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In Hindu philosophy, sattva (Sanskrit "purity", literally "existence, reality"; adjectival "pure", anglicised sattvic) is the most rarefied of the three gunasmarker in Samkhya, sāttvika "pure", rājasika "dim", and tāmasika "dark". Importantly, no value judgement is entailed as all guna are indivisible and mutually qualifying.

Sattvic objects

For an object or food to be sāttvika, it must be uncontaminated and should not spread evil or disease in the world. On the contrary its presence must purify the surroundings. Thus when an individual consumes such a food, he must feel that he is eating pure food. The food should be healthy, nutritious and clean. It should also not weaken the power or equilibrium of mind. This idea disallows aphrodisiac or other drugs and intoxicants that can affect the mind in such a way. It also disallows food or objects obtained after killing or causing pain to a creature. This is because the object would then have source in an evil act. It also excludes stale and pungent-smelling food.

Some objects that are considered sāttvika are:
  • Flowers, fruits, and food that are allowed as offerings to God
  • Neem tree
  • The milk of a cow which has grown in good surroundings, is healthy and has been obtained after the calf of the cow has been fed well. In cases when the cow has been ill treated, it becomes sinful or evil to drink such milk. It must be remembered that the cow is sacred for the Hindus.

Sattva is a state of mind in which the mind is steady, calm and peaceful. A sattvika man or woman works with no attachment to the result.

Sattvic creatures

A person or creature can be called sāttvika if the creature has predominantly sāttvika tendencies.

A sāttvika individual always works for the welfare of the world. He is always hardworking, alert and lives life moderately. He leads a chaste life. He eats moderately. He speaks the truth and is bold. He never uses vulgar or insulting language. He does not feel jealous nor is he affected by greed and selfishness. He does not cheat or mislead anyone. He does not even allow any evil tendencies to enter his mind. He has good memory and concentration. He also has keen interest in improving his spiritual knowledge, and spends time worshiping god or meditating. In the extreme state he may even perform penance or uninterrupted meditation. A satvic individual can be recognized if his mind, speech and actions synchronize. Manasa, vacha, karmana are the three Sanskrit words used to describe such a state.

Some of the people considered by Hindus to be sāttvika are:

See also

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