The three Gunas underpin the philosophy of mind in yoga and Ayurvedic Psychology. They are particularly significant in terms of their psychological manifestation. Guna means strand, attribute or quality, and in the Bhagavad Gita they are described as the very fabric of existence, the veil that obscures wholeness in a covering of duality. We can also think of the gunas as different levels of consciousness. Studying the gunas reveals how the mind is operating.
We can compare the strands of a rope to personality; the various strands, or gunas, entwining to create our individuality. Within each of us are a balance of the gunas. Remember, you are not limited to the person you take yourself to be – you are the One Life expressing yourself as a person for a while.
– Sattva (harmony, virtue)
– Rajas (energy, passion)
– Tamas (restraint, passivity)
Read more about the three gunas here
Rajas is the quality of taking action. This guna indicates an outward search for the answers of life. You are driven by a great inner thirst. As you seek recognition, respect and success, you might be a high achiever.
Tamas is the attribute of darkness or ignorance. You may sometimes / often feel apathetic, lazy, sluggish, fearful, foggy and prone to depression and sadness. You may avoid situations, feel tired a lot of the time and lack motivation. You find it easy to sleep and habitually move yourself away from stress, but may experience periods of loneliness.
Sattva is the attribute of purity and lucidity. You are mostly calm, easy-going, accepting, contented and have your focus on realising your true Self / Truth. You’re very discerning and have a mind for clarity. You put others first and lead a compassionate and orderly life. The attainment of self-realisation is important you.
You do well to balance the other two gunas and mostly utilise them well. You probably find it quite easy to do self-inquiry and meditation. You follow the light and your intuition. You believe in purity of being, thought and action.
While sattva is thought to be the most ideal guna to have, too much of it can make us dysfunction in the physical world. It’s all about balance, but balance comes easy to a truly sattvic person.