The Three Gunas – a parable

Sattvaguna preserves, rajoguna creates and tamoguna destroys. But Brahman is beyond all the three gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas. It is beyond prakriti (nature).

‘The gunas cannot really reach where Brahman abides. They are like robbers who cannot go out in the open. They are afraid lest they should be arrested. Sattva, rajas and tamas all the three gunas are robbers. Let me tell you a story ­

‘Once a man was going through a forest when three robbers came and caught hold of him. They robbed him of all he possessed. One of the robbers said, ‘Why keep this man alive now?’ Saying so, he came forward with a sword to hack him. The second robber then said,  ‘No brother, what use killing him? Let us tie his hands and feet and leave him here.’ Then tying his hands and feet the robbers left him there and went away.  After a while one of them returned and said, ‘Ah! you are suffering a lot!  Let me free you from the knots.’ Untying his bonds he said,  ‘Come with me, I will take you to the main road.’ After a long time when they reached the main road, the robber said, ‘Take this road. See that is your house.’ This man then said to the robber, ‘Sir, you have been very good to me. Please come with me to my house.’ The robber said, ‘No, I cannot go there. The police will come to know of it.’

‘The world itself is a forest. In this forest sattva, rajas and tamas all the three gunas are robbers. They rob the jiva of his tattva jnana (spiritual knowledge). Tamoguna destroys the jiva, rajoguna binds him to the world. But the sattvaguna saves him from rajas and tamas. By taking refuge in sattvaguna one is saved from lust, anger and such other evils of tamas. Besides, sattvaguna cuts asunder the bonds of the world also. But even the sattvaguna is a robber, it cannot give the tattva jnana (highest knowledge). However, it puts you on the road to the Supreme Abode. Putting you on the road it says, ‘Just see, this is your house.’ Sattvaguna remains at a great distance from the Brahmajnana.

‘What Brahman is cannot be expressed by the word of mouth. He who attains Brahman, cannot give information about Him. There is a saying, ‘The ship never returns once it has reached the black waters.’

Verbal anecdote from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
The entire text of the Gospels can be found here….