Triguna Prakriti Principle And Applications


In this scenario, the necessity of the hour is to build up a theory of personality that transcends this issue of ethnic and racial bias to propound the one which is valid across the world. For this, the basic requirement is the fact it should be universally suitable, be of an elemental mother nature, and become valid to the people across all genres. To comprehend this, the first source of knowledge that involves mind to take on the problem at hand is that of the Indian philosophical systems which may have withstood the test of time to be relevant across millennia without sacrificing their relevance and applicability to folks from ages to the present day. In today's newspaper a Triguna point of view of personality has been explored and an attempt has also been made to understand the dynamics of Gunas that is Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. The Gunas inherited by a person are prone to change scheduled to physical, psychological and social affects and the behavior of an individual, both overt and covert is determined by the prakriti (Personality) operating in those days. As prakriti governs the conception, cognition, inspiration and values of a person, it also affects well-being. The authors feel that empirical research in this field could go a long way in creating a complete theory of personality, that could help in understanding the connection between personality and behaviour in the Indian context.


With the increasing realization that lots of of the western psychological concepts and methods lack relevance to different ethnic systems, the need for expanding indigenous psychologies was regarded all over the world. The word "Trigunas" comprises two words Tri + Guna. Tri means three, and Gunas means, a state of mind, features, and attitudes. Attitudes are basically qualities, shades, or vibration and are located in everything; especially in the Individual, thus, trigunas can determine the three characteristics (Bhagavad-Gita Ch. 14. 5; Raja, 1963) which determine people's aspect, belief and understanding. Ayurveda has used Prakriti to denote personality (Dwivedi, 2002). Prakriti originates from two Sanskrit roots, "Pra" means the beginning, commencement and way to obtain source and "Kruthi" means to perform or to form. Therefore, this means 'the primary creation' or otherwise this interesting phrase can also indicate, "to come forth into creation. " It symbolizes how one in the beginning makes life form and further deviations take place (Singh, 2001). The Prakriti remains unchanged during the course of one's lifetime and is genetically motivated.

"The theoretical expositions on Triguna and their manifestations in individual nature have enticed the interest of Indian psychologists. The idea has been examined theoretically (Supervisor, 1966; Mishra, 2001; Parameswaran, 1969; Rao, 1962, 1979) and empirically (Kapur et al. , 1997; Marutham, Balodhi and Misra, 1998; Mathew, 2004; Mohan and Sandhu, 1986, 1988; Pathak, Bhatt and Sharma, 1992; Rao and Harigopal, 1979; Sebastian and Mathew, 2002; Sharma, 1999; Singh, 1972; Sitamma, Sridevi and P. V. K. Rao, 1995; Uma, Lakshmi and Parameshwaran, 1971; Wolf, 2000)"(Murthy, Kumar, 2007). Up to now, what is not explored is the analysis of "Tridoshas", empirically from the domains of psychology.

Swethaswathara Upanishad pertains for the first time to the three important qualities of subject. An elaboration of this theory is situated in Bhagavad Gita. In Bhagaad Gita the triguna notion is explained as follows: "The three settings "gunas" goodness (sattva), passion (rajas) and dullness (tamas) created of nature (prakriti) bind down in the torso O Mighty armed (Arjuna), the imperishable dweller in the torso" (Bhagavad Gita Ch. 14. 5). Sattva sustains the stability of the universe, rajas accounts for its origins and the creative motion and tamas accounts for its dissolution, the tendency of the items to decay and expire (RadhaKrishnan, 1976). The later scholars have used it either, in its original form or with ideal modifications of the traditional Guna theory, namely Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Ancient Indian thought, specifically Sankhya Yoga, details Gunas in every nature in terms of Tamas, (Inertia), Rajas (Activation) and Sattva (Steadiness). Constitutional characteristics or inborn tendencies or characteristics are categorized in Ayurveda into three categories called Trigunas. The constitutional factors leading to emotions are anticipated to Rajoguna. The constitutional factors leading to inertia are anticipated to Tamoguna. The constitutional factors resulting in equilibrium or harmony are scheduled to Sattvaguna. Mathew (2004) justified a holistic level single factor of personality namely Steadiness. However, a standard standard factor of personality in terms of Instability-Stability does not preclude the probability of more detailed measurement at lower levels. For instance, at the next level, Instability can be assessed in conditions of inertia (I) and activation (A).

