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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 ਗੁਣ ਤਮ ਗੁਣ ਸਤ ਗੁਣ ਕਹੀਐ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਸਭ ਮਾਇਆ ॥
ਚਉਥੇ ਪਦ ਕਉ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਚੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਹੀ ਪਰਮ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥
Raj guṇ ṯam guṇ saṯ guṇ kahī▫ai ih ṯerī sabẖ mā▫i▫ā.
Cẖa▫uthe paḏ ka▫o jo nar cẖīnĥai ṯinĥ hī param paḏ pā▫i▫ā. (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 ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥

ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਕਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗੁਣਿ ਚਉਥੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕਰਾਇਦਾ ॥੧੧॥

Raj ṯam saṯ kal ṯerī cẖẖā▫i▫ā. Janam maraṇ ha▫umai ḏukẖ pā▫i▫ā.

Jis no kirpā kare har gurmukẖ guṇ cẖa▫uthai mukaṯ karā▫iḏā. (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 rājas ṯāmas sāṯak.
Many millions abide in heated activity, slothful darkness and peaceful light.

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