Sath Sangh Class Hand Outs

Prayer Sings with Meaning:

Sath Sang prayer songs and their meaning.

Bagawath Geetha – Chapter 14:


Bhagawath Geetha – Chapter 14

Thriguna Vibagha Yoga : 

Understanding and Management of the three Connectors (Guna)

      Everything in the Universe exists through engagement in some activity (Karma). Activities governed by laws of nature can be seen everywhere. All animate objects have evolved to pursue activities for their survival (Body functions) ; Human are endowed with ability to pursue activities, that go beyond mere existence or survival. (mind and intellect)

How do we engage in all these activities? How do we make these choices? How are we impacted by the choices we make? Can we make these choices to be in harmony within our self as well as without? Questions, such as these are addressed, analyzed and explained in the conversation between Arjuna and Krishna in Bhagawath Geetha.

14.1,2. Arjuna: I shall teach you that knowledge, the secret that is learned by Saints. On learning that knowledge, these saints have reached a higher plane ( a mode of enlightened living).


“Experience” is acquired or comes into being, when the consciousness inside each one of us gets connected to something external to it.

These connections are made through the body, mind, intellect (all aspects identifiable with an individual) with anything external to the “self”.


These connections, called Gunas (ropes) incessantly (always) bind the consciousness (one who lives in the body – Dehinam) to the body and its functions (Deham) or everything external to it.


Guna are of three kind:

             Sathvikam = Tranquility, Knowledge and Understanding; Light or white color

Rajasam  = Turbulence, partial Knowledge (bias) and relentless series of emotions; shades of colors

Thamasam = Inertia or Ignorance; lack of direction; stale mate; darkness or black.

    Sathvikam Rajasam Thamasam

14.6, 7 and 8

Features or key characteristics of the three Connectors (Guna).

Sathvikam adds illumination (Prakasam) and knows of no ill effects (described as absence of sickness). Rooted in excessive desires or passion (Raga), Rajasam arises out of association and attachments with needs and wants. Thamasam is the outcome of ignorance and it attracts (Mohaha) all persons.
    Sathvikam binds a person through happiness and knowledge. Rajasam binds a person to endless chain of activities (Karma Sangam) Thamasam binds one through lack of directions.
    Sathvikam can be recognized, being affiliated with happiness and contentment Rajasam can be recognized when a person is associated with endless chain or recurrence of additional activities, without a sense of satisfaction or fulfillment. Ignorance shrouds the knowledge and leads to lack of direction.


All three Guna co-exist all the time and can be recognized as the link between the body (Dheham) and the soul (the person inside the body (Dehinam)).
14.10 All our perceived experiences are the outcome of the dominance of one Guna over the other two.
14. 11,

12 and


How can one perceive the dominance of each Guna ? When knowledge, illumination or comprehension is perceived in every avenue of the body and its functions, one can recognize that tranquility  (Sathvikam) has prevailed. When Turbulence (Rajasam) prevails, a person is drawn into greed or desires of endless nature, driven by intense needs (Lobhaha), initiation of innumerable activities due to a lack of satisfaction or contentment, unease and longing. When stagnation or inactivity prevails, the result is darkness (lack of illumination or knowledge), ineptness, lack of direction or sense of purpose and attraction born out of ignorance or illusion (Mohanam).

14. 14,


At a time of crisis (Pralayaha) or when a decision needs to be made,  the dominant Guna leads to: Increased tranquility – Sathvikam – transforms a person to a higher plane of existence (of total self-control and unattached active participation). leads a person to more activities, merely as a means to satisfy growing personal wants and desires which continue to remain as unfulfilled. leads one to be shrouded by ignorance (described as being born in the womb of the ignorant

14. 16.

 The result or fruit of dominance of each Guna: Proper or virtuous acts (Susukham) and purity or clarity (Nirmalam)  Sorrow. Ignorance

14. 17.

Each Guna Leads to:  knowledge  greed lack of direction and illusion as well as ignorance

14. 18.