In India, the Samkhya idea dates back to 3000 BC (Das Gupta, 1937). It is regarded as one of the six main colleges (darsana) of orthodox Hindu thought. A central theoretical proposition of the Samkhya system of Indian beliefs is the composition of personality, which is based on the three Gunas. In Ayurvedic system of drugs, it is considered a living system is constructed of Panch-mahabuta, in the form of - Pitta- Vatta- Kapha at the physical level and Sattva-Rajas-Tamas at the mental level. This covers the psychosomatic constitutions and is commonly known as the Tridoshas theory (Tripathi, 2000). The three gunas -sattva, rajas, and tamas-are found in characteristics and in your brain, paralleling the three doshas of body. Actually, if one goes through the list of qualities of varied prakritis, one detects a mixture of both physical and mental characteristics. There is absolutely no watertight classification at a purely mental or a solely physical level. However, aside from the mental aspects of vatta-pitta-kapha prakrities, addititionally there is classification of personalities founded strictly on mental features, into three types as- sattvic, rajasic and tamasic prakrities.

Sattva Guna: - The word Sattva is derived from 'sat' or whatever is real or existent. 'Sat' does mean perfection and for that reason, sattva aspect is that which produces goodness and pleasure (Radhakrishnan, 1941). Sattva is the angelic human being, the facet of the subtlest primordial subject (Prakriti) that was nature of life, light, lighting, sentience, harmony, truthful, self handled, virtuous, kind, forgiving, righteous, psychologically and physically clean, clever, theist, studious, genuine, unperturbed by sorrows and enjoyment, free from desire, enthusiasm and angers, dignified, handsome and lively, or secure. Sattvic folks are usually noble and religious in identity.

Ayurveda recognizes 16 types of personality based on the Guna theory. Charak and Sushuta Samhitas give a description of these types: seven types derive from Sattva (Brahma, Arsa, Aindra, Yamya, Varuna, Kabera, Gandharva) six on Rajas (Asura, Raksasa, Paisala, Sarpa, Parity, Sakuna) and three on Tamas, (Pasava, Matya, Banaspatya). Each one of these sixteen personality types is indie and they shouldn't be puzzled with the factors explicated by Cattell (1966) or others. Seven types are based on sattva guna and these subtypes receive below using their characteristics.

Brahma :

Free from interest, anger, greed, ignorance or jealousy, having knowledge and the energy of discrimination.

Arsa :

Excellent storage area, purity, love and self -control, excellent intellectual mindset, free from pride, ego, ignorance, greed or anger. Having the energy of understanding and retention.

Aindra :

Devotion to sacred catalogs, research rituals and oblations. Devotion to virtuous serves, way- sightedness and courage. Authoritative habit and speech. Able to perform sacred rituals.

Yamya :

Free from mean and conflicting dreams and works. Having effort, excellent recollection and leadership. Clear of psychological binds, hatred, ignorance and envy. The capacity for well-timed action.

Varuna :

Free from mean functions. Exhibition of emotion in proper place. Observance of religious rights.

Kabera :

Courage, patience, and hatred of impure thoughts. Liking for virtuous functions and purity. Pleasure in entertainment.


Possession of wealth, attendants and luxuries. Expertise in poetry, tales and epics. Fondness for dancing performing and music. Can take pleasure in perfumes, garlands and flowers. Full of passion.

It is the religious stage of advancement of man which is reached by growing from the dreary inertia and subjection to ignorance (tamas), through the struggle for material enjoyments (rajas), by going after knowledge and wisdom (sattva). It beckons to man to evolve from his basic nature to the spiritual or sattvic, to be able to ultimately, transcend into the realm of light and bliss of "widest self-existence, spontaneous self-knowledge, personal universal individuality, deepest self-interchange" (Aurobindo, 1980).

