Definition - What does Manas Prakriti mean?
In Ayurveda, Manas Prakriti refers to a person's mental constitution, made up of a unique ratio of three Maha Gunas (universal qualities) in the mind; sattva (clarity and balance), rajas (passion and movement) and tamas (inertia and stagnation). Sattva is the original and true nature of the mind, but this gets affected by rajas and tamas throughout life.
Both Prakriti (physical constitution) and Manas Prakriti are determined at conception, but whilst Prakriti remains fixed throughout an individual's lifetime, Manas Prakriti is changeable and may develop over time. Since diet and lifestyle have the biggest impact on Manas Prakriti, mental disturbances are generally treated via nutrition, yoga and meditation.
Yogapedia explains Manas Prakriti
In Sanskrit, Manas can be defined as 'mind,' and Prakriti as 'constitution'. Manas Prakriti is essentially the current state of the mind, which is used in Ayurveda to determine a person's psychological state. Manas Prakriti is made up of the three Maha Gunas:
- Sattva - clarity, truth, balance, wisdom, focus.
- Rajas - action, passion, energy, movement.
- Tamas - inertia, laziness, stagnation, heaviness, sleep.
Unlike the doshas which make up the physical constitution Prakriti, there is no need to try and balance the Maha Gunas in order to treat mental disturbances. Sattva is always present, and the necessary ratio of Rajas and Tamas required for a balanced mental state largely depends on external variables, such as age, lifestyle and even time of day. For example, Rajas is important for driving activity during the daytime, but Tamas is vital in preparing for sleep.
Although it is natural to function within all three energies of the mind, health and wellness depend on the peaceful and harmonious state of sattva. A more sattvic Manas Prakriti can be developed through the practice of yoga, meditation and chanting, as well as through the consumption of sattvic foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and non-meat based proteins.