Accomplishment of the intended purpose by the persons under the influence of each Guna Rise to the higher level (through greater levels of engagement of self-control and the reasoning and logic that occurs as a result) Stay in the middle (due to the self and its reasoning being constantly over ruled by attachments and its insatiable needs and wants) Sink to the lower level (since the reasoning and logic of the self never occurs, like the fire being shrouded by the ashes eventually gets quenched).
14.19, 20 Self-control (Yoga = union with the self) begins with the inquiry of the Guna and the dominant one over the other two in any activity.
  Total self-control – with highest level of objectivity – is demonstrated when one rises above all three Guna. As a result one observes any activity from a distance – detached – as the result of the three Guna (Connectors) and their inter-play. Hence one becomes Tranquil in nature due to the comprehension of the cause (inputs) and effects (experiences) as determined by the connectors. At this stage tranquility becomes a natural outcome and not merely something sought after. This comprehension and manner of living with the engagement of the self and its connection to the external, merely as the inter-play of the three Guna is called “Saguna Yoga”.
  In the ideal state, being clear of the nature of all the connections between the self and the external,  such a person is liberated (and freed of all “experiences”).This state or manner of existence is called “Nirguna Yoga”. It is like a breeze that merely exists governed by the laws of nature. By its mere presence the breeze spreads the fragrance of the flowers for everyone to enjoy. The breeze itself does not recognize the fragrance, its spreading or the enjoyment it has created as a result.

14. 21.


Lord Krishna!  What are the indications (Lingaihi) by which a person who has transformed beyond the three Guna can be identified? How does such a person conduct himself/herself ? How does one travel past the three Guna?

14. 22.

Such a person (who has transformed beyond the three Guna) does not dislike the effect of the three Guna:  illumination or knowledge (Prakasam), endless chain of activity, desires or illusions (Moham) when they occur.

Nor does He/she seek them out when they do not occur or when they cease to exist.

14. 23.

Such a person remains unconcerned and unaffected by these three Guna, recognizing that all the effects around him/her arise out of these Guna.

Thus he/she can focus within oneself and remain steady or unshaken.

14. 24

Such a person relies on his/her own self.  He/she has a firm and balanced frame of mind, where opposites such as happiness and sorrow, dear and not so dear, praise and blame are equal in effect.  He/she has a value system, where a piece of clay, a stone and a piece of gold are of equal significance.

14. 25

Such a person (who has transformed past the three Guna) perceives honor and dishonor, friendship and enmity as equal.  Such a person does not initiate any actions based solely on personal or self-driven needs.

The link below contains additional materials covered during the classes in the

academic year 2016 – 17

Sath Sangh 16 – 17 Reading materials Compilation

The link below contains Bagawath Geetha Chapter 12

and additional materials covered during the classes in the academic year 2017 – 18

Calss notes 2017 – 18 HTNH Sath Sangh (1)

Class notes 2018 – 19

Bhaja Govindham by Saint Adi Sankara Acharya

Bhaja Govindam Table (2)

A collection of poems to understand the meaning of “Brahman” or “Brahmam

Prayer to Hanuman – 8 Key skills

Hanuman Prayer 8 key skills

Nirvana Shatakam and other poems (2)

Bagawath Geetha Chapters 1 and 2

śrīmadbhagavadgītā. Chapter 1docx

_$īmadbhagavadgītā. Chapter 2docx

Class notes 2019 – 2020

Review session 1:

Questions for self-assessment on “Spirituality”

