After sunset tamoguna predominates until twilight and puts the whole world to sleep. As gunas, satoguna, rajoguna, and tamoguna remain in primordial prakriti. After creation starts, mahat comes into existence, in which satoguna predominates. From mahat comes buddhi (intellect); from buddhi comes ahamkar (ego), which becomes sattvic ahamkar, creating mind (manas), and rajasic ahamkar, creating indriyas (the sensory organs and work-organs) and tamasic ahamkar, creating the tanmatras. Tanmatra denotes that which is pure, not mixed. The tanmatras are five: sound, touch, color, taste, and smell. They correspond to the five great elements (maha bhutas): akash, air, fire, water, and earth. Combined, they create the individual self, in which these gunas are active in all four states of consciousness. Acting in the manifested world, they are not the pure gunas of primordial prakriti, for they have also become manifested. At that level, tamoguna becomes the greatest snake of the game board, tamas, at the end of the seventh chakra. In the eighth row the gunas are near the source and consequently purer.

The last square of the board and the beginning of a new phase of cosmic play provides the form, the material for the player. It comes in the form of a snake that bites the player and brings him back to earth.

Tamoguna is differentiated conscious energy. It contains light, but because of ignorance and lack of initiation it cannot evolve by itself. It needs rajas before the sattva within it will come out, reaching down to earth and taking form with the help of karma. Tamoguna veils the truth, making a serpent appear as a rope and a rope as a serpent. Darkness is the essential attribute of tamoguna, and inactivity its nature. The player who lands here immediately leaves the plane of cosmic forces and returns to earth to discover a new path to truth.

What happens is known only to the player and to the One who is truth.


An abstract and symbolic artwork representing the concept of tamoguna (inertia) from Leela's commentary, focusing on visual imagery. The artwork depicts the transition from sunset to twilight, symbolizing tamoguna's predominance. It features a cosmic game board with a great snake, representing tamas at the end of the seventh chakra. The board's eight rows symbolize the gunas' progression. Ethereal, non-textual symbols representing sound, touch, color, taste, and smell correspond to the five great elements: akash, air, fire, water, and earth. The color scheme is mystical, with dark hues and light, symbolizing the hidden truth within tamoguna and creating a sense of deep cosmic play.