THE THREE QUALITIES OF MIND/ triguna

In order to maintain an ongoing state of balance, Ayurveda considers the unique physiological constitution of each individual. In addition, the qualities of mind are also taken into account to determine a person’s present state of health. If the mind is unhealthy; that is to say, expressing through a lens of fear, anger, desire, greed, envy, or laziness the body will also express this state through various states of imbalances that reflect these qualities. It is essential that both mind and body are addressed and brought into a state of balance to achieve complete health. Ayurveda categorizes the qualities of mind into three primary modes of consciousness. Sattva (Creative), Rajas (Expression of creation)) and Tamas (What is expressed). 

Pathogenic factors in the body are vayu, pitta and kapha, while those in the mind are rajas and tamas. 

(Ca. Sutra 1:57))

According to the Acharyas, the mind of a person is qualified on the basis of the type of his repeated action; it is so because that quality must be predominating him. 

(Ca. Sutra 1:6))

SATVA - CREATIVE EXPRESSION

Satva is considered as the seed of creative physical expression born from a non-physical unified field of intelligence This field of intelligence is understood as a kind of blueprint originating from an omnipotent cosmic awareness - the origin of all things. Within humans beings, sattva manifests itself as love, compassion, spiritual purpose, kindness, care, and pure mindedness. Satvic people are usually recognized by expressing happiness and joy, having care and respect for their surroundings. They generally have good luster and complexion, they are gentle, intelligent and recognized by their humility and wisdom.

RAJAS - EXPRESSION OF CREATION

Rajas is the principle of change, movement, and excitability. It is the growth and expression of the seed as it slowly realizes its innermost potential. It manifests in human nature as a dynamic activity and passion. People who possess a predominance of rajas express qualities such as competitiveness, power, and the need to achieve. They have the ability to express sattvic qualities as long as their own interests and needs are met.

TAMAS - WHAT IS EXPRESSED

Tamas is expressed as inertia, obscuration, darkness, and density. It is the final stage of creation, like a fully mature oak tree born from the acorn. Life expressed as its fullest potential from the unique cosmic blueprint within the seed. The oak is fully formed, and its structure is complete in its densest form. Creative potential is passed on through its seed as it slowly deteriorates back into the earth to support new life and the cycle continues. An individual that has predominantly tamasic qualities tends to be lazy, dull, inactive, and apathetic. There is a tendency towards depression, loss of memory, delusion.

Satva, rajas, and tamas are in a constant state of interaction, continually changing and influencing our present state of consciousness.

Ayurveda teaches that food, lifestyle, and environment not only affects the quality of the body but also the quality of mind and consciousness. It is important to ensure that our nutritional and lifestyle choices nourish the body as well as the mind. This is essential for balanced emotional health and proper bodily and psycho-neuroendocrine functions. Ayurveda encourages people to endeavor to create a sattvic predominant mind to experience a real sense of joy within.

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