Updated: Jan 24, 2022
This is part 3 of Our Mental Nature series.
Rajas means passion. It is the energy of movement and intensity.
It introduces a disequilibrium that upsets an existing balance.
Anything that creates stimulation for someone is Rajasic to them.
Rajas is the energy that motivates us to take action.
It is excitement and inspiration.
It is the quality of change, activity, and turbulence.
It creates tension and agitation.
It imparts creativity, expansion and passion, but in excess, due to its imbalancing nature, it can cause distress and conflict.
Rajas is necessary for the proper function of life and we can harness the beneficial qualities of this energy ~ to accomplish goals, inspire new projects and create positive change in our lives. It is this energy that first transmutes the heavy, inert Tamas Gunas and creates a spark for self-transformation, which we can then transmute to the illuminating and peaceful Sattva Guna.
Rajas is transitional and inherently unstable and therefore cannot hold its condition for long and must revert to Tamas or advance to Sattva. For Rajas to continue there must be constant action and stimulation to maintain it.
Rajas is the dominant condition of modern society, as there is ongoing stimulation and change so people can remain led by a Rajasic state most of their lives. But too much Rajas creates overstimulation and can lead to hyperactivity, anxiety, exhaustion, and fatigue, and then eventually the inertia of Tamas will set in.
A mind with a lot of Rajasic energy works constantly and tends towards impatience, impulsiveness, and kinetic outlets of all kinds. In excess, a Rajasic mind can increase negative emotions such as lust, anger, greed, selfishness, violence, perfectionism, and egoism.
Signs and symptoms of too much Rajasic energy:
Poor sleep - difficulty falling and/or staying asleep
Inability to sit still, restlessness
Loss of concentration
Cravings for spicy food, alcohol & stimulants
Foods that bring more Rajasic energy to the mind:
Foods that are excessively spicy, sour, salty, fried, heating & stimulating
Stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, drugs
Onions, Garlic, Radishes - anything spicy and hot
Too many sweets
Processed foods with artificial additives
Lifestyle practices that bring more Rajasic energy to the mind:
Basically, anything that pulls you out of routine or causes you to feel ungrounded and stimulated.
Drinking alcohol & caffeine, nicotine, recreational/pharmaceutical drugs
Not giving yourself proper downtime or alone time for contemplation
Overexcersing, overworking, overconsuming, overdoing anything
When you need to decrease Rajas Guna, bring in more Sattva Guna with food that calms the mind and activities that slow down the pace. See my blog for more details on diet and lifestyle practices to cultivate on Sattva Guna.
See my next blog on Tamas Guna, the inert and heavy guna.