The Gunas are three essential aspects of nature and considered the different energies within the universe having an effect on us and the matter around us.
Rajas: Movement, energy, enthusiasm and dynamism, but also agitation, anger, irritability and impatience; these are the things that represent ‘rajassic’ tendencies. We can recognize when Rajas is predominant when we feel unsettled or unable to be satiated, or when we find ourselves latching onto new projects, people or habits in order to change the way we feel.
Tamas: This type of energy is responsible for lethargy, fatigue, low mood levels, laziness, ignorance, heaviness and dullness. To feel ‘tamassic’ is considered the lowest form of energy, there is often an inability to distinguish between what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, and a person’s essence or prana (‘life force’) is at its lowest.
Sattva: Purity, contentment, indifference, clarity and harmony. Sattva is neither ‘bad’ or ‘good’ as it is the embodiment of non-attachment and serenity. Although one may feel somewhat ‘enlightened’ when in a sattvic state, this is not to be confused with Samadhi (realization or enlightenment) as this is still a state governed by the energies of the universe.