Rajas Guna: - Rajsic is earthen individuals, the facet of Prakriti, which includes the nature of activity, movement, energy, valiant, cruel, authoritarian, terrifying, courageous when angry but timid when peaceful, unkind, indulged in home adulation, envious impulsive, cowardly, gluttonous, motion, or changing and also have excessive desires (Rangacharya, 1989). Rajas is the theory of action. Samkhya accounts for the causation of the universe on the basis of this guna of movement. Sattva and tamas gunas in themselves are immobile. These are rendered active because of the energizing impact of rajas. "All work comes from rajas, the rule of energy, which overcomes the resistance of matter and materials even brains with the energy which is required because of its own work of mindful regulation and adaptation" (Seal, 1915). Rajas may be studied as the motivating pressure seeking, propelled by desire and impulsion. Pursuing Six subtypes derive from rajas guna.

Asura :

Indulgence in self-praise, bravery, cruelty, envy and ruthlessness. Terrifying appearance.

Raksasa :

Excessive rest and indolence. Envious disposition. Continuous anger, intolerance, and cruel behaviour. Gluttonous behaviors.

Paisala :

Unclean behaviors. Cowardly, with a terrifying disposition. Gluttonous practices. Fondness for the opposite sex. Excessive diet and routine.

Sarpa :

Sharp reactions. Unnecessary indolance. Repeated fearful dispositions. Daring or cowardly attitude depending on situations.

Praita :

Excessive desire for food. Envious personality. Unnecessary greediness and actions without discrimination.

Sakuna :

Full of enthusiasm. Unsteadiness, ruthlessness, and increased frame of mind for food.

It follows from above that rajas is a synonym for ability to move. Its very nature is action and movement. Rajas produce inordinate wants, affections, lust, general attachment either to individuals or things and a quickening of activity to perform personal ambition. Preponderance of rajas, is mentioned by a growth of greed, selfish activity, undertaking of ambitious ideas and sensuous pleasures. "The rajasic switch of natural leads away from the common potentiality and precipitates towards an exaggeration in our bondage to the ego" (Aurobindo, 1980).

Tamas Guna: - Tamas, which virtually means darkness, is the basic principle of inertia. It resists activity and produces indifference ignorance, confusion; passivity and negativity are its results. It really is heavy and enveloping and as such is against sattva. Additionally it is against rajas, for this arrests activity. Tamas answers to the negative non-being identifies the genuine, static setting of a thing which it aims to defeat by the principle of energy, rajas, to attain its ideal talk about, the sattvic (RadhaKrishnan, 1941). Tamasic is the animal, facet of Prakriti, which includes the nature of darkness, dullness, heaviness, insentience, nonintellectual, unwise, somnolent, timid, disgusting behavior and dietary behaviors, forbidding disposition, obstructing and veiling. Regarding to Eashwaran (1997), Tamasic neither gets upset nor gets greedy nor will he love. It is not because he's forgiving or is detached but because of his feeble desires and he has a 'who cares for' attitude. Tamasic individuals are the most down to earth; concerned about important questions of practical existence, in particular when faced with more spiritual and less physical issues. Tamas is the foundation of all insufficient sense, dullness, ruthlessness insensible and inertia. It triggers mental gloom ignorance, error and illusion. Around the human being level, tamas is made manifest in the dull stupidity of the more self-centered and self-satisfied- those who acquiesce in whatever happens as long as their personal slumber, safety or interest are not disturbed, (Zimmer, 1953). Three types based on tamas guna are

Pasava :

Lack of intelligence, forbidding dispositions, envious character. Excessive erotic indulgence and sleeping.

Matsya :

Unsteadiness, constant interest, and cowardice. Unnecessary desire for drinking water intake.


Indolence. High indulgence in food. Deficiency of intellectual faculties.

