THE TRIGUNAS (Psyche Components)

Just as the doshas are the essential components of the body, the three

GUNAS

1) SATWA 2) RAJAS 3) TAMAS
are the three essential components or energies of the mind. Ayurveda provides a distinct description of people on the basis of their Manasa (psychological) Prakriti (constitution). Genetically determined, these psychological characteristics are dependent on the relative dominance of the three gunas.

While all individuals have mixed amounts of the three, the predominant guna determines an individual's mansa prakriti. In equilibrium, the three gunas preserve the mind (and indirectly the body), maintaining it in a healthy state. Any disturbance in this equilibrium results in various types of mental disorders.

Satwa
characterised by lightness, consciousness, pleasure and clarity, is pure, free from disease and cannot be disturbed in any way. It activates the senses and is responsible for the perception of knowledge.

Rajas
the most active of the gunas, has motion and stimulation as its characteristics. All desires, wishes, ambitions and fickle-mindedness are a result of the same. While

Tamas
is characterised by heaviness and resistance. It produces disturbances in the process of perception and activities of the mind. Delusion, false knowledge, laziness, apathy, sleep and drowsiness are due to it.

Rajas and Tamas, as with the doshas, can be unbalanced by stress and negative desires as kama (lust), irshya (malice), moha (delusion and halucination), lobha (greed), chinta (anxiety), bhaya (fear) and krodha (anger). Each of these three properties is also comprised of sub-types and the particular sub-type to which one belongs to determine the qualities of that individual.

Satwika individuals are usually noble and spiritual in character, their nature determined as much by body type as their star constellation, having an element of kapha in their constitution

Pitta dominated Rajasikas, intellectually oriented but vulnerable to temptations, are very human in their character and approach to life

A dominant Vata ensures that Tamasika individuals are the most down to earth, concerned about fundamental questions of practical existence, specially when confronted by more spiritual and less physical issues.

↑ Top