THE THREE MODES
THE THREE QUALITIES OF THE MIND
Beyond the three doshas, on the level of the mind, intelligence and ego
are the three qualities called triguna (three ropes). Every thought and
conscious or sub
conscious action or impulse is born of these three
modes. Whenever the term
in the Vedas it means the
three modes of the mind
ligence, ego and consciousness)
passion and ignorance
. How the world is permeated with these three
modes is elaborately explained in the most famous Vedic text
spoken by Lord
ri Krishna, the entire c
By understanding the modes
one gains a transcendental existence
The modes condition everyone wh
o comes in contact with nature.
The mode of goodness
defeats passion and ignorance.
If passion increases there is great attachment, hard work, int
r and uncontrollable desire and hankering. If ignorance
increases there will be inertia,
darkness, madness and illusion.
The three modes
are the covering energy of the Supreme Personality!
, Canto 3, Chapter 26. Text 5, Fundamental Principles of Material Nature
When you see there is nothing beyond these three modes……..
Goodness (sattva) is considered the balancing guna because goodness
ignorance (tamas) and passion (rajas).
Vedic culture and every religion and spiritual culture
radiates this concept
of the cultivation of goodness?
For the above reason of goodness being the harmonizer,
Ayurvedic texts consider there are only two modes, namely pa
mply speaking goodness has no
fault and is not
an essential constituent of life
Vedic culture with the
epics of avatars, sages
, great kings and
queens and ultimately supreme personalities like Lord Rama
a vibration of pure goodness which purifies the base
odes of ignorance and passion. G
oodness illuminates even the darkest
place, gives the lamp of knowledge
the deepest of mental
caves. Everyone appreciates goodness, e
veryone loves a hero, whether
we realize it or not
we are always h
Each mode is far reaching with short and long
term effects because
primarily the modes affect the choices we make and how we enga
which ultimately produce madness and sleep (tamas
ignorance) or intense endeavor, grief and disease (rajas
knowledge and illumination ar
e dependent on our choosing them.
Yogesh Chandra Mishra,
Ignorance gives birth to intoxication and madness, passion produces
intense activity, greed and disease while goodness, gives illumination,
knowledge and attachment to happiness.
We like to blame the world, parent
ds and any other person
distress not realizing the conditioned choices we make are the chief
source of our own suffering and also joy. How the triguna of goodness
va), passion (rajas) and ignorance (tamas)
the support which
platform for the soul to express material existence is t
subject matter of S
ankhya philosophy which is presented in the chapter
entitled Sankhya Philosophy,
The Fundamental Principles of Material
understand Sankhya philosophy of
Kapila, the son of Devahuti
can link the omnipresent
triguna to the
evolution of the sou
l into its present condition.
According to the Vedas, association with the two base modes, ignorance
present the living entity with a covering or conditioning of
which is base human, animal or less.
Sri Krishna states in the Bhagavad Gita that when a person dies
influenced by the mode of goodness they attain higher planets or
abodes. When one quits their body in the mode of passion they
take birth amongst those engaged in passionate fruit
death primarily in the mode of ignorance affords one a birthplace in the
he powerful modes of nature
condition the living entity to vario
coverings which are gladly
You might say, Triguna
weather conditions of
manifesting in body,
intelligence and ego
Now the world is becoming blinded
by these base modes
the pitfalls of a chemical
endemic cancer (over 40%
from cancer), pandemic heart disease (over
50% will die from artheriosclerosis) and unmatched degenerative
th mental disea
se and dementia
of material nature
one is proud of such a sub
and of course
everything is fine
because we know so much
This modern life under the base modes bree
ds madness, illusion and
so much so
that the base humans of this type of civil
become less than the animals in finer qualities.
So many choose to
isolate themselves in fancy tin boxes on wheels that blow out poison into
the air in communiti
es which say hello to each other once a year at the
It appears sincere
friendship is found in the feline and
canine kingdom to be more rewarding than the human platform.
SHOW ME GOD!
