happened!”

The guna mix at the time of your death becomes the curriculum vitae of your afterlife. Basis that, you are granted residence or domicile in one of the many lokas.