Rajas Guna is the attribute of a person or substance that promotes the motion or action. Because of the large proportion of Rajas Guna in Chitta’s formation, our mind usually found in a wandering state. It is the reason meditation doesn’t come easily.
Among 3 Gunas of nature, Rajas guna is the hyper state of Sattva and Tamas. Where Tamas is a state of inactivity, Rajas is the cause of activity, and finding a balance between these two is called Sattvic Guna.
Therefore when Rajas Guna is excess, it creates hyperactivity, excessive thinking, and anxiety. Thus it becomes essential to reduce or balance it to get sattvic state.
But before you work on balancing Rajas Guna, it’s important to identify your Rajas Guna.
Identify Your Rajas Guna
Naturally, all three Gunas are present in every person. To recognize Rajas Guna, you can observe your daily activities. The actions you perform shows the dominant Guna within you at a specific time.
You can see the following characteristics within you when Rajas guna is dominant:
1. Passionate and Impulsive
Rajasic people are desirable and passionate. They always want to achieve more, which causes a sense of greed and dissatisfaction. Consequently, continuous desire to achieve more makes them restless and overactive.
Since they tend to be very impulsive, they take spontaneous actions or decisions, and sometimes it becomes a cause of regret.
2. Defect Seeker (Forget Good Deeds)
Usually, a person with a dominant Rajas Guna focuses on the defects of a person and objects. They typically pay attention to the weakness, mistake, or bad deeds of others, while forgetting the positive aspects of the person.
They do not realize the good deeds of the person and judge them by their negative aspects. This behavior created a feeling of envy and hatred. Moreover, they do not forgive someone easily.
3. Seeks for New
Rajasic people can not stay happy on their own. They need the company of people or friends and worldly things to be satisfied. But, on the other hand, they get quickly bored with their company and objects.
Dominant Rajas Guna leads to the craving for something new, which makes them seeker of new sensations and feelings. As a result, they fail in building long term relationship with someone.
4. Selfish and Attention Seeker
Rajasic people are often self-centered. They don’t consider someone’s happiness as their happiness. These people only think about themself. They tend to be selfish and show no compassion for the sufferings of others.
Moreover, they perform actions just for name and fame. For example, if they help someone, they don’t do it because of their will, they do it for fame or recognization. They are usually attention seekers.
5. Angry and Fearful
Dominant Rajas Guna makes a person angry and fearful. They fear many things, such as losing fame or lagging behind others. They always worry that people will go ahead of them. Thus they become impatient, and they get angry quickly.
Rajas Guna in Yoga Practice
While doing any yoga asana, you can feel the presence of all three Gunas within you.
Imagine those poses in which you can’t achieve the final state easily, but still, you are putting more & more effort to go deep in the pose. Here it doesn’t matter how badly the body hurts and whether or not our body is approaching the right side of the pose. It stems from the Rajasic nature of mind.
Rather than this, if you mindfully make movements in a pose and maintain a balance of challenge & safe side at the same time, you will more likely to feel how easily pose comes to you. Now it is the state when the mind lies in the sattvic state.
Types of Rajas Guna
Usually, there are 16 types of personality 1 based on Gunas. Seven types of Sattva Guna, six types of Rajas Guna, and three types of Tamas Guna.
Based on behavior, Rajas Guna is divided into six types 2.
1. Asura (Sharing Traits of Asura/villain)
Asura Rajasic people are brave, violent, backbiter, and self-praising. Also, they are tough-minded, assertive, and terrifying in appearance.
2. Raksasa (Sharing Traits of Raksasa)
Raksasa Rajasic people are always angry, envy, and violent. They are fond of non-vegetarian food, excessive sleep, and indolence. Also, they are intolerant, with continuous rage.
3. Paisaca (Sharing Traits of Pisaca (evil being)
Such people have gluttonous habits and desires for women. They are unclean and cowardice. Moreover, they are habitual of an abnormal diet.
