Bhagavad Gita

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 14: Guṇa Traya Vibhāga Yogam, Verse 8:

Bhagavad Gita - krishna

(Image Courtesy Mahanidhiswami)

Tamo Guna Is The Source Of Illusion For Embodied Spirits It Deludes All Living Beings By Ignorance, Sloth, And Sleep

तमस्त्वज्ञानजं विद्धि मोहनं सर्वदेहिनाम् |
प्रमादालस्यनिद्राभिस्तन्निबध्नाति भारत || 14.8||

tamas tv ajñāna-jaṁ viddhi mohanaṁ sarva-dehinām
pramādālasya-nidrābhis tan nibadhnāti bhārata|| 14.8||

Shloka Translation
BG – Ch. 13- Ver. 8:

And, be aware that tamas is born of ignorance, deluding all those who reside in the body. O Bhaarata, it bonds them by ignorance, laziness, and sloth.


Sattva guna is the opposite of tamo guna. Sleep, sloth, intoxication, aggression, and gambling provide pleasure to those who are influenced by it. They lose their ability to distinguish between right and wrong, and they are not hesitant to engage in immoral action in order to satisfy their self-will.

Doing their responsibility becomes a burden for them, so they ignore it, becoming more prone to lethargy and slumber. The mode of ignorance, in this way, pushes the soul farther into the darkness of ignorance. It loses all awareness of its spiritual identity, life’s purpose, and the possibility for advancement that the human body offers.

Verse & what we can learn

Tamas describes our mental state when it is boring and inactive. Tamas inhibits our minds from thinking clearly, same to how unclean water blocks light from shining through. Our minds begin to function in moha mode, which signifies confusion or error, or mistaking one thing for another. An intense emotional event, such as Arjuna seeing his family and loved ones on the other side of the battlefield, can set off Tamas.

Tamas is the result of a lack of knowledge. The Purusha, the jeeva, the body dweller, is kept under the misconception that he is the body and not the self by tamas. We believe that our body is who we are when we forget our actual nature as the self, the eternal essence. Tamas is able to bind and trap us because of this erroneous belief, this ignorance.

Tamas ties us together in three ways: ignorance, laziness, and sloth. Willful disobedience is the act of acting without thinking or being aware of what you’re doing. We either do things recklessly; we do things that are pointless, Sloth means stumbling around in a daze or sleeping. However, some of us find pleasure in ineffective acts, such as procrastination, lazing around, and so on. Tamas bonds us together through this joy.

To acquire knowledge and to implement that knowledge in life one needs to be mentally and physically active and healthy and for that daily meditation is a great tool.

There are various types of meditation like Buddhist meditation, heartfulness meditation, mindfulness meditation, meditation for stress, and each meditation benefits are countless. There is also numerous meditation techniques for beginners which help in practicing daily meditation so go ahead and start your journey towards a peaceful and balanced life.

In the next shloka Shri Krishna talks about what sattva and rajas does.

Let’s learn to live with “The Gita” via Meditation Affinity…

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