In my earlier blog about the Yoga Sutras I refer to prakriti and purusha, which is important to understand the trigunas and the tridoshas. Purusha is pure consciousness, so this is energy. It cannot manifest in maya (earthly matters) without prakriti which is nature or the physical world (sometimes referred to as ‘maya’). Prakriti cannot grow without the energy of the higher consciousness or purusha. They are in perfect balance like Shiva and Shakti, merged in Ardhanarishwara. Like our bodies existing of energy, solid and liquid matter.
The energy is consciousness, it is our soul, it is the higher energy or love and bliss. Without this life giving energy or prana our physical body cannot live. The three qualities of prakriti are the elements solid (vata), liquid (pita) and waste (kapha) which form the tridoshas. We have these elements inside of us as well, our bodies exist of vata, kapha and pita, some are more present than the others.
The trigunas are the qualities of purusha: Sattva (balanced), Rajas (overactive) and Tamas (underactive), which is the way how energy flows.
Everything has these three qualities, like our food, nature and even time. With healthy, pure, light and soft Sattvic food (like these beautiful tomatoes from my garden) the mind gets still. With unhealthy Rajasic and Tamasic food the mind gets restless and even worse; aggressive.
Persons can have these qualities as well:
1. Tamas: illusion, lazy, confused, possessive, dull and greedy.
2. Rajas: ambitious, restless, workaholic, self centred, achiever and aggressive.
3. Sattvic: Non violent, caring, content, kindred and meditative.
The Bhagavad Gita describes in detail what an austere and Sattvic person is and what you can do to become such a personality. In this era Kaliyuga, we all have the three qualities inside of us. When we are born with Sattvic qualities (due to good actions or dharma in previous lives) it is easier to reach moksha. This has to do with ones karma. Our goal in life it to become Sattvic or all loving to be able to merge with love or the Higher Energy and to become enlightened.
Our karma decides if this is possible in this life or maybe in the next to come. Therefor we have to overcome Tamasic and Rajasic qualities inside of us. This process is sustained by eating Sattvic food and do Sattvic actions like seva. Small actions into the right direction can have great effect.
This auspicious lifestyle is also called Raja Yoga in which one learns to control the mind with a good lifestyle and right actions. This makes the 4 paths of yoga (Jnana, karma, bhakti and raja) complete: Raja Yoga is the austere lifestyle including the 8 limbs of yoga to control the mind, jnana yoga for self reflection and self knowledge to pure the mind, karma yoga to purify the soul and bhakti yoga with devotion to a higher knowledge to merge with the higher energy of love.