In the Sattva-Guna of several Hindu philosophical schools, in the yoga system, the idea of Svabhava (behavior) is used to explain a person’s personality. It is said that our actions are a fundamental quality of the soul because they determine all our karma. This makes them the basis of our dharma (moral duties). This type of behavior is known as one of the three Gunas in yoga terminology.
Do you remember a time when you are filled with happiness, stability, and wholeness? This feeling of satiety actually stems from Sattva-Guna, which dominates within us during a specific period only.
What is Sattva- Guna?
tatra sattvaṁ nirmalatvāt prakāśhakam anāmayam
sukha-saṅgena badhnāti jñāna-saṅgena chānagha – Bhagavad Gita [Chapter 14 verse 6]
“Among these, Sattva-Guna, the mode of goodness, is enlightening and full of well-being since it is purer than the others. O innocent one, it ties the soul together by fostering a connection to a sense of joy and wisdom.
Lord Krishna explains Sattva-Guna to his student Arjuna in the above stanza when they are engaged in combat.
In reality, Sattva-Guna is a balance between overactivity and inactivity. One of the three existence modes or attributes. The Sattva-Guna is the purest and most harmonious of the four Gunas.
This concept was developed by the Samkhya [efn_note] what is Samkhya https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samkhya [/efn_note] school of Hindu philosophy. Sattva takes you to the Dharma (right way of living) and Gyan (knowledge)
Meaning & Interpretation
Sattva, which is Sanskrit for righteousness or purity, and Guna, which is Sanskrit for quality or attribute. Therefore, it refers to goodness as a quality.
Sattva-Guna represents the color white, which is the color of peace.
Goodness, selflessness, truth, knowledge, peace, harmony, creativity, and optimism are all characteristics of sattva. It is a quality of leading a tranquil and purposeful lifestyle.
What Changes Happen When Sattva-Guna Increases?
Increases in the Sattva-Guna have a variety of beneficial impacts on the physical, spiritual, and mental levels. These alterations occur when the Sattva is in charge.
- When someone wants to do good, they start to care about everyone.
- The individual becomes upbeat, joyful, and grateful. Additionally, he or she develops restraint, kindness, and nonviolent behavior.
- The wisdom of the sattva quality infuses the individual. Additionally, it instills a sense of maturity in him or her.
- The individual distinguishes between good and poor, devoted and non-devoted behavior with ease.
- The person does his or her job honestly and with good intent. Additionally, it gave the person a sense of comprehension of the action they were about to take.
- The individual reveres and devotes themselves to spiritual and divine principles.
- He or she develops spiritual feelings and internal purity.
- Positive features of each balanced Ayurvedic Dosha are brought forth.
Does Sattva-Guna Bring Limitations to You?
Although the Sattva-Guna significantly improves a person’s life, it also places some restrictions on it. It envelops the individual in an attachment to joy and wisdom.
We become kind and courteous because of the Sattva-Guna. Others frequently abuse this trait of yours. People frequently take advantage of the goodness and kindness of others.
So, these are the changes and limitations, which are apparent, when you have dominant Sattva Guna [efn_note] Concept of personalities from the Indian perspective https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3830173/ [/efn_note].
Types of Sattva-guna
There are seven distinct Sattva-Guna. We can identify people’s sattvic personalities based on these 7 sorts.
1. Brahma Sattva (Sharing the Traits of Bramha)
Pure, emotionally secure, self-controlled, faithful to their words, sober, and clever people have Brahma-type personalities. These are also far from feelings of rage, disgust, objective goals, and envy.
2. Arsa Sattva (Sharing the traits of Rishis)
Types of Arsa are deeply committed to vows, studies, and sacred rites. These are typically creative and intelligent. These also don’t have any ego, pride, animosity, envy, or rage. Rishi Sattva is another name for this kind of Sattva.
3. Aindra Sattva (Sharing the Traits of Indra)
Aindra Sattva is characterized by courage, power, authoritative speaking, adherence to moral behavior, and prosperity. These are devoid of bad deeds. Instead, these are assured and self-satisfied.
4. Yamya Sattva (Sharing the Traits of Yama)
People who are of the Yamya Sattva type are forceful, eager to act, and have good memories. They are also devoid of ignorance, attachment, enmity, and envy.
5. Varuna Sattva (Sharing Traits of Varuna – God of Water)
Varuna types enjoy water sports and are brave, patient, pure, and clean. These are far from slobber and rage. These are also conservative and sober.
6. Kauvera Sattva (Sharing the Traits of Kuvera – God of Wealth)
The Kauvera personality type values self-respect, honor, and pleasure. These are also wealthy, outgoing, and occasionally irritable.
7. Gandharva Sattva (Sharing Traits of Celestial Nymph Gandharva)
The Gandharva Sattva-Guna people enjoy poetry, epics, dance, and singing. They enjoy passions, garlands, and smells. They are also friendly and cooperative.
How to Increase Sattva-Guna?
In order to achieve a state of mind where the mind is calm, quiet, and tranquil, one must increase their sattva guna. You may change your old, bad behaviors and replace them with new ones by increasing your guna.
Here’s how you can raise your Sattva-Guna by implementing the suggestions below.
1. Eat Healthy Sattvic Food
We are highly aware of the fact that eating has effects on more than just our physical health.
We are significantly more likely to become hostile if we consume a lot of spicy or assertive food. It is a trait of the Rajasic personality. Similar to substantial meals like meat, using alcohol or using drugs in any way dulls and slows down our thinking. These characteristics characterize the tamasic guna people.
