Do jada objects have guna of their own(Satva/rajas/tamas)? Or is the mind of experiencer, which has these gunas?. Are they nirguna and still sakaar?

  • Yes of course. It has gunas
    – user28152
    Jul 20, 2022 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


Advaita , posits two padarthas, Atman and An-atman . An-atman is Jada,whereas Atman(Self) is One and only non-jada (sat-chit-anada).(according to Bhagavad Gita, Kshetrajna and Kshetram)

Another classification of prakriti as para-prakrthi and apara-prakrthi( in BG ) ,which forms the material base through the matrix of its constituent 3 gunaas from which all non-living creation emerges.

Aparāprakṛti The aparāprakṛti is jaḍa and is eightfold Bhumi - earth,Āpas - water,Anala - fire Vāyu - air Kham - ether or space or sky Manas - mind Buddhi - intellect Ahaṅkāra - egoity Parāprakṛti The jīva is different from this aparāprakṛti and is termed ‘parāprakṛti.’ It is ‘parā’ or ‘superior’, since it is conscious and is full of life as opposite to the other which is insentient.
Swami Harshananda


Brahman is Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. The existence aspect alone is manifested in inanimate objects, but not consciousness and bliss. This is because inanimate objects have no subtle body which alone can reflect consciousness and bliss.(Chapter 15 , Vishayananda, Panchadasi summary Sri SN Sastri)


From a combination of the sattva parts of all the panchatanmaatras (subtle elements) arose the antahkarana or the mind.
( Tattva viveka Prakarana, Panchadasi summary Sri. S N Sastri)

It is because the mind is made up of totality of the sattva aspect of Panchatanmatras, a Jiva becomes sentient, on mutual superimposition(anyonya adhyasa) with atma, ie. it is aware of itself,also it perceives others through the sensory integration.

The subtle body is made up of the five subtle elements as they exist before the process of quintuplication(Pancheekarana) described earlier. It has in it the impressions of past actions. It is the experiencer of the fruits of actions. It is the beginningless limiting adjunct (upadhi) of the atma. (Vivekachudamani subtle body summary Sri. S N Sastri)

These impressions are known as vasanas(innate nature of jiva), that impells the jiva to make a choice over any performance of an action(karma). (detailed in BG 15.2 , and vasanaas in BG chap 16)

Panchadashi, 2.13 says

it is the mind that examines the merits and defects of the objects perceived through the senses. The conclusion which the mind comes to will depend on the proportion of the three guNas in it at the time.(courtesy Sri SN Sastri)

Ishwara srishti , Jiva srishti

Though these objects are also created by Isvara, the Jiva converts them into objects of enjoyment for himself and so they are spoken of here as the creations of the Jiva. The idea is that each Jiva creates his own world by his actions and thoughts in previous births and so whatever objects he experiences and whatever joys he enjoys and sorrows he suffers, are all the result of his own actions and thoughts.(Dvaita Viveka, Panchadasi summary Sri SN Sastri)

The food that people prefer is according to their dispositions. The same is true for the sacrifice, austerity, and charity they are inclined (or predisposed) toward. Now hear of the distinctions from Me.
(BG 17.7 swami Mukundananda)

Conclusion - Though inanimate as well as jiva , has gunaas the former cannot influence the latter as it is insentient. It is the Jivas guna whether to accept or reject the inanimate(as it stands ,the test of reason, whatever is liked by one could despicable to another. and many paths to same goal etc)

Gunas are intrinsic in Prakriti ,hence a Jada can't be nirguna , because of Pancheekarana it is sakaar


Anything that is part of Prakrithi is never free of gunaas .From Panchadasi, and in some puranas universe is created thus- (from mulaprakrithi comes Mahat tattwa,then comes the ahamkar which is of satvika, rajasika and tamasika .From tamasika ahankar comes the tanmatra of shabd/akash followed by the properties of vayu Agni jala and prithivi.. from rajasika akamkar of panchatanmatras prana,karmendriya and from satvika ahamhar of PT jnanendriya manas) without the satvika there is no question of experience.(when a cat is sleeping , it does not smell agarbatti/dhoop , smell just exist as long as it can) Because an inanimate (tamasika)cant know itself and others, it is value neutral , just exists with its properties devoid of indriyas . There should exist a sattva to get influenced.

As there is nothing in this world free from bias, any experience is subjective. thereby there is a greater emphasis on vrittis(modification s) of thought with regards to concept of satva rajas and tamas in scriptures, and not on the properties of material(as no property is good or bad without experience may be static) . If anyone is a mere victim of only vaasanas then shaastras are redundant as any injunction cannot be followed by anyone owing to static vaasanas .Through free will one may change vaasanas (habits) by samskaaras in accordance with dharama and progress spiritually

  • Is it like the gunas are active only when someone experience them, and they are temporary otherwise, or it is the property of them to have gunas, which can't be changed? Jul 21, 2022 at 10:43
  • I've tried to answer as far as I know. Updated in ans. section
    – Athrey
    Jul 22, 2022 at 4:06
  • Good answer @Athrey Jul 22, 2022 at 6:57

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