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Three Gunas In A State Of Disunion Before World Came Into Being

According to the Samkhya philosophical system, known also as the Parinamavada propounded by Sage Kapila, there was a state of dissolution in which the three essential gunas (qualities) were in a state of disunion before this world came into being.

They produced prakriti, equilibrium, by means of their mutual opposition. Later on, there was again disturbance in the prakriti, which resulted in the unequal aggregation of the three gunas in varying proportions, resulting in the creation of the manifold.

Prakriti, the original source of the material world, consists of three essential qualities: sattva (intelligence and purity), rajas (energy and passion), and tamas (mass). There is a continuous process of union, separation, and union again of these main characteristics, giving rise to an infinite number of substances. These subtle guna substances are united in different proportions.

Larger numbers of sattva substances unite with lesser numbers of rajas and tamas substance and so on, giving rise to different substances with different qualities. This continuous process of evolution goes on. However, there is only one stage when each one of these guna substances stands opposed to other guna substances and creates a perfect equilibrium. This is the state in which it is absolutely devoid of all characteristics. It is absolutely incoherent, indeterminable, and indefinite. This state of mutual equilibrium of the gunas is known as prakriti. This system holds that the effect has the same kind of being as the cause, i.e. satkaryavada. Besides the treatises of this school, the Bhagavad Gita also deals with this topic.