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Therefore Sage Patanjali brings to the beginners' notice that such hindrances as mentioned above are to be expected and they should take precautionary actions against falling victims to these tama-guna or baser, destructive influences. Meaning, the novice must gradually introduce sattvik-guna, or habits in the mode of goodness, into his/her life to avoid becoming a casualty to illusion and duality.

The Bhagavad-gita, in the fourteenth chapter, describes in detail the characteristics of these gunas, or modes of material nature, which fully control the quality of action and thoughts in the mundane plane. For example, cultivating the mode of sattva or goodness helps in the development of real knowledge, leading to man's liberation from the cycle of repeated birth. Cultivation of rajas, or the mode of passion leads to greed, lust, suffering etc.

Cultivation of tamas, or ignorance leads to illusion, madness, fear and so on. Actions performed in the mode of goodness are pious deeds which result in material opulence, happiness, contentment and some suffering. Actions in rajas result in more suffering and less contentment; and actions in tamas result in psychological disorders, disorientation and becoming ghostly haunted. What determine the influence of these three gunas in our lives are our food habits, lifestyle, occupation, characteristics we cultivate and so on.

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