May 22, 2013.
As the universal energy flows into our physical, emotional and intellectual bodies, it divides into the three gunas. Guna is a Sanskrit word that means attributes of nature. Each chakra has these three attributes of nature within it. Who we are is made up of three attributes of nature.
The state that we call “balanced” is, in Sanskrit, called “Sattwa.” Something or someone in this state of balance is called “sattwic.” When we’re peaceful and everything is going well, we’re in a state of balance. We’re humming, feeling good; nothing affects us greatly. If a tiger chases us, we feel fear, we run; and, when we elude the tiger, we are back once again to our balanced state. We don’t relive it every night in our dreams—we let it go. Such is a person who has a predominant sattwic guna.
The next guna is “Rajas.” Rajas is a state of “over-activity.” People who are rajasic have to do something all the time. They just can’t be still. They are literally spinning their wheels (chakras) and getting nowhere. It’s like getting stuck in the mud with a car. The accelerator is down to the floor, but you’re not moving.
On the other end of the scale from Sattwa and moving through Rajas we have “Tamas.” This relates to those qualities that are still latent or hidden or inert. In a tamasic state, there is not much energy moving, and it can feel like being in quicksand. At its worst, even the struggle to stay awake takes too much energy. Tamas can have a useful purpose, though, for times of sleep or healing when we need to draw inward.
The three Gunas are like a seesaw. If you put too much on one side, the other side comes up. What we’re looking for is that perfect balance (both people on the seesaw at an equal place). It’s also like a weighing scale.
As we become more aware of the Gunas, we can observe their effect on our lives. The more we recognize them, the better we can adjust our diets, our schedules, whatever we need in order to enjoy life in a state of balance and joy.
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Illustation: Starblue | dreamstime.com