We may have at one time thought or said to
on, “Well then
how me God! I would like to see God
have you a phone number or
address?” According to the Vedas, the cov
ering of Triguna is the the
ract of the eye of the mind
, false ego
obstructing vision of the absolute. The
modes are the blurry
ing the divine vision inherent
in each sentient being
Ignorance and passion give no view of the absolute
goodness may give an inkling of that inconceivable absolute which
satisfies the thirst and hunge
. Premanjana cchurita
The understanding of the power of goodness, is sublime!
8 Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakur,
Sri Brahma Samhita,
Text 38. (see over page)
Brahma Samhita sung by Lord Brahma.
Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakur,
Sri Brahma Samhita,
Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakur,
Sri Brahma Samhita,
On the clinical level, the mode of goodness affords on
morning sunshine, pure water, fresh air, fruits, vegetables and fresh
wholesome grains. While the modes of passion and ignorance dictate
flesh, blood, cigarettes, useless talk bereft of wisdom and
torture to obtain more money.
Naturally, a person with more goodness
will improve in a clinical situation faster and deeper than a person
influenced primarily by ignorance and passion.
Goodness fosters happiness,
while ignorance and passion,
ss, illusion, greed and disea
as a deluded person
COMPARING THE THREE MODES WITH THE THREE DOSHAS?
Students and Western Ayurvedic texts to date
make the same mistake of
trying to compare the three modes to the three doshas. This comparison
according Charaka Muni the original Ayurvedic Herbalist is not
sometimes called ‘the doshas of the mind’ and
tridosha are known as ‘the d
oshas of the body’. Triguna is Vedic in
origin explained in Sankhya philosophy, while tridosha appears as an
Ayurvedic philosophy used in clinical practice which was developed
over many centuries.
Why does Charak
a discourage comparing modes and doshas
There will be no gain, only confusion! What can be gained by
comparing the function of a cup of water with something like a thought
The Legacy of Charaka by Dr M. S. Valiathan
Ayurveda is based on
with a scien
tific thread of
. If we
compare items that have some similarities there is a chance of gain by
modes of the
nature, triguna which are
weather conditions that
the mind, intelligence, false ego and
are subjected too,
with the func
tion of the universal
earth, water, fire, air and space,
defies intellect. There are
basically no steady similarities to compare.
Right knowledge with realisation, self
control, memory and a focused
balance the triguna (the dosas of the mind)!
THE GREATEST MEDICINE
S ARE YOUR CHOICES!
The role of choices and polluted consciousness in health.
three important, yet simple causes of
imbalances and disease are documente
d. The first are the choices
, the second is how
execute actions! The third is change of
season which we will discuss later in the next section entitled, ‘Moving
the Goal Posts of Health’.
TWO PRIMARY CAUSES OF DOSHIC IMBALANCE!
ices or to offend your intelligence.
Source of health is therefore
intuitive proper choices!
use and mis
use of the senses
Source of health is therefore
balanced execution of actions!
crimes against intelligence are born of a fault of the mind in contact
with excessive ignorance and passion!
of Charaka by Dr M. S. p.10
Ayurvediya Vikrti Vijnana & Roga Vijnana
, Ch 17, Nidana Pancaka
Improper choices or to offend intelligence
‘a mistake of the intelligence’
(prajnana aparadha) or to offend the intelligence in other modern words
‘being bloody stupid’. One makes a choice which is not for ones benefit.
Many examples are there in
, of course there are the big mistakes,
, drugs, alcohol addictions but then there are the little
that build up over time. Fried food,
acidic and fast
and sweet foods in excess
overtime cause many
diseases. According to Charaka Muni, wholesome is not
‘That food which nurtures all the tissue of the body, and
which puts the body into balance, is wholesome
So naturally we can
conclude wholesome choices are
‘Those choices which nurture all the tissue of the body, and which
puts the b
dy into balance, are wholesome.’
Those choices which are in tune with the intelligence which balance our
body and mind are the correct harmonising (yoga) choices.
