108 Names of the Sun: Surya Ashtottara Shatanamavali #59

Om gunatmane namaha, Salutations to the Sun who the Master of the gunas.


gun Hin. guna San. m. ‘strand’ – an attribute, quality, property, constituent, aspect; a good quality, virtue; merit; excellence; talent. According to Hindu philosophy, at the dawn of creation, the primordial prakriti differentiates itself into the three fundamental states or qualities of energy. The gunas are responsible for all differentiation and specialisation in nature (prakriti); everything in the manifested world is a combination or recombination of these three gunas. Rajoguna is the activating aspect of the manifestation that allows the other constituents to manifest their inherent qualities; it is expressed as desire, ambition, attachment, pride and envy. Tamoguna is of the nature of inertia; it manifests as ignorance, darkness, lack of ambition and interest, restraint and concealment, while sattvoguna is the equilibrium of the two, the illuminating quality of light – love, faith, purity and goodness. Inertia (tamas) and restlessness (rajas) inhibit the expression of clarity and harmony (sattva).
guna-ghana San. adj. filled with good qualities and virtues; virtuous.
guna-shīla San. adj. practising virtue, naturally virtuous, filled with good qualities.
gunāshraya (guna+āshraya) San. m. the possessor of many virtues; the abode of qualities i.e. matter.
gunātīta (guna+atīta) San. adj. attribute-less, beyond all qualities
guNamayii consisting of the three modes of material nature
guNamayaiH = consisting of the gunas

The gunas are types of behaviour, groups of qualities, bundles of attributes which drive us to action and inaction, peace and restlessness, serenity and harmony with all created things. The balance of the gunas differ for everyone, and the prevalent or ruling guna might be indicated by the Moon’s nakshatra at birth. But here, we speak of the Sun as the Master of the gunas.

What does it mean to be master of an innate, invisible attribute or drive to action or inaction? All human activity is driven by one or another of the gunas, causing desire, attachment, reaction, reflection or resound to phenomena. Responding to phenomena – or not responding in the case of tamas can be said to be driven by one or another of the gunas. To be master of types of behaviour, groups of qualities, bundles of attributes self-aware and filled with determination to follow one’s path in life, called swa-dharma, the proper path and activity of the individual.

When the three Gunas or attributes – Satwa, Raja and Tamas – are in equilibrium, it is called Prakriti, the Primeval Substance, Moola. By the disturbances in the equilibrium, the lack of balance, the five elements are produced: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Sky. Also, the subtle attributes of these five: Smell, Taste, Form, Touch, and Sound, creating also as the subtle senses that can cognise each, the nose, the tongue, the eye, the skin and the ear. The mind and the ego too arise from the same principle.

The Sun does not veer from its path. The Sun does not cease from giving light, heat and energy from its own energy. The Sun teaches one and all the lessons of selflessness and following dharma, the proper path and activity that gives the highest essence of character and probity, truth. Thus is it said, sathyam moolam jagat, the Universe is based on Truth.



Om gunatmane namaha, Salutations to the Sun who the master of the Gunas.


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