Sattva Guna being pure, is illuminating, and it frees one from all reactions of bad karma. Those situated in that mode become conditioned by a sense of happiness and knowledge. – Bhagavad Gita 14.6
Mind and sense control, tolerance, discrimination, sticking to one’s prescribed duty, truthfulness, mercy, careful study of the past and future, satisfaction in any condition, generosity, renunciation of selfishness, faith in the guru, being embarrassed at improper action, charity, simplicity, humbleness and satisfaction within oneself are qualities of sattva guna. – Srimad Bhagavatam 11.25.2
In Bhagavad Gita, Sri Kṛishna classifies different kinds of food, activities, mindsets, etc., in terms of gunas — Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. He further elaborates on this subject in his instructions to Uddhava, which can be found in the Srimad Bhagavatam.If you understand how the gunas work, you will be empowered to make better choices in life. If you choose to consume sattvic food, perform sattvic activities, cultivate sattvic mindset, etc., your consciousness will be gradually raised to sattva guna, the mode of goodness. A person situated in sattva can make better decisions, and can lead a regulated and happy life.
Here’s a to-do list to help increase your sattva guna.
1. Go to bed early, and rise early
Avoid night work, especially in the hours leading to midnight, because that time period is tamasic. Even biologically, human body is not designed for any kind of nocturnal activities.
Morning hours are saturated with sattva. If you are awake during those hours, you naturally absorb that positive energy. The time period called Brahma Muhurta, which begins 90 minutes before sunrise and ends at sunrise, is especially potent with spiritual vibrations.
Related Article: 4 Advantages of a Morning Person
2. Meditate daily
When consciousness becomes clear and the senses are detached from matter, one experiences fearlessness within the material body and detachment from the material mind. You should understand this situation to be the predominance of sattva guna, in which one has the opportunity to realize Me(Lord Sri Krishna). – Srimad Bhagavatam 11.25.16
Meditation helps in clearing the consciousness by detaching it from matter. Moreover, the tranquility experienced through connecting with the self is sattvic happiness.
Happiness derived from the self is in the mode of goodness, happiness based on sense gratification is in the mode of passion, and happiness based on delusion and degradation is in the mode of ignorance. But that happiness found within Me(Lord Sri Krishna) is transcendental. – Srimad Bhagavatam 11.25.29
3. Spend lonely hours with nature
Sages of bygone ages turned to the forests and the mountains for spiritual realisation. These settings can have a deep positive effect on the mind. Spend time alone with mother nature; allow her to nourish you in solitude.
Residence in the forest is in sattva guna, residence in a town is in rajo guna, residence in a gambling house displays the quality of tamo guna, and residence in a place where I (Lord Sri Krishna) reside is transcendental. – Srimad Bhagavatam 11.25.25
4. Regulate your sex life, and stay away from intoxicants
Sex is rajasic; so avoid it, or at least regulate it. Intoxicants are tamasic; steer clear of them.
Rajo guna is born of selfish passion, O son of Kunti, and because of this the embodied living entity is bound to material fruitive actions. – Bhagavad Gita 14.7
O son of Bharata, know that tamo guna is the delusion of all embodied living entities. The results are madness, indolence and sleep, which bind the conditioned soul. – Bhagavad Gita 14.8
5. Slow down in life and spend quality time away from technology – every day
A fast paced life combined with excess use of laptops and smartphones increases your rajo guna. A stressful lifestyle leads to unclear intelligence and poor health, and internet addiction makes the mind restless.
You should discern rajo guna by its symptoms — the distortion of the intelligence because of too much activity, the inability of the perceiving senses to disentangle themselves from mundane objects, an unhealthy condition of the working physical organs, and the unsteady perplexity of the mind. – Srimad Bhagavatam 11.25.17
To increase the sattva guna in you, consciously slow down your life and spend quality time away from technology.
6. Adopt a vegetarian diet
According to the Bhagavad Gita, only a vegetarian diet is sattvic.
Foods dear to those in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such foods are juicy, fatty, wholesome, and pleasing to the heart. —Bhagavad Gita 17.8
Onion and garlic, even though belonging to the vegetable kingdom, are known to increase tamo guna; avoid them along with other non-vegetarian food.
The purpose of food is to increase the duration of life, purify the mind and aid bodily strength. This is its only purpose. In the past, great authorities selected those foods that best aid health and increase life’s duration, such as milk products, sugar, rice, wheat, fruits and vegetables. These foods are very dear to those in sattva guna. Some other foods, such as baked corn and molasses, while not very palatable in themselves, can be made pleasant when mixed with milk or other foods. They are then in sattva guna. All these foods are pure by nature. Fatty foods, as mentioned in the eighth verse(Bhagavad Gita 17.8), have no connection with animal fat obtained by slaughter. Animal fat is available in the form of milk, which is the most wonderful of all foods. Milk, butter, cheese and similar products give animal fat in a form which rules out any need for the killing of innocent creatures. It is only through brute mentality that this killing goes on. The civilized method of obtaining needed fat is by milk. Slaughter is the way of subhumans. Protein is amply available through split peas, dāl, whole wheat, etc. – Srila Prabhupada.
Food that is wholesome, pure and obtained without difficulty is sattvic food, food that gives immediate pleasure to the senses is rajasic food, and food that is unclean and causes distress is tamasic food. – Srimad Bhagavatam 11.25.28
7. Keep your surrounding and your body clean
Clean your house on a regular basis, wear clean clothes, and bathe at least once a day.
8. Practice Karma Yoga or Bhakti Yoga
Work performed as an offering to Me(Lord Sri Krishna), without consideration of the fruit(i.e. karma yoga), is considered to be in sattva guna. Work performed with a desire to enjoy the results is in rajo guna. And work impelled by violence and envy is in tamo guna. – Srimad Bhagavatam 11.25.23
One who practices Bhakti Yoga, unfailing in all circumstances, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman. — Bhagavad Gita 14.26
Practice of Bhakti Yoga first elevates you to sattva, and then makes you transcend even sattva, to the level of Brahman. It’s the quickest way to elevate your consciousness.
9. Study the Vedas regularly
Adhyayan, or absorption of the consciousness in scriptures that are situated in sattva guna quickly elevates one to sattva. This is especially true with regular study of the Srimad Bhagavatam.
By regular study of Srimad Bhagavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotees of Sri Krishna, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact. As soon as irrevocable loving service is established in the heart, the effects of nature’s modes of passion and ignorance, such as selfish passion, desire and hankering, disappear from the heart. Then one is established in sattva, and one becomes completely happy. —Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.18-19
10. Associate with people already situated in Sattva Guna
A sattvic person could be hard to find in today’s world. Nonetheless, even the association of people who are striving to become more sattvic is a blessing. Such association is the most powerful means to come to sattva guna.
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