  1. What is spirituality?
    1. A way of living
    2. Something to do with spirits
    3. Something related to religion
    4. I don’t know
  2. Spiritual person is:
    1. Reflective and contemplative
    2. A recluse
    3. One who has no wants
    4. I don’t know
  3. Spirituality is
    1. A state of mind
    2. Controlling the mind
    3. Thinking of God
    4. I don’t know
  4. Spiritual person:
    1. Strives to be objective
    2. Prays all the time
    3. Wears minimum clothes
    4. I don’t know
  5. Spiritual person:
    1. Highly educated
    2. Tries to remain non-judgmental
    3. Very knowledgeable
    4. I don’t know
  6. Spiritual person
    1. Has lots of friends
    2. Has no friends
    3. Is at ease in friendly as well as difficult situations
    4. I don’t know
  7. One can be
    1. Spiritual all the time
    2. Try to be spiritual as much as possible
    3. Never spiritual
    4. I don’t know
  8. Spiritual person
    1. Is truthful all the time
    2. Seeks truth as much as possible
    3. Does not know the difference between truth and lie
    4. I don’t know
  9. Spiritual person thinks:
    1. Life is a collection of experiences
    2. Every experience can be explored
    3. Our past experiences define our life in the future
    4. I don’t know
  10. Spiritual person:
    1. Is fearful of death
    2. Prays to God for long life
    3. Understands that life and death are part of nature
    4. I don’t know.
  1. Spiritual person is:
    1. Forgiving all the time
    2. Loving and considerate all the time
    3. Of relentless faith in the goodness of all
    4. I don’t know
  2. Spiritual person:
    1. Speaks no evil, sees no evil and hears no evil
    2. Seeks the truth through observations and objective analysis
    3. Believes that everything happens at the will of the God
    4. I don’t know
  3. Spiritual person:
    1. Is God fearing
    2. Looks up to God as a reference to emulate
    3. Is agnostic
    4. I don’t know
  4. For a Spiritual person:
    1. Life is a journey
    2. Life is a process
    3. Life is one of many cycles
    4. I don’t know
  5. Spirituality is:
    1. What others see in me
    2. Intensely personal and self-governing
    3. Something that is taught and learned
    4. I don’t know.

Ten questions on understanding “Spirituality”

  1. Describe the concept of “Thath Thwam Asi” : You and the Universe are one and the same (integral in each other)
  2. Describe the five layers (Sheaths) in which everything exists?
  3. What is to be understood as “Brahman” or “Brahmam”?
  4. Describe the “Connector Science” or the Connection between the Conscience and everything external to it?
  5. Describe “Objectivity” and how it is distinguished from “Subjectivity”.
  6. All religions suggest:”Control your mind” – Do you agree? If yes, for what purpose? Explain that as you understand (from any religion you are familiar with)?
  7. Describe the symbolism of “Om”, the “lamp” or candle as it is applicable to spirituality in daily life.
  8. What do you understand through the word “Yoga”? Are there many Yoga or it is the same principle for practice and for the same outcome? Elaborate?
  9. What is the single most essential to be gained, the most impact of any Yoga?
  10. Is “Spirituality” something to be acquired or something to become aware of?

Review Sessions 2 to 6:

BG Chapter 14 — The three connectors, their role and how to engage them for our spiritual enforcement   (Sep. 21)

BG Chapter 12 — Pathways for internal reflections and evidences of its impact (as seen in the divinity in our way of living)    (Sep. 28)

Bhaja Govindam — Non-attachment as a way of life: What is it and why?   (Nov. 16)

Nirvana Sathakam  and Brahmam Okate’ — On understanding Brahman (Nov. 23)

BG Chapters 1 and 2 — The identification of the inner person (Dehinam) as distinguished from the external (Deham)    (Nov. 30)

Basics of Hindu Philosophy – PPT.  pictorial presentation  Dec. 29, 2019.


Three schools of thought in Hindu Philosophy (Adhwaitham, Dhwaitham and Vishitadhwaitham)

Then we can plan to start Athma Bodha — Knowledge of the Self — from Jan. 11th, 2020.

Athma Bodha (Knowledge of the Self) – English only with illustrations:  Athma Bodha 1 03 22 20

Athma Bodha (Knowledge of the Self) with Sanskrit verses and without illustrations:   Athma Bodh 12 25

Upanishad Introduction

Kathopanishad; Kaothopanishad Sanskrit Verses; Kenopanishad;

Follow up items for discussion: Vedanta and Free Will;  Sath Chith Ananda