tamasDevanāgarī: तमस् Translation: obscuring; mental darkness, ignorance, illusion, error; deprived of the eye's light or sight; darkness, gloom Opposite words:sattva, rajas Related concepts:guṇa, buddhi, prakṛti, nidrā
Appears inYoga Sūtra:
Chapter 1: 10Sāṃkhya Kārikā: Bhagavad Gītā:
Chapter 17: 2
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“The ideal Dhyānam,
which becomes easier with practice,
requires certain preparations to reduce
the tendency of the mind to be distracted,
either by being jumpy and agitated, or dull and inert.
Chief among these preparations are proper diet and Prāṇāyāma.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2
“Working together with and directed by past impressions,
the three Guṇa, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas determine
whether the mind is calm, agitated or dull.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4
“These five Kleśa surround the heart of every individual.
They are related to the three Guṇa known as Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.
As long as one chooses not to inquire into the true nature of one’s self and acts mechanically,
they will unknowingly contribute to the dominance of the Kleśa.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 3
“Nidrā or deep sleep is the state in which the
mind’s link with external stimuli is cut off.
In this state, Tamas is dominant.
Although in deep sleep the mind
has no link with anything external,
this does not exclude all links,
which is why we are often able to recall
whether our sleep was sound or disturbed.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 10
“What is Samādhi?
It is the ability to experience the true nature of the objects of Meditation,
through a mind rid of the provocation of excitability and inactivity.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 20
“The first Śloka sets the saga on the field of Dharma.
Dharma is how we respond, whatever the situation,
presuming we can sustain our view within the present.
Karma is how we respond, having lost sight of our view,
because it’s become obscured by the force of our memories.
Then Karma is the force now driving us through our memories.
So, Arjuna’s Dharma becomes obscured because of his Karma.”
– Paul Harvey on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter One verse 1
“Its the combination (of Guṇa) thats important.
There is the simile of the oil lamp in the Sāṃkhya Kārikā Śloka 13.
The cotton wick – Light Property (Sattva)
The basin or bowl – Heavy Property (Tamas)
The oil – Flows this way or that (Rajas)
The moment you dip the cotton in the oil it takes on that property.
Thus the Guṇa work together to produce the flame.”
– TKV Desikachar on Sāṃkhya and Yoga
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