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SATTWA GUNA

In the philosophy of Yoga, all matter in the universe arises from the fundamental substrate called Prakriti. From this ethereal Prakriti the three primary gunas (qualities) emerge creating the essential aspects of all nature—energy, matter and consciousness. These three gunas are tamas (darkness), rajas (activity), and sattva (beingness).
 

Sattva is a state of harmony, balance, joy and intelligence.  Sattva is the guna that yogi/nis achive towards as it reduces rajas and tamas and thus makes liberation possible. To increase sattva reduce both rajas and tamas, eat sattvic foods and enjoy activities and environments that produce joy and positive thoughts. Sattvic foods include whole grains and legumes and fresh fruits and vegetables that grow above the ground.  All of the yogic practices were developed to create sattva in the mind and body.  Thus, practicing yoga and leading a yogic lifestyle strongly cultivates sattva.

Sattwa - Samkhya: accounts for thought and intelligibility, experienced psychologically as pleasure, thinking, clarity, understanding and detachment.  Classical Yoga: - when sattwa (purity, illumination through comprehension) predominates, consciousness manifests itself as prakhya - vivacity, illumination, mental clarity and serenity.

The Sattvic Diet is a pure diet comprised of cereals, nuts, fruits, vegetables, seeds, spouting seeds, some dairy products, honey and herbs – including herbal teas of course. These foodstuffs will nourish the body, calm and purify the mind creating a balanced flow of energy between the body and the mind.

 

 

 

The mind’s psychological qualities are highly unstable and can quickly fluxuate between the different gunas.  The predominate guna of the mind acts as a lens that effects our perceptions and perspective of the world around us. Thus, if the mind is in rajas it will experience world events as chaotic, confusing and demanding and it will react to these events in a rajasic way.

All gunas create attachment and thus bind one’s self to the ego.  “When one rises above the three gunas that originate in the body; one is freed from birth, old age, disease, and death; and attains enlightenment” (Bhagavad Gita 14.20).  While the yogi/nis goal is to cultivate sattva, his/her ultimate goal is to transcend their misidentification of the self with the gunas and to be unattached to both the good and the bad, the positive and negative qualities of all life.

 

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