Definition - What does Rajas mean?

Rajas is a Sanskrit word meaning "passion" and is one of the three basic gunas at the core of Hindu philosophy and psychology. Yogic texts consider the three gunas - tamas, rajas and sattva - to be the basic qualities of nature. Tamas means "darkness" and sattva means "purity."

The three gunas are present in every individual, but vary in degree. Yogic practices help to equalize these gunas, thereby promoting a balanced body and state of mind.

Yogapedia explains Rajas

According to the Hindu creator god, Brahma, the three gunas depend on each other, support each other and cannot be without each other.

Rajas is associated with energy, excitement and birth. It is the quality of action, which is driven toward achieving a goal. Although rajas is commonly translated to mean "passion," if unbalanced by the other gunas, it may cause conflict.

In those with dominant rajas, the tendency to remain active is compulsive. They are quick to find fault in others and slow to forgive. This quality leads to distress as they unwittingly generate a hostile energy around themselves. The overly enthusiastic and energetic rajas-dominant person may also lean toward greed and selfishness.

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