Yoga Philosophy: The Gunas – Sattva Peace/Purity

As in all of life, yoga loves to categorize life in order to make sense of our everyday experience and to give us things to work towards. In our pursuit of peace, this month we take a look at Sattva, one of the gunas described in Chapter 14 in the Bhagavad Gita.

Gunas, of which there are three, are the primary qualities of nature. This month we are spending our time with Sattva, as we are exploring peace. In the coming months we will get into Rajas and Tamas, and how we bring these qualities into balance. These three guns are present in all things in the world, and we are trying to bring ourselves to a more harmonious state.

The concept of the Gunas dates back to the Upanishads, and some scholars state even earlier texts contain reference to the Gunas in reference to the Gods or Goddesses to whom they relate.

The term Sattva not only relates to peace and purity, it also encompasses balance, harmony, construction, positivism and virtue. We have this quality within us at all times. The question in yogic philosophy is the proportions of Sattva. There is a believe that no one can be completely Sattvic. The questions is how can we work to create more balance and peacefulness especially in a time of hustle and bustle.

Sattva is a beautiful place to be, though when it comes out of balance it cannot take action to move into a more balanced state, as odd as that may sound. Tamas and Rajas are required to move our Peace back into balance, to take that action upon the balance. These proportions change throughout our lives, sometimes more rapidly than others.

Next week we will move through a compassion meditation to work on our own sense of Sattva and settling into the space that is innate within us. 🙂