The darkest and heaviest of the gunas, tamas is connected to ignorance, laziness, and neglect. Those governed by tamas tend to reincarnate downward, into inferior bodies, and act destructively, forgetting the gods and religious obligations. (The adjective form of tamas is “tamasic.”)
Tamas Term Timeline in The Bhagavad Gita
The timeline below shows where the term Tamas appears in The Bhagavad Gita. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...lust emerge when rajas prevails, and darkness, sloth, and confusion come to the fore when tamas dominates a person. Sattva leads embodied beings to dissolution, but those dominated by rajas and... (full context)
...they trust.” The sattvic sacrifice for the gods, the rajasic for the demons, and the tamasic to “the dead / and gangs of ghosts.” Those who undertake discipline outside the bounds... (full context)
...after one learns to stop clinging to action’s fruits. Renouncing such prescribed actions is actually tamasic; quitting actions because they are difficult or painful is rajasic; but undertaking prescribed action for... (full context)
...as a whole; in rajasic action, one sees separate natures in different beings; and in tamasic action, one clings to action without motives, missing action’s “true aim.” Similarly, in sattvic action... (full context)
...is not to be done and feared, rajasic action does not discern these distinctions, and tamasic action inverts them, leading people to perform the opposite of dharma. Steadiness in yoga, actions,... (full context)