rajastamaschaabhibhooya sattvam bhavati bhaarata |
rajaha sattvam tamaschaiva tamaha sattvam rajastathaa || 10 ||

 
Sattva rises, O Bhaarata, when it overpowers rajas and tamas, so does rajas overpower sattva and tamas, and also tamas overpowers sattva and rajas.
 
rajas : rajas
tamas : tamas
cha : and
abhibhooya : overpowers
sattvam : sattva
bhavati : rises
bhaarata : O Bhaarata
rajaha : rajas
sattvam : sattva
tamas : tamas
cha : and
eva : similarly
tamaha : tamas
sattvam : sattva
rajas : rajas
tathaa : similarly
 
Now that we have a basic understanding of the properties of the three gunaas, we need to go one level deeper. We know that our mind is always under the influence of the three gunaas, since it is made up of those very three gunaas. How do these three gunaas impact the mind? Do they work in parallel or do they work in sequence? Is there any one gunaa that is more powerful than the other?
 
Shri Krishna says that our mind can only be under the impact of one gunaa at a time. This happens when one gunaa assumes dominance, and consequently, asserts its authority over the others. When sattva is dominant, it dominates over rajas and tamas. Similarly, rajas dominates over the other two and tamas over the other two. All three gunaas are at war with each other in our mind. When one gunaa achieves victory, it temporarily defeats the others.
 
Having known this, we now would like to know which gunaa within us dominates more than others. This is not an easy question to answer, because we have to analyze ourselves and not anyone else. We need to look within. We need to understand what thoughts, feelings and emotions should we watch out for so that we can tie them back to a specific gunaa. If we conduct this analysis for a while, we will know which gunaa predominates. Shri Krishna expands on the topic of the marks or signs of each gunaa in the next shloka.

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