Archive for November 29th, 2011

From: “Karma Rasa”
Subject: Story of The Three Thieves
Date: Tue 29 Nov 2011 22:57:21 +0000


“Sakal bha’ver a’dha’r tumi, toma’r na’me ja’i go mete…” – P.S. no. 787


Baba, You are the base of all ideations. By Your grace I am divinely intoxicated in Your name and song. Within my lonely eyelids I have an incessant desire to get You. Baba, the whole universe is filled with Your form. My mind is resonating in Your tune and melody. In fact, all the rhythms and all the songs have come on this earth to sing Your glory. Baba, the whole sky is filled with Your effulgence. Your august arrival has changed darkness into effulgence. And the iron door of the jail is pulverized into dust. All the dogma has disappeared. The whole universe is filled with Your divine effulgence. Baba, everyone is ensconced in singing Your name…


As we all know, Baba uses many stories and analogies to bring His yoga teachings to light. The more familiarity we have with these analogies, the greater understanding we will have of AM ideology.

Here is one of Baba analogies: the three thieves.

Baba says, “An interesting illustration is afforded by the following story. Three thieves, Mr. Sattvagun’a, Mr. Rajogun’a and Mr. Tamagun’a once waylaid [accosted] a man with some money in a dark forest. Though all agreed to pocket the money, Mr. Tamogun’a also desired to murder the man. The other two, however, would not agree to this. Mr. Rajogun’a declared that the man be left alone to fend for himself in the dark. Mr. Sattvagun’a was more charitable. He led the unfortunate man all the way to the outskirts of the city. But after a point on the road he bade farewell and would not go into the lighted street for fear of being caught by the police. Therefore we arrive at the paradox that mukti (i.e. freedom from the bondage of ma’ya’) can be achieved not by a fight against [vidya’] ma’ya’, but rather through its help.” (SS-19)

Note: There are multiple versions of this story. In one of His Hindi discourses, Baba describes how when Mr. Tamogun’a does his job, the other two gun’as keep silent and watch. Why? Because Mr Tamogun’a is more dominant than the other two, at least in that particular case. So the other gun’as are forced to passively observe. And similar is the case when either sattvagun’a or rajogun’a is dominant, then the other two less dominant gun’as primarily watch.

Baba says, “Every object of the world is dominated by one of the three principles – sentient (sattvagun’a), mutative (rajogun’a), and static (tamogun’a).” (YP)

Everything in the manifested universe then is a combination of the three gun’as and whichever gun’a is dominant, i.e. more than 50%, will govern the other two – most of the time.


Now let’s take a look at this topic and this story from the very beginning.

Parama Prakrti or maya is composed of three binding forces: sattva, rajah, and tamah. This we all know from Baba’s various discourses. And those three gun’as, or binding elements, differ drastically in how they affect our human growth and development.

As Baba states in His above story, Mr. Tamogun’a wants to murder and kill us. Here the idea is that when one gets bound by tamogun’a, then one’s future is bleak. At that point one is essentially dead due to being so lost in the whirlwind of avidya’ ma’ya’.

Baba says, “Viks’epa shakti [an aspect of avidya’ maya] means a repulsive force, the force repelling the jiiva from its Nucleus. That is, a jiiva is darted away, is drifted away, from its Nucleus by propensities, by depraving ideas, by depraving propensities.” (AV-33)

Thus, we can liken tamogun’a – that aspect of maya that leads one to utter degeneration – to things like drinking liquor, harming others, eating meat, torturing animals, etc. When one is dominated by tamoguna, their degradation is sure.

Many, many non-margiis fall in this category as they are quite satisfied with mundane allurements and lesser tendencies, and altogether oblivious about spiritual life. Within this camp, there are definite degrees. Some are just animals in human form gorged in primal instincts whereas others might be demons in human form as they wish to undermine the welfare of others. That is why Baba paints such a gruesome picture of Mr Tamogun’a in his above story. Because those dominated by tamogun’a get ruined, even destroyed.


The middle principle or binding force is rajogun’a. In the above analogy, Mr Rajoguna is not quite as nasty or mean-minded as Mr. Tamogun’a, but we cannot think that rajogun’a is very helpful either. Basically rajogun’a leaves that human being in the dark, left to wallow in his own ignorance.

In the practical sphere, we can think of human beings dominated by rajogun’a as those who chase after name and fame, are bound largely by their ego, and are mostly living for their own self-indulgence. They are neither service-oriented nor interested in higher ideals. Nor though are they plotting another’s destruction. Actually, those dominated by rajoguna may do many decent works in life, but those works will still keep one in bondage.

