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Triguna: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas

Updated on August 13, 2019
Aditya B33 profile image

Aditya has an interest in spirituality and loves to explore the existence through inner experiences.

Triguna is a Sanskrit word which means three qualities, Tri means three and Guna means quality. According to the Yoga Sutras, these three qualities are Sattva (goodness, kindness), Rajas (activity, dynamism) and Tamas (inertia, ignorance). Every creature operates on these three principles for their entire life. Here, we will see how these three qualities influence human life and the dimensions which they touch. All human beings have these three qualities, it is the proportion of each quality that differs.

Starting with Tamasik.“Tamasik ” is a quality which in our modern lifestyle is prevalent in most of us. Tamasik quality is identified as ignorance, lethargy, rigidity in behaviour, unwillingness to do anything, dependency, depression, illusion and many like these. A good example of this is, most of the studying or working generation is getting 5 to 6 hours of sleep at an average. When they wake up in the morning at 5, there is an unwillingness and lethargy because the body demands more rest, the only thing that makes them wake up this early is the boss at office or attendance in the college. So, unfortunately, most of us are having a Tamasik start of the day. This quality is considered to be the most difficult to overcome because this is the lowest state of being and the person is already unwilling to do anything so most of the time some external support is needed, be it in the form of a person or an energetic space that can ignite a spark of movement. One of the most problematic aspects of Tamasik quality is depression. To put it simply, we can say that depression happens when we are unable to comprehend some life situations or if we comprehend, we are unable to absorb. Now, for a person who is depressed life seems to come to a standstill, he can’t see the way out, the only thing that can save him is some external support. Energy-wise, Tamasik people have all the 7 main energy centres operating at a nearly zero vibration.

Depression - A Tamasik State
Depression - A Tamasik State

Now Rajasik.“Rajasik Quality" is a quality of movement and dynamism, it reflects motion. This quality has both positive and negative aspects. Rajasik is identified as passion, desire, attachment, confusion, restlessness, greed, ego, self-centeredness, ownership, conditional morality, desire for superiority and many like these. Rajasik quality is good to some extent only if a person can remain grounded. As Rajasik quality reflects motion it is good to have it for survival, it lets you earn bread! If observed, one can see that all the traits of Rajasik quality show some activity, meaning Rajasik people do not sit idle which Tamasik people usually prefer. As far as activity is concerned, it can be both physical and mental. One good example is the trait of confusion. Confusion is a Rajasik quality because there is some mental activity involved, the person is thinking that is why they have confusion, people with dominant Tamasik quality don’t even think, they just keep going… “no thinking, no confusion”. My virtue is that a confused person can be transformed into a powerhouse of intellectual capabilities because they already have the quality to explore the depths of matter at hand, that is why they get confused. There can be no confusion if you just touch the surface of any matter. These people just need some support to bring clarity to their confusion, if provided in time they can shine the brightest. People with Rajasik quality generally belong to the middle or upper strata of society because they have everything they can be proud of, be it financial security or societal relations. They enjoy material pleasures and are well equipped to make an ideal society.

If the Rajasik quality is much more dominant than Sattvik, it leads to monkey-mindedness and stubborn behaviour, they become so rigid with their thought process that no one can convince them about anything other than what they think is right. These people are never satisfied with whatever amount of things they have, they become so much indulged in materialism that they always require some object to keep themselves happy. Grudges for others, discontentment, possessiveness about the things they have becomes a part of their life. Energy-wise, their lower three energy centres (Mooladhara, Swadhistana and Manipura) operate at a certain vibration, but the upper energy centres are mainly blocked.

Greed - A Rajasik State
Greed - A Rajasik State

And finally, Sattvik. “Sattvik Quality” is the quality of goodness. It is the closest state to self-realization. A fairly decent amount of Sattvik quality is identified as Purity, Happiness, Compassion, Humility, Forgiveness, Discipline, Self Control, Contentment, Joy, Devotion and many like these. Sattvik quality attracts intellectual capabilities and the ability to be meditative. The people with Sattvik quality dominance are easily identifiable.

If the Sattvik quality is raised further to a good extent by meditation or by some other mediums it becomes magical. These people need not tell much about themselves, their very presence speaks. They never go unnoticed wherever they are, such is their magnetism. It is like whichever space they enter, even if they have not uttered a single word, things start working as they should. They carry so much vibration within them and can see beyond the surface, once you are among them you are scanned. Their presence speaks of the wisdom they contain within and the forehead shines differently as the Ajna or Brow Center initially operates on a decent vibration. They are the embodiment of Compassion and their presence only can make others feel calm and loved. They can have psychic abilities, they know you even before you tell them anything, if not intellectually then energy-wise. If in some, the dormant energy which we call Kundalini in Dhyana Yoga has risen to a certain level, they can heal people by just being with them. They acquire great intellectual abilities and they are in search of their truth, there is always an innate desire to know their origin. They have their mind full of questions like ‘Who am I?’, ‘How the universe began’ and various other questions of our existence. Sattvic people are a complete package for meditation. If they are oriented in the right direction they can do wonders to the lives around them. They become very receptive to the energies, people who need them just get attracted towards them and without even knowing they spill out all their problems among them.

Much can be written about Sattvik Quality as it is the doorway to self-realization but this much is enough, other aspects include Energy and Psychic abilities which are attained after a certain prominence of Sattvik quality by meditation. Also, one cannot explain the Sattvik quality in its completeness as it is much more than literature, it is an experience of beyond!

Joyful - A Sattvik State
Joyful - A Sattvik State

The Seed of divinity is there and willing to grow, let us make it happen!

— Ad.

© 2019 Aditya Bhardwaj

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    • Aditya B33 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aditya Bhardwaj 

      4 weeks ago from Delhi, India

      Thank you, Ms. Shaloo

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      4 weeks ago from India

      well written!

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