'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

MenoRvated- Revved Up

Rajas - restlessness

In the post on the Gunas, there was a little array of meanings, the last of which was the capitalised 'Virtue". This pertains more specifically to today's subject. The 'trigunas' are often spoken of in Vedanta. The three dominant qualities of the personality, also applied to certain things and their effects upon that personality. They are generally referred to in unison, 'sattva-rajas-tamas'. Due to the flow of the alphabet, today we shall look at the middle of the three. Which is fine, because it is the one which the greater number of folk can identify with.

Let it be said at the outset that we all of us have all three qualities and in any given situation, from one day to the next, we can fluctuate to some degree with how they present. However, there will always be one of the three which is the primary quality of our life. This leads to our being described according to our dominating guna.

Rajas and Tamas may not necessarily be thought of as a virtue, particularly the latter. However, these temperaments are to be considered in relation to one's karma, and anything which provides for our learning may be regarded as a virtue.

What, then, does it mean to be rajasic? The short-form translation gives a good point. It points to the personality who must always be doing something - or being seen to be always doing something. Without rajas as part of our makeup, nothing would get done. It's the get-up-and-go virtue. In its positive aspects, it keeps us keeping on. Rajas needs to be active, and the most obvious activity is to work. Be that housework, career and employment, hobbies, volunteering, pioneering, planning… rajas is on the run. It likes to be involved and has a strong sense of duty. Some amount of rajas is necessary to be goal-oriented and fund the determination to reach that goal. Rajas is the acquisitive personality - what's in it for 'me'; acquire, build, retain.The leaders of the world will all have rajas dominance in their personality if they are to be successful.

What has to be watched, though, is that our rajasik nature doesn't fall into egoism. The trouble with having to act in the world is that we can become attached to it and have expectations of results from our actions. Rajas can become domineering, bullying, demanding. It can have a sense of being always in the right and brook no opposition or countenance any possibility of a different point of view. Rajas can become inflexible and 'kharu'.

Rajas is what most of us see in the transactional part of our lives. Without an element of tamas, the personality can become tiresome and overbearing. Without sattva tempering both those things, there can be no real compassion or softness, no stillness and quietness. Rajas is required to survive in the world, but if it is the dominant guna, the personality bearing it can become worn out, exhausted, sick, depressed. Rajasika-dominant personalities must take care of diet and rest and recreation to balance themselves. There will be a tendency for those of rajasik nature, to 'live fast and play hard'. Their diet is likely to consist of items which boost and stimulate. Major components;
Alcohol and soda
Garlic and onion
Fried foods
Excess spices, including chilli
Pickles and brewed sauces
Refined sugars
Heavy pulses such as kidney beans, black and green lentils
Heavy vegetables such as potato, broccoli, turnip

None of these things is majorly problematic if one is in full interaction with work and exercise - but of course, it is the usual rule, that moderation is best. Even a sattvika person will take some rajasik foods when in need of a mental and physical boost  (though never meat or alcohol!) For rajas to be useful but not destroying, it needs to be balanced and the best way to do this is to encompass more of the sattva into life.

Rajas is represented by the colour red.

Now then regular readers and lovers of short fiction - remember that next week it is Final Friday Fiction time!!! The Hindertwig Tales will continue - but in keeping with the A-Z.

New readers, if you need a prompt for your "X" post, perhaps this is something for you! See the FFF page under the banner for more info.


  1. Rajas really is an accurate description of me....to read it is best represented by Red makes total sense. I'm always busy I don't drink sodas and have cut way back on my sugar but I do indulge in all of the other items. Over the years warnings have come and gone about what is good or bad for you and I have always said moderation is the key. As much as I adore ice cream, chocolate, etc...to much can make you sick.
    Hugs HiC

  2. When I read Raja - I thought - yay I know this one (Indian ruler - Rajah) but I was wrong again - although there are elements of the Rajahs in this. I think it says a lot about the motivation behind those who are driven to always be doing, working, achieving - great for some, but so hard to sustain without something mental, physical or spiritual being sacrificed in the pursuit.

    Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
    R for Remember Silence

    1. Hari OM
      LOL... not so far from the truth of it Leanne! This was the sort of logic and exploration of our nature which caught my attention in earlier pursuit of Vedanta - and it is logic which can be applied no matter what our major philosophy may be. Yxx

  3. Thanks for enlightening me so much about rajas. A very informative post. Yes! Moderation is the key word :)

  4. This is interesting. Yesterday, I was planning out yard work. Then, I just sat on the bench, and listened to the birds. I forgave myself for not being so busy, and taking it all in. I just don't have the drive I used to. That, too, is good.


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