There are three psyche types (“gunas”) in the Ayurvedic health system from ancient India:
- Generative (rajas)
- Rajas is the quality of passion, activity, neither good nor bad and sometimes either, self-centeredness, egoistic, individualizing, driven, moving, dynamic, silver.
- Balanced (sattva)
- Sattva is the quality of beingness, harmony, goodness, purity, universalizing, holistic, constructive, creative, building, positive, peaceful, virtuous, gold.
- Degenerative (tamas)
- Tamas is the quality of imbalance, darkness, disorder, chaos, anxiety, impure, destructive, delusion, negative, dull or inactive, apathy, inertia or lethargy, violent, vicious, ignorant, lead.
The three psyche types are present in all beings, but vary in their relative amounts. They show our mental (psychological) and spiritual (soul) state. See also: “The Gunas”
Alongside the psyche types there are three physical energies (dosha's), which together make up our personality:
- movement energy (Vata: Air and Ether)
- transformation energy (Pitta: Fire and Water)
- binding energy (Kapha: Earth and Water)
See also: “The 3 Doshas: Your Ayurvedic Body Type”
“Along with the gunas, the three elements of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, with their corresponding elemental constituencies, make up the personality. The combination of these three doshas can create seven kinds of personality types. Also known as mind-body types, the doshas express unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics.” - *
“In Ayurveda, these 3 psyche kinds (gunas) have been again classified according to degree i.e. variations of Sattvika are of 7 types, Rajasika of 6 types and Tamasika of 3 types.” *
“Jung theorized that the dominant function characterizes consciousness, while its opposite is repressed and characterizes unconscious behavior. Generally, we tend to favor our most developed dominant function, while we can broaden our personality by developing the others.” - *
7 sattvika types
(Sharing the traits of Brahma): Purity, love for truth, self-controlled; power of discrimination, material and spiritual knowledge; power of exposition, reply and memory; freedom from passion, anger, greed, ego, ignorance, jealously, dejection and intolerance; and favourable disposition equally for all creatures3. Clean, true to his word, having controlled his self, distributing shares, endowed with learning, understanding, speaking and contradicting; and with memory, devoid of passion, anger, greed, conceit, confusion, envy, exhilaration and intolerance, equal to all creatures- such person should be known as Brahma type (similar to Brahma) in psyche. The characters include, Emotionally stable; Placid; Sober; Conservative; Reserved; Controlled; More intelligent4.
(Sharing the traits of rsis): Devotion to sacred rituals, study, sacred vows, oblations and celibacy; hospitable disposition; freedom from pride, ego, attachment, hatred, ignorance, greed and anger; intellectual excellence and eloquence; and power of understanding and retention3. Engaged in sacrifices, study, vow, oblations and celibacy; devoted to guests, having overcome pride, conceit, attachment, aversion, confusion, greed and anger; and endowed with power of imagination, speaking, under-standing and retention-such person should be known as Arsa (similar to sages) in psyche4. The characters include, imaginative and intelligence.
(sharing the traits of Indra): Lord-like authoritative speech; performance of sacred rituals; bravery, strength and splendor; freedom from mean acts; far sightedness; and. devotion to virtuous acts, earning of wealth and proper satisfaction of desires 3. One having supremacy and his words agreeable, engaged in sacrifices, brave, vigorous, subduing, and unobstructed action, foresighted, devoted to virtue, wealth and enjoyment- such person should be known as Aindra (Similar to Indra) in psyche4. The person is self sufficient and assertive.
(sharing the traits of Yama): Observance of the propriety of actions; initiation of actions in time; non-violability; readiness for initiating action; memory and lordship; freedom from attachment, envy, hatred and ignorance3. Keeping account of the conduct, acting in opportune moment, unstrikable, endowed with promptness and memory, acquiring supremacy, free from attachment, envy, dislike and confusion-such person should be known as Yamya (similar to Yama-god of death) in psyche4. Such persons are assertive.
(Sharing the traits of water-god Varuna): Bravery, patience, purity and dislike for impurity; observance of religious rites; fondness for aquatic sports; aversion against mean-acts; and exhibition of anger and pleasure in proper place3. Brave, patient, clean, disliking uncleanliness, engaged in sacrifice, liking for entertainment in water (swimming, etc.), with unobstructed action, opportune anger and pacification-such person should be known as Varuna (similar to Varuna-water-god) in psyche4. Such persons are placid, sober, and conservative.
(sharing the traits of wealth-god Kuvera): Possession of station, honour, luxuries and attendants; constant liking for virtuous acts, wealth and satisfaction of desires; purity and liking for pleasures of recreation3. Endowed with position, conceit, enjoyment and retinue; constantly engaged in virtue, wealth and pleasure, clean easy movements, manifest anger and favour-such person should be known as Kaubera (similar to Kubera) in psyche4. Such persons are relaxed and assertive.
(sharing the traits of celestial nymph Gandharva): Fondness for dancing, singing, music and praise; expertness in poetry, stories, historical narrations and epics; constant fondness for scents, garlands, unguents apparel, association of women and passion3. Expert in favourite dance, music, musical instruments, jugglery of words, poetry, stories, history and epics, constantly devoted to perfumes, garlands, paste, dress, sporting and enjoyment lover. Such person is known as Gandharava (similar to Gandharva) in respect of psyche4. Such persons are expedient, relaxed, happy-go-lucky, and outgoing. This is the only Sattvika type, where liking of women’s company is mentioned. So, this type of Sattvika may be sometimes happy-go-lucky and outgoing3. Thus, the pure psyche (Sattvika, people of pure and good nature) has been subdivided into 7 types because of beneficial character. Brahma is considered as purest one due to predominance of the above character4.