Sattva, Rajas, & Tamas know which quality is dominant in you?
There are some special characteristics in a person, on the basis of which the identity of that person in society is different. But all human beings have some characteristics that are universal! That is, she makes every person in the world special. In Hinduism and Sikhism, these characteristics are addressed by the concept of “Quality”. The word virtue has many meanings. In common parlance, the highlighting feature of an object is called a quality. However, the word quality is also used in the opposite sense (in the sense of ‘accessory’) to the principal. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna about the three qualities – sattva, rajas, and tamas.
- Sattva Quality: In Hindu philosophy, sattva (literal meaning: “existence, reality”; adjective: sattvic) is one of the three qualities described in the Samkhya philosophy. Sattva quality means ‘purity’. For an object or food to be sattvic, it must be pure. Food should be healthy, nutritious, and clean. It should not weaken the power or balance of the mind. This idea does not allow aphrodisiacs or other drugs and intoxicants, which can have sensual effects on the mind. It also does not allow food or items that are obtained by killing or inflicting pain on a creature. Flowers, fruits, and food that are allowed to be offered to the Lord as prasad are considered to be sattvic.
A sattvic person always works for the cause of universal welfare. Always hard-working, alert, and leads a simple life. Also, he eats moderately, speaks the truth, and is courageous. Never uses vulgar or abusive language. Praises and uses precise language. Not affected by jealousy and greed and selfishness. Feels self-confidence, abundance, and generosity. Does not deceive or mislead anyone. Has good memory and concentration. Also takes a keen interest in improving spiritual knowledge and spends time in worship or meditation of divinity. In the extreme stage, one can do penance or continuous meditation.
A sattvic person can be recognized only when his mind, speech, and actions are in harmony. Manasa, Vacha, and Karmana are the three Sanskrit words to describe this state. Sattva, Balance, Harmony, Goodness, Purity, Universality, Holistic, Creative, Creation, Positive Attitude, Luminous, Peaceful, Existential, Peaceful, Considered an attribute of virtuous.
- Rajas Quality: Rajas is a medium type of nature, in whose predominance the person knows the reality, but due to the desire for worldly pleasures, he is not able to do the right work at the appropriate time. For example, a person may know that his boss has done injustice to someone but in the greed of his promotion, he does not criticize or express his displeasure.
It has been mentioned in many texts including the Gita. Rajas are believed to be an innate tendency or quality, which governs movement, energy, and activity. Rajas are sometimes translated as passion. It can be good or bad, without any particular value and contextually. Rajas help in realizing the other two qualities mentioned above.
- Tamas Quality: When the tamas quality predominates, a person does not know anything about truth and untruth, that is, he lives in the darkness of ignorance (Tamas). He doesn’t even know the reality of what is good or bad for him.
The classification between sattva, rajas, and tamas is seen in various aspects (including dietary habits) of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Where Tamas is the lowest. Tamas is a force that increases darkness, death, destruction and ignorance, lethargy, and resistance. A vengeful life is marked by laziness, carelessness, malice, deceit, insensitivity, criticism and fault-finding, frustration, aimless life, lack of logical thinking or planning, and making excuses. Tamasic activities include eating more, sleeping more and consuming alcohol, etc.
Of all the three qualities, tamas is the lowest, heavy, slow, and sluggish, devoid of the energy of rajas and the radiance of sattva. Tamas can never be opposed by Tamas. This can be counteracted through rajas (action) and converting tamas directly into sattva can be even more difficult. All three qualities are present in nature. Due to being with nature, the soul experiences sorrow, joy, etc. Sattva is the predominant quality in a person. Any quality depends mainly on their karma and also on the food consumed by the person. We can come to the conclusion by looking at the behavior of a person, what is the most important quality in a person? When a person’s sense organs reflect pure, unconnected knowledge, we can conclude that in that person’s case, the essence predominates. The person in whom Rajas dominates exhibits certain characteristics. He is not ready to spend his money, He doesn’t even give it to a deserving person, even if he has the means to give it, He indulges in aimless activities, He works in the future with a view to getting rewards in this life and also in the next life, He is restless.
As far as tamas predominant person is concerned, he lacks knowledge. Excessive sleepiness is characteristic of a person with tamas, how can he be expected to learn? He is lazy and lacks concentration. He cannot differentiate between good and bad, right and wrong.
The root of these three bodies is Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. The indivisible, that is, perfectly balanced state of the three qualities, does not appear in the universe.
Shri Krishna has clearly explained the qualities of three qualities in the 14th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. Passivity such as lethargy, sleepiness, stupidity, hypocrisy, arrogance, pride, anger, rigidity, and ignorance are the qualities of tamas. Rajas element is of the nature of Rajoguna which attracts a person towards action. It binds the soul by attachment to actions and their results. The control of sattva and tamas leads to the victory of rajas. Rajas are expressed in the form of dynamism, passion, anger, lust, ego, greed, blaming others, excessive rigidity, and dissatisfaction. Highness, Contentment, Forgiveness, Patience, Outward purity, No enmity with anyone, i.e. Absence of hatred, Absence of fickleness (indecision), Passion, Absence of self-respect/pride, Perfect purity of mind, Integrity of mind as well The qualities of Sattva are complete fearlessness of the body and the senses, constant stability in the yoga of meditation and attainment of knowledge for self-realization and liberation.