The three qualities of the mind - Triguna

To achieve a state of balance Ayurveda considers the unique physiological constitution of each individual. In addition, the qualities of the mind are also taken into account to determine a our present state of health. If the mind is imbalanced, the body will also express this state in various ways due to the minds intimate relationship with the nervous and endocrine systems.

Ayurveda categorizes the qualities of mind into three primary states known as Satva, Rajas and Tamas.


Pathogenic factors of the body are vayu, pitta and kapha while those in the mind are rajas and tamas.

(Ca. Sutra 1:57)


Pure essence - Satva

Satva is considered as the pure essence of light and creative intelligence. It’s quality is found at the source of life and expressed as a pure awareness that impregnates the entire physical universe.

Satva manifests itself as compassion, purpose, love, kindness, care and mindfulness. Satvic predominant people are usually recognized by expressing happiness and joy, having care and respect for their surroundings.

They generally have good luster and complexion; they are gentle, intelligent, wise and express humility.

Dynamism - Rajas

Rajas is the principle of change, movement and excitability. It manifests in human nature as passion lust and self-centeredness.

People who possess a predominance of Rajas express qualities such as fear, anxiety, aggressiveness, competitiveness, power, attachment greed and possessiveness.

They have the ability to express satvic qualities as long as their own interests and needs are met.

Inertia​ - Tamas 

Tamas is expressed as inertia, darkness and confusion. An individual that has predominant Tamasic qualities tends to be lazy and indulges in excessive food and sleep.

There is a tendency towards depression, loss of memory, delusion as well as greediness, possessiveness and lack of concern for others.


According to Acaryas the mind of a person is qualified on the basis of the type of his repeated action; It is so because that quality must be predominating him.

(Ca. Sutra 1:6)

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