It uses from the above accounts of the qualities of the tamas guna that, this guna identifies the abysmal darkness of ignorance which renders man a slave to the onslaughts of the demon. It veils the luminosity of sattva thereby directing rajas, the basic principle of action, to appease the baser instincts, thereby imprisoning someone to the cheapest rungs of advancement.

Sattva, Rajas and Tamas: The Total Personality

While all people have mixed levels of the three, the predominant guna can determine a person's mansa prakriti. In equilibrium, the three gunas preserve the mind (and indirectly the body), preserving it in a healthy state. Any disruption in this equilibrium may results in various types of mental disorders (Rastogi, 2005). With the microcosmic level, the three gunas manifest themselves at different degrees of consciousness. The evolutionary scale is representative of different organizations of three gunas, with one guna being predominant, overshadowing the rest of the two. It is this predominance which characterizes an object- something being good, bad or indifferent; something being clean, impure or neutral (Sastri, 1994).

"Prakriti is specific for every single individual. It is said to be motivated at the time of conception (in modern conditions, by the recombination of zygotic DNA from sperm and ovum) and remains unaltered over the individual's lifetime. Prakriti specific treatment, including prescription of medications, diet, and lifestyle, is a distinctive feature of Ayurveda. It offers hypothesize that Prakriti has a hereditary connotation that may provide a tool for classifying the human population based on extensive phenotype clusters" (Patwardhan, Joshi and Chopra, 2005).

The three Gunas-Sattva, Rajas and Tamas-also promote different types of temperament based on the dominance of 1 or the other Gunas. The nature of a person can be discerned based on the "mode of worship, the type of food consumed and alternative activities of day-to-day life" ( Krishnan, 2002).

"The three Gunas comprise the magnetic field for the heart. One Guna usually predominates and polarizes our brain and life according to its features. Souls become Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamasic in characteristics. However, in the ordinary, unrefined field of individuals dynamics, one Guna seldom prevails. After a period the other Gunas must assert themselves. Only a uncommon human being may become so totally dominated by one Guna that the other Gunas lose their ability. Such extreme types are the hardened unlawful or complete Tamasic type, the excellent achiever or complete Rajasic type, and the selfless saint or complete Sattvic type, but even these kinds can have their admixtures of the other Gunas. Both Ayurveda and yoga seek to reduce the low Gunas of Rajas and Tamas. They are simply factors of mental and physical disease which Ayurveda addresses and the religious ignorance that yoga seeks to dispel" ( Frawley, 2004).

No personality is specifically Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamsic (Singh, 1972). The predominance of 1 Guna and the degree of predominant will be the determinants of the individual's behavior (Rastogi, 2005). When Sattva is dominating within the other two, purity, wisdom, love of knowledge, spiritual excellence and existence of other such features occurs. Dominance of Rajas suggests activity and shows the rise of passions, feelings and wants (Rastogi, 2005). When Tamas predominates over the other two, it contributes to ignorance, idleness, errors in cognition and delusions.

In words of Aurobindo (1980), "all men have in them in whatever degree the rajasic impulse of desire and activity and the sattvic boon of light and joy, some balance, some adjustment of head to itself and its own surroundings and things, and everything have their show of tamasic incapacity and ignorance". Folks are delivered with certain personality habits that slowly but surely change as a result of relationship with the environment. Environmental factors can be broadly divided into physical, sociable and mental health.

Physical Factors: In places, which are too wintry, people develop the habit of effort to create body heat. Therefore, people at such places develop activation. In places with a average climate, people have a tendency to develop a Steady nature (Mathew, 2004).

Too little exercise produces inertia and too much exertion causes activation while average exercise is necessary for stability. Food is an essential aspect that establishes the alertness and sloth, the get worried and sooth, the lighting and dullness. The scriptures classify food as Sattvic, Rajsic and Tamsic and connect these three types to the three mental modes (Gunas) of the same labels. Moderate food is the foremost remedies to avoid bodily health conditions and ones should not rush to the hospital for each little upset.

