This Mother Divine is a symbolization of the creation, and the entire creation is made up of five elements. These five elements have three qualities. These are:

  • Sattva
  • Rajas
  • Tamas

These are the names given to the three qualities, and everything in this creation is governed by these three qualities. They also relate to our state of consciousness, such as waking, dreaming and sleeping state.


Now, there is a broad understanding of what Sattva is, what Rajas is and what Tamas is. Sattva is the quality which is responsible for clarity, wisdom and righteous action. When Sattva is dominating in our environment, or in the body, that is when we feel light, happy, pleasant, joyful, alert, awake, and our perceptions are very clear.


Rajas is the quality which is responsible for activity in the body and mind. We cannot ‘act’ without a certain level of RajasRajas has its benefits when it is in balance with the other two Gunas. However, when Rajas increases or is dominating, we get lots of thoughts, we feel restless, we have too many desires and too many things to be done. Also, we either feel very happy and excited, or extremely low. This is the effect of the Rajo Guna.


Tamas is the quality which is responsible for rest in the body and mind. Without a certain level of Tamas, one cannot ‘sleep’. However, when Tamas is not in balance, that is when delusion, wrong understanding, dullness, etc., come forth.

At any given time, one of the three qualities dominates our life. When Sattva dominates in our life, then Rajas and Tamas stay in the background and their effect is minimum. When Rajas dominates, Sattva and Tamas are in the background. And when Tamas dominates, then Sattva and Rajas are in the background, and their effect is minimal. This is the whole mechanism of life in the world.

These three qualities are also present in our food. Our food can be SattvicRajasic or Tamasic. Our mind and intellect can be SattvicRajasic or Tamasic. Our attitude and actions can be SattvicRajasic or Tamasic.

These three Gunas come in cycles, one after the other. It is natural to experience these three qualities from time to time. Sometimes you feel happy, joyful, and alert (Sattva). Sometimes you feel restless, sad, burdened with too many things to do, and have many desires (Rajas). And sometimes you just feel dull, sleepy and lazy (Tamas).

Though we experience all the three qualities from time to time, we can still keep our levels of Sattva high by leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Spiritual practices such as meditation, chanting, etc., also contribute towards keeping the Sattva levels high. The higher the Sattva, the more happiness and clarity one experiences.

Navratri and the three gunas

Gunas are our innate qualities that can be refined through the Divine consciousness. The Devi is Trigunatmika – the owner and master of the three Gunas. She is the storehouse of good qualities.

During Navratri, the first three days are attributed to Tamas and the Devi is honored in the form of Durga. Worshipping Devi Durga during the first three days, brings a balance to the Tamasic tendencies.
The next three days of Navratri are attributed to Rajas and the Devi is honored in the form of Lakshmi. Worshipping Devi Lakshmi brings balance to the Rajasic tendencies.
The last three days of Navratri are attributed to Sattva where the Devi is honored in the form of Saraswati. Worshipping Devi Saraswati enhances the Sattva in us. During Navratri, our consciousness sails through TamasRajas and blossoms in the Sattva Guna on the last three days.

Gaining victory over the three Gunas (through worship and spiritual practices) and being centered is the purpose behind the celebration of Navratri.