Taking responsibility fo
r our one’s own choices is naturally e
. One can choose diet, lifestyle and
herbal practices which foster health of body and mind, or one can choose
practices which foster disease
of the body and mind
According to Caraka
doshic disturbance which is the
cause of unmaada a variety of disorders beginning with depression,
manic depression and different types of schizophrenia were simply
caused by improper diet (your choice), abnormal body postures
(improper action) and severe mental agitation.
Caraka Samhita, M. S. Valiatham, pp. xliv
beginning was considered the disturbance of
the doshas due to choice
and improper action
, the di
fferent varieties of
due to the variety of doshic disturbance
, Vata, Pitta or
apha or a mixture.
ight ask, ‘What about genetic faults as a cause of disease?’
we need to understand
a genetic fault, is it
The ancients naturally taught self
responsibility for body and soul!
Goddess herself, Mother Nature, say Kalidevi has made a tremendous
error of judgement or God himself
in a drunken episode
codes causing great havoc to the sentient beings
who are dependent on these programs.
Or is it
that these genetic codes
respond and change over generations due to environmental factors like
chemical pollution, radiation and electromagnetic fields on one level.
have found that third generation rats exposed to a
common fungicide were not able to deal with stress like the source
David Crews the author of the
study, suggests chemicals are
decreasing the ability of humans to deal with stress!
modern food processing
is producing food that your
body digests in a new
way, it is called an immune response!
Buffalo University found that a fast food breakfast
brings an immediate immune response with all the inflammator
markers such as ROS (reactive oxygen species
or free radicals
Kappa alpha B (showing chronic inflammation and a marker of
oncogenisis) and abnormally high WBC
(white blood cells)
Not even an alien from Mars could rela
te to such gourmet delights.
creator herself and
himself did not genetically allow for such dietary
as such the human race is undoubtedly on a more twisted
course than the very DNA within each cell.
University of Texas study,
, Fungicides found to create
19, 2004 Buffalo University, NY.
an article picked up by
Peter Lavelle, ABC Health and
, entitled the ‘Journey of a Cheeseburger.’ ‘Wou
ld you like
Free Radicals with
hat.’ Documents the inflammatory and free radical
(ROS) response to modern food in alarming detail.
When things go in
side out, just blame ‘
What does Medical Science Actually Know?
Today you can purchase state of the art
texts on disease
called Pathophysiology, with thousands of pages of diseases well
. To your amazement you will find a
lmost each and every
single disease is d
escribed as ‘idiopathic.’
Latin for the idiot does not
know, or more correctly ‘
In a modern society of incredible scientific marvels
, with speedy human
zipping around on four fancy rubber tyres
you would expect
more complete knowledge than the animal community that are running
around on four stout legs.
nfortunately both of the four legged and
wheeled group are unaware of the cause of
disease. My Ayurvedic
teacher would infer, ‘four wheels don’t necessarily render you a human
better than the animals
but knowledge and wisdom is the mark of
Let us take Dia
betes 1 as an example
The Australian reported
Solve the Riddles of D
It is a medical mystery
are rising at a rate of 3% per year.’
A research trial has been initiated
by over 200 inst
tions worldwide and fifty genes have already been
linked to the disease.
Feb. 7, 2008
, The Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
See, Safe and Unsafe Carbohydrates
, Ch 12 & 10.
by Jay D Mulder
Australian Newspaper, May 26, 2012, Health Section p.7
2600 years ago t
he cause of prameha
improper diet (improper choices) and sedentary lifestyle
(underuse of the senses).
It seems that
as a body
that the thoughts of such a medical science
could not be deciphered by
eatest computer in the universe
et little is known about
cause and prevention
all that is achieved seems to be
large amounts of money
for more research
Mayapahrtajnaana means knowledge stolen by illusion!
