What is Temperament & What is Transcendence? -

What is Temperament & What is Transcendence?

What is Temperament & What is Transcendence?

What is Temperament? What is Transcendence?


When Lord Krishna tells Raja Muchukunda to ask for anything, he asks for the means to the ends, or bhakti. 

The questions we ask will get related answers; if our questions are about peace, then our answers will be related as well. 

Prince Arjuna’s questions are about peace, so Lord Krishna’s answers guide him, and us, to peace.


Chapter 13: Differentiation

Question 31: What is matter? Experienced. All that you can experience is matter.

Question 32: What is spirit? Experiencer. If there’s an experience, there has to be an experiencer. 

Question 33: What is change? Useless. It is useless for your completion in a foundational way; if you feel complete on that which is changing, you will become incomplete. 

Question 34: What is changeless? Useful. It is useful for one to be complete for one wants peace.

Question 35: What is knowledge? Purity. The more pure your software, the more you will live Bhagavad Gita.

Question 36: What is Supreme? Being. Nothing can be deeper than the sense of Being.

Chapter 14: The nature of that which is lower, so that we can let go of it.


Question 37: What is Temperament?

Prince Arjuna’s Philosophical Question: (Chapter 14, Verse 21) “What are the marks of him who has crossed over the three GUNAS, O Lord? What is his conduct, and how does he beyond these three GUNAS?”

Prince Arjuna wants to know the vision of one who is not subject to the lower. 

Lord Krishna’s Philosophical Answer: (Chapter 14, Verse 21) “Light, activity, and delusion, when present, O Pandava, he hates not, nor longs for them when absent.”

Lord Krishna says that sattva is that which causes one to evolve. Rajas causes us to stagnate. Tamas causes us to devolve. 

Lord Krishna also refers to Prince Arjuna as “Pandava” or son of Pandu, meaning colorless. Colorless here means beyond tamas (black), rajas (red), or sattva (white) – Prince Arjuna is telling Prince Arjuna he is beyond even evolution. 

When these gunas, or the lower, is present, the one who has vision does not have dislikes or hatred towards these gunas. When one has nothing to gain, one has nothing to lose. We have attachment to that which we think will make us happy and dislike towards that which we think will make us unhappy. If there are no likes or dislikes, there is no attachment, and therefore we are happy. The less attachment there is, the more happy one is.

The gunas are the equipment and we are deeper than the equipment. We are none of our equipments. 

Traditional Question: Tell me about the one who can differentiate between the lower and the higher.

Traditional Answer: They’re not lower. Even satva is a worldly quality.

Practical Question & Answer: What is temperament? Transcendence. As long as one is subject to temperament, they will be rising and failing. The one who can see the most, is the highest, transcends their own temperament. 

Reflection: When faced with a challenge, how does your gunas affect your ability to plan a solution and execute a plan? The gunas affect the quality of your decision-making (tamas: short-term, rajas: mid-term, sattva: long-term). 

Question 38: What is Transcendence?

Prince Arjuna’s Philosophical Question: (Chapter 14, Verse 21) “What are the marks of him who has crossed over the three GUNAS, O Lord? What is his conduct, and how does he beyond these three GUNAS?”

Prince Arjuna wants to know how those who are not confused, how do they act?

Lord Krishna’s Philosophical Answer: (Chapter 14, Verse 24) “Alike in pleasure and pain; who dwells in the Self; to whom a clod of earth, a precious stone, and gold are alike; to whom the dear and the not-dear are the same; firm; the same in censure and self-praise.”

Lord Krishna describes how one who is living with forgetfulness feels they are their equipments (body, mind, intellect, ego). 

But for someone who remembers they are the spirit, their equipment goes through experiences, not them. 

The following pairs of opposites are projections: pain or pleasure (body), stone or gold (mind), those we like or those we don’t like (intellect), compliments or criticisms (ego). 

But for the one who is not holding onto the lower, they know who they are and they are not projecting who they are either.

How do those believing in the higher live? Established in the Self. They are established in that which is Infinite. 

They are established in sama (all is the same) and tulya (all is equal), or oneness. They are authentic, deep, reflective, and careful.

Traditional Question: How does the one who has differentiated between the lower and the higher live?

Traditional Answer: In a balanced way.

Practical Question & Answer: What is transcendence? Foundational. The lower cannot affect them.

Reflection: How is your mental balance affected by taking both praise and blame too seriously? Praise and blame leads to inefficiency because the mind is now on the praise or blame rather than focus.


  1. If all of us are God, why are we sometimes expressed with negativity?
    • This is all from our perspective. We may project that waves are fighting with each other, whereas to the ocean they are all a part of the ocean. 
    • You cannot live in duality happily. You can only have the vision of oneness.
  2. Why do we need a Guide?
    • No one who has not studied in a Guru-Shishya-Parampara will never understand the need to study in a Guru-Shishya-Parampara. However, someone who has experienced the Guru-Shishya-Parampara can acknowledge they have an ego that they want to let go of.
    • No one who is a good driver learned by themselves. Without a guide to find and give you that balance between self-forgiveness and self-criticism, studying a subjective science is impossible.
  3. Clarify the difference between Karma and Karma Yoga.
    • How you do is Karma. Why you do is Yoga.
    • Prince Arjuna already knows how to fight, but he doesn’t know why to fight, but Lord Krishna does so he teaches Yoga.

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The Chinmaya Mission Northwest Indiana Center was established in 2002. It has now evolved into an organization serving the entire Indian community in Northwest Indiana. Chinmaya Mission is an excellent opportunity for spiritual learning.

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