On the other hand, eating light, comforting food makes us feel peaceful and relaxed. So it’s vital to eat sattvic food in order to increase sattva guna.
A sattvic diet includes both nutritious food and good eating practices. A sattvic diet consists of:
- Clean, pure, healthy, and nutritious food.
- It comprises food that makes you feel as though you are eating only the best. For instance, fruits, vegetables, grains, or food that you can bring to God.
- To improve digestion, include digestive herbs like ginger, cardamom, etc. in your diet.
Sattvic food always obeys the rule of Ahimsa or non-harming. Ahimsa means in the source of your food, there shouldn’t be included harming any living being. So, try to stay away from non-vegetarian food.
2. Maintain Proper Hygiene
Maintaining a clean environment and keeping yourself clean will help to increase the Sattva guna. Our surroundings greatly influence the vibes we experience. You feel good when you and your surroundings are clean.
So always practice good hygiene, wear clean clothes, and maintain a tidy environment.
3. Make Sure to Balance Between Work & Leisure
Being a workaholic indicates that you are a rajasic person. On the other hand, a tamasic individual is characterized by their sluggishness. Sattvic state refers to the equilibrium between these two states.
Your conduct is greatly influenced by your senses. Whatever you read, hear, or see has a significant impact on your thoughts and actions. Every time you hear, see or read something violent, it makes you a little more aggressive.
Therefore, choose entertainment that promotes laughter, love, and serenity in the heart rather than viewing scary or violent TV shows, engaging in violent games, or reading tough books. You can add this to your Sattva Guna.
4. Your Company Matters
Never forget to pay attention to the individuals you are interacting with. It greatly depends on how you act. You can be lifted by the presence of positive people, but you can be brought low by the company of negative people.
Therefore, it is necessary to break up whenever you feel like your workplace is preventing you from growing and making you aggressive. Spend your time with someone who values peace and creativity instead.
If at all feasible, it is preferable to interact with someone who possesses Sattva-Guna. You’ll be able to develop your Sattva Guna more as a result.
5. Avoid Night Work and Rise Early
A fantastic practice that will keep you lovely and tranquil every day is getting up early. You must go to bed early in order to wake up early. We are not designed to work through the night at first. So, sleep early and rise early to maintain the balance.
Satguru says [efn_note] Brahma Muhurta Time https://isha.sadhguru.org/in/en/wisdom/article/brahma-muhurta-time-to-create-yourself [/efn_note] Brahma Muhurta is the best time to wake up, as certain physiological changes happen in the human system at this time. According to him, it lies between 3:30 Am to 6:00 Am, depending upon the Sunrise.
Brahma Muhurta is the time before one and a half hours of sunrise and ends 48 minutes after the sunrise [efn_note] Brahma Muhurata https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmamuhurtha [/efn_note]. Waking at this time brings a big change in your behavior. It stabilizes your mood and keeps you calm. This will gradually increase your Sattva-Guna.
These are the changes you can make to your regular routine to develop your Sattva-Guna. Let’s now discuss certain habits you can adopt that will undoubtedly aid in the development of Sattva-Guna.
6. Spend time with Nature
In the Srimad Bhagavatam, Lord Shri Krishna says,
Vanaṁ tu sāttviko vāso”
“Residence in the forest is in the Sattva.” – [Srimad Bhagavatam 11.25.25 Ist line]
But in the current scenario, it is next to impossible to live in the forest. Nevertheless, with this statement, he is not telling us to move to the forests, though is trying to say that spending time with nature gradually increases Sattva- Guna.
Rajas and Tamas Gunas are brought by a life distant from nature.
We are removed from the flurry of technology when we spend time with mother nature. Your awareness of your self-consciousness is aided by this.
In order to soothe and feed your astral body, take a break from your everyday schedule and spend some time in nature. This will strengthen your Sattva Guna.
When consciousness becomes clear and the senses are detached from matter, one experiences fearlessness within the material body and detachment from the material mind. You should understand this situation to be the power of the Sattva Guna (mode of goodness), in which one has the opportunity to realize Me (Lord Shri Krishna).”- [Srimad Bhagavatam 11.25.16]
Meditation brings a sense of detachment from the materialistic world. This clears our consciousness. Whenever you meditate, you are, away from all the illusions of the physical world, and close to your true self. This helps you to clear your mind and feel the consciousness of Chitta.
So, add meditation to your daily routine. You can include, Yoga Asanas, Pranayama, Yoga Mudras, and other yoga exercises in your daily routine. These will help you to meditate and deepen your consciousness. Consequently, it will increase your Sattva Guna.
8. Practice Bhakti Yoga
In the Srimad Bhagavatam, Lord Shri Krishna states,
mad-arpaṇaṁ niṣphalaṁ vā sāttvikaṁ nija-karma tat”
Without taking into account the fruit, work done as a gift to Me (Lord Sri Krishna) is regarded as belonging to the sattva guna. (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.25) .23]
Practicing Bhakti Yoga brings devotion and spirituality within us. This makes us calm and peace-minded. Bhakti Yoga is a divine offering to the supreme/ultimate soul with any desire for the result. Moreover, this raises your consciousness to an extreme level.
So, performing Bhakti Yoga promotes Sattva Guna within you.
According to Samakya School, no one is purely Sattvic. Everyone poses at least one characteristic of Rajas or Tamas Guna. One’s behavior is the mixture of all these Gunas. The thing is all about dominance. The Guna which is dominant within you, tells your behavior.
No one was born with dominant Sattva, Rajas, or Tamas Guna. These are the activities we do, that made us Sattva, Rajas, or Tamas. Hence, by changing and improving these activities, you can gain the dominance of Sattva.