The Gunas

By Angela Glaz

500 Hour E-RYT and  Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor


The three gunas: sattva, rajas, tamas, are the primary qualities of nature. They stem from The Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Indian text that explains how to find serenity, peace, and stability in a world that is always changing. They also hold a place in Sankhya philosophy, which is one of the six fundamental systems of philosophy derived from the Vedas. According to this philosophy they are part of Prakruti, which is first step of creation. Prakruiti and its three Gunas are responsible for the diversity in the universe.

When we look at the gunas from a less philosophical standpoint, they tell us where our energy is in life.  whether we are genuinely moving forward in life (sattva), at a stalemate (rajas), or lost (tamas).

Simply defined, each of the gunas hold the following qualities:

Sattva Guna

Knowledge, positivity, pleasure, clarity, and purity. The initial impulse of creation.

Rajas Guna

Action, mobility, stimulus. The maintenance of the universe.

Tamas Guna

Ignorance, inactivity, heaviness, impurity and darkness. The end of creation.

The Gunas are the tip of the ice berg when it comes to using Ayurveda to cultivate a more balanced state of being. Ayurveda focuses on all aspects of our being; body, mind, and spirit, to help us cultivate the healthiest and happiest versions of ourselves. If you want to learn more about Ayurveda and how you can start incorporating it into your everyday life to live more fully, check out our online course: Foundations of Ayurveda!

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