Guna means this quality, and another meaning of guna is rope. Just like we have seen rope, one rope, two rope, three ropes. When three ropes are, I mean to say, bound up, twisted in one, oh, that becomes very strong

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Expressions researched:
"Guna means this quality, and another meaning of guna is rope. Just like we have seen rope, one rope, two rope, three ropes. When three ropes are, I mean to say, bound up, twisted in one, oh, that becomes very strong"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Don't you think how we are in the grip of the material nature? It is not possible. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā. Guṇa. Guṇa means this quality, and another meaning of guṇa is rope. Just like we have seen rope, one rope, two rope, three ropes. When three ropes are, I mean to say, bound up, twisted in one, oh, that becomes very strong.
Lecture on BG 7.8-14 -- New York, October 2, 1966:

So how Kṛṣṇa has described Himself as He is. But why we are not attracted to Kṛṣṇa? That is explained in the next.

tribhir guṇamayair bhāvair
ebhiḥ sarvam idaṁ jagat
mohitaṁ nābhijānāti
mām ebhyaḥ param avyayam
(BG 7.13)

"Because they are illusioned by the intermixture of these three qualities..." Mohita: "They are illusioned." Tribhir guṇamayair bhāvair ebhiḥ sarvam idaṁ jagat. Idaṁ jagat. This material world is spread all over with these three guṇas, or three qualities of material nature.

Now, from here you can understand that the division of social orders, as it is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13), that "The four division of human society is made by Me." How it is that? That guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ: "According to the material qualities and world." So in the Vedic literature in India you find there are four division of human society: the brāhmaṇa, the kṣatriya, the vaiśya and the śūdra. So that is natural. That is not artificial. People misunderstand that Indians have created a caste system. No. That caste system is everywhere—sarvam idaṁ jagat. Not only India, all universe is being conducted by that process. Even here also, you have got that caste system. Some of you are in the modes of goodness, some of you are in the modes of passion, some of you are in the modes of ignorance, and some of you are in the mixed quality. So that is prevailing all over the world. And those who are in the modes of goodness, they are brāhmaṇa. Name may be another thing. You may say, "Oh, this person, this man is very intelligent, very moralist." That means he is a brāhmaṇa. Or "This man is very good administrator." That means he is kṣatriya. "Oh, this man is very good industrialist, merchant." That means he is vaiśya. "This man cannot do anything." He is śūdra.

So Lord Kṛṣṇa says that tribhir guṇamayair bhāvaiḥ: "By these three qualities, everywhere, all over the universe..." You must know whenever Kṛṣṇa says something, it is nothing limited. Universally true, He says. When He says sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya (BG 14.4), He claims to be father of all living entities. Even the animals, even the aquatics, even the trees, plants, worms, birds, beasts, this human being, that human being—all He claims. He's the father of everyone. So similarly, tribhir guṇamayair bhāvaiḥ, mohitaṁ sarva-jagat: "The whole world is," I mean to say, "illusioned or covered by these reactions of these three qualities." And we are under the spell of that illusion; therefore we cannot understand what is God, what is God. Tribhir guṇamayair bhāvair ebhiḥ sarvam idaṁ jagat, mohitaṁ nābhijānāti: "Because they are now illusioned, under the spell of the intermixture of these three qualities, they cannot understand Me, Kṛṣṇa." Mām ebhyaḥ param avyayam: "I am the supreme eternal being. Oh, they cannot understand."

So this illusion... What is the nature of this illusion? How it can be overcome? That is also explained here.

daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etāṁ taranti te
(BG 7.14)

Oh, you cannot do it by mental speculation. You cannot get rid of this entanglement of three qualities. It is not possible. It is very strong. Don't you think how we are in the grip of the material nature? It is not possible. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā. Guṇa. Guṇa means this quality, and another meaning of guṇa is rope. Just like we have seen rope, one rope, two rope, three ropes. When three ropes are, I mean to say, bound up, twisted in one, oh, that becomes very strong. Guṇa means rope also. So we are tied up hands and feet with that rope of these qualities, three. You see? It is very difficult to get out of it. Then? Hopelessness? No. No hopelessness. How can I get rid out of it? Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te: (BG 7.14) "Anyone who surrenders unto Me, he is at once free." Anyone who becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious by this way or that way, he becomes free.