The Nature Of The Soul

In the Philosophy of yoga, all the matter in the universe has qualities. These qualities are known as the three gunas, and they refer to the nature of the soul. The three aspects are, Sattva (truth), Rajas (activity), and Tamas (darkness). All three gunas are always present in all beings and objects surrounding us but vary in their relative amounts.
For example, one might eat sattvic (light) food, rajasic (spicy) food, or tamasic (heavy) food, which will lead to a sattvic (clear) state of mind, rajasic (restless) state of mind, or a tamasic (lethargic) state of mind.
The three gunas attributes are tabulated below:

Raja Sattva Tamas
Activity Truth / Goodness destructive
Passion / desire Light / illumination Darkness
Energy Spiritual Essence Mass / heaviness 
Expansion Upward flow Downward flow
Movement harmony/ calmness Inactivity / dullness
Comes about by longing, craving and attachment. Comes about by means of acquiring knowledge and joy. Comes about by means of ignorance, delusion and obstruction.
Is the ruling trait when greed, excessive projects, cravings and restlessness arise. Is the ruling trait when the light of knowledge and pureness shine forth. Is the ruling trait when darkness, dullness, stagnation, confusion,manipulation and inertia appear.
We, as humans have the ability to consciously alter the levels of the gunas in both our body and mind. The three gunas cannot be separated or removed in oneself but can be consciously acted upon to encourage their increase or decrease. Proportion can be changed through the interaction and influence of external objects, lifestyle practices and thoughts. While the yogi’s ambition is to cultivate sattva, his ultimate goal is to transcend their misidentification of the self with the gunas and to be unattached to both the good and the bad, the positive and negative qualities of life.                                                                                                

“When one rises above the three gunas that originate in the body; one is freed from birth, old age, death, and their distresses and can enjoy the nectar even in this life” (Bhagavad Gita 14.20)

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