WHY DO NEW BORNS SUFFER!
ou might ask
hat about children who are born fully with a health
The answer is, you
need to look at the underlying ca
you will find one major cause is
industrialisation and pollution
of the environment which is
solely the work of humans controlled by pa
ssion and ignorance.
the International Agency for Research on Cancer
predicted cancer rates will rise by 75% in the next 18 years. In 2008
figures show cancer diagnosis worldwide of 12.7 million people in 18
years that figure is predic
ted to be over 22 million people
Now, that is not from eating carrots, or it did not used to be, but now
because of fungicides, pesticides and artificial fertilisers rendering the
not only a chemical cocktail but also nutrient
poor soil and
ficial farming practices. Now in this
age of science e
ven a carrot
and an apple
can give you cancer!
In 1950’s cancer was considered a disease for old people
, now in
cancer has adopted the
young. What is the cause
As David Su
zuki highlighted in an Australia
s deadly problem!’
umans make a problem
a disease, then make a
profit from managing the disease which creates another disease
Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, 7:15
Freddie Bray, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France. 2008
Frankston, Melbourne 2007
THE CAUSE OF DISEASE continued:
USE AND MIS
USE OF THE SENSES.
use and mis
use of the senses which is called
in Ayurveda is
cause of disease.
How we perform act
can cause disease, such as eating on the run, ice drinks with meals,
eating when the stomach has not finished digesting the previous meal as
well as skipping meals can cause
health issues over time.
Imbalanced doshas and disease can be precipitat
ed simply with over
indulgence in one taste. Over
indulgence in sweet, sour and salty food in
Ayurveda describes diseases which
due to over nourishment.
Diseases such as,
deposition of excessive fat around the neck,
(mucus, blockages of channels),
Over use of sweet taste
Aggravated medas (fat) and kapha
reduced digestive fire
diabetes mellitus, depression,
tumours all over the body
Thyroid enlargement and deposition
of fat around the neck.
Over use of sour taste leads to:
Looseness of the body
itching all over the body
all over the body
swelling all over the body
and increased thirst.
Over use of salty taste leads to:
greying of hair
wrinkles on the skin
vesicles all over the body, fati
When nectar is taken in excess it becomes poison!
Dr Meera, Rajah Healthy Acres
Tamil Nadu folklore
Over use of raw and cold food in the cold season also overuse of yoghurt
and nuts are common causes of
indigestion after doshic imbalance
When we over
do an activity the good can become bad,
riding, swimming, and kissing; try kissing your beloved for a full twenty
four hour day. Not performing or being neglectful of an activity may
cause imbalance, not using salt at all, not cleaning your teeth properly is
your teeth with the toilet brush is a clear case of
Ayurveda gives the responsibility to you, you are the mayor of the city
of the body, you are the charioteer in charge of the upkeep of the chariot.
It is your balanced activities of enjoyment
leep and activity that
determine your own health.
A source of health is therefore using the senses of body in
contact with the world in
DO HUMANS MAKE UNWHOLESOME CHOICES
One might pose the question as to why humans are so capable of making
such intellectual insulting choices and to misjudge acti
vities that cause
. We have various
input that affords us a certain scope of thought. You cannot cook a
vegetable dish from simply dirt and water, even though
the basic ingredients of a vegetable are soil and water.
vegetables and ghee and spice to cook a deli
A dish is as good
as the ingredients and the cooking.
our environment, the
about war and
with internal politics,
economy poor today rich
questions just how free one might be!
outcome in our consciousness will be a similar vibration
and to build healthy choices and balanced action on such m
conditioning is not such a natural course. The concept is;
If you feed a cow newspaper you are not likely to get quality milk!
The ingredients require
to create something of
. Some higher conditioning is required, fo
r example yoga,
philosophy, charity, meditation,
reflection, health study, touching the bare
feet on the earth,
caring for a
doing a noble
activity for no reward,
the list is
Originally in the late 180
0s health retreats in the West
were places to
receive sunshine, air, pure water, fruits and vegetables. These natural
were considered medicines to give the body
to fight disease itself
The best defence
the body has
itself, the immune system
This is a simple yet profound aspect missing
in modern medicine, there is nothing for you or your immune system to
do in the
process of healing! Except, ‘pay the bill!’
birth to sleep, inertia, intoxication and
will generate anger, intense activity, greed, desire and
will generate knowledge, illumination, happiness and
Proper culture of goodness is thus the best
assurance for good health!
