Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!
In Srimad Bhagavad Gita 18.40 the Lord asserts that there is no being existing, either here or among the demigods in the higher planetary systems, which is freed from the three modes of material nature. The Lord gives elaborate description of the three modes and the qualities associated with them in the fourteenth chapter of Bhagavad Gita. It is made clear that if we want to advance in Krishna consciousness we have to transcend these modes. In his purport to Srimad Bhagavad Gita 14.10 Srila Prahupada says, "Although there are these three modes of material nature, if one is determined, he can be blessed by the mode of goodness, and by transcending the mode of goodness he can be situated in pure goodness, which is called the vasudeva state, a state in which one can understand the science of God."
So it becomes clear that we have to transcend the mode of goodness also because goodness also binds us. If rajas and tamas are silver and iron chains that bind us, sattva is a golden chain that still binds us. To understand this there is a very nice story of three robbers which I share here.
A merchant with some valuables travelling alone had to pass through a forest to his home in the city. He was waylaid by three robbers who took away all his possessions. Then the first robber said, "Let us kill him!" The second robber argued, "Why incur the sin of killing him? Let us tie him up firmly to a tree." The second robber's advice was followed and they went away leaving him to his fate. After sometime the third robber returned, unbound him and took him to the edge of the forest along a road leading to the city which could be seen at a distance. The merchant thanked the robber profusely for his kindness and earnestly requested him to accompany him so that he could suitably reward him on reaching home. However the third robber said, "I cannot come with you to the city as I will be recognized as a robber by the police."
The first robber was Tamas (mode of ignorance) showing the quality of pramaada, acting on impulse. The second robber was Rajas (mode of passion) exhibiting the quality of binding to the pleasures of the sensory world. The third robber was Sattva (mode of goodness) who showed the qualities of kindness and compassion. Nevertheless he was still a robber illustrating that it is essential to transcend all three modes as insisted by the Lord in Bhagavad Gita 14.20 that, "When the embodied being is able to transcend these three modes associated with the material body, he can become free from birth, death, old age and their distresses and can enjoy nectar even in this life." The way to do this very lucidly explained in Srimad Bhagavatam 7.15.25
rajas tamash ca sattvena / sattvam copashamena ca
etat sarvam gurau bhaktyaa / purusho hy anjasaa jayet
"One must conquer the modes of passion and ignorance by developing the mode of goodness, and then one must become detached from the mode of goodness by promoting oneself to the platform of shuddha-sattva. All this can be automatically done if one engages in the service of the spiritual master with faith and devotion. In this way one can conquer the influence of the modes of nature."
Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport that, "Just by treating the root cause of an ailment, one can conquer all bodily pains and sufferings. Similarly, if one is devoted and faithful to the spiritual master, he can conquer the influence of sattva-guna, rajo-gun and tamo-guna very easily. Yogis and jnaanis practice in many ways to conquer the senses, but the bhakta immediately attains the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the mercy of the spiritual master. Yasya prasaadaad bhagavat-prasaado. If the spiritual master is favorably inclined, one naturally receives the mercy of the Supreme Lord, and by the mercy of the Supreme Lord, one immediately becomes transcendental, conquering all the influences of sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna within this material world."
Thank you very much,
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayanti mala devi dasi,
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