रजस्, rajas

"passion", "emotion", "attachment"

Rajas (also rajoguna, raja-guna) is the dynamic, activating principle of Prakriti. Rajoguna is the movement from Spirit (Sat) to matter and from matter to Spirit. The quality of rajoguna is that activity, being immersed in the sphere of feelings, manifests itself as passion. Rajas is related to Tejas.

Rajas is creation, tamas is destruction, sattva is what balances both processes.

"Bhagavad Gita" says:

Know rajas as the essence of attraction, craving and attachment come from it, it binds embodied ones, Kaunteya, with attachment to deeds. /14.7/

Here is how the manifestations of rajas are described in "Siddha-siddhanta paddhati":

Sacrifice, pleasure, eroticism, appropriation, personal gain – this is the five-qualitative rajas. /1.52/

The influence of rajas is manifested in the following qualities:

  • dana – donating gifts or giving alms, establishing charitable institutions with a sense of one's own superiority, and not with a spirit of humility and disinterested service.
  • bhoga – the growing thirst for sensual and mental pleasure.
  • shringara – sexual pleasure as a reward, sense gratification. It can also manifest itself in an attraction to clothes, jewelry and luxury goods.
  • vastugrahana – appropriation, possession of a thing, a desired object.
  • svartha-sangrahana – personal gain, the acquisition and accumulation of things for selfish purposes.

Such is the influence of rajas in the nature of man, which makes him active, energetic and enterprising and moves him in the direction of self-aggrandizement, selfish interests, worldly ambitions, gaining strength, prosperity and pleasure, sense gratification etc.

A person under the influence of rajoguna is in search of pleasure for himself, develops a thirst for material pleasures. He longs to enjoy and sees in this the meaning of life. For sense gratification, one must have some honor in society, a happy family, material wealth. As long as a person desires this, he is forced to work hard, because the house, family, prestige, need to be constantly maintained. The activities of a person in this guna are aimed at achieving results, which at their initial stage bring a certain amount of satisfaction, but the end result is suffering, the cause of which is the selfish nature of such activities.

However, rajas, as movement, activity, is necessary for any progress, accomplishment of something.