Back to Eden
er a New Way of Life,
HOW GOODNESS CONTROLS IGNORANCE AND PASSION
When the modes of ignorance and passion are stronger than goodness
they do not afford choices in tune with the higher intelligence of the
body. These two base modes
condition the mind
to ignorant and
passionate choices and actions.
Ignorant and passionate choices and
actions without a touch of goodness are generally not in tune with the
intelligence nor regulated actions of the body. Goodness
connected to knowledge and illuminat
ion rectify the faults of ignorance
and passion. Ignorance delivers madness while passion simply supplies
an abundance of disease. Goodness is required, there is no doubt.
cultivation of goodness is paramount to happy human existence?
When you see the
the three modes.
The cultivation of goodness is the key to healthy life. The cultivation of
knowledge and wise choices in time with the intelligence and intuition
affords a healthy and happy life.
Clinical example of
ignorance, passion and goodness
does not want to know why they are ill, nor do they
think of changing their diet. They just want someone to fix them,
they do not care to know how the medicine works.
wants a medicine pronto, and wan
ts to know when it is
going to work, and where they pay the bill.
They simply want a
magic bullet no matter the price.
Patient C wants to know why they are ill, how diet
can help, how the medicine works and how to avoid this in the
Which patient A,B,C, is influenced by
The potential for disease lies in passion and ignorance
The potential for disease lies in passion and ignorance because passion
and ignorance without a connection to goodness
and actions. Improper choices and actions are the major cause of
imbalanced doshas, imbalanced doshas cause health problems, and
health problems develop into disease over time. Therefore
the key to good health!
So in conclus
ion by all means develop goodness!
MIND AND BODY THERAPY
Ayurveda mentions many procedures for cleansing the body by
addressing and cleansing of VPK
imbalances. The Vedas
mention many processes for cleansing the lower modes namely
ignorance and passion and cultivating goodness in the mind
consciousness. Both levels are as important as each other. Together they
both treat the whole you, the body
Going to India for Pancakarma Therapy!
One may go to an Ayurvedic health retreat for therapy undergoing
vigorous procedures to improve health for twenty
one days. With a
ietary routine of tasty yet moderate food taken according to personal
e and goals,
a regiment of appropriate fresh juices,
to eight times per day, medicated oil massages daily by two
or three practitioners, steam baths with afternoon head massage, basti
procedures to prepare the body to clear
compliment that bodily therapy is realization, awareness and
knowledge that goodness is the key to freedom from disease!
In other words if one spends many days in pancakarma but
does not gain
knowledge, awareness or wisdom
flex, change and improve, then
the therapy is incomplete
improvement with Veda or knowledge is sublimely healthy!
For example one is being treated for high acidity which has began to
effect the small intestines with hard air pockets
, pain and
fatigue. If the knowledge which affords control of a diet
is not achieved then the treatment is only partial.
if the realization that dietary and lifestyle
are more balancing are not adde
then the treatment is only a temporary,
almost palliative care.
When there is a huge swollen carbuncle
the pain one is found to be blowing on the boil. This air passing over the
pussy infection gives a pleasant cooling energy relieving the pain
The conclusion is that a change of consciousness, an input of goodness
nd knowledge, illumination is
greatest compliment to medicine and
and without this ‘change o
ness’ treatment is
he greatest medicine
If one goes to an Ayurvedic retreat and watches movies all day without
cultivating knowledge and awareness,
if one simply blindly entrusts
themselves to the care of another,
if a little spark
has not been ignited on the horizon of the mind, then
ignorance and passion will simply reweave their intensity, madness and
The gains will be short lived while the jewel of knowledge
is obscured by dust!
The concepts of Triguna and Tridosha reveal
consciousness of the ancients!