Three qualities

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Sikh theology and Gurbani informs us that there are 3 aspects or qualities (Guuns) of Maya - Raj Guun, Tamo Guun and Sato Guun. As explained by Bhagat Kabir in the shabad below, Raj guun is illusion connected with energy and activity; Tamo guun relates to darkness and inertia and Sato guun is illusion due to purity and light.


ਰਜ ਗ੝ਣ ਤਮ ਗ੝ਣ ਸਤ ਗ੝ਣ ਕਹੀਝ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਸਭ ਮਾਇਆ ॥
ਚਉਥੇ ਪਦ ਕਉ ਜੋ ਨਰ੝ ਚੀਨ੝ਹ੝ਹੈ ਤਿਨ੝ਹ੝ਹ ਹੀ ਪਰਮ ਪਦ੝ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥
Raj guṇ ṯam guṇ saṯ guṇ kahī▫ai ih ṯerī sabẖ mĝ▫i▫ĝ.
Cẖa▫uthe paḝ ka▫o jo nar cẖīnĥai ṯinĥ hī param paḝ pĝ▫i▫ĝ. (2)
Raajas, the quality of energy and activity; Taamas, the quality of darkness and inertia;
and Satvas, the quality of purity and light, are all called the creations of Maya, Your illusion.
That man who realizes the fourth state - he alone obtains the supreme state.(2)


ਰਜ ਤਮ ਸਤ ਕਲ ਤੇਰੀ ਛਾਇਆ ॥ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਹਉਮੈ ਦ੝ਖ੝ ਪਾਇਆ ॥

ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਕ੝ਰਿਪਾ ਕਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਗ੝ਰਮ੝ਖਿ ਗ੝ਣਿ ਚਉਥੈ ਮ੝ਕਤਿ ਕਰਾਇਦਾ ॥੧੧॥

Raj ṯam saṯ kal ṯerī cẖẖĝ▫i▫ĝ. Janam maraṇ ha▫umai ḝukẖ pĝ▫i▫ĝ.

Jis no kirpĝ kare har gurmukẖ guṇ cẖa▫uthai mukaṯ karĝ▫iḝĝ. (11)

Your Power is diffused through the three gunas: raajas, taamas and satva.
Through egotism, they suffer the pains of birth and death.
Those blessed by His Grace become Gurmukh; they attain the fourth state, and are liberated. (11)
ਕਈ ਕੋਟਿ ਰਾਜਸ ਤਾਮਸ ਸਾਤਕ ॥
Ka▫ī kot rĝjas ṯĝmas sĝṯak.
Many millions abide in heated activity, slothful darkness and peaceful light.

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