Sattva, Rajas and Tamas – The Importance of Three Gunas

Tamas Sattva Rajas.

According to the philosophy of Yoga derived from Samkhya Yoga, Prakriti is said to be a composite of three prime qualities. They are the Sattva Guna, which represents light, bliss, and goodness; the Rajo or Rajas Guna which represents passion and motion; and Tamas Guna which represents darkness and inertia. Corresponding to these three Gunas of mind are three Vritti.

  • Santa Vritti, peace, comes from Sattva guna; it represents balance.
  • Ghora Vritti comes from rajas guna; it represents anger.
  • Mudha Vritti comes from Tamo guna; it represents laziness, carelessness, and drowsiness.
Tamas Sattva Rajas.

The Importance of Tamas Guna

Tamas is the quality of inertia, inactivity, dullness, or lethargy. It is the lowest of three qualities or Gunas. Tamas is the template for inertia or resistance to action. It has also been translated from Sanskrit as “indifference.” It is because of Tamo or Tamas guna you experience dullness and ignorance.

People with tamas guna feel the little creative urge and act within narrow limits of understanding. Even in the depths of tamas, sattvic and rajasic aspects of Tamas guna may uplift the soul toward spirituality.

The Importance of Rajas Guna

Rajo or Rajas Guna is the opposite force that pulls you down to Samsara. With Rajas Guna, the mind becomes restless, forcing him to kill the idleness and work. This is opposite to what Sattva Guna does, where it is deemed to make the mind idle and calm.

The mind with Rajo Guna wants a new level of enjoyment, sensation, and variety, which can instantly change. For instance, it might like some new place, person, or thing, and then it can be disgusted with them in the next moment. Company and talk are what it demands, and these are what can distract the mind ultimately. One can rarely find peace with this state of mind.

However, with the Sattva Guna, the mind will not consider others’ happiness as its own and will never be real. In other words, there is no internal contentment, and since it doesn’t consider others, there is no compassion for them.

The mind with Rajas Guna separates the plurality and states that everything is one. The sun is one; the moon is one; the sky is one; the idea of language is one; husband and wife are one; the friends are one; the matter is one; the energy is one; the cosmos is one; the truth is one, and ultimately the Brahman is one. “Ekameva Advitiyam Brahma” (The Brahman is one without a second.)

With intense Raja, one can take a Sattvic turn. For instance, the gangster Ratnakar became the sage Valmiki; the Jagai and Madhai who pelted stones at Lord Gouranga became his first disciples.

The Importance of Sattva Guna

Sattva Guna is all about purity and light. It plays a vital role in the attainment of Moksha. It provides the individual with Daivi Sampat virtues, for instance, fearlessness, purity of heart, and others, and these virtues can liberate oneself. The prime effect of Sattva Guna is Brahmavichara, the inquiry or search for truth, the differentiation between Sat and Asat, and what is real and what is an illusion.

Happiness and peace are not external. It is internal and produced with the same mind when it is controlled and when the thoughts are on the right path. As an individual, you need to check your passion, desires, and aptitude for an activity to get that pleasure from doing things. Everything will rest, and thoughts will be still when you develop the Sattva Guna.

Thus, it is necessary to perform some Japam, Vichara, Satsanga, meditation, tapasya, and Svadhyaya to find the Sattvic mind from time to time.

Any person in contention to find joy in the material world will never truly hear the inner voice of Atman. There is no pure thought or Vichara where he enquires the Self. Pure thought reflects pure intellect, also known as Sattvic Buddhi.

Everything passes from our mind, and what the mind is full of are thoughts. Those who perform Niskama Karma Yoga (selfless service) and obtain purity of mind can entertain the thought of God and meditation.

The beauty of the mind is that it is curious and can raise multiple questions about various things in the world. And it can delude all. When coming to practicing it, it can do nothing. However, if you are determined to concentrate and put it into practice, then you have to spend months of longing for the darshan of God or Self-realization, and only then you can think of thoughts from the Sattvic Buddhi only.

Sadhanas are aimed to get pure, irresistible Will. You can improve upon your determined will and pave the way to achieve God-realization as it can bring about avidya nivritta (revolve of ignorance) and paramananda-prapti (Sat-chit-ananda state).

In this material world, there are people with few Sattvic virtues but fewer in number. They are the ones with patience, generosity, forgiveness, and others. The true seeker of the Sattvic mind is on the hunt to acquire all the Sattvic virtues.

The mind filled with Sattva Guna will always be steady and find delight in the inner Self. It can also help to keep the friendship intact in the long run and can live on simple food without any complaints in the long run.

You also get closer to the Divine source when your mind is filled with pure Sattva guna, all thanks to the cleanness of the mind. You’re not only inspired at this moment but also get the purity of thought (Bhava-Samsuddhi) and purity of heart (Sattva-Samsuddhi). This is the fourth stage of Jnana, also known as Jnana Bhumika.