The three Gunas are the three primary qualities of nature or Prakriti: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.

  • Tamas (inertia) – the quality of darkness, ignorance and inertia that leads to inaction.
  • Rajas (activity) – the quality of passion, desire and attachment. It is active energy that motivates us to act.
  • Sattva (purity) – purity or goodness that promotes harmony with others, self-discipline and spirituality.

Tamas guna is related to darkness, inertia and dullness.

Tamas guna is related to darkness, inertia and dullness. It is associated with the quality of ignorance, illusion, and delusion. Tamas guna is associated with the element of earth which can be seen as solid matter that has been created from a mixture of water and earth elements in nature.

Rajas guna is related to passion, activity and motion.

Rajas guna is related to passion, activity and motion. It is associated with the sense organs and the mind. Rajas guna is associated with the elements of fire and air. It is the force that gives life to all living things on Earth. It is also associated with activity and movement, and it represents knowledge of cause and effect.

The rajasic guna makes us restless, impulsive and aggressive – traits which are useful when trying to solve problems quickly but can be destructive if left unchecked over long periods of time.

Sattva guna is related to purity, goodness and lightness.

Sattva guna is the quality of Sattva is goodness (sat), purity (tama) and lightness (sattva). It represents purity, clarity and peace. The sattva guna makes us feel calm, peaceful and harmonious. It promotes creativity and innovation by allowing us to step back from our usual state of being so we can see things in a new light.

There are three gunas in the food we eat

The gunas are the basic constituents of material nature. They are three in number, and they govern all aspects of our lives as well as the universe at large. The three gunas are sattva (purity), rajas (activity), and tamas (inertia). All foods have a mix of these three gunas; for example:

Foods with more tamas are heavy, bitter, and dulling to mind and body. Examples include wheat bread or pasta; meat or fish; cheese (except for yogurt); sweets like cakes or biscuits and alcohol!

Foods with more rajas are spicy, energizing, and stimulating to mind and body. Examples include hot peppers, ginger root, garlic; citrus fruits such as lemons or limes; onions; tomatoes–and even coffee!

Foods with more sattvic are organic, healthy, mildly spiced, fresh, vegetables, fruit, whole grains, honey and herbs like tumeric powder.

How the gunas affect our mind and behaviour

The gunas are the modes of material nature that affect our mind and behaviour.

It’s important to keep our mind in a sattvic state as much as possible because it helps us make better decisions about how best to live our life; however sometimes other states may be necessary (e.g., when doing something physical or sleeping).

The concept of gunas is useful because it allows us to understand why we feel the way we do about certain experiences in life. For example, if you find yourself feeling sad or depressed for no apparent reason then it may be due to the effects of Tamas guna. On the other hand, if you are unable to sleep at night despite being tired then this is likely due to Rajas.

Ultimately all three gunas are necessary for life to exist, so it’s important not to judge them as good or bad but simply acknowledge their existence and be aware of them. The three gunas are said to be the building blocks of the universe, and all things in it. They’re also said to be present in all aspects of our lives, including thoughts, emotions and actions.


The three gunas are used to describe the nature of material reality. They represent three different attributes that can be found in any object or situation in life. The goal of most yogis or spiritual seekers is to cultivate a state of Saatva by being good, thinking positive and eating a wholesome diet. A sattvic state of mind helps us meditate and keep a peaceful mind at all times.