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The Three Gunas

The Three Gunas… and why it is important to understand them.

Gunas by literal definition mean ‘virtue’. The basis of a healthy lifestyle and more so – healthy eating are constituted by the combination of three gunas, according to Ayurveda. Gunas are said to be the fundamental attributes which represent the evolutionary processes and lead one from a positive and pure attribute to a gross one.

There are three basic types of Gunas: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas

Sattva Guna stands for purity, knowledge and essence. Rajas Guna stands for passion and action and Tamas Guna stands for ignorance.
These three gunas pervade our entire existence, this world, people around us, foods that we consume and our own personal attributes. These three gunas are intangible and each object – living or non-living is said to contain these gunas in varying combinations.
Sattva guna is reflected in our personality in the form of knowledge and positivity. Tamas guna is reflected by laziness, greed and attachment to worldly matters. Rajas guna acts as a fuel to the other two gunas. So depending on whether a person is predominantly Sattvik or Tamasik, the Rajasik component will bring about actions pertaining to Sattva or Tamas.

It is indeed possible to change the levels of these gunas present in us by merely just focusing our energies on choices which reflect sattva guna. The foods that we consume also contain a mix of these three gunas and this belief makes up the fundamental pillar of Ayurvedic practice for good health. The predominance of Sattva guna in us is often correlated to consuming Sattvic foods and increase in our spiritual levels.

It is very helpful to be self-aware of these three attributes dictating our personalities in order to bring a positive change in one’s life as they dictate the way in which we react to situations or make important decisions and choices.

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