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).
is a state of darkness, inertia, inactivity and materiality. Tamas
manifests from ignorance and deludes all beings from their spiritual
truths. To reduce tamas avoid tamasic foods, over sleeping, over
eating, inactivity, passivity and fearful situations. Tamasic
foods include heavy meats, and foods that are spoiled, chemically
treated, processed or refined.
Tamasic Food is meat, alcohol, tobacco, garlic, onions, other fermented foods (pickles and vinegar for example), and either over-ripe or stale foods. These foodstuffs are seen not to benefit either the body or mind and energy, Prana, is reduced producing inertia and dark moods. The body’s resistance to disease is weakened and consequently the whole being becomes inert, greedy and prevents one from seeing the spiritual truths.
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.