The three gunas – Satva, Rajas and Tamas are the three essential components or energies of the mind. Ayurveda provides a distinct description of people on the basis of their Manasa(psychological) Prakriti (constitution). Genetically determined, these psychological characteristics are dependent on the relative dominance of the three gunas.
The psyche is of three types – Satva, Rajas and Tamas
While all individuals have mixed amounts of the three, the predominant guna determines an individual’s manasa prakriti. In equilibrium, the three gunas preserve the mind (and indirectly the body), maintaining it in a healthy state. Any disturbance in this equilibrium results in various types of mental disorders.
Satva characterized by lightness, consciousness, pleasure and clarity, is pure, free from disease and cannot be disturbed in any way. It activates the senses and is responsible for the perception of knowledge.
Rajas, the most active of the gunas, has motion and stimulation as its characteristics.All desires, wishes, ambitions and fickle-mindedness are a result of the same.
Tamas is characterized by heaviness and resistance.It produces disturbances in the process of perception and activities of the mind. Delusion, false knowledge, laziness, apathy, sleep and drowsiness are due to it.