Gurumustuk Singh Ji asked me to write a bit about the five tattvas and the three gunas. This is what was "assumed knowledge" in the time Gurbani was written. Basically, it’s the KAR part of IK ONG KAR (ONG being the creative power itself.)
The five tattvas are: earth, water, fire, air and ether. They are not those things literally, but rather states of density of matter. For example, water can be solid (earth,) liquid (its normal state between 0 degrees C and 100 degrees C) and air (when it vaporizes.) Ether is the most subtle element. Though there is no air in "outer space," there is ether. Ether is the carrier of light and the least dense of the five tattvas.
So matter is made up of both the five tattvas (or states) along with the energy that flows through them. E=MC2 right? It’s a continuum of energy and matter, and the two flow into each other, but neither is destroyed (according to the law of conservation of matter and energy.) So the tattvas are the states of matter and the three gunas are the frequencies of energy: low-frequency=tamas (inertia,) mid-frequency=rajas (motion) and high-frequency=sattvas (calm.)
The three gunas are manifested in human qualities as well, and I’m sure you know these qualities in yourself and in other people. Most people have one of the three gunas dominant in their personality and projection. Tamas=crude, lethargic, heavy. Rajas=passionate and action oriented. Sattvas=light, pure, calm and relaxed. When we say someone has a "high" vibration, we mean they are dominantly sattvic in nature.
– Guruka Singh
P.S. – We did an earlier video on the subject of free will and God’s will. I think it was the "fate and destiny" one, but I’m happy to revisit that topic.