Social Factors: It is hypothesized that too small a inhabitants density tends to stimulate inertia, overcrowding produces activation and an perfect size promotes balance. Poverty certainly induces inertia, and affluence induces activation, while the middle income is associated with stableness. Totalitarian Socialistic habits of contemporary society have been seen to build inertia, capitalism to cause activation. The utilization money for altruistic purposes appears to be the most conducive for stability.

Psychological Factors: Matching the basic principle of imitation, mind absorbs the features of those with whom one associates because mental attributes are contagious. Thus people should combine with others with a great deal of stability (Sattva). The personality of children gets shaped good personality of parents. The psychic field, which advances when people interact, is determined basically by the personality of folks involved and and then a lesser extent by the grade of their discussion.

Parents who reject children and parents who are oppressive induce Tamas in children. Parents who are punitive and encourage competition promote activation (Rajas) and democratic acceptance induces self-respect and stability (Sattva) in children. A person's personality gets molded according to the dynamics of interrelations with other people at home and outside.

Triguna Prakriti (Personality) and Action: - An individual's action, both at the overt as well covert (mental procedures) level is determined by the personality operating (manifestation of the three Gunas) at that point of energy. Behavior of Tamsic people is principally influenced by practices while, highly Rajsic are aggressive, adventurous and risk taking, consequently which they take effort and interact with all types of persons for a various purposes. On the other hand Sattvic have awareness of the result of interactions with different people in several situations and their sociable control is afflicted by tradition and current group norms. Highly Tamsic are highly reliant on the group. They crave attention and acceptance by others. Sattvic tend to be democratic steady and cooperative and react naturally. Some of the applications are as have been discussed below in brief.

Motivation and Feelings: The highly Sattvic person shows no great fear. His main sentiment is selfless love, self-sufficient and shows meta-motivation. Daftuar and Sharma (1997) conducted a study and the results show that Sattva works at "self applied actualization" level, Rajas as esteem while Tamas of them costing only the "basic needs" level. Following hierarchical order, Sattva and Rajas show negative correlation with lower order needs. Absence of lower needs with their excellent goal i. e. "self actualization" for Sattvic and esteem needs "for Rajas. Tamas works only at rewarding basic needs. He is not encouraged to any higher degrees of motivation as mentioned by significant negative correlations with higher order needs.

Cognition: The concept of Gunas is evenly relevant to cognitive characteristics (Das, 1955). A person with a Sattvic lifestyle will provide an abstract memory, reasonable and appropriate understanding and successful and abstract thinking. A person in whom the Rajas Guna predominates will have a concrete memory space, ego involve perceptions, spread thinking and creativeness. On the other hand a Tamsic person could have loss-distorted notion and lost thinking.

It is generally organised that Sattva at the amount of the cognition is ideal knowledge, Rajas is clouded intellect and Tamas is ignorance (Das, 1955). A Sattvic person has a completely developed awareness resulting in very clear perception based on direct factual knowledge. On the other hand the person high on Tamas is temperamentally unstable, his cognitive functions are disturbed and he misperceives frequently (Singh, 1971).

Learning: Regardless of Guna, all individuals learn by contiguity. However, high Rajsic mainly discovered by instrumental learning. High Sattvic folks have the highest degree of consciousness and control and the P (postponement) factor of brains associated with vicarious trail and error. They may be most with the capacity of cognitive learning single trial learning, or learning by perception. On the other hand Tamsic learn by only contiguity.

Intelligence: High Tamsic have least intellect and imagination. Rajsic have very good functional intelligence and average creativity; quickly solve sociable and useful problems. They can be good in science and technology. Highly Sattvic folks have high overall flexibility, highly creative and are intuitive. They have got creative and philosophical creativeness. In term of competitiveness, Tamas have low degree of competitiveness and desire, Rajasic have modest level of capacity and the person has enough self-confidence to compete and Sattvic have highest-level capacity and show self-sufficiency.

Morality and Faith: Sattvic have strong, Rajsic have variable and Tamsic have weakened will power. The primary Tamas value is conformity to group norms and sensuous pleasures. Power and money are respected in Rajas societies. Conformity is considered normal in Sattvic societies, competitiveness is normal in Rajsic societies and selfless creativeness is normal in Sattvic societies.

