In addition to the three doshas that form the physiological constitution, Ayurveda recognizes three psychic energies, or gunas, that comprise the mind and determine your psychological character. When the three gunas are balanced, they keep the mind and body healthy. An imbalance, however, can produce mental and physical disorders.

Tamas is the state of mind dominated by density and inertia. An imbalance of Tamas causes apathy, lethargy, delusion, and drowsiness. In severe instances, these can turn to hate, vindictiveness, addiction, perversion, and other forms of self-destruction.

Rajas represents the world of action, movement from the darkness of Tamas into the light. But the mind in Rajas is easily fooled by illusion, and those suffering from an imbalance of Rajas often succumb to ambition, greed, lust, materialism, and a desire to control and dominate. Our society is overwhelmed by the Rajas mindset.

Sattva manifests itself as lightness of being, clarity of mind and purpose, perception of wisdom, and acquisition of knowledge. Sattvika individuals are spiritual leaders, teachers, and healers. Noble, spiritual, and wise, the Sattva mind represents the culmination of human evolution. It is the mind illumined by the spirit.

While the three gunas are important for determining psychological health, physical health is dependent on the physical constitution, known in Ayurveda as prakrti. The three doshas - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha - determine by their predominance in an individual his or her prakti.

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