Rajas (Sanskrit rajas, or rajoguna) is the quality (Guna (Samkhya)) of creative, exciting or passionate activity in Samkhya philosophy Hinduism. If a person or thing tends to be extremely active, excitable, or passionate, that person or thing is said to have a preponderance of rajas.
Rajas has two basic characteristics i.e. calatva (activity) and pravartaka, preraka (motivator). It is responsible for activity. Rajas acts as stimulus for bringing about and maintaining activity in all animate and inanimate objects. Other two gunas viz., sattva and tamas, can not perform their function without being charged by the rajas. Rajas leads a life of enjoyment and restless effort. It results in sorrow, pride envy etc. which are its different forms.
Rajas is a force which promotes one or more of the following:
Rajo Guna means passion. Harming others, concentrating on beauty, toil, pleasure and pain, cold and heat, lordship (power), war, peace, disappointment, endurance, valour, pride, wrath, exertion, quarrel, jealousy, desire, malice, battle, protection of others, slaughter, bonds, and affliction, cruelty, vilifying, pointing out the faults of others, thoughts entirely devoted to worldly affairs, anxiety, animosity, false speech, false or vain gifts, hesitancy or doubts, boastfulness of speech, praise and criticism, prowess, defiance, attendance (as on the weak and the sick), obedience (to the commands of preceptors and parents) are some characteristics.
Other qualities of Rajo Guna are – dexterity of conduct, possessions and diverse decorations that prevail in the world among men, women, animals, inanimate things, grief, incredulousness, vows and regulations, actions with the expectation of good results, diverse acts of public charity, auspicious acts, affection generated by the merits of the object, treachery, deception, disrespect and respect, theft, killing, desire of concealment, wakefulness, ostentation, attachment, devotion, contentment, gambling, indulgence in scandal, attachment to dancing, instrumental music and songs.
Foods that are bitter, sour, saline, excessively (spicy)hot, pungent, dry and burning are known as Rajasik.
- Spices: jalapeno, peppers, mustard, onion, ginger, etc.
- stimulants: tea, coffee, etc
Examples: Foods that have been fried in oil or cooked too much or eaten in excess, specific foods and spices that are strongly exciting. Sour fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons, apples, banana and guava, Vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, tamarind, winter squash and pickles, fresh fish, shrimp, white meat chicken. .
The Rajas Lifestyle is said to lead to a passionate and caring life.
Relation to other qualitiesEdit
Note that passion is a feeling (often) associated with the act of generating something new. Rajas is viewed as being more positive than Tamas, and less positive than Sattva; except, perhaps, for one who has "transcended the gunas". The (eventual) fruit of Rajas is pain, even though the immediate effect of rajas is pursuit of pleasure.