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The Three Qualities of Nature (The Three Gunas of Prakriti) as per Yoga philosophy

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2013-08-16 23:14:54     
Article by Anurag Jain

The Vedas speak of 3 Gunas. These are qualities or characteristics that can be used to describe or existing of all things. Everything that exists in the universe is made up of one or more of these qualitier. This knowledge is part of every yoga teacher training course. These three Gunas are:-

1) Sattva which is representative of purity and simplicity. Sattva can be found in things such as the colour white, a smiling baby or fresh fruit hanging from a tree. It can also be found in liberated and enlightened people. For example, the morning sunlight, gentle and awakening, has a Sattva quality.

2) Rajas mean action. This could be seen in water flowing down a stream. It can also be found in a person who is on their way along the path to enlightenment. Anything that moves or is at work, such as running water, is Rajas.

3) Tamas translates to inertia or darkness. This is laziness or non movement. It can be found in a stagnant pool of water. It can be found in a person who is content to remain in their animalistic state already has no interest in moving to the divine.

These three qualities can also be used to describe the 3 type of students that are discussed in the Vedas.

1) This is the quality that all those seeking liberation. A Sattvic student is one thatonly is concerned with acquiring true knowledge, not it’s source , although he does not believe all he hears until he has though it through properly. He is mature and without ego, shedding the problems that come with that such as pride, jealousy, envy. He is almost ready for liberation and already no longer needs to indulge the senses and has no desire for luxury. He will never use argument to prove his point.

2) A Rajasic student is therefore looking for answers, but he still burdened with ego and all that comes with it. He is therefore very keen to have status within a group as well as acknowledgement. Although he is hard working and studies a lot he does not fully understand the teachings. He will argue to prove his point but will also believe what he is taught without question or thought.

3) A Tamasic student is always looking for shortcuts and is not willing to work hard.Because of this they will have no real understanding of the teachings and they will get stuck on the literal meaning and not see the true meaning. They have a very limited capacity for knowledge. They will also have a huge ego which will make them want a position within a group and power.

The goal is to move from tamas towards sattva, and ideally beyond sattva to where you are void of any of these qualities. As Tamas represents negative energy, rajas a multiplying energy and sattva a positive energy in order to move towards sattva you need to do some form of action.

About the Author

Yogi Ram is a renowned yoga teacher teaching ancient vedic philosophies at Arhanta Yoga Instructor Certification courses. He also teaches these principles at Arhanta Yoga teacher training India.

Specialized in: Yoga Instructor Training India - Yoga Courses India
URL: http://www.arhantayoga.org
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