4. Sarpa (Sharing Traits of Snake)
Sarpa Rajasic people are brave when they are angry and cowardice when they are normal. They have sharp reactions and excessive indolence. Also, these people are not gluttonous, but they are tense.
5. Praita (Sharing Traits of Departed Spirit)
Such people are extremely greedy, troublesome, and back-biting. They have an excessive desire for food. Also, these people are undisciplined and irregular.
6. Sakuna (Sharing Traits of Sakuni-Bird)
These people have an attachment to passion and food. Such people are indisciplined, untidy, and tense.
How to Reduce Rajas Guna
Although Rajas creates energy and activity, the dominance of it needs to be balanced to achieve the sattvic state. Here are some ways you can reduce the dominance of Rajas Guna:
1. Practicing Restorative or Counter Pose
Restorative poses have the best calming mechanism to lower the effect of dynamic poses. To reduce Rajas Guna, one should have practice add few restorative poses while in a yoga session.
Also, don’t forget to practice a counterpose after doing a deep forward bend or a backbend. It neutralizes the excess effect of pose and helps us come in a balanced state. Holding poses for a more extended period also calms down the rajasic mode.
2. Cooling down by Pranayama
Altering our breathing pattern by adding cool breathing techniques of pranayama is very helpful in reducing the excess energy of Rajas Guna.
Some pranayama you can try in the dominance Rajas Guna is Sitali Pranayama and Sitkari Pranayama. Also, deep breathing exercise like alternate nostril breathing can help one to be relaxed during a yoga session.
3. Improving Eating Habits
Eating habits have a lot to do with our behavior. Foods that are pungent, bitter, sour, or much salty are Rajasic. It induces hyperactivity and excess heat within you, which makes you anxious.
So avoid spicey and oil fried food. Instead, go for lite and nutritious food. This will gradually decrease the dominance of Rajas Guna.
Vegetarian, raw foods, whole grains, and non-meat based proteins are some foods you can add in your plate to reduce Rajas Guna dominance.
4. Give Your Senses Soothing Vibes
Visuals and audios have a significant impact on our behavior. Violent and aggressive sound or visuals are Rajasic. These increase anxiety, aggression, and nervousness.
Therefore, do not feed your senses with such vibes. Instead, listen, watch, and read relaxing things and fill your senses with some soothing vibes.
5. Sleep Adequately
Sleep has an immersive effect on our behavior. The deficiency of sleep makes us irritable, while the excess of sleep makes us sluggish.
So, take an adequate amount of sleep. This will provide some relaxation for your body & mind and eventually reduce Rajasic property.
6. Spend Time with Yourself
grāmo rājasa ucyate
“Residence in village or town is in the Rajas Guna.” – Srimad Bhagavatam 11.25.25
Srimad Bhagavatam says, living away from nature is a characteristic of Rajas Guna. The busy life, away from nature, increases the qualities of this Guna. Therefore, take a break and give some time to yourself, in the lap of nature.
7. Think for Other’s Wellbeing
“Work performed with a desire to enjoy the results is in the Rajas Guna.”- Srimad Bhagavatam 11.25.23 3
The activities done selfishly are Rajas. So, to balance it, try to perform activities thinking about others. Also, try not to be self-centered and selfish.
You can learn by karma yoga how to do selflessly work. It will increase the sense of satisfaction and joy inside you, which leads toward sattva.
Remember, as you minimize Rajas, don’t go far away to Tamas. As you see, the Rajas Guna is minimized, focus on balancing or increasing the Sattva Guna.
To balance Rajas Guna, you will need to improve your eating habits and daily routine. Yet, it is not so simple as it looks while reading.
You might face difficulties maintaining this whole process because you will be going against your habits. But if you are determined, this is not very hard to reduce the excess of this Guna.
Everything you need is determination and consistency as the results are not overnight, so you need to be patient and focused. After some time you will see improvement in yourself.
- Concept of personality: Indian perspective https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3830173/
- Rajas guna types http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/
- ŚB 11.25.23 https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/11/25/23/