In ayurveda everything revolves around the gunas, or the balancing energies of nature. If you simplify the three gunas, it constitutes the primary phases of all activities in the universe. These activities form the energies of the human body that represent our state of being. The three gunas that are essential for our existence are Sattva, Tamas and Rajas. These three help in maintaining stability in our body and mind and help in our well being. According to many researchers, the humans have an inane quality of controlling our gunas by maintaining equilibrium within our minds consciously and sub-consciously. A guna can be increased or decreased through the interaction and influence of external objects, lifestyle practices and thoughts. These gunas basically govern our existence apart from controlling and normalizing our minds.
Sattva gives the humans a need to be familiar with things around us and improvise and think accordingly to adapt to a situation. Sattva is known as a state of complete peace, balance and happiness wherein both the rajas and tamas need to be reduced along with an increase in positivity in life. Sattvic foods that are highly recommended by Ayurveda practitioners include grains, lentils, seasonal fruits and vegetables that grow above the ground. One must also do regular yoga for a fit body and mind. Practicing yoga and leading a yogic lifestyle robustly grows sattva. Sattva also symbolizes gentleness and purity and hence it has an everlasting impact on the human mind and soul. Because of our social surroundings, we do not live in sattvic state of mind all the time, oscillating between all the gunas. Depending on which energy is more dominant in our personalities, the guna predominates us. But for a stress and disease free life, it is always recommended to be lighten and enliven ourselves, getting into the sattva mode.
Tamas is known as a state of darkness, intertia and lethargy that amounts to inactivity of an individual. For one’s health it is advised to get rid of tamas by avoiding overeating, over sleeping, and even over thinking which may lead to stress and anxiety. Hence, tamas is the exact opposite of sattva. It is advised that people who have excess of tamsic gunas in them need to keep away from unhealthy diet, negative thoughts and live a healthy and active lifestyle. Going by the Hindu religion relics and beliefs, most of the negative energies – the monsters and demons dwell in the tamas guna and they eventually degenerate a person to demonic death, like diseases etc. It is widely believed that violence and destruction across the world comes from an imbalanced mind which is a result of tamas guna and hence, we need to overcome this state and ultimately eliminate it totally.
For every human being, tamas guna is just a way to relax and rejuvenate their bodies and mind by sleeping and resting adequately. And as it is said too much of something is bad, hence tamsic gunas should also be allowed to nurture only till a level they do not start harming.
Rajas guna symbolizes the absolute state of energy and action. However, excess of rajasik gunas may lead to hyperactivity, restlessness and agitation which is again not too good for us. One must balance this guna which is a positive indicator or an active and happy life. Also, rajsik foods like fried and spicy eatables stimulates too much of this guna in the body creating an imbalance. Rajas guna in moderation is able to control jealousy and selfishness in the humans and helps people achieve power and success through legitimate means however it is very important to control it. Rajasic people tend to be very materialistic and are always attracted to superficial happiness to be satisfied. They are not able to maintain loyal and everlasting relationships, leading to heartbreaks and depression often. Rajas guna needs to be balanced to avoid hatred and a disturbed mind. A balanced mind would always take rajas guna positively by being active in doing things and be ambitious and driven towards doing something positive in life. It helps in overall development of mind, body and soul.