Arjuna asks 3 questions about gunathitha- What are the characteristics of a gunathithah, how does he conducts himself in this world and how does he become a gunathithaha. Srikrishna answers these questions in Chapter 14- verses 22 to 26.
Visualise you have 3 kids in your car- 3 naughty kids.
One always playing- restless, always active.
Second always reading- a bookworm, thirsty for knowledge- to know.
The third, always sleepy- lethargic- no activity, no knowledge- like a rock.
So, 3 kids- like Rock, Paper and Scissors.
You are driving them on a long journey. And what do they do? Constantly playing rock-paper-scissors. Noisy, disturbing, irritable at times.
But they are your kids- you have to take care of them.
You try to talk to them, engage them and try to make them behave well.
But you know that your act of engaging them has nothing to do about your destination or driving. You are very clear about your route and destination.
Mind is also made up of 3 gunas- tamo guna like the rock, rajo guna like scissors- activity friendly and satvika guna- paper-knowledge friendly.
Mind is dynamic with these 3 gunas- like the 3 kids and so it is natural to have disturbances.
They play games.
The important point to note here is- Gunas alone interact- guna varthanthe. Kids alone play.
You drive. You don’t play rock paper scissors.
If kids have a problem, only then, you handle it.
If mind has got a problem, then I have to handle it-
How? neither with inaction or with reaction- but with whatever can be done to improve the situation.
And when I choose to improve my mind, I remember the fact- the improvement of the mind has nothing to do with my pūrṇatvam.
Because I am the ātma who is different from the mind also.
The mind can be infinitely improved.
There is no question of 100% perfection of the mind, No jīvan muktha has got 100% perfect mind. Just as no jñāni has got 100% perfect body. Mind can be refined eternally, and I enjoy refining the mind; not for liberation; but as a liberated person; as an ever liberated ātma, I enjoy the game of refining this mind objectively.
He does not hate the 3 kids. He does not hate his own mind when tamo guna is predominant or rajo guna is predominant. He does not worry when satva guna recedes- na kanksati. He is not attached to satva guna also.
He remains balanced without self criticism. Without low self image. He remains with a balanced mind.
He knows that these 3 gunas are the inevitable compositions of everything including my own mind. And therefore, he is able to accept his own mind. Accepting one’s own body and accepting one’s own mind - this objectivity regarding one’s own body and mind is the indication of the gunathitha- or a jnani.
And the second question was how does a gunathitha conduct himself in life.
Krishna emphasize one main point= sarvatra samatvam.
समदुःखसुखः स्वस्थः समलोष्टाश्मकाञ्चनः ।
तुल्यप्रियाप्रियो धीरस्तुल्यनिन्दात्मसंस्तुतिः ॥१४- २४॥
samaduḥkhasukhaḥ svasthaḥ samaloṣṭāśmakāñcanaḥ tulyapriyāpriyo dhīras tulyanindātmasaṁstutiḥ 14.24
Just as the body mind complex is made of 3 fluctuating gunas, the entire world is also made up of the 3 gunas. You will have to interact with people with predominant satvik or rajasic or tamasic nature. And over that- people will not be the same- they will not be sattvic, rajasic, tamasic all the time.
Once you know that the people and environment behave according to the fluctuations in their 3 gunas, which interact with the similarly fluctuating 3 gunas in yourself, there is an equanimity of the mind- mind is free from violent reactions.
And even if there are little bit reactions, he does not react to those reactions.
So samatvam is his acharah.
Just as a sangita vidhwan sings- whatever he sings, one corner of his mind is always aware of the tampura sruti. If he thinks of sruti always, he cannot sing the song properly. If he forgets sruti altogether, then it will be apasruti. That state is swasthaha- abiding in atma.
Samaduhkhasukha: There is no resistance to favourable and unfavourable situations which are inevitable in life.
Health and ill health/ corona or floods/ financially better or in adverse situation- Praise, criticism; pleasant, unpleasant situations when such situations come- samah.
And it is not indifference to the situation, nor is it over reaction to the situation. But whatever can be done to improve the situation, it is done- but all the time poised.
Sama lostasmakancanah= lostam means a clod of earth, asma – a rock, kancana- means gold. Gold will come gold will go, wealth will come and go. He will be samah.
Final question is how to become a gunathithaha.
He who worships Me alone through the yoga of unswerving devotion
becomes fit to attain the nature of Brahman by going beyond these guṇas.
By going beyond the 3 gunas.
We should remember that for transcending the 3 gunas, we will have to make use of the 3 gunas.
Like for a banana fruit to ripen, it requires skin and its stalk to connect it to the tree- till it ripens.
Like a helicopter with 3 rotor blades, you need the 3 gunas to be active. Then, you use the fuel of bhakti for you to take off and go beyond and become gunathithah.
Krishna says- avyabhicharena bhakthiyogena- unflinching devotion- by becoming a jijnasu bhakta. Surrender to the Lord and by the grace of the lord, may you get jnanam and that jnanam is the only solution.
Through bhakthi, you become fit to attain the nature of brahman, but do not get liberation.
It is like clearing the entrance test- not yet got the seat.
Through the fuel of bhakti, with the help of 3 guna rotors, you get a lift to fly- a conducive atmosphere and personality for knowledge.
And then, you fly. To get knowledge.
How to attain this knowledge was earlier explained in 12th chapter- 5 levels of bhakthi.