Health and Well-being: -When an individual encounters stress, which cannot be managed through normal means, one tends to breakdown. Surplus energies of unfinished or interrupted sequences and cumulative pressure caused by immediate pressures seek outlets good personality structure of the individual. Imbalances and incongruities in development or progress (for example, some aspects promoting Sattva while some promoting Tamas or Rajas) also create distress. These can also be thought to be arrest of the overall series of personal progress. People with a high degree of Tamas have recourse to hysterical mechanisms. They can easily forget unpleasant occurrences, and act like different persons in various situations to flee sense guilty. Such types of defenses aren't available to people who have Rajas and certainly not for highly Sattvic as they have more recognition and integration. Manic type defenses are quality of Rajas type persons while such defenses are not available to people who have highly Sattvic who have more moral sense and self-awareness. Sattvic often converts tense situations into growth-promoting activities because of their stress tolerance and capacities for adjustment (Mathew, 2004).

Research conducted by Kaur and Sinha (1992), Daftuar and Anjali (1997), Sharma (1999) also have empirically exhibited the effectiveness of Triguna in the area of work life. In a report, Zaidi and Singh (2001) have explored direct and stress moderating effects of positive life occurrences and Triguna on internal wellness. The findings of the analysis obtained significant effect of Sattva and Rajas gunas on depression, the former showing low depression and latter leading to high depression. Further the moderating role of most three gunas was found in the relationship between negative life situations and depression. High Sattva, low Rajas and high Tamas groupings reported higher psychological physical condition. In another analysis conducted by Rastogi (2004) an attempt was made to seek gender and time differences in Triguna and also to relate it to seven constructs of mental health health. These seven constructs included self-acceptance, positive relations with others, autonomy, environmental mastery, goal in life satisfaction with life and personal progress. The results show gender and get older wise significant variations in only Rajas where in fact the interactive aftereffect of the two parameters has also surfaced to be significant. A report conducted by Jain in 2008, and the results of the study shows that sattva component of triguna prakriti is positive and significantly correlated with mental and spiritual health. Rajas element of triguna prakriti is not significantly correlated with satisfaction with life. It implies that Rajsics overall subjective well-being is not very good. Rajas guna and religious health are significantly and negatively correlated with one another. Tamas element is significantly and adversely correlated with both mental and religious health. Spiritual Health is significantly and favorably correlated with sattva but negatively with rajas and tamas. It means that rajsic have poor subjective well-being and shortage spiritual health insurance and tamsic are not found content with their life and don't have satisfactory religious health. Females are a lot more healthy then men. Males are maintaining better balance in their goals and success then females and having better religious health. Pure Sattvic people are experiencing average weight, good Mental and Religious Health. Which means that if Sattvic inclination increases in a single, automatically reduce Rajsic and Tamsic tendencies and vice-versa.

Thus, it is obvious that psychopathology or well-being is the culmination of the impact of Gunas as they interact with the environmental stresses experienced by the average person. The Triguna perspective provides a very thorough and holistic point of view, which would go quite a distance in creating a concrete indigenous subconscious theory for understanding human being behavior. "It is the Sattva Guna that is responsible for preparing your brain to create positive thought waves. Sattva Guna tries to bring a balance between the Rajo and Tamo manasika Dosha (Rao, 2003).

Though there may be some amount of work that is done in neuro-scientific Ayurveda by experts to determine the technological validity of the Tridoshas, there is a possibility and a need to empirically test and validate it from the area of psychology. This might also lead to an improved categorizing of men and women predicated on the Trigunas, where people know their inherent psychological constitution, methods of behavior and carry out, which would help them to comprehend themselves better, leading to better modification in both personal and professional lives. The ripple effect of this would be to choose the best people fitted to a specific field of enquiry/work, wherein people are satisfied in their chosen professions, supplying rise to a far more harmonious world.

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