Guna (devanāgarī: गुण guṇa) is a Sanskrit word that means "quality", "virtue", "talent". In Samkhya philosophy, the guṇas are three major qualities or tendencies of prakṛti, which are called: sattva (purity, equilibrium), rajas (passion, activity), and tamas (ignorance, inertia). Each of the three gunas is present in every particle of creation but the variations in their activity manifest the variety in creation.
Tamas (devanāgarī: तमस्) is the quality of darkness, ignorance, delusion, dullness, laziness, inactivity, and inertia.
Rajas (devanāgarī: रजस्) is sometimes translated as passion, activity, excitement, dynamism, and creation.
Sattva (devanāgarī: सत्त्व) is derived from "sat", meaning true nature or spiritual essence. In the context of the gunas, it is the quality of luminosity, balance, harmony, goodness, purity, truth, peacefulness, being-ness, pure consciousness, and virtuousness that is drawn towards Dharma and Jñana (knowledge).
- Guṇa at Theosopedia