sattva, rajas, and tamas -
bind to the mortal body,
the deathless embodied Self.
Of these three, sattva, untainted,
luminous, free from sorrow,
binds by means of attachment
to knowledge and joy, Arjuna.
Raja is marked by passion
born of craving and attachment;
it binds the SELF
to never-ending activity.
Tamas, ignorance born,
deludes all embodied beings;
it binds them, Arjuna, by means of
dullness, indolence, and sleep.
Some women get stationary diabetes during pregnancy. They have to be careful with their diet, and have to monitor their blood sugars, but once the baby is delivered, they often can go back to their normal diet as if nothing has happened. The same with the character traits. We all have our phases when we are sluggish and lazy (tamas), and times when we are passionate about things (rajas), as well as our moments of enlightenment (sattva) when we experience freedom from desires altogether.
I always felt judged when I read Chapter 14 of the Bhagavad Gita. So many of the raja descriptions like love of spicy food, need of constant activities, or restlessness applied to me. Well, at least I am not sluggish like the Tamas boys I would say to myself, but I aspired to be enlightened instead. Today I would say that we should understand these traits just as temporary phenomena, they come and they go. And when one traits has engulfed you, you have to accept and deal with it. Wishing it away doesn't make you enlightened.
I remember a time when for a short while I felt like the sexual desire had left me. It was a tremendous experience and I felt liberated. But then we went on vacation in Los Angeles and I was sitting with my two year old son at the beach who was building sand castles. A young Chinese woman came by and build the castle with him. As they played together I suddenly realized that she was playing with me instead. It was as if GOD was telling me, "my friend, you are just fooling yourself with your imagined sexual abstinence."
The mind judges, GOD doesn't. GOD loves all of us and has special projects designed for each of us according to our special needs and desires. I have my moments of passion when I write for you; my moments of laziness when my wife wants me to check the boys' homework, and my moments of enlightenment when I watch the trees swaying in the wind and my mind becomes completely still, captured by the beauty of GOD's CREATION. Desires come and go like clouds drift in the wind. Don't repress them, don't fight them, just create the story of "you".