Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know. To download the entire book free on pdf file, click on link at bottom of post.
Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 4, February 28, 1972 (continued)
The Three Modes Of Nature
Bob: I have read that there are three guṇas—passion, ignorance and goodness—in life. I was wishing that you would explain this somewhat, especially what is meant by the mode of ignorance and the mode of goodness.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: In goodness you can understand things—knowledge. You can know that there is God, that this world was created by Him, and so many things, actual things—the sun is this, the moon is this—perfect knowledge. If one has some knowledge, even though it may not be perfect, that is goodness. And in passion one identifies with his material body and tries to gratify his senses. That is passion. And ignorance is animal life—in ignorance, one does not know what is God, how to become happy, why we are in this world. For example, if you take an animal to the slaughterhouse, it will go. This is ignorance. But a man will protest. If a goat is to be killed after five minutes but you give it a morsel of grass, it is happy because it is eating. Just like a child—even if you are planning to kill her or kill him, he is happy and laughs because he is innocent. That is ignorance.
Bob: Being in these modes determines your karma. Is that correct?