Then we come to Mr. Sattvagun’a. In the above story, Mr. Sattvagun’a is basically portrayed as the hero. He helps the human being get out of the dark jungle and march towards the city. He helps people out of the shadows of avidya maya and with the help of samvit shakti brings one onto the path of self-knowledge.

However, one should not then think that sattvagun’a can then liberate us from all bondages. It cannot. Sattvagun’a itself is a binding principle – it keeps us in bondage.

That said, sattvagun’a will bring us onto the right path. Those dominated by this binding principle will find the Guru, get initiation, have an appreciation for spiritual life, and live a sentient, God-centered life.

Even then a sadhaka who is 65% sentient, 20% mutative, and 15% tamasik may fall prey, on occasion, to the ways of tamogun’a.

So being dominated by sattva’guna is not liberation. Still one is bound and prone to downfall.

Only if one is totally immersed in the thought of Parama Purusa – day and night, i.e. 99% sattvaguna – are they not prone to degrading activities. Then they are still in bondage to some degree (food, death etc), but they have almost zero chance of falling into the muck of tamogun’a.


So Baba’s story of the three thieves shows us how there are three binding principles that are related with one of the two types of ma’ya’.

Baba says, “In ma’ya’ you know there are two things, vidya’ma’ya’ and avidya’ma’ya’, the centripetal force and the centrifugal force, one helping aspirants in their movement towards the Nucleus and the other driving them away from the Nucleus, increasing the radius from Him. And there are certain functions, certain actional expressions of avidya’ma’ya’ as well as vidya’ma’ya’.” (AV-3)

Vidya’ma’ya’ then is associated with sattvaguna while avidya’ma’ya’ is attached with tamogun’a. Rajogun’a is basically a mix of the two.


So the three binding principles – sattvagun’a, rajogun’a, and tamo’guna – each have their own agendas and function and keep the jiiva bound to the cycle of life and death. We must not forget that even good and noble actions are binding. Good actions reap good samskaras that then have to be exhausted.

Here Baba describes how maya can deliver one to the doorstep of the kingdom of Parama Purusa, but it cannot grant liberation. For that, one must cross one last hurdle, and to cross that devotion is needed.

Baba says, “Ma’ya’ has three gun’as – operative principles through which it works – viz., sattvagun’a (sentient principle), rajogun’a (mutative principle) and tamogun’a (static principle). They work and lie in an ascending order on the road to the Absolute. The sentient principle (Sattvagun’a) has the capacity to take the sa’dhaka very near Him (Nira’ka’ra Brahma) by making the mind more and more subtle. But there still lies a gap between this point and Nira’ka’ra Brahma. This gap is known as bha’va or bha’vasa’gar. This gap can only be bridged with the help of devotion. Thus we see that ma’ya’, channelized properly (in its sentient operating principle) can take the sa’dhaka to a point very near Ishvara, from which point the domain of devotion begins.” (SS-19)

So there is only one way to free oneself from the three thieves or three binding principles. And that is to develop a link with the Supreme Entity, for only He is beyond the binding faculties. That is what Buddha understood when he sat for his final session of meditation before achieving true realisation. Only by ideating on Parama Purusa can one cross the ocean – bha’vasa’gar – and reach unto Him.

Baba says, ““Your gun’as are countless.” “Gun’ahiina” – an object is called “attributional” when it comes within the noose of the gun’as. But “Since You are beyond the realm of the gun’as, You are not within the serpentine noose the gun’as.” But since You are beyond the realm of the gun’as, You are not within their serpentine noose. So you are gun’ahiina.” (AV-4)

Baba says, “The word gun’ahiina means “devoid of gun’as or binding principles”; He is gun’ahiina because how can the Entity who is binding all the creatures in the universe by His own binding faculties, be bound by anything else? Hence He is called gun’ahiina. He is not concerned with the binding faculties, for they all originate from Him.” (AFPS-3)

Thus only Parama Purusa is nirgun’a i.e. no gun’as. When we establish a link or relation with Him and think of Him and fall in love with Him, then by His grace we can cross the ocean and reach unto His divine lap. Only He can rescue us from all the three binding principles and grant us liberation. Nothing else in this universe can free us from sattvagun’a, rajogun’a, or tamogun’a.


