According to the Hindu sacred books, our bodies are made up of three kinds of energies, namely the Satva, Rajas And Tamas. The qualities that we possess depend on the proportion of these 3 elements in the body.
"Satva" refers to the element of purity and piousness. It relates with Godliness, and is constructive by nature. It aims at bringing harmony.
"Rajas" is the second Guna. It relates to passion and motion. It promotes activeness of the body. It aims at bringing action and results. Rajo Guna or Rajas keeps us attached to the materialistic world and its lures.
The third Guna is the "Tamas". Tamas relates to ignorance and darkness. It brings in negativity and bad qualities and prevents the person from achieving knowledge.
All the Gunas have a share in the human body. The more one Guna is there, the more related qualities a person will possess. Let us understand about them further.
The Three Gunas
Satva Guna renders the qualities of patience, tolerance, love and happiness. It blesses the person and brings awareness. These qualities match with those of a sage. And take the man towards self-awareness. Love, happiness, kindness, etc., all belong to the Satva Guna.
Rajo Guna bestows the qualities of action. These do not allow the man to sit idle and force him to work. These are the qualities of a king. The word Rajo Guna has been derived from the hindi word 'raja' or ruler. So, the man always strives to be the ruler and the controller of the surroundings. The Rajasik mind remembers the bad deeds of others and instructs the body to react in a similar way with the person. It therefore keeps the man entrapped in the cycle of desires and outcomes.
Rajo Guna bestows the 'sansarik' qualities, which are anger, lust, want, etc. It pushes the man towards the sensations. It has likes and dislikes as well. A Rajo Guni person makes use of the senses, and acts accordingly, running for his satisfaction.
The Tamas or the Tamo Guna brings the qualities of a demon. It brings cruelty, laziness, and ignorance. These qualities categorize a man in the lowest strata of humans and keep him under an illusion. He is the unaware one, and remains so if he stays under the control of his Tamasik qualities.
However, Satva Guna is the best among the three and is of the highest order. It increases a person's potential. It makes him fit to live in any and every situation.
Possessing the Satvik qualities does not at all mean the person becomes a hermit. In fact, while he knows the Satva, or the reality of the life and the world, he can strive towards the attainment of materialistic goals with a more aware mind. That is why it has been prescribed in the Holy Geeta as well. The importance of these qualities has been discussed in all the religions, including Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and others.
The Rajo Guni strives for the achievement of materialistic goals for his own inner pleasure. The Sato Guni, on the other hand, understands the need of the action and is not attached with the result just like the Rajo Guni is. His happiness is not affected by the outcome. He is in equilibrium.
This is what Krishna explains to Arjun in the Geeta, before the war between the Pandavas and the Kouravas. While Arjun is bound to take Rajsik actions of fighting for the throne and aiming for victory, he also knows that the bigger aim behind the war was the establishment of Dharma on the earth. Krishna tells him that he must see the war as a need and should not attach himself with the outcome. Fighting the war was a circumstance that he had to deal with, but one must not wait for the outcomes.
How Can We Possess The Satvik Qualities
So, to become a possessor of the Satvik qualities, one definitely does not always need to be a sage and renounce the world. We should refer to the ideals given by Lord Krishna and try to act accordingly, in order to achieve the best qualities of the universe, the Best Guna Satva Guna. While Tamasik Gunas are completely unhealthy and dangerous for the growth of the man and his spiritual intellect, Rajasik Gunas still have a tendency towards improvement and attainment of the Satvik nature.
While these qualities depend a lot upon the Zodiac that we are born under, they of course can be controlled and managed through Yoga and spirituality. Yoga and spirituality do this by teaching us the ways to control our thought processes. These ways might be physical, including the eating habits, the time we wake up, etc., or they may be mental, such as through meditation. Practices that awake the Satvik qualities all are undertaken for this transition towards the Satva Guna. After all, action leads to action and then to character.