What is Triguna ?


The concept of gunas dated back to the Atharva veda. It is discussed in the bhagwad gita and it is included in sankhya darshana.

The bhagwad gita devotes on full chapter on tigunas. In this chapter, the qualities of all the three gunas discussed in details. The knowledge of three gunas is the highest knowledge.

According to sankhya philosophy human beings are made of three gunas. The differences in the human beings are depend upon the differences in the mix of the three gunas. All human beings have characteristics pertaining to all the three gunas.

1. Sattva guna.

The term sattva stands for “the essence of truth/ existence”. Sattva guna is responsible for calmness and peace, serenity, tranquality and all the noble qualities in human beings. a person with sattva gunas will perform actions without expecting the fruits from the action. a sattva guna dominant person is bound by attachment to knowledge and happiness. sattva is denoted by white colour because it represent purity.

2. Rajas guna.

The term “Rajas” stands for “foulness”. Rajas guna stands for anger, ambition, desires, etc. A person with rajas guna will perform actions and expect result from the action. A rajas guna dominant person is bound by attachment to action. It is denoted by red colour.

The rajas mind is active, intense, and has the potential to become aggressive. those with rajas like mind are prone to arguments and can be challenging.

3. Tamas guna.

The term tamas stands for “darkness”. The tamas guna stands for laziness, lethargy, ignorance, cowardice and in general all ignoble qualities. Sleep and drowsiness are also manifestations of tamas guna. tamas guna produces ambiguity, idleness, fantasy and stubbornness. Tamas guna dominant people are cautions, apprehensive, and revengeful. The tamas mind is lethargic, slow, and has the potential to become negative and destructive. These people are prone to disengaging themselves from the situations and become lazy one. Tamas guna is denoted by black colour.

The guna theory says that the gunas are inherently changing. Hence, no gunas can manifest its effects permanently. For example ; after concentrating for sometime, we feel tired and either relax or do some physical activity like going for a walk. concentrating is manifestation of sattva guna. Relaxing is manifestation of tamas guna. doing physical activity is manifestion of rajas guna. It is in this sense that the phrase, “time is the best healer”, makes sense. neither sadness nor happiness is permanent.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.