Baba says, “So one must remember that one may or may not attain salvation by dint of one’s own spiritual practices: one will have to depend on His Grace. And because He is one with each and every expressed entity through His ota and prota yoga, He is your nearest and dearest one. You may depend on Him completely, and your dependence on Him is called sharan’a’gati. This sharan’a’gati is the only reply to all spiritual questions. Thus He clearly says,

Api cet sudura’ca’ro bhajate ma’mananyabha’k So’pi pa’pavinirmukto mucyate bhavabandhana’t. Daevii hyes’a’ gun’amayii mama Ma’ya’ duratyaya’ Ma’meva ye prapadyante Ma’ya’meta’m’ taranti te.

“This Ma’ya’ is a dangerous force. The dexterous hands of Ma’ya’ create so many problems, and these problems are dangerous: Aghat’ana ghatana pat’iiyasii Ma’ya’. It is very difficult for human beings to surmount the effect of Ma’ya’. But I am there. Those who have resorted to sharan’a’gati, who have taken shelter in me, will easily surmount these waves of difficulties, of worries and anxieties in life. Even sinners should depend upon me – I am here to help them.” U’ta’mrtasyesha’no: He is not only the Lord of heaven, He is the Lord of hell also. U’ta’ means hell. So even a sinner of hell should not become mentally disturbed because the Lord of hell is with him. Api cet sudura’ca’ro bhajate ma’mananyabha’k. “Even if the sinner of sinners resorts to sharan’a’gati, to complete surrender, then so’pi pa’pavinirmukta – they will be freed from all kinds of sins”: mucyate bhavabandhana’t. “They must attain salvation, for I am the granter of salvation.” (SS-11)

Karma Rasa


Baba says, “These three gun’as are like three thieves who lived in a jungle. They once met a gentleman who had lost his way and strayed into the jungle. One thief bound up this gentleman. “Who are you?” asked the gentleman. “I am tamogun’a,” replied the thief. The second man accosted the gentleman and found him writhing in pain. He untied his bonds. The gentleman asked him who he was. He said he was rajogun’a. The third thief [sattvagun’a] met the gentleman and was moved by his plight. “If you go in that direction, you will reach the city, the city of light, of Bha’gavata dharma. We are thieves and cannot go to the city of light, of Bha’gavata dharma.”” (AV-1)


Baba says, “We arrive at the paradox that mukti (i.e. freedom from the bondage of ma’ya’) can be achieved not by a fight against ma’ya’, but rather through its help.” (SS-19)

Although ma’ya’ is the force that is binding us, at the same time certain aspects of ma’ya’ like samvit shakti lead us toward the path of liberation. Still it has to be noted that by worshiping then one becomes prakrtiliina (a form of negative microvita where the aspirant becomes one with nature. So in the above teaching Baba is guiding us that maya helps us up to a certain point, but it is not the object of ideation that will free us entirely. We must ideate on Parama Purusa.


Baba says, “Now regarding the vidya’ shakti, the concentric force, the centripetal force, the force moving towards the hub of the wave: A man following the path of vidya’ shakti naturally will be decreasing the length of his radius, the radius of this Brahma Cakra. The radius will go on decreasing in length. But this vidya’ shakti has also got two influences on the minds of individuals, on microcosms.”

“Of these two expressions, the first one is called samvit shakti. Samvit means spiritual consciousness, spiritual awakening. A man engaged in bad things all of a sudden feels that “No, I shouldn’t do all these things. No, I should be a good man henceforward.” Such an idea all of a sudden comes in his mind. And this thing, this change of mental tendency, is brought about by samvit shakti of Vidya’ma’ya’. Do you follow? This is what is called samvit shakti. “No, henceforward I must be a good man. No, henceforward I must be a spiritualist. I must not encourage any depraving idea.” Samvit shakti.”

“And the second expression of Vidya’ma’ya’ is hla’dinii shakti. After a man decides that “Henceforward I will be a good man, henceforward I will be a sa’dhaka [spiritual practitioner],” he gets the krpa’ of that Almighty Lord. And after getting His krpa’ through some medium he gets initiation. After being initiated he is to move along that spiritual path. That movement along the spiritual path is brought about by hla’dinii shakti.” (AV-33)

We Should Know & Correct

Baba says, “In algebra the formula (a+b) squared= a2 + b2 + 2ab. This is a well known formula and originally it was invented by Mahars’i Kapil.” (SC-8, disc 1, 5 Oct 86 Kolkata)

Note: It is well known that Mahars’i Kapil was born in India several thousand years ago. People commonly think the above formula was first propounded by a western mathematician, but in the above teaching Baba eveals the real fact. This gives the idea those mathematics was highly evolved in that early history of India. Here below Baba tells another important fact regarding Kapil:

Baba says, “The first philosopher was Mahars’i Kapil, who will be remembered and respected for all time.” (AFPS-9, ‘Geology & Human Civilisation’)

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