Can someone explain this with examples

As far as i understand, a person responds to a situation as per their guna.

But are situations too tailored to the match a person's guna?

My question is not about a person’s response to a situation according to guna. It is about how guna affects a the way a predestined event ie.. the way Karma plays out in a person’s life.

Suppose a person, AAA, has to recover something from another, BBB, and it could not be done in that very lifetime. Then, in another lifetime, AAA can recover the dues from BBB by

1) stealing/ pickpocket / cheating BBB. Which means AAA is in tamasic mode. Or

2) being born as a child to BBB. Which means AAA is in satvik mode Or

3) be an inefficient employee to BBB. Which means AAA is in Rajasic mode.

4) be in some position to take gifts from BBB

5) or some other mode of recovery, like inheriting in a long winded manner because direct heirs have died.

So, will the kind of rebirth of AAA have, to effect the recovery, be as per AAA's guna?

Or does something else also affect the way a person is reborn?

i hope i am clear now.

Regards Geetha

  • Yes, working for livelihood is Satvik, Eating-Entertainment is Rajsik, Sleeping is Tamsik and meditation-scripture studying is Nirguna. Childhood is Tamsik, Adulthood is Rajsik and Old age is Satvika, Aatma is Nirguna. hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/35195/16530
    – user16530
    Sep 19, 2019 at 14:40
  • Sorry what's your question exactly? Are you asking how the 3 gunas affect a person's behavior?
    – Ikshvaku
    Sep 19, 2019 at 17:07
  • @ Ikshvaku & @ Manu Kumar - I have edited my question with a suitable example
    – Sri Janani
    Sep 19, 2019 at 20:29
  • Bhagya or fate is over emphasized to past karma. Although certain satkarm or kukarma have strong effects on your future (Raja Shibi's giving his flesh to eagle to save dove Or Raja Harishchandra tyaag of his family to uphold satya or Ravan's horrific deeds), most of them would not. Because in present and future, most karma is in your control (if it is). Problem is we are lot "driven" than "driving" hence past karma plays stronger role.
    – sbharti
    Jun 19, 2021 at 20:49

3 Answers 3


Guna which dominates you now has a affect in your future rebirth.

If the embodied one meets with death when Sattva is predominant, then he attains to the spotless worlds of the knowers of the Highest. (BG 14.14)

Meeting with dissolution when Rajas is prevalent, one is born among those attached to work. Similarly, one who has met with dissolution when Tamas prevails, is born in the womb of beings lacking in intelligence. (BG 14.15)


Apologies. I think the second sentence needs to be revisited. Person doesn't respond as per Gunas. Gunas are our genetic predisposition, but they don't determine actions/pre destined events.

What you are talking about is cause and effect. Effects of the actions in a given birth are felt in subsequent birth(s). Point is to still follow path of Dharma taking into account your gunas

  • “The Three Stonecutters”, a story well known in management circles, courtesy Peter Drucker (Please look it up in the net) illustrates how behaviour and the three Gunas are connected. But a fourth type of response possible, by a person who has transcended Gunas, is not a part of the original story. Such a person will respond by saying that it is a privilege bestowed on me by God, that he has got this opportunity to contribute towards the building of the cathedral. This kind of person is the one who will work with most dedication, as the person considers the work an offering to God.
    – Sri Janani
    Sep 24, 2019 at 17:03
  • To Carmen - due to lack of space in the commenting section, I am continuing here in the second comment. The person who has transcended the Gunas develops a “Witness” standpoint of looking at life and an attitude of equanimity and composure, undisturbed by circumstances of life, so essential for spiritual development.
    – Sri Janani
    Sep 25, 2019 at 4:24
  • 1
    If and only if you commence and stick through the "sanyaasi" path to attain moksha, and that is when you have overcome gunas. Doing yogs (be it "spreading the word", "building cathedrals") etc also enable spiritual development. And these activities are influenced (not controlled or determined) by gunas. Hope it is clear. Force fitting teachings of management or other religions will just lead to confusion Sep 27, 2019 at 4:56

We must understand that our Karma not only affects universe but ourselves as well. If I kill a bird, a bird loses its life but it also affects me. Or, If I save a dog from drowning, it elongates the life of dog but it also affects our soul. Every karma has effect on ourselves (and mind and aatman). At the end of life, it is this aatman changed due to life long karma will search for its next destiny. It could stay in divine form (only Prithvi lok has physical form), or take another physical form "suitable" to its current impressions.

Swami Vivekanand says Chapter 2.5.11B The Cosmos, Complete Works

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