Definition - What does Guna mean?
A guna is an attribute of nature, according to Hindu philosophy. In Hinduism, there are three gunas that have always existed in the world in both all living and non-living things:
- Tamas (darkness, destructive, death)
- Rajas (energy, passion, birth)
- Sattva (goodness, purity, light)
In Sanskrit, the word, guna, can be translated in a variety of ways depending on the context. However, when referring to the three gunas of nature, guna means “string,” “quality,” or “virtue.”
By practicing yoga, it is believed that one can bring balance and harmony to the three gunas within oneself.
Yogapedia explains Guna
The three gunas are used to understand or interpret natural objects, beings or occurrences. For example, a large stone or a person with destructive tendencies is viewed as tamasic; a thunderstorm or naturally anxious person is thought to be rajasic; and a fresh orange or naturally peaceful individual is considered sattvic. If an individual feels the pull of one guna more than another, it is believed that, as humans, one has the ability to change its level through meditation, lifestyle choices and spiritual practices.